All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hammerin' Andy

Andy Phillips in the on-deck circle

Yesterday was my first game at Ed Smith Stadium, and my first time sitting on the box seats anywhere.

It's not really that I'm cheap. It's more that I'm a last-minute Louie when it comes to baseball. I never order tickets ahead of time; I just walk up to the box office on game day. Even for minor league games, this usually means the box seats are sold out. Yesterday, however, there was one box seat available, and I took it.

It was kind of cool to be so close. But all in all, I didn't like it. You got a great view of the batter, but the view down the first base line and to the mound was often obstructed by umpires and players. And it was hard to see what was going on in the outfield. I think I prefer being a little higher up.

It was very cloudy in the morning. (I went to Lido Beach, taking photos and gathering shells, and it was very pleasant.) The clouds were gone by game time, though, and it was sweltering. A lot of people left early because of the heat. Which was good for me. I was able to move around a little and get better spots to take photos from.

The Easter Bunny threw out the first pitch.

Phenom Johnny Cueto had a rough outing, retiring only two of ten batters and getting the hook after only 2/3 of an inning. He even walked the pitcher. On four pitches.

Carlos Pena hit a three run homer off Cueto. It was 5-0 Rays after only one inning. Things didn't look good for our heroes.

Jim Brower, who was with the Yankees last year, came in in relief.

One good thing about my seat was that it offered a great view into the Reds dugout. Here's Andy shoveling sunflower seeds into his mouth.

He spent most of the game sitting by the water coolers, drinking water. (It was a very hot day.) He went into the clubhouse briefly (probably to go to the bathroom after drinking all that water!), then returned to his spot by the water coolers.

Late in the game, he started playing with someone else's bat. Trying to give Dusty a hint?

Finally, one of the coaches came over to talk to him. They spent some time looking at a book (probably a scouting report). I figured they were going to put him in, and sure enough, he went into the clubhouse again and came out with his gear. He brought his glove, too, so he wasn't just pinch-hitting. Yay.

Andy came in in the 7th, and got things going in a big inning for the Reds, hitting a two-run homer off Troy Percival.

He hustled out of the box, not sure it was going out, but it kept going until it cleared the wall in left-center.

It ended up being a 7-run inning for the Reds, capped by Javy Valentin's 3-run go-ahead homer.

Andy took over first base for the rest of the game.

He had a nice play on defense, scooping it out of the dirt on a 6-4-3 double play.

Two Andys: Andy Phillips chats with Andy Cannizaro at first base. Both became free agents this season after years in the Yankees system. (Cannizaro got on base when Justin James hit him with a pitch.)

Andy was pretty bubbly after hitting that dinger.

He struck out his second time up.

He was still all smiles in the dugout, though. I guess hitting a homer like that makes your day.

The Reds bullpen could not hold the lead they were given, alas. The Rays tied the game in the 8th, and won it in the 9th.

The final score: Rays 10, Reds 9, in a roller coaster of a game.

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posted by BubbaFan, 9:18 AM


Wow, great photos!!
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, March 24, 2008 10:52 AM  
Thanks. I'll be at the game tonight, too. It's harder to get good photos at night, but I'll give it a try.
commented by Blogger BubbaFan, March 24, 2008 11:36 AM  
cool Andy photos.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, March 24, 2008 8:01 PM  
geeez... Andy deserves a better number.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, March 25, 2008 12:30 AM  
With that name and the red uniform, I think his number should be 66. ;-)
commented by Blogger BubbaFan, March 25, 2008 6:36 AM  

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