Notes from Peoria, Day Two

Dave · March 16, 2007 at 4:25 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Man, am I glad I spent a few hours over at the minor league fields this morning, because today’s game was lackluster to say the least, minus one very odd experience which I’ll get to in a little bit. On to today’s notes.

1. The team will address the Putz situation in the next 24 hours, most likely, but rumblings around camp aren’t good. It’s hold your breath time. Update: Hickey and Baker both say the preliminary diagnosis is good news – woo!

2. I got to see 17-year-old Carlos Triunfel take some hacks in the cage this morning and was extremely impressed. You can only tell so much from a guy taking swings in batting practice, but when a kid has a major league swing, it tends to jump out at you. This kid just has a different swing than the guys in his group (which included solid prospect Alex Liddi, by the way) and the ball absolutely leaps off his bat. Very effortless swing – little excess body motion and power coming from his batspeed and hips. He’s thicker in the lower half than most kids his age, so I expect we’ll hear a lot of suggestions that he won’t stick at shortstop simply because of his frame. I didn’t see him take the field, so I don’t have anything to say about his defense, but he’s obviously someone to keep an eye on. Sounds like he’s going to break spring training with Wisconsin, and if he’s as good as he looked in the cage today, he’ll be fine there.

3. Speaking of Alex Liddi, he was interesting to watch – he has a totally different swing than most of the M’s, as he drops his hands, dips his shoulder, and has a pretty noticable uppercut as he attemps to drive every pitch he swings at. It works, too, as he generated significant power and hit a lot of rockets to the deepest parts of the outfield. The swing was somewhat reminiscent of guys like Ryan Klesko. If he makes the majors, you’ll hear a lot of comments about how he doesn’t get cheated at the plate. I’d like to see him against real pitching and see if he makes adjustments to handle the low-and-in pitch.

4. The Royals sent their F team to Peoria for todays games. Ross Gload hit third. At least I got to see Billy Butler swing the bat, but man, that was a bad squad they put on the field. The game itself was pretty unventful, at least until the 5th inning. I was watching the game with a friend from Seattle who I get to see about every other year or so, and we were catching up on things – how’s his family doing, stuff with his job, normal friendly conversation. There was no drinking going on, nothing that could even potentially be construed as offensive conversation, and yet, the lady in front of us turns around and says (paraphrasing): “I’m sorry, but you guys have been talking the entire game. We’re trying to enjoy the game, and we can hear everything you say, and its pretty irritating. There’s some great seats in other sections – why don’t you guys go sit over there.”

I was so stunned, I didn’t know what to say. She wasn’t complaining that we were being loud or vulger or drunk – she just was annoyed by the fact that we were talking to each other. My friend offered up an apology for distrubing her, and rather than cause a scene, we moved to another location. We didn’t say anything rude as we left, and yet, as we walked down the stairs, she applauded us leaving in the same manner you see people applaud when someone is arrested and taken from the stadium. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever had any kind of negative encounter with the fans sitting around me, and to have someone get so annoyed because I was conversing with a friend I haven’t seen in a couple of years is still just stunning to me.

5. Overheard in our new seats a few innings later after Willie singles to give him yet another spring training base hit.

“Man, Willie runs hard. I don’t think I could do it if I was him – be that dedicated to the game, be such a good player, a good person, and never get a chance. He always hustles, always does his best. You can just tell he’s special, but they always find someone to play ahead of him. He’s just like Ibanez, where we used him as a utility guy and never gave him a job, and then he went elsewhere and became a star. But he just works so hard. Buhner was like that too. I’d love to have a team full of guys like Buhner and Bloomquist.”

We joke around here about comments like this to the point that you almost forget that most of the Mariner fans out there actually think this way. We’re in the vast minority when it comes to Willie – people really think he’s a terrific player who has just never been given a fair shake. I don’t even know what to say anymore. We’re never going to convince people that Willie’s not a major league starter. The things that they love about players aren’t things that make players good, and for the casual fan, that’s never going to change. As long as Willie keeps running hard, he’s always going to be held up as a great player in Seattle. It’s a fight we just can’t win.


107 Responses to “Notes from Peoria, Day Two”

  1. Karen on March 17th, 2007 11:40 pm

    Good response, Jeff Nye, in #95. You summed it up very nicely.

    Common courtesy is thinking of others and how your behavior impacts them, not the other way around…not letting the situation get as tense as it apparently did between the lady and Dave/friend. I’d guess no one in that situation really considered that, although Dave and his friend definitely get points for leaving the scene quietly.

    A lot of you are guilty of obfuscating the simplicity of the situation by castigating the woman for showing up ~the bottom of the 2nd inning (some of you mistakenly implied it was later than that), for suggesting she was criticizing non-baseball talk in general during the game, or that she was requiring complete silence. Tsk.

    I have a couple of stories, too, but they’re about common courtesy and regard for others, not ballpark behavior. They’d be funny if they weren’t so obliviously rude.

    My husband and I had just ordered dinner at Tony Roma’s restaurant right across the street from Disneyland one night a few years ago. About halfway through my salad I began to smell the worst smell (in a restaurant, anyway). Phew! Some thoughtless self-centered young mother lacking in common courtesy was changing her baby’s stinky diaper in the booth in back of me. All she was apparently concerned about was that her baby’s diaper needed changing. She never gave a thought to the milieu possibly being totally inappropriate, or who else her actions might impact.

    Another story, more recent: Last January my husband, my sister and I were returning from Florida. About a half hour into the flight, the bulkhead passenger next to my husband and I asked to get up. We moved out so she could, then sat down until she got back. When she got back, though, she stood in the aisle in front of us and asked my sister to exchange seats with her so she could have an aisle seat. Since we’d specifically booked these seats months before, my sister refused (politely).

    The woman then got insistent, saying she realized we were all related and that we should want to “keep the family unit together” (my sister and I both were in aisle seats side by side, and my husband was next to me). It took almost 10 minutes of the woman haranguing us and my sister and I standing firm before the woman finally sat down (the attendant pointed out there was a single vacant seat in the row ahead of us, but she didn’t take it).

    For the rest of the flight the woman made my (stroke brain-damaged) husband miserable by hoisting her armrest up to about 3/4 vertical, then leaning against it and propping her feet up against the bulkhead, and sleeping. He couldn’t lean back but one shoulder at a time. I spent most of the flight with my arm up around his back so he could lean towards me, then lean back against the back of his seat. I could have moved him to that vacant seat, I suppose, but I don’t think he would have gone willingly (he doesn’t like to be distanced from me these days).

    What could we complain about? She was “within her rights” to use that armrest any way she wanted. Finally, about 20 minutes before we landed, she woke up, packed up all her belongings, and moved to the vacant seat the attendant had pointed out several hours before.

    I vented my irritation by writing a letter to the airlines. I hope the next time she flies, the airline makes sure she’s sitting between 2 behemoths on a full flight…

  2. terry on March 18th, 2007 5:36 am

    #101: yes but in the context of a ballpark behavior of the woman in Dave’s story was analogous to the behaviors of the inconsiderate ones in your stories….

  3. mln on March 18th, 2007 6:25 am

    Ballpark etiquette, I suspect, is quite different from one city to another. In certain East Coast cities like Boston, Philadelphia, or New York if that woman in Peoria had made a similar request to some dudes sitting behind her, you might have a “Malice in the Palace” situation break out.

  4. gk91 on March 18th, 2007 8:08 am

    One time I was waiting for a Metro bus with the same folks I’d waited for the bus with for 2 years. All of a sudden one of the folks said “Good morning”. I reported them to Metro transit once I arrived at work. Imagine, someone talking in public!

  5. pensive on March 18th, 2007 5:18 pm

    Dave–Great the support you have received. Been away for a few days so reading all was interesting. The number of posts and support for you shows the loyalty and support of readers.

    Those times when you may question is it worth your time and effort to share with us for no monetary reward. This support should be great reward.

    It certainly helps that you were on the polite correct side. You demonstrated great character,which you do in your writing. Especially fond of your sharing your Mother’s and your going to the game.

    The clapping would have pushed me over the top. One just feels sorry for a person whos life must be so unpleasant after being pissed off and reflection.

    Wonder how the senerio would have played out if DMZZ were in the mix?

  6. Ralph on March 19th, 2007 9:05 pm

    Well, maybe she could have taught him how to change a tire. That’s the only difference that I can think of.

  7. DMZ on March 19th, 2007 11:18 pm


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.