Saturday, April 01, 2006

Kulongoski Gets Beaver Tail

Last night the Seattle Mariners returned to Portland and PGE Park for the first time since 2002, in a waterlogged exhibition versus our AAA Beavers. The game was suspended for about an hour in the top of the 4th, causing the starting pitchers (and almost every Mariners regular) to call it a night, and giving the sold-out crowd little to stay for. By the time the game resumed about 9pm, fewer than half remained.

I caught the game courtesy of craigslist, in the upper half of the upper deck for $20. There were far higher prices for this game being advertised; any more than 2 saws would have been a serious bummer IMO.

Anyhow, the game started off relatively dry, and the first ceremonial pitch was presented to Goobernor Kulongoski. He was announced, and as he made his way to the mound he was greeted by a near-unanimous chorus of BOOOOOOOOO. Which is not to say everyone in attendance booed--some were clearly Mariners fans in from points north--but of those who chose to applaud or boo, almost everyone booed. And we're talking about a couple thousand people here. He was only partially redeemed by a reasonably solid toss that reached the plate on the fly. Scattered applause chased him from the field, waving in defiance of his reception.

I turned to the guy who had sold me the ticket (sitting 2 seats away), and said with a bit of a smirk, "They're not booing; they're saying Koooooo." A woman in the next row turned and said, "Oh, is that what they're doing?" All I could do was chuckle, shake my head and say, "No."

So the report from PGE Park is: the field looks great and the views are still impressive; the Beavers look sloppy even for AAA so far; even March 31 is too early for outdoor baseball in Portland; even in the rain people in this town come out for baseball; and an unscientific poll says Ted the K is about as popular as his last Survey USA rating.