Some Thoughts

Well, Brad summed up the end of the season pretty well with his recent comments. The firing of Bob Melvin and most of the coaching staff has been followed by several other “retirements” in the organization, with more likely to come. As usual, the folks at USS Mariner have a good description of what has happened. I don’t know enough about the baseball community to have an opinion on whether the team is doing the right thing or to speculate on what things will look like for the Mariners after the dust settles, but at least changes are being made. Sometimes a stupid decision that gets you going is better than a decision to do nothing. (And sometimes not… so, we’ll see.)

The last game of the season was a bit of a let down after the excitement of Friday night when Ichiro broke the season hits record. More of a let down than the game was the Safeco Field experience. Vendors were out of stuff and I saw people waiting in long lines for nachos and such only to find out none were available when they reached the front of the line. After having waited for ten minutes! Couldn’t the vendors put up a sign or something? Having volunteer organizations staff many of the food joints in Safeco is a bad idea. Do they get training in food safety? Do they know when a hot dog is cooked? (Some do not, judging by the burned black ones I was given at this game.) The Compass Club/Knothole Gang “Rewards Center” was staffed by a sullen young adult and out of Henry’s much coveted t-shirt. No alternative “reward” was offered until I asked (very nicely and timidly, as anyone who knows me would assume) about it.

Now, I do feel a bit uneasy griping about all these things. We are lucky that we get attend so many ballgames and that our stadium is so nice looking and wonderful for baseball. I’m not asking for gourmet food and fawning customer service here, though. There’s a basic minimum that should be met: food should be prepared properly and safely; customers should be notified in a timely and obvious way when things are no longer available so they don’t have to wait pointlessly; employees who deal with the public should leave their sullen teen act at home. So, next year, we really will bring our own peanuts and buy hot dogs outside the park. (I’ll probably cave and let Henry have his beloved Dippin’ Dots.) I think once I total up how much we spent on food and drink inside the park, I’ll have another reason to change…

Okay, end of the griping for now.

So, did you hear? Ichiro broke the single season hit record, finishing the year with 262 hits. We saw hits 257, 258, and 259 on Friday and hits 261 and 262 on Sunday. It was fantastic, with wildly cheering crowds, flash bulbs sparkling all over the stadium, fireworks, Ichiro signs everywhere in English and Japanese. We got hoarse from cheering so much and sore from holding Henry up so he could see over the crowd. Henry clearly sensed the excitement and enjoyed the whole experience. He’s been reenacting Ichiro’s record-breaking hit in true Henry fashion, announcing the play as he acts it out, cheering, pretending to shoot off the fireworks: he is Ichiro, the announcer, the crowd, and the pyrotechnics crew.