Since I am up in Seattle visiting a close friend (and moonlighting as a video game journalist covering a big expo up here), I thought that I would go see the Angels play while I had a chance. After hearing that the pitching matchup for this Wednesday's game was our new Scott (with two t's) Kazmir facing off against Felix Hernandez, I was convinced. I found some cheap tickets online, and my friend and I went out for a day game out in sunny, breezy, smoke-and-fire-free Seattle. I took pictures, which you can find after the jump.
When we drove in, we parked in the adjoining parking structure. Parking was twenty-five insane dollars. After parking and making our way across the street (for some reason, the TMNT Turtle Van and Michaelangelo was by the parking structure signing autographs, which was a little strange), we were greeted by the main entrance, photographed above. When you present your tickets (everyone was so polite) you step into a rotunda with this whirling cyclone of baseball bats:
(woosh) After a walk up some stairs, you are greeted with a view of the field and the stadium.
We did the stadium walkaround, which accomplishes two goals: 1) it lets you see the sight-lines from all of the stadium, which I have always found fascinating, and 2) it gives you an idea of what types of food you get to choose from. Besides the standard hot-dogs/nachos fare, Safeco field has a thai/chinese place, sushi (with the famous Ichiroll), and even a kind of oddly placed wine bar. Classy. Fans were appropriately dressed, with Mariner jerseys and caps from all eras, and were overall very nice.
We went over to take pictures of the players warming up. My favorite picture of the day involves our new pitcher, Kazmir. When you see this picture, I want you to imagine the theme from "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly":
Also, Maicer and Vladdy ran around, and I grimaced.
Here is a picture I posted in the game wrap-up thread, but is me, a little annoyed at having to listen to highlights of the previous night's game.
Pictured: my 1971 era Angels cap. Not pictured: My #55 JEFF DAVANON shirt. Yes, that is the player I choose to recognize with my shirt. It is mostly a shirt devoted to any travellin' Angels player. The one who gets little to no recognition, is here one day, and then gone the next. In reality, though, I bought it at a thrift store so I did not get to choose the player.
Also, a funny side note. In the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame area, there was a few exhibits featuring the history of Seattle baseball, including these two:
This was sending some mixed messages, SEATTLE. Moving on. We sat in seats at almost straightaway center field, and so our view of the game was like watching it from the perspective of how it was shown on TV, but a little farther away:
The game...well, you saw the game. In the first inning, things got off to a rocky start for our man Kazmir, but there's nothing like the audible groan from thousands of fans when a pitcher works his way into a bases-loaded, no-outs jam and then strikes out the side. The Angels offense stayed in today, or went to visit the Space Needle, or something, because it was a pitchers duel until the Mariners cracked it open late in the game. I had a small hot dog and some garlic fries (which included two delicious Washington apple slices! Bonus).
As for the fans and the staff, they were great. I was never heckled for being an Angels fan, even when it looked like I was getting up to leave when the tide turned and the Angels were losing (I was being sneaky and finding better seats). People were knowledgable about the Mariners and baseball in general (they have a lot of player specific cheers, which was interesting to hear from the Very Loud Dude behind us), and aside from the sporadic train horn, it was a really pleasant experience that I would recommend. (I would really recommend going to see a game the Angels win, though, so you can walk out in a more smug fashion than I did.)
Also from our seat, we could see the bullpens and the giant left field Safeco field superstructure.
(Safeco field needs to update their electronic billboards) I am pretty sure that the flags displayed were in order of who was in first, second, third, etc in the division. I think that a lot of stadiums do this, if I am not mistaken. But it was nice to see that, no matter the outcome of the day's game, the Angels were the prominent flag. Let's keep it that way, guys.
Ok, a few more pictures. Late in the game, we made our way over to more favorable seats, and watched a little bit of the game from there:
(Action shot!) Also, note: They have people with signs at the top of the stairways leading down towards field level, that prevent people from walking down the stairwell while the ball is being pitched. This needs to be adopted at Angels stadium, because it's kind of obnoxious to miss the action because someone wans to shooby dooby down to ruby's.
And finally, a shot of Seattle from my friend's apartment:
Thanks, Seattle! You sure are swell.