...and boy are my arms tired.
The Hooch Entourage made one of our semi-annual visits to the Emerald City which happened to coincide with the last three games of the Rangers 2009 season vs the Mariners at Safeco Field.
Just a few random notes, because I am really tired from the trip, I'll blog more about it and other assorted baseball thoughts in my usual end of the week entry.
Friday: Cold and rainy - not a big surprise in the Pacific Northwest in October. The game looked a bit hopeless with Brandon McCarthy making an early exit (is the last time we see him pitch in a Ranger uniform?) I hope it's not the last time we see Omar Vizquel - I think he did a very good job in the utility role and it certainly wouldn't hurt having him around with Elvis Andrus for one more year.
We did get to the see the roof close during the game - which is a pleasant distraction. Additionally, taking the lead at the top of the ninth and winning the game was a good way to end the night (although holding my breath while Frankie Francisco pitched is not something I want to do next season).
Saturday: was different story. The game started at 6:00 Pacific time. Except for Elvis Andrus, that Rangers team looked like they were counting the minutes until they could get back in the clubhouse and check out the college football scores. It was too cold to take pictures, although I did take one of the full moon....er...I...mean harvest moon over Safeco Field. However, it was not too cold for a trip to the Alki Tavern after the game. No Rangers/Mariners series can be considered complete unless there is at least one (or two) visits to this West Seattle institution - the skyline view from the seats by the window at the Alki are worth the trip.
Sunday: made a believer out of me - King Felix deserves the Cy Young award. He's going to be a problem for our hitters for the near and far future -- wish the Rangers could figure out how to draft and develop that kind of a talented pitcher. I don 't want to hear about Holland or Perez or Font or anyone else - they pale in comparison to Felix Hernandez. What I couldn't figure out was: Esteban German and Craig Gentry got to start on Sunday, but Kevin Richardson - who is from Seattle and seemed to have some folks in seats wanting to see him - didn't even get to play an inning - - it was the last game of the season - winning or losing was not even relevant - shame on Ranger management for not putting Kevin in there.
Monday: The harvest moon shone over Lake Union early in the morning as we were getting ready to leave, and the view of Mount Ranier was spectacular on the flight home. During that flight I had plenty of time to think about the Rangers 2009, and came to this conclusion: stat heads and whining sports talk host and bloggers be damned, the Rangers DID have a successful season. They finished with a record better than 20 out of the 30 MLB teams, they had the 8th best record in MLB (tied with the Marlins) and keep in mind if they played in the AL Central (which was a possiblity at one time) they'd be in the playoffs because they have a better record than both the Tigers and Twins.
Finally: Thanks to Mrs. Schmenge, Baseball Mom, Annette and Brian and our friend in the press box for making this another memorable baseball trip - the last one of 2009 - sigh.
If you'd like to see all the pictures from my Seattle trip - click here!
Only 182 more days until Opening Day April 5, 2010 -- Marla Hooch