Between-Game Musings

Nice to see the return of the following: Billy and Mini-Doughnuts.

Two great things were on the Vipertron between games. (1) “Snakes on a Train” is a music video about the Vipers and Light Rail Transit done to the tune of The Lonely Island’s “I’m on a Boat.” HILARIOUS. (2) The Dodgers Rockies game. The Vipers and I both have MLB.TV subscriptions, I guess.

There are game worn (I repeat GAME WORN!) Vipers jersey for sale for a measly $130.00 tax included at The Snake Pit. It’s a great way to support your local professional baseball team and look good doing so. Was Erik “DeChain” Dessau #20? I can’t remember, but if he was, you should buy his jersey before I do.

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Andy Jenkins: International Man of Mystery

Contrary to how things may look on this blog lately, I don’t like being late for baseball games.

And yet here I am on the train as I type knowing full well the first part of the Vipers double header vs. Chico must be half over by now.

Still, one and a half games of live baseball is better than just about two anythings.

I did find this ratty old baseball on my commute today. I took it as a sign I’d get out of work early and make the Vipers game in time. I must have read the sign wrong.

By the time I made it to the ballpark it was 5-2 Calgary in the fifth inning of the first game. Another black vs. black game. And holy cow, what a crowd! Looks like the largest crowd of the year so far.

I may have been late, but not too late to witness The Bat From The Hat Drew Miller smack a line-drive home run to dead center. For those who haven’t been to the hallowed grounds of Foothills stadium, it’s 400 yards to dead center and the wall is about 6 Jonny Kaplans high.

Andy “Leroy” Jenkins (#4) doesn’t have a NOB (Name on Back) in his jersey yet. Maybe he’s trying to preserve his secret identity, and I screwed it up.

(In the above photo, it’s hard to tell but I think the first base coach is wearing on of the plastic helmets they serve popcorn in.)

The Outlaws had the tying run at the plate with two outs in the final inning, but closer Claudio Galva induced a fly ball to left for a 6-2 Vipers win.

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Chico’s in town so it means you can only tell the teams apart by their pants.

Okay, okay, so pub happenings caused me to be a few innings late for the game again. At least I made it, right?

I got to the hallowed grounds of Foothills Stadium just in time to see Matt Kavanaugh rope a single into right. It was 3-2 Calgary over Chico at the time. By the end of the inning, Calgary put a crooked number on the board (a 4 in this case) and built up a 7-2 lead.

I’ve said it before but I’ll repeat it: I love the tradition of the Home Run Bucket. What better way to show your appreciation for a big bomb (a 2-run shot to left by Wilver Perez in this case) than to drop a buck or two a bucket that partly goes to the hero.

It was Western Night at the ballpark. Check out Justin Tellam in a cowboy hat on the Vipertron:

Last but certainly not least, the weather was fantastic at the ballpark. A few sun showers but mostly just sun and this glorious double rainbow.

In the spirit of the double rainbow, here’s a double exposure.

Calgary won again, 14-6 over the Outlaws of Chico. Calgary compiled 19 hits, and there were 31 hits total.

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The Hotdog Challenge

Today (and apparently every Wednesday) is Frankfurter Fwednesday. A buck a Frank. That means the “xolager combo” of two beers and four hotdogs costs an even $15.

For three of my $1 hotdogs I did a condiment taste test. One with just mustard, one with just relish, and one foul mistake (hotdog + ketchup = crime). Ground-breaking stuff here.

Under similar weather conditions as yesterday, Vipers Wilver Perez and Jonny Kaplan swapped their sleevedness from yesterday’s chart. Starting pitcher Garret Holleran went long sleeved along this right (pitching) arm and short sleeved down the other. Had enough sleeve talk yet? No? Good.

Off the bench, pinch hitter Jeff Giacomini went short sleeved.

Did a sleeved Dan Morari strike out the freaking side in the 8th? Does Mrs. Xolager spill my beer? (Yes to both)

Speaking of Mrs. Xolager, she enjoyed her $1 hotdog, but she still likes the burgers from the grillpit best. She barely even shares with a certain blogger.

A short-sleeved Wilver Perez got the winning RBI in the bottom of the 8th. Closer Claudio Galva slammed the door shut in the ninth with a foul pop-up and two strikeouts. 3-2 Calgary beats Edmonton.

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It’s about 15*C with clouds and a slight breeze at first pitch tonight, and even though I’m wearing a few layers, I decided to do the following tally, sorted by batting order:

CF – Jonny Kaplan – short sleeves
RF – Bryan Burke – long sleeves
SS – Wilver Perez – long sleeves
2B – Jimmy Rohan – long sleeves
LF – Drew Miller – short sleeves
C – Justin Tellam – long sleeves
3B – Louis Templeton – long sleeves
1B – Matt Kavanaugh – short sleeves
P – Mark Michael – long sleeves

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Two Dollar Hotdogs and other Excitements

It’s Tuesday, which is apparently “Toonie Tuesday.” I knew it meant some items would be $2, but I didn’t know what. The nice gal at the concessions stand told me it means hotdogs were $2 and small sodas were $2. Beer is still $5.50, which is worth more than 2.75 small sodas to me.

There’s also new KMR (ketchup, mustard, relish) pumps. No more scooping relish with a spoon like a savage.

Two new promotions I didn’t know about: (1) if a Viper hits a home run through the hole in the Glenmore Audi sign, a fan wins $50,000 towards a car at that dealership, and (2) if a Viper hits for the cycle, 10 fans win a grand each. Let’s do this.

The home run hole is to left field, so hopefully Drew Miller is practicing going opposite field. I’m liking Louis Templeton to be the man to get the job done.

There was a DJ and an excited hanger-on when you walked into the ballpark today. The next Peanut Butter Wolf?

The Red Sox Yankees game was on the scoreboard bigscreen prior to the game. Really smart idea.

I like it when the Vipers open a game by striking out an opponent. Mark Michael looks on tonight. I think I’m going to sit back and enjoy the rest of the game. I might chime in later with a comment, but I might not. If you miss something, that’s your fault for not being here ;-)

Wait… Popcorn (and cotton candy and snow cones) costs $2 as well? Victory!

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Five Dollar Baseball!

Okay, so I was a little late to the game. I may or may not have been pre-drinking at the pub to get into game shape and next thing I knew it was 3-1 Calgary in the third when we rolled up to the park (I wasn’t driving, in case you were worried).

Let Manny bat! Starting pitcher Manny Ayala has “Blitzkrieg Bop” by the Ramones as his batting music. Nails! He pitched lights out, too.

6 runs on 3 hits for the heroic homeside in the 5th. Those bases loaded walks and passed balls are great when they go your way.

Here’s xolager’s tip of the day: Add onions (they’re on the ketchup table) to your cheese fries. Of course, your wife eats all your fries this way.

It can’t be said enough: Drew Miller is very good at baseball.

It may have been a smaller crowd but it was a loud and fun crowd. If you’re reading this and you weren’t at Foothills Stadium tonight, you missed a good time. And to top it off, Calgary beat Edmonton 11-1

PS. This is a reminder to always tip the beer guy (THWBCIC), and to save some change at the end of the game for The Sax Man.

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May 29, 2011 – Game 2 of a Double Heady

Edmonton 13 Calgary 5

For this game I decided to really follow Vipers 1B RHB #13 Jimmy Rohan. Why? Because from here it looks like he’s wearing stirrups. Hosiery points!

1st inning at-bat: F9 on a 0-0 pitch.

4th inning at-bat: Worked a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Hopefully he made fun of infielder/first base coach Kevin “Pcondoleezza” Price WEARING A HOODIE in one of the hottest days of the year so far in Calgary. Seriously, a hoodie? Rohan’s walk set the table for a “The Bat from the Hat” Drew Miller 3-run bomb that still hasn’t landed.

5th inning fielding first base: picked up a pebble from the infield and threw it towards the Vipers dugout. He also touched his toes after RP Stephen Whalen intentionally walked Moustache Metheny. Rohan defensively chalked up the 3rd out of the inning unassisted while the bases were loaded.

5th inning at-bat: I’ve had a lot to drink by now, so I’ll say he would have beat out a double play had there not already been 2 outs when he was batting.

6th inning fielding first base: I’ve really got to pee but I’m holding on to see if Rohan can turn an unassisted double play… but Edmonton kept hitting it where Vipers weren’t. Mrs. Lager went to pee and missed 4 Caps runs. I’m jealous because (A) she missed
the slaughter, and (B) I have to pee worse.

7th inning at bat: he’s in the batter’s box!

More notes:

Former-Viper-turned-current-enemy Brent Metheny still gets that “Country Roads” song played for his before his ABs. He’s a moustache hero.

If the guy wearing the grey Jon Lester jersey is reading this, I hope you know your jersey is a cheap knockoff. The tells? Well (1) the MLB logo on the back collar is too small, (2) there’s too big of a space between “Red” and “Sox” on the jersey’s front, (3) the hanging Sox logo on the sleeve is made of too thin a fabric, and (4) the jersey looks like it was made out of satin.

Sing For Your Supper grade: F

We enjoyed the height mismatch during the three-legged race at the end of the third. More giants teamed with elves, please.

SP Dusty Gober scored the first run of 2011 for the Vipers on the Hallowed Grounds of Foothills Stadium.

10 kids were brought on-field to do the YMCA. By my count, 10% of them did the “C” the right way.

RP Dan “Less is” Morari didn’t get much of a chance tonight. 4 pitches. 4 balls. But he did get in this blog post!

As the top of the fifth carried on and the Vipers kept rotating relief pitchers (thanks J.J. Whetsel for stopping the bleeding), I was watching some little kid by the berm in a #14 powder blue Blue Jays jersey throw a two-seem fastball with movement. Who cares if it’s a foam baseball?

I dropped $2 into the home run bucket for Drew Miller, and it got me thinking that the pitchers should get a bucket too. Sure, they can hit home runs, but that’s not what they’re paid to do. There should be a Scoreless Strike Out The Side (SSOTS) Bucket. I’d pay.

All Metheny all the time! He may be on the wrong team now, but he’s still quality. Nice to see him engaging in some friendly banter with The People of Section A while he played 1B.

All Drew Miller does is get on base by any means necessary. Worth the ticket price right there.

The Capitals Todd Linden still legged out a triple when it was 12-4 in the 7th (and last) inning. Doesn’t he know I’m hungry and the concessions are closed?

The home plate ump was half-way through a fist-pump to call a strike on some Capital (hey, it’s Metheny again) in the 7th when Vipers catcher Matt Kavanagh got an appeal from the 3B ump to see if the batter went around a he said no, and the home plate ump abided. Does the blue get paid by the hour? Groan.

Kaplan got tossed by a home plate ump who can’t tell a ball from a strike. Seriously, why the ump-hate on Jonny? The 3B ump (who is 7 years old) suffers from small man syndrome (what kind of ump runs across the infield to challenge the entire home-team dugout?). That, and I’m a drunk fan.

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Noticing Caps (Hats, that is)

This is easy stuff for a uni-watch member killing time between game 1 and 2 of a double header…

The Edmonton Capitals have the new NAL logo on the back of their caps.

The Calgary Vipers have blank-backed caps (and they’re still selling GBL-logo’d caps in the Snake Pit, which is fine but I’ve already bought a few of those).

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May 29, 2011 – Opening Day and Game 1 of a Double Header

Edmonton 3 Calgary 0

What did Jonny Kaplan do or say to home umpire Neil Turner? Kaplan’s
Strike Zone appeared to start at his ankles.

Speaking of the umps, a generous call (in Edmonton’s favour) on a check swing that broke the plane in the third lead to 2 of the Capitals’ 3 runs. Calgary SP Garret Holleran pitched really well (and hit two balls hard while at-bat) and deserved better than an L. His footwork on the rubber before he delivers a pitch is something new to me. It’s like a shuffle-step. If he pitches like this all year he’ll do really well.

As well as Holleran pitched, the Caps’ (or CAP8s’, if you go with how their jerseys look) Lou Pote was even better. He was mostly unhittable, and at te end he and Holleran each gave up 3 hits.

I was drinking for the cycle after the 5 innings (a beer per inning) but I lost my cycle bid when Pote lost his no-hitter bid. I don’t think I’m as good a drinker as Pote is a pitcher anyways. He’s really good and I’m more of a lumberjack.

The 2011 WS run did the Texas Rangers good in Calgary. I saw two Rangers jerseys at the ballpark, and both had World Series patches on the sleeve (and one Rangers “fan” had on a Blue Jays cap).

Good god I missed live baseball.

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