2012 Aquasox Opening Day Thread

Jay Yencich · June 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm · Filed Under Minor Leagues 

If there’s good to come out of the early Mariners game today aside from park-induced offense, it’s that the evening is free for paying attention to the Aquasox, with their ace on the mound in Victor Sanchez. I’m at the park right now and will probably be going on KRKO in a few minutes, depending on when they decide to fit me in.

This is your lineup:

LF Jamodrick McGruder
SS Chris Taylor
1B Taylor Ard
RF Alfredo Morales
DH Jean Acevedo
C Marcus Littlewood
CF Janelfry Zorilla
3B Patrick Kivlehan
2B Ketel Marte

Let’s go Aquasox!


46 Responses to “2012 Aquasox Opening Day Thread”

  1. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 7:15 pm

    So Victor Sanchez is a huge guy. Exaggerated twist in the delivery, at least when the runners aren’t on. The first two Indians batters opted to bunt for base hits on the first couple of pitches rather than see what he has to offer. Two groundouts and a flyout that McGruder had no issues running down.

    early impressions: live stuff, relative disinterest in fielding aspect of the game. Some pitchers get really all out on fielding the bunt, Sanchez barely left the radius of the mound, sort of giving it an “eh, forget it” gesture as the third baseman sprinted in.

  2. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 7:34 pm

    McGruder! He’s little! Takes a look at a ball outside, then inside at the feet, spanks a hit up the middle which the shortstop throws in a hurry and the first baseman can’t pick it even though the throw beat him by a step.

    Taylor gets plunked in the upper arm. No chance to see him swing.

    Ard’s batting third, of course. Huge cut at the first pitch up in the zone that draws a lot of “ohhhhhs” from the crowd. Pitcher tries the same stunt and he holds off. Pitch three nearly nicks him. The Indians starter seems to be short on command this evening. Check the swing. Fouls down the left field line and straight back, cries of “throw the ball” from the crowd, missed down and out and the bases are loaded.

    Morales! The only LH Power Hitter. He’s balancing the bat on his shoulder like it was a straight edge and then the catcher runs out for time. First pitch would have beaned a RH hitter in the knees. Second one misses up. The ump is not being generous. Pitch down the middle is cut at with bad intenions. Another one is in the upper outside corner of the zone, and swung through. Morales tags one to RF, it’s an out, not far enough, but far enough to score a run and the guys advance.

    Acevedo gets one to the shortstop, but the throw is high and the first baseman has to leap to snag it, which pulls him off. Midair tag misses. Taylor scores. Ard at third, Acevedo at first.

    The pitcher remains terrified of the strikezone and the first three pitches to Littlewood miss. He tries piping one down the middle, a srike for a strike’s sake, and Littlewood can’t get it. Littlewood was walked on ball four, the catcher throws anyway trying to get Acevedo who is running, throw is airmailed but there are no advances. So the catcher and the shortstop are also bad at throwing.

    Zorilla takes a big cut at the 1-0 pitch, nothing doing. Breaks his bat down to the knob and still gets it to medium LF.

    Kivlehan, pronounced, Kivvle-han. Fouls back the first pitch. The second one goes between the wickets of the pitcher’s legs and a run scores, but Littlewood is thrown out third. Umpire shouts out “RUN SCORES” and the crowd goes wild.

  3. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 7:42 pm

    I’m chatting with one of the guys in here, and we both stop to see one of the Indians pitchers swing through a pitch that drops on him. Sanchez: changing the plane.

    Second guy is walked. Third guy lifts one to LF. Fourth guy hits one up the middle. I am writing through various degrees of distraction.

    Did you notice? Cavan Cohoes is in center field for the Peoria Mariners. On the mound? Former outfielder Jarrett Burgess. Nate Tenbrink is rehabbing at second and Johermyn Chavez is in right.

    Sanchez seems to be having some issues finding the zone. One would expect more aggressiveness with a four run lead. The ball is lift down the LF, lands about a foot fair, fielded by McGruder who nearly trips and then launches the throw into third to get the final out of the inning as the runner can’t quite get in.

    4-1 Aquasox.

  4. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 7:52 pm

    Marte is up. Sets down a good bunt down the LF line and throw just barely beats him out. The call really could have gone either way.

    McGruder up, trying to work the count again. He looks for his pitch and if he doesn’t get it, he won’t swing. Baserunner first, hitter second, it seems. Last pitch is nowhere near the zone and he walks on five pitches.

    Taylor is up now. Perhaps he’ll get a chance to swing this time. Or not. Time is called right as McGruder is about to steal his first base of the evening. Pitch misses inside. McGruder gets it. “That’s a Blazing Onion stolen base”. McGruder steals third on the next pitch, throw in sails into left, McGruder gets up and scores. I love watching this guy. Okay, the Taylor AB is still ongoing. There’s a strike and then Taylor lifts one to deep center. Center is only 380 feet here, but it’s still something that was not entirely expected.

    Ard has a cheering crew here, naturally. It will probably be more prominent for Vancouver games. First pitch hits the bat instead of Ard, which is not to say that Ard swung. Cuts at a pitch that would have been a passed ball had anyone been on. Ard lifts one to the deepest part of the park and then shenanigans in the outfield nearly get him an inside-the-park home run. Instead, it’s a triple, and he’s out at home by a foot.


    5-1 Aquasox

  5. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 7:58 pm

    Sanchez is getting the outside strike more than Indians pitcher is, it seems. Not that there’s human error. I would never imply that. The robots might be watching. Swinging K, ball gets lose, tapped out front, Littlewood gets to it and has no issues throwing him out.

    The next ball in play gets Taylor a little work at short.

    Sanchez is throwing in and out but not really hitting his spots. The right fielder gets one he likes and plants it between Ard and Marte.

    What little threat there was ends when Sanchez strikes out the final batter to end the inning.

  6. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 8:11 pm

    Jarrett Burgess has given up ten runs (four earned) on ten hits and a K in two and two-thirds. Three errors behind him, two by guys that ought to be doing better, like Tenbrink and Chavez.

    Morales is up again. He’s ready to swing, seems to completely tense up as the ball is in approach, but he’s not unleashed on anything yet. He always looks like he’s got bad intentions up there. Walk. Two good ABs by Morales.

    Acevedo laces one into right center, but that’s where they’re shading him and there are no issues getting ot the ball. Still, RH hitter going the other way with a pitch. Process is a positive thing.

    Littlewood takes an ugly cut at a pitch low. Morales runs but the throw is high again. This team is going to run a lot. Littlewood works it 3-1 and then takes a swing and it’s full. Realistically, with how the guy on the mound is throwing, they shouldn’t be swinging on anything that doesn’t look good. Fortunately for Littlewood, something does look good, and he gets one over the RF for a stand-up double. We’ve got another mound conference going on.

    Zorilla takes one on the lower outside corner. No strike. The second pitch is an exaggeration of the previous one. No one seems to be fishing today. Zorilla jumps a little at a ball that misses low. Near passed ball results in Morales out at home, but Zorilla ends up with the walk. We’ve seen some minor league baseball this evening.

    Kivlehan again. Takes ball one low. Watches two more, down the middle strike, slightly high for ball two, count 2-1. Swings at the fourth offering to make it even. Zorilla tries to steal on ball three and is thrown out, but given how the catcher had been throwing, they’ve been right to be as aggressive as they’ve been.

    Still 5-1 Aquasox, though opportunities were there.

  7. Westside guy on June 20th, 2012 8:17 pm

    I was only listening on radio, but it sounded like the big club gave up one of those “Minor League Baseball” moments today. Arizona got an inside-the-parker that apparently was thanks to a really bad decision by Saunders.

  8. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 8:22 pm

    The third baseman hits one beyond the reach of Taylor and into center. Wild pitch or passed ball or something advances the runner. Littlewood lost track of it, but let’s not expect too much out of the gate. At least Sanchez is getting some swinging strikes. The DH hits one to right center and the Indians get their second run of the game. Swinging strikes still a factor, another batter Ks. Then the next guy watches the last K after swinging at a couple. Groundout ends it.

    5-2 Aquasox.

  9. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 8:29 pm

    There’s a new Webbly this year, bigger and yellower. They did the Rocky training montage thing to explain it. ‘Kay. There is also a new pitcher for the Injuns.

    Kivlehan: Foul, ball, fouls something off the roof of the press box, takes a bouncer, rightly so. Hits a deep deep fly to center for an out.

    Marte works the count full, as have most of the hitters to this point it feeels like. Hits one into the triangle of the shortstop, center, and left fielder and the LF gets it.

    McGruder! Takes a cut at the first pitch. The next one he almost bunts then pulls back on for a ball. Fouls one back. Is this the first 1-2 count on an Aquasox batter I’ve seen, I wonder. Swinging K and he’s out.

  10. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 8:36 pm

    The scoreboard ate a ball in play. It’s a ground rule double and, apparently, a bill. Alfredo Morales looks forlornly at the board, waiting for the ball to come back.

    Deep OF fly out to follow. The RF is at the plate again. The runner on second decides to test out Littlewood, but he’s gone. A few minor things aside, you’d never know Littlewood was a first-year catcher.

    Deep RF fly ends it.

  11. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 8:47 pm

    Taylor gets hit by another pitch. I swear, he’s not trying to do this, as this last one got his feet.

    The other Taylor, Ard, is up. He’s worked the count to 3-1, but you’d barely notice with how often the pitcher has been throwing to first, where Taylor isn’t even trying to pull anything. Ard holds up on a swing and it’s now runners on first and second, no out.

    The “no out” part quickly ended, as Morales lined the first pitch he saw to the first baseman, who barely moved and casually tagged out a stunned Ard.

    Acevedo up with Taylor on second. Not so much a threat anymore. Acevedo works himself into a 1-2 hole. Commence fouling sequence. Checks a swing on something that bites grass, now 2-2. Acevedo is being played like they don’t think he’s a pull hitter, and he tries, but the LF manages to dive and barely gets to it.

    Heading into the top of the sixth, still 5-2 ‘Sox.

  12. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 8:58 pm

    Pitch #2 is grounded to short. Easy, easy. No difficult plays made by the fielders yet. It’s either a hit or an out and obviously so in either case. Except for the scoreboard thing.

    Grounded up the middle, base hit. As I was saying. DH is at the plate. Sanchez walks him. He wasn’t hitting his spots before, but now, I’m starting to wonder if he’s out of gas.

    First baseman runs it to 2-1. Conference on the mound, and then the first pitch Sanchez throws goes out to the berm in right. No doubt about that one. No doubt at all. We’ve got a whole new ballgame, folks.

    Sanchez goes back into attack mode on the next hitter, gets a couple of strikes, couple of balls, nearly hits the guy in the shoulder. Sanchez is throwing like a pissed-off man right now. Settles a little only to walk the guy. I don’t know, if it were me I would have pulled him before this inning started. Runner on first, one out.

    Kivlehan snags a low liner, toss across for the DP. That’s the first play I think I’ve seen Kivlehan need to make all evening.

    All knotted at 5-5.

  13. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 9:04 pm

    Littlewood reaches on error. Basically, low roller up the infield grass, the shortstop picks it, drops it, rushes the throw nearly into the dugout, and now we’ve got a man on hoping to get the lead and put Sanchez in position for a win.

    Zorilla fouls pitch one back and it bounces around on the roof for a bit. Takes another up, count at 1-1. Hits one right to the second baseman who shovels it and gets it to the shortstop who then turns an easy double play. There goes that.

    It’s up to Kivlehan again, who quickly finds himself in an 0-2 count. Third pitch misses waaaaay up. Lines one to the first baseman, who fumbles, first baseman runs in to cover and then spikes the ball as Kivlehan crosses barely in time.

    Hauser will pitch the seventh.

  14. jordan on June 20th, 2012 9:09 pm

    Littlewood has sort of fallen off hasn’t he? I kind of forgot about him.

  15. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 9:12 pm

    Hauser on the mound. Hitting the zone as much as anyone tonight, which is to say that he isn’t. Grounder up the middle is gloved, bobbled, trickles out to Marte. Hauser gives us a “my bad” look.

    Runner goes on pitch one, Indians trying to make something here, and the throw is not in time. I just watched everyone chase down a foul ball down the line and then behave as though it was not a foul ball.

    Grounder gets to Marte, done, one out and a hope that we don’t see anything that would drive in the guy at third. Ball hit directly to Ard, who bobbles, recovers, throws to Littlewood, out at home. Ard’s as good as advertised with the glove.

    Kivlehan handles a grounder. Doesn’t look great, but no runs are scoring and we’re all locked up still.

  16. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 9:13 pm

    Littlewood’s looked GOOD so far. I was not expecting that.

  17. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 9:22 pm

    Marte barely misses an infield hit. We’ll see if McGruder can do something to untie this game. Nope. Lifts one to right, not quite deep enough, or doesn’t quite drop fast enough.

    Taylor swings like he’s trying to untie it himself. Note that he does have the team’s only HR. Then he takes a ball and shows bunt before pulling away. 2-1. He hits one over the right fielder for a stand-up double.

    Ard takes a couple of pitches. Perhaps the pitcher is feeling less awesome about his state in the world now that a runner is in scoring position. Ball three gets dirt. Lines one past the third baseman who tries to flip his glove up to catch it, no dice, Taylor is running like he thinks he’s got it. Throw beats him but then he and the catcher play footsie and whatever happens from there, he’s called safe.

    Morales then hits a deepish fly to right. Ard stranded at second.

    6-5 Aquasox.

  18. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 9:33 pm

    Hauser K’s the first batter swinging.

    The next batter golfs one up the middle on a 3-1 count. Tying run aboard. Shore warming up even though he was in Clinton the other night. Well, whatever.

    Hauser is not throwing well now. Three consecutive balls before getting a called strike. 3-1. Ball is hit and absolutely skied to McGruder who runs in and grabs it to much fanfare.

    Whoever was up grounds one deep to shortstop, Taylor throws to first, ball bounces in the dirt, gets in, everyone’s running, so I guess he’s out.

    6-5 Aquasox still.

  19. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 9:42 pm

    Acevedo tries to bunt his away aboard. Perfect, perfect, perfect, somehow gets between the three guys and they just look at it, dumbfounded as Acevedo runs it out to first. Infield hit for the DH.

    Acevedo runs on pitch one, but then Littlewood fouls it back. Aquasox playing add on, or attempting to. Another foul goes barely out of play on the third base side. Takes a ball in, count at 1-2. Called strikeout on the outside corner. One down.

    Zorilla’s at the plate. He fouls one directly up. I think it’s headed towards the booth but the catcher is still staring straight up. So that foul went nowhere. Out #2.

    Kivlehan again with an opportunity to do something. He fouls it back. The intern reaches out in case it’s going to drop down the ladder hatch. How I wish, but no. Ball, swinging strike. Kivlehan doesn’t look totally at ease out there. Checked a swing, but called strike three anyway. We’re going to the ninth with a one run lead and we’re getting Shore on the mound in hang on time, as differentiated from hang ten time.

  20. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 9:51 pm

    Various goofs allow the tying run to reach first as no one can seem to get to or field the ball. Yep.

    Ball one to #1. Shore taking his sweet time out there. Lays down a bunt that pops over foul pretty quickly. The crowd ages several minutes and Shore is ready to pitch again. Bunt down the third base line, fair, toss to first in time to make it count. Hoping for two outs here, possibly before large scale muscular atrophy sets in.

    #2 hitter and second baseman at the plate. Shore throws a couple of balls, faster than before. Grounder to third and we have two away. Tying run moves into range, 90 feet from leaving us here longer.

    The #3 hitter is at the plate. #3 hitter is hitting .176 in the young season. Two balls get him in a friendly count. Too friendly if you ask me. FOUL. 2-1. Hecklers going into him pretty fierce. He lifts one into left and it drops, tie ballgame. I suppose the Aquasox could still break through in the bottom half of the inning. I hear trains.

    Grounder back to the pitcher.

    6-6 TIE, possiblity for extras.

  21. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 10:01 pm

    The Aquasox are playing their rally video on the videoboard. I won’t describe it. It is an amazing mash-up of completely unrelated films and is a work of art. My evening is complete regardless of outcome.

    Marte is up before the lineup turns around again. Takes strike one. Fouls one. Excited screams. Less of a reaction to ball one way outside. Further fouls. Way, way up, even count. MORE FOULS. Skies one on the infield. Only a fool would miss it, but it’s been that kind of game and I have to see it fall into the shortstop’s glove and stay there. Out #1 on our way to possible extras.

    McGruder at the plate. Takes one, swings at one, swings at two. 1-2 count. He’s been more aggressive later in the game. Poor results though. If he gets on, then Taylor and Ard would follow and both have been forces tonight. Fouls. McGruder dodges out of the way of a ball and the umpire rings him up for a strikeout. The crowd boos. McGruder has Words. Out #2, extras imminent.

    Taylor takes two and it’s now 1-1. Low strike called on Taylor gets us to 1-2. Booing getting emphatic. Fouls, one of which bounces off the wire, holding up the netting that keeps those in the press box alive. Another worm biter. Further fouls. Can’t say that they’re not working the counts here, but they have for most of the night. Called strikeout and Taylor knew it. Sextras it is.

  22. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 10:05 pm

    Marte fields a groundout. Let’s see how long I can get into this while still caring.

    Shore gets a called strikeout. Hecklers still activated, others abandoning ship, various game stories have been destroyed by repeated ties.

    Marte gets another opportunity to do the things which he does.

    Heading into the bottom half. I have not yet noted it, but Tenbrink has been 5-for-5 in his rehab showing.

  23. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 10:18 pm

    Oh god, Taylor Ard please save us you have not actually made an out yet oh wait there it is RF fly out, not deep enough.

    Morales wants to end this too. Gets a full count and ball three, I swear would have been called a strike earlier. Ball four is legit though.

    Acevedo has also done some things tonight. Maybe, he could continue to do things here. Faulkner is pinch-running for Morales. Genius move there. He’s the biggest distraction we have aside from McGruder. Grounder to third, toss to second eliminates Faulkner, but the slide is decent, the throw off, and Acevedo makes it on a fielder’s choice.

    A 3-1 count to Littlewood draws a conference. I am reasonably confident with Littlewood at the plate. Reasonably. Swings through but Acevedo hustles into second, no throw. ANOTHER CONFERENCE. Confidence giving way to yawning. Littlewood walks and now we have runners at first and second and a pitching change. Death feels imminent.

    The Indians have brought in a sidearmer. Cripes. Zorilla takes a strike, swings at a ball way outside, this looks not-good. Takes a ball low. Leans into one that hangs up just long enough for the LF to get into position.


  24. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 10:27 pm

    Shore is still out there, but he no longer appears to be terrified of throwing the ball. This is pleasant. Two quick strikes yield to three balls. Something needs to give. I see Mario de Jesus warming up. A botched check swing means a K for Shore.

    Shore’s heater is 88 or so on the stadium gun. This means what it means. The batter has been swinging his way into a hole in the ground. They try to get him to chase high heat, that’s a no. 1-2 count. Flyout that moves Faulkner, the new CF (Zorilla’s in right) perhaps two feet to his right.

    Grounder to Marte is the third out. Going to the bottom half of the inning. Someone send snacks.

  25. Chipanese on June 20th, 2012 10:33 pm

    So who are you most impressed by so far? Wish I was there.

  26. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 10:34 pm

    Kivlehan, 2-0, gets pitches, fouls pitches. The sidearmer is still up there. He shattered a bat and the ball hung up until the SS was able to glove it.

    Marte grounds to short again.

    McGruder tries to bunt. Doesn’t do it. Out at some point while I’m talking.

    To the twelfth with de Jesus on the mound. The scoreboard is recycling positions now. I’m kind of okay with Taylor/Ard/Faulkner opening next inning.

  27. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 10:34 pm

    Ard’s been the most impressive player I’ve seen today.

  28. shamus on June 20th, 2012 10:40 pm

    Hi Jay – great stuff. Could you comment on how Littlewood looks both behind and at the plate??


  29. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 10:43 pm


    Full count, ball. Right fielder walks.

    I have been barely paying attention but de Jesus is 86-88 mph. Check swing Ks.

    SB? PB? Yes. Runner on second. Another check swing K.

  30. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 10:53 pm

    The Indians infielders are smarter than the Aquasox infielders because on a bunt by Taylor, they actually waited to see if it would roll foul. It did. Taylor works it to 3-1. Foul makes it a full count. So many pitches. Seriously, bottom of the twelfth and I’ve been here three and a half hours. Taylor lines it just above the reach of the first baseman and we’ve got a runner on first with no outs.

    Save us, Taylor Ard, please save us. Called strike. Down low. Sidearm is still on the mound. He misses outside, count 2-1. Ard takes a big old cut and fouls it, count 2-2. Ard grounds into a double play near the second base bag, two outs on the board.

    One is less confident with Faulker hitting one out as he is roughly the same dimensions as Oswaldo Navarro. Or Anthony Phillips. He thinks that strike two is ball four. Full count. That’s a walk.

    Acevedo? The bats have gone quiet in the later innings after starring for the first couple of frames. Pitch one goes outside and low. The next two are fouls. Faulkner goes running and slides right into the tag.


  31. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 11:01 pm

    I left to make a bathroom run and as I sit down, I see the Indians batter launch one over the NWL champions sign in left field. 8-6 Indians. My decision to pass on additional food looks like it may be justified.

    Furious typing from the booth.

  32. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 11:10 pm

    My Sharona. m-m-m-m-my Sharona.

    Acevedo, Littlewood, Zorilla. Aquasox need two to tie, three to win. Acevedo takes one outside. Up for a ball. Someone would look at the pitches to strikes ratio in this one and weep. Ball three. Pipes a hot one down the middle 3-1. Walk. Holy crap, I just realized that the guy who was DHing is now pitching. This is the most minor league baseball game ever.


  33. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 11:18 pm

    Zorilla is swinging like a man who wants to go home. He is not making contact like a man who is going home.

    Kivlehan is trying to bunt his way aboard because why not at this point. Taps to the pitcher.

    Marte is probably not going to win this on his own. I will be in need of a Polish Dog shortly. Marte walks, McGruder coming up.

    Marte runs his way into scoring position. McGruder takes ball three. McGruder takes ball four. Runners at first and second with two outs and Taylor coming up. If this ends on a walk-off steal of home I may not survive the evening.

    Grounder in the hole past the third baseman, ball spiked by the LF MARTE SCORES!


    4:08 time!

  34. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2012 11:20 pm

    To address the pending comment from earlier, Littlewood has looked like a guy who has caught a lot longer than he actually has and with the bat he has not disappointed.

  35. awakeling on June 21st, 2012 1:59 am

    Thanks for the full write-up on the game!

  36. UVAfan on June 21st, 2012 4:51 am

    Ditto Jay, that was much appreciated. You went above and beyond with that extended narrative.

  37. Thoan on June 21st, 2012 8:00 am

    I almost feel sorry for the Indians’ bullpen shortage. Having to use your DH as a pitcher in the 13th inning is an awful way to lose a game in which you overcame so much bad fielding with good offense. Bud Selig would have put a stop to this game in the 12th.

    And let me add that it was getting a bit cold out there as the hour passed 11pm. Quite a home opener!

  38. Mike Snow on June 21st, 2012 8:41 am

    I didn’t realize when opening the comments that I was going to be treated to 13 innings of Jay’s inimitable recap. That was amazing, I’m glad the game itself was worthy of those skills.

  39. dnc on June 21st, 2012 9:34 am

    Holy wow. Just finished reading it all. Thank you Jay. This was fantastic.

  40. dnc on June 21st, 2012 9:37 am

    Love the reports on Littlewood’s comfortability behind the plate. He obviously had a nice day with the stick, is it too worried to be concerned that he already has 8 K’s in just 17 at bats? I had pretty much written him off, it would be very nice to see him put it together.

  41. Thoan on June 21st, 2012 10:15 am

    There was a lot less inter-inning “entertainment” at the opener. No casino giant-dice-tossing, water balloon catching, dancing on the dugouts to “YMCA,” tricycle racing and so forth. (Not all of it was gone, but much was.) I don’t know why these spectacles were axed (one would think some were a small profit center) but I certainly don’t miss them. They cross the line between baseball and circus.

    Beer price (micro) is $8 for 20oz. Fair by Mariners standards, but . . .

    The grounds were in the best condition I can remember, and I’ve been going for around 15 years.

    Pat Dillon is a treasure. He should get a team number so they can retire it when the time comes.

    I spoke to Littlewood during the “meet the players” event (a really appreciated addition to the schedule — a second such event around the All Star Break would be terrific). He’s a great kid with a positive attitude about moving from SS to C. He’s determined to improve his hitting, and there have been signs he will this season, though he was pressing a few times last night.

  42. Jay Yencich on June 21st, 2012 11:22 am

    Contact is still something that Littlewood will need to work on. Maybe hitting the ball the other way as well, since both of his hits were pulled to right, but otherwise, yeah, he looked good out there.

    And there was some non-dugout dancing and the dice throwing.

    I am curious about this Aquasox IPA they supposedly have on tap.

  43. Darklighter on June 21st, 2012 11:31 am

    The IPA wasnt available last night, or so I was told. I’m a season ticket holder there this year, and that game was killer!

    I was personally impressed with Mcgruder. I think he’s going to be my favorite this season. He’s smaller than the Ball boy, and runs like a track star. I’ve always been a fan of the hit N run playstyle, and he knows it. I agree he got a little more aggressive later in the game and it didnt work out, but he’ll be fun to watch.

    Ard is built like a slugger. Everything SCREAMS slugger about him. He kinda swaggers out there, too. He’ll be fun to watch develop as well.

    But the player I continue to find most intriguing is Patrick Kivlehan. His backstory and potential make me keep eagerly awaiting to see what he can do with that bat. I imagine there will be some transition time to Wood bats, though.

    Should be a fun year in Everett…looks like a good team!

  44. Thoan on June 21st, 2012 1:52 pm

    Jay, I’ll spot you an IPA. Will you be there Sunday?

    How did I miss the dice throwing? But you’ll agree, there were fewer circus acts?

  45. Jay Yencich on June 21st, 2012 2:12 pm

    Basically, I am no longer impressed with in -between acts unless I see both a unicycle and juggling, hopefully at the same time.

    I’d love to be at the game, but I don’t know when I’m going to be in Everett next. Sunday, I’ll be in Massachusetts.

  46. Oolon on June 21st, 2012 2:13 pm

    Great write-up Jay!

    I was also at the game and a highlight was Royce Bolinger’s throw to almost catch Taylor at the plate in the 7th inning. It was a laser, especially for a left fielder.

    Sanchez looked a bit strange on the mound – seemed like he was throwing without pushing off towards the plate – almost all arm. I saw a 91 on the radar gun, but he seemed to be very comfortable (and accurate!) throwing off-speed pitches too. Overall impressive for a 17 year old.

    We’ll be there again tonight and hopefully get home a bit earlier…

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