Live Game Notes & Box Review
For the first time in my life, I was finally in a box. (That’s what SHE said!) Jokes aside, this article will cover last night’s (May 16th, 2007) live game notes as well as bonus coverage of what it’s like to see a game in a box at the Rogers Centre.
Live Game Notes
Don’t look now, but thanks to A.J. Burnett’s ELECTRIFYING stuff, the Jays have won 5 of their last 6 by defeating the Orioles 2-1 at the Rogers Centre last night. As I got to the game, I was suprised to see Ryan Roberts playing LF as I thought he was strictly an IF. I guess they are trying to extend him to a Super-Util role now that Jason Smith has been designated for assignment. He showed he could play with an outstanding catch in the first inning at the wall. A.J. gave up the long ball in that same first inning but after that he was locked in. His hard spike curve was especially sharp tonight and he mixed it up with a tailing fastball that he consistently was pumping it in at 96 and 97mph from the first inning to the ninth. From my viewpoint it was hard to say for sure but I think he mixed in a few changeups this game. Offensively, the Jays didn’t get a lot going but played “smart ball” when they needed to. Aaron Hill, Vernon Wells, and Alex Rios were all their studly selves while Troy Glaus looks surprisingly competent defensively (made a couple of nice plays in the field on this night) and at the plate (game winning RBI if I am not mistaken) while toeing the line between being in the starting lineup and going on the DL with heel, hamstring and foot injuries. Jason Phillips, for the second night in row, laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt. He also called a great game, almost Zaun-worthy but let’s not get carried away. A-Hill made a sparking web-gem of a play to steal a base hit away from Miguel Tejada and was able to flip it to Burnett to get him at first. AJ was pumped.
This game was also a quick one, with AJ Burnett taking a page out of Doc’s book and working fastidiously and efficiently. He did strike out 10 hitters while only throwing 103 pitches which is impressive. He only gave up 1 BB which is what he has typically struggled with. Before I knew it, 2 hours had elapsed and we were already in the 8th inning. After the game AJ was doused with a nice Gatorade shower.
Unfortunately, the attendance was listed at 24,000 in change (though I would guess it was significantly lower than that). The ballpark was far too quiet.
Another note: Frank Thomas looks terrible. He looks awkward at the plate and it looks as though father time has slowed his bat speed considerably. I am not sure if it is his timing or batspeed but he fouls everything off and rarely hits anything squarely. I was disappointed in all of his at bats.
The first thing to say about going to see a game in a box is walking down the corridor to the actual box. Much like going to the Jays clubhouse, there is a wall of fame that I abused like the 12 year old boy that I am inside. There are photos of great Jays, Argos, and special events that have taken place at the Rogers Centre.
Once inside the box, it feels like you are in any standard living room. There is a TV, fridge, dishwasher, couches, tables with very pleasant lighting. The box is catered with standard fare: pizza, hotdogs, caesar salad, pasta salad, nachos (which were exceptional) and each box has an moderately attractive or better server. For those who like to indulge in a few alcoholic beverages while watching the ballgame, they would be pleased to know there is a bathroom right inside the box which may or may not be worth the price of admission alone. The seats are one level below the 500 level, which is not bad, but not great either. All box patrons also have access to a common bar, which is pictured here:
Here is the view from our box:
To be sure, I felt disconnected from the game mainly because I did not feel like I was a part of the “crowd”. I felt that it was inappropriate to do any sort of cheering or clapping, as I would intrude on people in my box and adjacent boxes who were focused on the hockey game (brutal). It is no secret that the contibuting writers to Mop Up Duty enjoy heckling the players during the game, and you can pretty much eliminate that part of the game because the fans can’t hear you to give you that reaction of approval you are looking for, and certainly the players don’t. In an ideal situation, it would be fun to have 12-15 of your closest friends watch the game in the box and have a few bevvies, but you would get the same experience in your living room at home for a significantly lesser expense. For me, when I am taken out to the ball game – I want to be taken out with the crowd. ha ha ha. The box was a fun experience (again, that’s what she said) and I enjoyed myself tremendously but I prefer to be a “part og the game”. Hopefully next time I can weasel my way into a room at the Skydome Hotel (Renaissance Hotel) and see a game from there to have my “bases covered” (wooOo).
More pics from the game:
My non sexual (not that you can tell by it here) mancrush on Kelly Gruber