Writing > Diablos Rojos game No.4

April 5, 2011: Diablos Rojos game No.4

Diablos Rojos del México 13 Piratas de Campeche 9
7:00pm Monday April 4, 2011
Time: 3:28 (with a 16 minute delay)
Attendance: 3,746
Weather: sweater
Intake: 7 Coronas and a small paper plate of habas
Gary Glitter played: 4 times

I tend to see a lot of MLB merchandise being worn at these Daiblos games. Predictably, a lot of Yankees and Dodgers caps. Highlights at last night's game: a Reggie Jackson California Angels jersey, and a young woman in a Stargell-era replica Pittsburgh Pirates pillbox hat. Be still my beating heart. I should've proposed right there and then. I also like it that you see kids in their school team's full uniform playing catch on the Tarmac concourse outside the stadium.

A massive drop off in the number of Gary Glitter plays last night, thankfully. Still quite disturbing to see kids dancing around to his music. Lots of "Welcome to the Jungle" instead. We were treated to a bit of "Personal Jesus," though, which I'm fairly sure I've never heard before at a ball game.

Last night's game was a game of malfunctions on many different levels. First, the actual malfunctions: briefly in the fifth, the scoreboard decided to stop working:

And just one batter later, the floodlights over the stands illuminating left and center field gave up. Not all of them, but the majority of the bulbs went dark, and with lightning speed, the Piratas defensive players were off the field. Sixteen minute delay, with the umps stood around home plate, probably discussing girls or TV. One thing you'll also notice, is that Mexican baseball only has three umpires. I've seen a couple of plays where decisions could've been different had the first base ump not been between first and second when there was a runner on. And if a runner at second tried to steal third, the third base ump would probably have a tough time making a call, as he tends to stand kinda directly in front of the short stop when there's a runner on second.

And there were plenty of defensive malfunctions, too. The Piratas made three errors, and a bunch of hits really should've been caught or fielded. After watching four Mexican League games so far this season, there are two things that are pretty noticeable: the pitching speed doesn't get over 90 mph much, and defensively, the teams don't seem anywhere near as good as Major League teams.

And the final malfunction was my own. For the last three games, I've been keeping score. I'd not done it before this season, but after Pitchers & Poets' recent score keeping week, I felt that I should give it a go. The first couple of games, I just made notes in a notebook; notes that were left to right, top to bottom. Last night, though, I tried to cobble together something that resembled a real score keeping book. If you wanna see a bigger version of my terrible score keeping, click here.

Apart from anything else, a Bic ballpoint pen is the wrong tool for squares this small. It tends to make each square a real mess. And I ended up making a bunch of notes on the back of this page because the format doesn't seem to allow for the stuff that I'd normally make a note of at a game. Obviously in the grand scheme of things, people chasing a foul ball isn't overly important; but for me, it's a big part of the enjoyment of the game. Especially in a stadium where there are a lot of empty seats. A guy near me—shaved head, goatee, Rammstein hoody, glove— was scrambling and desperately trying to grab a ball from behind a seat. He was too busy trying to get the ball to notice that the other dude trying to get it was a teenage boy. He held the ball up in celebration. Booed. To his credit, he caved in and gave the kid the ball. Next inning, though, he legitimately caught one. All good.

The problem with keeping score for me, is it seems to isolate me a bit more from the game than I'm happy with. I've been to my last three games on my own, so I'm pretty isolated to begin with. I saw another gringo keeping score last night, but he was with a group of four people. And every time I looked over at him, he had his head down, pencil scribbling away. I am paying greater attention to things, but it's all about writing stuff down. I miss a couple of plays because I was enjoying myself. I had to fill stuff in when I got home and checked the box score online. But frankly, I'd much rather be chatting to a five year old kid in a batting helmet and Spiderman sweatshirt whose Spanish is closer to my level than an adult's. His mother promoting him to say "five" rather than "cinco" when I asked how old he was. And he had a one year old sister who kept smiling when I gave her the thumbs up. (Frankly, the whole family was adorable; mother and father seemed totally the coolest, chillest parents, and you could tell they were still totally in love.) For some reason last night, I was a child magnet. I was sat in the back row of the foremost section, and stood on the walkway behind me was another kid. no idea where his parents were, but he had a tiny piece of a plastic bag that he dropped onto the seat next to me. I passed it back up to him. He dropped it again. I passed it up. He dropped it. We went on like this for a good three or four minutes before he ran off to play elsewhere. Which is why I had no idea how Javier Robles, the Piratas DH, got on base in the fourth. (He walked, the Internet tells me.)

So maybe keeping score isn't for me. Maybe I should go back to just making notes. Second game of the two-game series tonight. Diablos are 8-7 so far this season; Piratas 6-9.