September 5th, 2012

9-4-12 (@ Miami)

On Tuesday I was planning on finding a transit center where I could purchase a transit card. I gave up after the rail stop I visited didn’t sell them. I walked into a US Bank, gave them a 20 dollar bill, and got 20 singles; easy enough. I then proceeded to make it rain. I am of course joking about making it rain, but having 20 singles makes it tempting. I took the C bus at 11:35 AM to Miami Beach and spent some time here:

At about 1:45 I went to CJ’s Crab Shack for lunch. I got the Crab Cake Dinner, and it was good. They add 18% gratuity no matter how big your party is and my total came to $34.23. Expensive but every place on Ocean Drive is expensive. At CJ’s they take the meat out of the crab, do whatever it is they do and then put the mixture back into the shell and cook it. I chose corn on the cob and hush puppies as my side.

After lunch I was craving a Piña Colada (even though I don’t think I’ve ever had one) so I went to Wet Willie’s. I could’ve sworn I just heard a song that mentions “Wet Willie’s on Miami Beach” and that’s partially what put me in the mood. They have many choices at Wet Willie’s:

I could get used to this:

I got on the bus at 3:15 and rode it back to downtown Miami. I got ready for the game and took a 5:20 bus to Marlins Park. While I was waiting for my ticket at will call I noticed that they have this on one of the parking garages, not sure if it is someone in particular or not.

I got my ticket from will call at 6:10 and went inside. They have a “Bobblehead Museum” on the main concourse of the stadium. I put it in quotations because it’s really just a giant collection, and I mean GIANT. They have so many that they can’t hold them all in the two-sided display structure and they periodically switch them out. If you look closely at the first picture you can see a couple of the racing sausage bobbles on the second row in the bottom left (the pole covers them up a bit). The bobbleheads are all on shelves that shift every so often so that the bobbles actually bobble. Well done, Marlins, well done.

I went to the upper deck to get game photo number 135 taken. I asked a nearby Marlins fan, who I found out is Zach, to take it for me. Thanks Zach!

Zach was with four or five girls and they all were 18 or 19 (I would guess). I walked over, gave them each a business card and told them about Be The Match and how easy it is to join the registry. I saw them in the concourse a little later and one of the girls said she would be joining the registry. Nice!

While walking around in the upper deck I noticed guard rails protecting the water fountains. I’m not sure if running into fountains is a regular occurrence at ballparks but at Marlins Park they are protected in case a service cart driver loses control.

I went to the same stand that I had gone to on Monday but this time I ordered a drink with mangos, carrot juice and fresh squeezed orange juice. Normally you have to take them at their word if they say “freshly squeezed.” At this stand you know for sure:

I saw a Sushi stand nearby and I considered getting a roll. $12 seemed a little pricey but it’s in a ballpark, I don’t know what I was expecting it to be. It came with a little wasabi packet and soy sauce packet. I think I put a little too much wasabi in the soy sauce the second time, because after dipping a piece in the mixture and putting it in my mouth I could feel the heat in my nostrils. Overall the spicy tuna roll was very good. I never thought I would use chopsticks at a baseball game, but I did.

The game started and Wade LeBlanc threw a strike to Aoki.

A Ryan Braun single scored Ricke Weeks in the 1st and the Brewers had an early 1-0 lead.

In the top of the 2nd Marcum batted with two outs and I thought to myself: “this is good, if he gets out we’ll have the top of the order due up in the 3rd, if he gets on base it will be a bonus and give us a chance to score here in the 2nd.” Marcum singled and then Aoki drove one to right field:

Bang! The ball cleared the right field fence and went into the Brewers bullpen. The Crew had a 3-0 lead once Aoki crossed the plate. Marcum is giving Aoki the finger-mustache thing and he returned the gesture (not pictured).

In the bottom of the 2nd the Marlins cut into the lead on an RBI-single from Murphy. In the top of the 3rd Aramis Ramirez was down 1-2 in the count and LeBlanc  threw him a high fastball. It was somewhat towards his head and Aramis got out of the way (mostly). The umpire ruled that it was a foul tip strikeout (the catcher hung on) while Ramirez started walking to first base because he thought (and so do I) that it hit his thumb. Ramirez quickly took off his batting glove to show the umpire his finger. Roenicke came out to argue:

The first base umpire came in to talk (I’m guessing he’s the crew chief) and then all four umpires had a pow-wow near the pitcher’s mound. They came to the conclusion that it didn’t hit Ramirez, or maybe that even if it did it also hit the bat. I don’t think Ramirez would take off his batting glove and show the umpire if it didn’t appear he had been hit. It was a weird situation all around.

In the 4th Giancarlo Stanton (who is a man-child at the age of 22) hit a bomb over the wall in center. The centerfield wall is 418 feet away so it was hit extremely well. The home run cut the deficit to one but more importantly I got to see the home run sculpture do its thing. It lights up, the Marlins go around on a track and water shoots up from the side.

In the 5th I got to see it in action again when Gorkys Hernandez hit his first major league home, a 2-run shot that gave the Marlins a 4-3 lead. The Brewers tied the game at four when Aoki drove in Nyjer Morgan with a 7th inning double. After Rickie Weeks reached first on an infield single Braun came to the plate with runners on first and third, trying to give the Brewers the lead. He swung at the first pitch and sent a dribbler towards third:

If you look closely at the picture above (you might have to click on it) you can see the ball in foul territory above Braun’s left (front) foot. It had a bunch of spin on it though and it rolled in the grass down the third base line for the go-ahead RBI. In the boxscore it’s the same as a line drive base hit.

The 5-4 lead didn’t last long because Jeff Bianchi hit a 3-run home run in the top of the 8th to increase the lead by 300%!!!

A.J. Ramos pitched the top of the 9th inning and was making his major league debut. The first three batters he faced were Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez. What did the rookie do? He struck them all out, now that’s an impressive feat. Veras came on to pitch the bottom of the 9th and struck out two of the four he faced but the other two walked and singled, respectively. The single with two outs made it a save situation (since the tying run was in the on deck circle). Axford came in and retired the only batter he faced to pick up the save. Final Score: Brewers 8 – Marlins 4.

On my way to the bus stop I looked back at the stadium and noticed that the panels and roof were open. If I would’ve known they were going to open them after the game I might have stuck around to see them in action.

I took the 11 bus back to my host’s place but just over halfway there the bus driver stopped at a corner and got off the bus. I thought I heard something about “a smoke” but I wasn’t sure. There were two other riders on the bus but they got off after a minute or two of us just sitting there without a driver. I waited probably five minutes and then decided to walk the 8/10 of a mile back to Claire’s. I had no idea if that was smart or not because I’m not familiar with Miami or the neighborhoods. One block down the bus zoomed past me and I felt like a chump. At one point I saw a tiny lizard on the sidewalk (which was pretty neat) and literally 2 seconds later a cockroach scampered past (not neat).

It’s after 10:30 AM on Wednesday and I’ll be throwing out a first pitch in less than nine hours. I’m trying to decide if I should do the fake to third, look at first move while on the mound, but I’m thinking I might get booed.

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Marlins Park: 4 hours 8 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 4 hours 45 minutes
Public transit miles: 15.8
Sausages: 0
Pitches missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (296/296)
Current streak of pitches seen: 410

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 66-69 (.489 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 568 hours 38 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 667 hours 59 minutes
Miles driven: 16,301.0
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,169.8
Public transit miles: 469.0
Flight miles: 18,707
Total distance traveled: 37,646.7 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 151.19% (37,646.7/24,901)
Sausages: 88 (35 Hot Dogs, 30 Polish, 8 Bratwurst, 5 Corndogs, 2 Italian, 2 Cheddarwurst, 2 Bison Dogs, Chicken Apple Sausage, Blueberry & Merlot Venison Sausage, Sausage Race on a Stick, Elk Jalapeño Cheddar Sausage)
Pitches missed: 94
Longest streak of pitches seen: 2,192 (8/27 – 9/3)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.77% (40,221/40,315)

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