Tonight in Baltimore 12,375 paying fans got to watch an eleven inning game between two struggling clubs who are playing for pride at this point in the season. Both the Mariners and the Orioles under new managers, played tonight as if it was the 7th game in the World Series, right up to the last at-bat when ex-Mariners Adam Jones laid-down a surprise squeeze bunt scoring the winning run from third to win the game 5-4.
On a hot and humid night one Mariner stood-out however having his best night ever going 4-5 including a homer, yes indeed Adam Moore finally has arrived on the scene showing us why he is the catcher of the future for Seattle. And even though it sucked to see David Aardsma have another melt–down (it’s been awhile) it was a treat to watch Moore gunning-down runners and swinging the bat like the tough, athletic guy he is. In my book after tonight’s debut of the real Adam Moore there is no going back to the Rob Johnson show.
Doug Fister pitched like….. Well the real Doug Fister. After starting out looking like a superman early on I’m afraid to say that Doug Fister is really just a back of the rotation guy on a mediocre team. The Orioles got to him early and he never really looked in control tonight, but he did get through 5 innings and only allowed 3 runs on 10 hits. Doug’s shipmates Jamie Wright and Brandon League pitched 4 scoreless innings in relief tonight, as neither team really looked like they wanted to win this one, or perhaps they just forgot how.
Jose Lopez did his usual multiple personality routine giving us a display of power, finesse and dorkiness all in one game. Lopez is definitely unique in his ability to drive fans crazy one minute, and the next play look like the real deal. But really both of these teams have some talent and fighting spirit and this game was kind of fun to watch, as the spectacle of two beautiful losers engaged in a death match has always been high on my list of favorite types of games to watch. This was the sort of game where you got to know the individual voices of the fans yelling in the background as this game unfolded. There is something magical about being on a losing team in a 3/4 empty stadium in extra innings and just letting it all out, sort of a cleansing experience that I don’t begrudge the loyal Orioles fans tonight in their bright orange jerseys.
So that was tonight’s battle, a classic almost campy clash of two teams everyone has long forgotten about giving it their best for a handful of fans on two different coasts who have long ago quit feeling the pain of losing and instead, like the players watch for the love of the game.
I wanted to thank Graham Womak from the Blog Baseball Past and Present who published an article on his blog about my grandfather: The original Dusty Rhodes story Graham wrote the article after interviewing me this weekend and going through some old photos and scrapbooks. Graham is an earnest young guy from the Bay Area who helped begin to start thinking and talking about my Grandfather’s career in a realistic way in order to not only help me with the book I’m planning, but to also begin healing around his wonderful yet tragic career. Like tonight’s emotional rollercoaster the game of baseball is full of highs and lows and if it doesn’t kill you, can make life a lot richer and deeper.