Thursday, May 31, 2007

A photo diary of a night at the K

This was not a good sign. reported scattered thunderstorms from evening till nine, when the clouds were to lift in the black of night, so I sat in front of my computer looking at Doppler radars and trying to convince friends that yes, they do play games even if they delay the start for two hours; no, they weren't going to cancel this one because the Royals already have to play a make-up game against the Orioles, in Baltimore; yes, we would have a good time, why wouldn't we have a good time?; no, it's not dangerous driving K-10 in the rain; yes, $5 tickets on College Night; and so on.

Eventually, Caleb, Berman, Anita and I got into a car and made our way down I-435. Caleb, very whippet-like in his aversion to rain, wouldn't stop fussing about it, and when we passed a sign that pointed to Applebee's he chirped, "Alright, we're here: Applebees."

"We're going to the game," I said, and I reminded him that I was already paying for his parking.

"I've already paid, by driving from Lawrence," he said.

We went back and forth about this trying to calculate the cost of his trip, figuring distance, his car's gas mileage (he was driving presently) and the cost of fuel, and the course of this discussion somehow led him to say, with a straight face, "In all my years, the one thing I've learned is when you're dividing, the divisor doesn't matter. Just cross it out. It doesn't matter."

Remembering my affinity for math back in the day, this comment caught me as highly illogical and counterintuitive. "It doesn't matter?"

"It doesn't matter."

"Then what does?"

"The dividend. That's it."

Thusly I learned, when dividing a into b to get a quotient c, the b doesn't matter.
We went, we saw, we took pictures next to great benefactors and witnessed the tarped field of Kauffman Stadium in all its sheathed glory and understood that in this spot they played as those who earned this trophy, and that if it was good then it would be like an opium dream in a future soon to come.

And then we went out to the parking lot, drank beers and left.

But not before we witnessed.

The first pitch came in high and hard out of the hands of our conquering hero. Though I couldn't actually tell you if it was high or hard, or a strike, or what the batter did with that first pitch, or if John Buck caught the ball, but it's likely it was hard, and high, if that's a good thing, and like so the game commenced under a cool moon and hot lights.

From that vantage point, we saw a guy wearing an Angel Berroa shirt -- I'm guessing he didn't buy it this year -- and Mark Grudzielanek get doubled off first from a Mike Sweeney line-out to center. Don't ask me what Grudz was thinking, or to elaborate. Sitting two rows above us were a group of girls -- one of them wore a K-State shirt -- who started chanting "De-Fense" sometime in the 2nd. Uncanniness, I love it. And then Berman, sitting next to me, tried starting a wave, a proposition that got the girls laughing but no one else all that interested. Yes, we were those jackasses, the ones who tried starting the wave. Well, not me, just Berman.

Eventually, because there seemed to be 4,000 people in the stands and not the announced 10,513, we moved down to get a better view, principally of the man himself, Gil Meche, who was cruising and poised to be the stopper for which he's paid the big bucks. Our new view:

Unfortunately, Meche's opponent, Erik Bedard, proved inscrutable, continuing to mow down the home team. The game was played at an incredibly brisk pace, as if the players were trying to make up for time lost in the nearly two-hour pre-game delay. There was very little in the way of offense until the 8th, when the Orioles' lead-off man walked, a sure omen of bad things to come. A couple bunts later, Jay Payton singled to make it 1-0 Baltimore.

This didn't please Berman and Caleb in the least -- don't be fooled by their expressions, they cry a lot on the inside -- and Anita, not pictured, who started crying for real. Or maybe her tears were rainwater. In any case, you see the Royals here with bats in their hands -- warming up or at the plate, whatever -- and you expect them to do something with it, but... nothing. The last 12 batters -- every Royal who came to the plate in innings six through nine -- didn't do diddily. In the 5th, Ryan Shealy walked, but that was it. The 4th inning was the last in which a Royal picked up a hit. I didn't realize this until I got home and checked the play-by-play. And then I realized why I was so drunk.

A couple more pictures:

The night ended with a delicious hamburger from Fox and Hound.


  1. I really enjoyed this post tonight.

  2. well done. just one question: why did it take you so long to move from your seat?

    tough luck for meche, eh?