Hey everyone. Yes, I’m still alive. And as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I haven’t written in this blog since June. Which makes me really sad. But the time has come to move on to better and bigger things. I’m eternally grateful for the opportunities and growth that this blog provided to me – there are literally so many amazing things that happened to me in those four years of blogging. I’m so thankful that I started this blog and spent as much time on it as I did.
But now this blog has moved on a sense and is now part of a collaborative project between me and two of my fellow journalist friends. You can check it out at www.friarsintheoutfield.com – in fact, I would strongly encourage reading that website as well as liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter. That is where you will see content from me from now on, and it’s a project that I’m very excited about.
Thank you to all my readers. Thank you to everyone who ever stopped by Unfinished Business or gave me a comment or encouraged me in my writing. It means more than you know.
So this is goodbye in a way – but really, it’s a new beginning.
I don’t have very much time to write a full-length blog post today, but I had to at least acknowledge the fact that this blog has been in existence for FOUR YEARS. I can hardly believe it. I know that I haven’t been keeping it up very well for the past year or so, but life is kind of getting in the way right now. (Case in point, just started an internship with the U-T San Diego AND was named EIC for my college paper. I’m just a little busy.)
So I started this blog when I was 14 years old. I was a very young Padres fan, obviously. This blog has been instrumental in my life in so many ways. That kind of sounds silly, but it’s true. Through this blog I learned how to touch-type, how to write and articulate what I was feeling, how to maintain something, how to gain followers and readers. I even joined Twitter because of this blog. It’s been a wonderful place for me to rant when the Padres were terrible (aren’t they always?), but we’ve had some good years too.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my blogging experience. I know there are a lot of people who I used to interact with all the time who I haven’t heard from in years. Others I’m still in contact with but they aren’t blogging much anymore either. Thank you also to the newer group of bloggers…people who I never really interacted with when I was younger but who I’m getting to know better now. Mostly my Twitter peeps. And thank you to my readers. Those who have been reading from the very beginning to those who are just starting.
It’s been an incredible four years.
I keep thinking that I should be blogging more, but then I think, what’s the point? The Padres are TERRIBLE. That’s all there is to it. I’m not going to recap the games here because they’re just too painful.
We’ve really reached an odd part of the season here. It’s not even the All-Star break yet and people are ready for football season (despite the fact that the Chargers most likely won’t be any better.)
It sucks to be a Padres fan. I’ve been doing this thing for six years and I’ve watched many, many more losses than wins. It doesn’t seem like the front office is willing to do ANYTHING to get this crap show back on track. Of course there’s all the injuries too, but you have to wonder if anything would be different if all those guys were healthy.
It’s absolutely pathetic. Yesterday’s game was one of the worst I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen some bad games. There was something in the air that had a negative foreboding. It didn’t help an ounce that June Gloom was descending on the stadium – literally and emotionally.
Now, I’m in this for the long haul. There is nothing that will make me stop being a Padres fan. But because I do care so deeply, I’m 100 percent allowed to be incredibly angry at this situation. It’s not fun to lose and it’s not fun to lose miserably. All the time.
Heading out to a couple of games for the next series. You know that phrase “you can’t go anywhere but up?” So not true for this team.
Each game that I’ve had the opportunity to go to has been amazing. I adore being at the ballpark, and I’m so grateful for the many, many opportunities that I’ve received in the first few months of the season to go to games. I’ve hung out with so many great people, but I’m especially thankful for my friend Colleen, who’s been my constant companion at all these games. All I want to do for the rest of my life is be at the ballpark. It’s been amazing, and I’m so excited to see what the rest of the season will bring!
Yeah, so I do consider myself somewhat of a photographer. I took a class this past semester and learned a ton. Since I had great seats, a great camera and a great lens this last Sunday, I thought I would share some of my photos, which are hands down the best I’ve ever taken at a Padres game. Please do enjoy them, these should be more bearable than my 1000+ word post about the weekend. Oh, and all photos are copyrighted by me.
Wow. What a weekend. I have officially rested up and showered up, so I think I’m ready to write all about my crazy three-games-in-a-row adventure. It’s extremely long, I know. You don’t have to read all of it. But I promise that tomorrow, I’ll post more pictures, less writing.
GAME ONE (5/18/12)
Going to the game, both Colleen and I were kind of in a journalist mode. Nick Vincent, who used to go to our school, had been called up to the Padres that day, so we were all ready to cover the game for our newspaper (of which I am the new Editor-in-Chief, by the way). Unfortunately, Vincent didn’t pitch at all in the two days he was up here. But we can say that we were all ready for it.
We started the game in our seats in left field, which would have been an excellent area for catching Albert Pujols home run balls. Except for the fact that we didn’t allow him to do anything at all this weekend. Even though he’s struggling a bit this year, he’s still Albert Pujols, and I think it’s a huge credit to our pitching staff that he was miserable this weekend.
After a while, we got annoyed with the people in our section, plus the game wasn’t going too well so we had to get up. We went over to the first base side of the field and settled down in Colleen’s uncle’s seats. Much better view. Here’s where I was really gearing up to see Vincent, but alas. @bcline760 joined us there.
I was distracted for most of the rest of the game because of this 3-year-old kid who was sitting in our row. He was absolutely adorable. He kept coming over, talking to us, showing off his jumping and being a tiger.
At one point, he pointed at Brandon and asked, “Is that your boy?” Yes kid, that is our boy. I also overheard his mom saying, “Are you being nice to your girlfriend?” He said, “I don’t have a girlfriend.” Awww man.
He was soooo cute. Right before he left, he came over and gave Colleen and I kisses on the cheek. Night. Made.
As for the game itself, it was meh. The Angels won 7-2. Brad Brach allowed three runs in the top of the night. Will Venable hit a home run, but that was about it on the offensive side. We only had three hits!
GAME TWO (5/19/12)
I had the opportunity to go to this game because I won a Twitter contest hosted by @rjsfro by guessing the number of my beloved Kevin Kouzmanoff. What I won was a ticket to the game and the opportunity to attend Baseball Prospectus’ meetup/Q&A session before the game. There’s a great recap of the whole thing here. It was really cool to hear from all the people there, and I learned a lot of interesting things.
After the session, I headed out to my seat, which was located two rows down from everyone else who was at the session and RIGHT next to this big fat guy. There were about seven empty seats between where my assigned seats was and the next group was sitting, so I definitely moved down a couple of seats. I had all seven seats to myself for the whole game. Yes, there were 43,000 people at the game, but there were still plenty of empty seats.
Now this was a great game to watch. I was sooo happy with Alexi Amarista. I was kind of iffy about him on Friday, but on Saturday he really showed me why he should be in the major leagues. He had an excellent game – he went 2-for-2, scored two runs, drove in a run, walked and made some excellent defensive plays. I was really, really impressed.
We also did well offensively. We got seven hits and came back from deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to win 3-2. Jesus Guzman, Amarista and Chase Headley drove in the runs for us.
Erick Stults was pretty good in his first game with us. Six innings, two runs. Not bad at all.
One bright spot on the Padres who I think has been pretty overlooked is Dale Thayer. He’s really stepped up at the closer spot after Huston Street went on the DL. He has five saves and an ERA of 0.00. He’s got an interesting moustache too.
After the game I met up with Colleen, Brandon and @bigtaterz1021, which was super fun. Good times were had by all – especially when wandering downtown.
GAME THREE (5/20/12)
After getting about four hours of sleep, I was up and ready for another game of Padres baseball. Went to church at 8 a.m. and then left for the game around 11 a.m.
One of the best parts about going to this game was that I got to go with my 10-year-old brother, my friend Rachel, and her brother, who is about the same age as my brother. All four of us were excited about going, but the boys were SO excited. It was so much fun to see their enthusiasm about seeing the game.
We were sitting in the Toyota Terrace, which was super nice. Our section had what my brother called “room service.” Both boys fell in love with the water that they were served, and since it was insanely hot, they were constantly ordering more water from our very patient waiter.
This game was probably my favorite of the three. It was epic. Well, it was mostly long. But just wait till you hear the ending. (I’m sure most of you already know what it is, wasn’t that amazing?)
Mike Trout, who is a crazy amazing kid, led off the game with a single. Mark Trumbo drove him in a couple of batters later. So we were down 1-0 instantly. The Angels got another run in the top of the fifth (Trout home run). In the bottom of the fifth, we finally scored a couple of runs with a great two-run double from Yonder Alonzo. Those would be the only runs that any team scored until the 13th inning.
Anthony Bass had a pretty good start. Went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He also got a hit for himself, which I think is fantastic. I’ll never forget his three-run triple with two outs and two strikes. Unbelievable.
After Bass left the game, our bullpen went into lockdown mode, especially as we went into extra innings. Gregerson, Cashner, Thayer, Brach, Thatcher, and Mikolas all pitched. All of them except Mikolas allowed only one hit. Brach actually ran into some serious trouble in the top of the 10th. He allowed a single (Trout again) and two walks with only one out. Serious stress. But then he got a strikeout and a ground out to escape. Huge props to him for getting out of that. Mikolas actually went two innings to close out the game without allowing a thing.
We certainly had plenty of opportunities to score in the whole game, but in extras as well – we left 14 runners on base in the game. But it wasn’t until the 13th that we finally, finally broke through.
Of course, the inning started with two quick outs.
And then, with our bench spent, Buddy Black sent starting pitcher Clayton Richard to the plate. I couldn’t stop laughing. I don’t think the people who I was with quite understood how funny the situation was. The fact that we were so desperate that we had to send a starting pitcher to the plate was extremely amusing. Though I did know that he was a decent hitter himself – he’d had a big pinch hit for us before.
So as I was laughing my head off, he naturally singled. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This was the best set up for a walkoff ever!
Then Will Venable came up and ran the count full. Then, he singled to left field and the left fielder made an error on the ball. Clayton didn’t even stop. He went all the way home and scored standing up. We WON!
It was an amazing ending to an amazing weekend. We seriously won the series against the Angels! Going into the weekend, I was fully prepared to be crushed by the Angels since they are an American League team. We have a terrible track record against AL teams. But something about the Angels not being much better than us, the huge crowds, and of course, me being there helped the Padres to an incredible series win.
In conclusion, we were walking in downtown on Saturday night when a random man saw all our Padres gear and asked us if they won. When we said yes, his immediate reaction was, “God is good.” And to that I say, yes. Yes He is. It makes sense really – after all, the Padres were playing the Angels.
Screenshot from Nick Vincent’s Twitter profile, posted around 12:30 a.m. on May 18th. This guy used to play at my current college, Palomar College! Huge congratulations! We’re so excited for you. Full story: http://the-telescope.com/2012/05/18/former-palomar-baseball-player-called-up-to-major-leagues/