Writing > Diablos Rojos game No.2

March 31, 2011: Diablos Rojos game No.2

Diablos Rojos del México 10 Vaqueros Laguna 3
7:00pm Tuesday March 29, 2011
Time: 2:53
Attendance: 5,449
Weather: bloody lovely; t-shirt weather all night. Not too cold, not too sweaty
Intake: 7 Coronas and a "Super Max" hot dog

My second game of the season. First, though, travelling from my new apartment which is a bit further away, so I left at 5.15pm for the 7.00pm start time. I'm not really a fan of rushing, and I do have a freakish insistence on seeing the first pitch, which is why I left so early. Still, it was 50 minutes door to door. As I approached the ballpark, there weren't many people around, and as I crossed the overpass right next to the park, there still weren't many around. Bought a ticket; this time a 70 peso "bucata" ticket, so I could sit in the stand behind the infield. It's general seating, so one can sit where one wants. Watching the teams warm up, there weren't more than a couple of hundred people in the stands. With so much seating choice, I took a while to decide. In the end, about fifteen rows back, just to the right of home plate. I was early enough to see one thing I really like seeing: the lines being painted. An interesting thing here: they paint the batter's box slightly differently to MLB baseball. There's no inside lines, the lines that batters sweep away with their feet.

The difference in attendance from the home opener two Saturdays ago and this, the team's second home game, was pretty noticeable. The ballpark was virtually full on opening day. 28-odd thousand. Tonight, the official attendance was 5,449, which seems a tad generous. Watching Mexican baseball in a sparsely populated ballpark makes it tough not to think of Kenny Powers. Still, it was a good atmosphere. Lots of fans had old fashioned soccer-style rattles. There were a couple of drummers and a guy with a trumpet, that kept the noise level up. As well as music that I didn't recognise, the PA played songs like "I Love Rock 'N Roll," "Welcome to the Jungle," "Live is Life," Surfin' USA," and "Rock and Roll, Part 2." The latter, well, I find it crazy that it's still being played. Yes, it's a good song, and I can understand why it is played at sporting events, but Gary Glitter, the performer and author of the song, was convicted for possessing child pornography! How have sports teams on this landmass managed to not notice that? It wasn't like it was an isolated incident, either. After release, he was deported from Cambodia due to being suspected of child abuse. Then he was convicted of child sexual abuse in Thailand. And we still hear his songs—well, his song—at baseball games.

The game got off to an interesting start. Very first pitch was high and inside. The batter ducked out of the way, and tried to sell that he'd been hit. He was three-quarters of the way down the line before the umpire trudged behind him to call him back.

Next pitch fouled off and a chap was running around the empty seats trying to snag the ball. Some other guy saw an opportunity, sauntered up the steps and walked straight to the ball. Better not tell Zack Hample about this sort of thing, else he'll be down here on the next flight. First batter struck out, as did the second and third.

Bottom of the first was a big inning. Five runs scored. Two home runs and a double. The pitcher was yanked after 0.1IP. Still, he looked good. I kinda liked the Vaqueros' uniform. The hats were grey with an orange bill, and the pitcher was wearing high orange socks, which looked pretty sweet.

Other things of note: the radar gun thingy seems erratic. It measured a pitch at 48mph one time. That'd be like me pitching. I saw something I've never seen live before: a runner getting hit on the back of the head with the ball. He'd bunted to third, and the throw got past the first baseman and plunked the runner. There were no cheerleaders today. But the midget batboy was still around, high fiving runners after they crossed the plate. Again, there seemed to be no Seventh Inning Stretch of any sort (and no anthem at the start of the game for that matter). But I did get to hear a Spanish-language version of "I Want You to Want Me" over the PA. And when they play that "Charge!" trumpet-y thing here, no one bothers yelling "Charge!" at the end. A guy in the bathroom, stood at the urinal near me; I could see in my peripheral vision that he was pissing like he was doing a Zorro sword swish thing.

And this game marked my first attempt at keeping score. I'm gonna do it again at tonight's game, and will hold off on further comment until after the game. You can't beat it: watching a couple of MLB Opening Day games streaming on the Internet in the afternoon, then going to a live LMB game in the evening. Pretty much a perfect day.