Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rays-Angels Game 1 Thoughts And Observations

First off, I am really proud of the Rays fans. This is my third year going to a Rays' road game. The first year, I saw 1 other fan. Last year, I saw a small handful. This year, half of my section were fans of the Rays. We represented very well. One guy had some good signs, including offering Todd Kalas a beer. Of course, the back of that sign said "Future Rays Player in the Oven" with an arrow pointing down, so from behind, people must have thought he was pregnant. Ooops. I hope the blue and white shows up again tonight.

Second off, I want to thank the Angels for running a quality ballpark. The fans were classy and fun to talk to about baseball. The ushers helped a lot, and didn't mind us moving around to open seats. They had a nice bit for Vlad Guerrero on his 400th homerun, which is an accomplishment even I can applaud. And, well, putting Dwayne Staats and Kevin Kennedy on the kiss-cam together was a nice humorous touch.

Third off, I want to touch on the game a bit. BJ Upton looked like he wasn't even trying at the plate. BJ, if you are struggling, there is a lot you can do to help the team that doesn't involve base hits. Those things all take effort. And before you complain BJ, please realize that your on base percentage is lower than Pat Burrell's. That is not ok. As for Willy Aybar, I do think he needs to get in the game more, but not in the field. I have touched on his fielding before, and it can be costly. Giving away outs is brutal. Speaking of giving away outs, Greg Zaun dropping a pitch on a Bobby Abreu steal is bad, very bad. It was a free out with Abreu trying to just attempt to take an extra base on a 2 strike count, figuring even if he gets thrown out, he gives the batter a fresh count. The next pitch was hit 10 rows deep into right field. Execution and effort need to be there in a pennant race.

And finally, I didn't find the Longoria family last night. I will be searching again tonight.

Those are my thoughts from night 1. I will be back tomorrow with more from night 2.

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