|Texas Rangers Home Opener 2007|
You know, after an 0-3 start, and Robinson Tejeda starting the home opener, most Ranger fans were probably thinking that they’d be staring down the barrel of an 0-4 start (which the Astros ARE doing, BTW). It was cold out at the ballpark, and that was not a great thought as I entered the ballpark at around 10AM – the earliest I had ever gotten there for a home opener. Given the fiasco that I know parking was like on home openers, I decided to get there really early and have a look around at various changes.
The first thing I noticed was no Ameriquest. It was gone from the outside, and the stupid bell was gone, and Section 201 was back. I decided at some point this season, I was buying a ticket in Section 201 just because I could again. A lot of the advertisements that were Ameriquest were gone, replaced with other signage, and t was gone from most of the stuff in the media guide and the program (although not all of it probably due to printing deadlines). The Sonic ad in the bullpen was different, and I believe all of the billboards (except the daktronics board in the Coke sign) were updated or different, so it was nice not to have the same old signage.
There was also the announced ball girls, who were really not even noticable. Come to think of it, I don’t think I saw them go after ANY balls – the Hooters Girls I saw in Clearwater at Phillies spring training did more than that, and they wanted to sit on their chairs the whole time. I grew up in Philly, and the Phillies have had ball girls for as long as I can remember, but they at least knew how to field their positions, and didn’t run away from the balls. If you’re gonna have ‘em there, use ‘em, or put the “real” ball boys back. That brings me to the other thing, the “Six Shooters”. The “cheerleaders” so to speak. Now they’re not real cheerleaders as such, they’re basically there to toss T-shirts into the crowd, that kind of thing. For the most part I didn’t care for them, but I’m not going to rant really, they’re mostly ignorable. Except for one thing that really irritated me. When the military band was coming out onto the field, one of the stupid ball girls was still throwing shirts – RIGHT OVER them. Uh, hello – this is the military here, take your stupid T-shirt bit elsewhere. They didn’t wait, or anything, just ignored them. That is not what should be happening. I know it’s opening day, and you need to work out the kinks and all that, but yikes, show some respect. Also, the kid spelling Catalanotto on the jumbotron was death, give them something they can spell, like Young, or if he was still here, Nix.
But it wasn’t all bad. The live dot race was a triumph. I loved that. That had better stay, because it was very enjoyable, especially when the green and blue dots knocked down the red one. This was a great idea Chuck, but I have just one question. How do I get to be a dot? I’d love to do that once, although my rather large frame probably wouldn’t fit inside the dot costume. :)
Speaking of disrespect, what was with the Red Sox? During their player announcements, some weren’t there, and then a whole gaggle of them ran out all at the same time being led by Manny Ramirez doing some goofy dance thing. This was DURING the Ranger introductions. That seemed pretty disrespectful to me.
But the game was awesome. It’s the best home opener game I’ve ever seen. It was seriously well pitched. Check out these lines:
Robinson Tejeda: 7IP, 2H, 0R, 3BB, 77 pitches
Joaquin Benoit: 1IP, 0H, 0R, 1BB, 16 pitches
Akinori Otsuka: 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 9 pitches
Even the Sox had great pitching:
Tim Wakefield: 6IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 96 pitches
Hideki Okajima: 1.1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 20 pitches
Kyle Snyder: 0.2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 12 pitches
It was a total of six hits for both teams combined. That was some outstanding pitching, and there was an awful lot of Red Sox batters swinging at the first or second pitches for outs. Combine that with the pitching lines, and it makes for a really quick game (two hours and fourteen minutes). Of the six hits, all were singles, except one, a double by Coco Crisp.
The Rangers also ran bunch, stealing twice on Wakefield on two straight attempts in the same inning. Sammy Sosa got a great ovation, and provided what turned out to be the game winning hit in the first inning, an excuse me bloop single to right, scoring Mike Young.
The game was over quick, but it was a good crisp (not Coco, that’s supposed to be a weather joke) game, and was a great game for Ron Washington’s first major league win. He said he was keeping the scorecard for his first ever game in Anaheim last Monday night; I bet he kept this, too.
I’ve been to a lot of games, and I have to say that the flyover by the two B1 bombers might have been the loudest flyover I’ve ever heard in my life!