6-12-09 PNC Park

Today was game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals featuring the Penguins vs the Detroit Red Wings.  Unfortunately, all the fans that weren’t able to get tickets to the game in Detroit seemingly decided to take the the 5 hour trip to see this baseball game.  There were Detroit fans everywhere.  Many of them were probably making the pilgrimage to see PNC Park for the first time, since its an interleague game, its not often that the Tigers come to Pittsburgh.

If today was a test of my ballhawking abilities, I would’ve failed.  Despite being the first one into the bleacher area, I didn’t notice an Easter Egg that was right in front of my friggin face, I had two home run balls pop out of my glove, and I half heartedly went after a ball that ended up bouncing over the fence and skipped past my glove by about two feet.  Had I actually gone for the ball, it would’ve been an easy catch.  4 balls – botched.

I did get one ball during the Pirates portion of batting practice.  Craig Monroe hit a home run to my left that I could tell was going to be way over my head.  I ran to my right and up the stairs under the bleachers.  The ball bounced and hit off the concourse roof and settled near a garbage can.  I reached down and grabbed ball #1.

Ball #2 came from an unknown Tigers batter.  It was a deep fly ball that bounced on the warning track and right into my glove 4 rows back.    I received a couple awkward high fives from Detroit fans, “That’s how we roll in Detroit,” some guy said.  He must have thought I was from Detroit on account of my Tigers hat and shirt.

After misplaying two balls, I caught a Miguel Cabrera home run on the fly in the second row of section 136.  I made sure that I squeezed ball #3 so it wouldn’t pop out.

That was all I got during batting practice.  It was becoming annoying crowded.
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To make matters worse, Andy Van Slyke was messing around the entire batting practice with the pitchers.   He was hitting deep fly balls to the wall so that the pitchers could leap and make home run robbing catches.  He must’ve hit 20 balls into the crowd.  I’ve never seen anything so stupid and dangerous.  Edwin Jackson, Joel Zumaya, and Dontrelle Willis were all taking turns risking their bodies and careers by jumping against the fence and robbing these home runs. 

I tried to catch one for about 5 minutes, but I was too annoyed because it was real crowded around the area that Van Slyke was hitting to (left center field, near the bullpen).  I was waiting for one of the pitchers to twist an ankle.

It was distracting because it was almost as if two batting practices were occurring simultaneously. 

After batting practice ended, I didn’t get another ball until the 4th inning.

I sat on the right field wall for the first four innings. 
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STATISTICS:
Game:  4 Balls (3 hit, 1 thrown)
Season:  161 Balls (72 hit, 66 thrown, 24 device)
Games:  32 games (4 of which didn’t have BP)
Average:    5.03 Balls per Game
Career:  327 Balls
Attendance:   18,369

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