Live Game Notes
While in attendance for all 12 innings of tonight’s ordeal, certain observations came to me in no particular order. Out of respect for baseball’s non-linearity, they are presented as such.
* Adrian Beltre’s hamstring must really be hurting if he wasn’t available to pinch-hit for Dave Hansen or Rene Rivera at any point in the game, especially that last inning.
* Umpire Michel Foucault did a fantastic job tonight in deconstructing the notion of a stable strike zone. Often, officiants reify the static rulebook norms into oppositional binaries of “balls” and “strikes” in a clear exercise of disciplinary power. Tonight, these totalizing expectations were dismantled in a singular 12-frame act of micro-political resistance.
* Three quick points about bumper music for batters.
Raul Ibanez increased my respect for him by choosing the excellent “Me, Myself and I” from De La Soul’s classic “Three Feet High and Rising.”
If the team store charges hundreds of dollars for an Ichiro autograph, imagine how much they would charge for a karaoke recording of him doing “In The Club.”
Late in the game, they played the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” before a Bret Boone at bat. The joke about what he does to run-scoring chances makes itself.
* Actual conversation with pal, part one. Raul Ibanez steps to the dish against Rheal Cormier with the M’s trailing by one. Me: “Unlike Ichiro, Ibanez is totally lost against lefties.” Pal: Nods. Ibanez: Hits game-tying home run.
* Michael Morse has real power. His line-drive double to drive in the Mariners’ first run looked to me like a sure single, because it hit the outfield grass so soon — but there was such force on the ball it split the gap between Lofton and Michaels.
* If you kick over someone’s beer at Safeco, you should at least make a show of going to the ATM and buying them another one. After booting a full Foster’s, “sorry” is a day late and about $8 short.
* Actual conversation with pal, part two. As Bret Boone comes up against Billy Wagner, I opine that the only real question is how many pitches it will take Wagner to notch the strikeout. Four, says I. Six, says friend. Correct answer: three.
* This move ended up working out, but I still disagree with taking out Eddie Guardado after one inning, the 11th. The first batter up in the ensuing frame was Chase Utley, a lefty with power. why not let Eddie, your best reliever and a guy that mows down lefties, take him on instead of Mateo?
If Utley homers there, Mike Hargrove wins a free stay at the luxury hotel in Second-Guess City.
* The Terrace Club seats have major advantages, including easy bathroom access and proximity to a full bar. Most stark, though, is the distinction between condiment bars. In the T.C., I counted eight different types of mustard. Eight! At the ground levels, you’re lucky if you get a non-congealed packet of gritty Yellow No. 5 dye.
There are drawbacks, too, like the nearby folks who whooped in glee after Bob Abreu got thrown out at second base in the eighth inning. Awash in liquid refreshment, they assumed that this nullified the run Kenny Lofton scored in the same sequence.
I kept waiting for Umpire Foucault to declare that runs and errors are co-productive, activating the umpire-space and decentering the scoreboard-subject. But then he would have had to eject Charlie Manuel, and that would have been an exercise of sovereign biopower, so he let it stand.
Manuel’s scoreboard photo, by the way, looks like Emperor Palpatine’s paler brother.
* Actual conversation with pal, part three. My prediction for announced attendance? 26,800. My friend’s prediction? 28,100. Actual announced attendance? 27,162.
This was an accurate estimate, if you had about nine $8 Foster’s and were seeing double.