I love baseball.
You know that if you read here regularly.
So, I was really happy when my roommate came home in the middle of last week and said she had been given two tickets to Friday's Fresno Grizzlies game. The Grizzlies are the San Francisco Giants' Triple A farm team, I'm far from being a Giants fan - I was raised to be a Los Angeles Dodgers fan, and the Dodgers and the Giants have an intra-state rivalry that sometimes gets rather boisterous. However, Grizzlies baseball is baseball, and they're the home team here, and I'll root for them so long as they aren't playing the Albuquerque Isotopes, which is the Dodgers' Triple A team. So, when I go to a Grizzlies-Isotopes game, I cheer for the Isotopes because they're Dodgers. Oh, and because Isotopes is a fabulous name for a baseball team.
However, last night the Grizzlies were playing the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, the Triple A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. I've got no loyalties to anything in Colorado, so it was all right to cheer for the Grizzlies.
It was a great game, and we had great seats on the field box level. Where I was sitting, I could look directly across home plate and down the first base line. They were, perhaps, the best seats I've ever had at a baseball game. The Grizzlies won 7 - 5 on a late-game rally. The game got a little slow in the middle innings, but that burst of scoring late in the game livened things up considerably. An argument between the home plate umpire and the Grizzlies third-base coach that got the coach thrown out of the game made it even more fun. I'm a big fan of baseball arguments, which tend to be really colorful. In this case, the coach was really ticked. When he walked off the field and down into the dugout and slammed his batter's helmet down onto a cabinet, we could hear it hit from where we were sitting, on the other side of the stadium.
Also, since it was Friday night, there were fireworks after the game. The Grizzlies do fireworks after every Friday night home game of the season. I love fireworks, and I didn't get to see a Fourth of July fireworks display this year. Last night made up for that. The biggest problem of the night is that it was really hot and fairly humid. We could have done with a good breeze, and that just wasn't happening.
One thing that really interested me during the game, however, was that the Grizzlies seem to be trying to get more of a female audience out to the games, and they've put a really fascinating tactic into action.
As each batter comes up to the plate, there is a display of the player's season statistics and a photo of them up on the stadium's big screen. And I noticed (boy, did I notice) that they've started putting up photos of some of the Grizzlies' players without shirts, pumping iron. They are really very nice pictures. They've never done this before, and I can only imagine that it is a bid to get more women to come out to the games.
As far as I'm concerned, whoever came up with this idea came up with a winner. I mean, I'm a big baseball fan. I love the game for the game. But it has not escaped me over the years that there are some good looking men down there on the field.
So, now that you know how my long holiday weekend began, how is your weekend shaping up?