22 September 2010

Nationals vs. Braves: Game 3 (15 SEP 2010)

They're so happy!!
Like crazy people, Lauren of Braves Love and I decided that, yes, we needed to attend Wednesday's game.  And yes, we needed to go to batting practice.  This is not an unusual arrangement, as far as games go.  Even going to games back-to-back isn't all that odd, especially later in the season.  See, I'm pretty much nuts and already want to attend EVERY SINGLE GAME EVER.  But luckily, I have a thing called "restraint" with which I use to talk myself down from/out of revolving my life around going to games.

Anyway, Wednesday's game was unusual because it is a weekday day game.  Not 4 PM game, though, mind you.  A noon game.  That means that gates open at 9:30 AM.  I have to leave the house, at the very latest, by 8:30 to make it to Turner Field by the time gates open.  And I did.  So did Lauren.

We're crazy.  :)

They didn't have batting practice... but there were pitchers out and about.  And boy, did I ever get some photos.  Lauren says I'm a bad influence on her because whenever she's around me, the number of photos she takes skyrockets.  I can't help it.  I'm trying to capture movement, and therefore taking several shots is necessary!  (This is what I keep telling myself... I'm an aspiring amateur photographer, dang it.  ;P)  The great thing about the morning, though, is that 1) there is shade, practically EVERYWHERE, and 2) the lighting is really interesting.  I like it.

This is probably going to be a long post, so bear with me.  When Lauren and I discovered that there wasn't going to be batting practice, we prepared ourselves for the long wait until the game.  But we were entertained by the gazillion kids that were there for... yes, you guessed it... BRAVES WEATHER DAY.
Note that all the kiddies, their teachers, and their chaperons are sitting directly in the sun, above the visitor's dugout.  The meterologists stood on top of it and gave their cheesy lesson (it was SO cheesy)... which was also shown on the JUMBOTRON.  So these poor kids were getting roasted in the sun for this weather safety lesson... when they could have easily sat above the Braves dugout, which was still shaded, and still see the jumbotron!  You could see hundreds of game day programs being used as fans.  The kids at the top of the terrace seats were the lucky ones.

After the weather lesson, the Braves pitchers started to trickle out.  It was also at this point, Lauren and I were moving around a good deal because we were trying to escape the sun; the shade was disappearing rapidly.  We ended up next to the bullpen... Let's just say, I felt glad that I had slathered myself with sunscreen... and that we decided to sit there, because something fun happened.  Here's our account of it, with a few links to pictures!:

Derek Lowe
Lauren:  Farns and Proctor came out first, and Proctor immediately got in the sun, because he's always cold, apparently.
Alison:  I have proof of this.  I have a picture of him with his jacket on during a very warm day!
Lauren:  I mean, I understand the pitchers needing to "stay warm", but it was already really warm.  Farns was smart, staying in the shade as long as he could before a day game.
Alison:  We also discussed Farnsy's thighs.  He's got some serious "muskels."  Lauren doesn't like veins, but I'm strangely fascinated with them.  Farnsy has both fascinating tattoos and fascinating veins!
Lauren:  It’s true; super-veiny-ness grosses me out.  Farns Thighs make me miss massaging those hockey players, though.  Those guys were huge.  HUGE.  Do the Braves have a massage therapist? Do they need one?
Alison:  I suppose they'd have to be...  those are fighters.  Farnsy may have missed his calling as a hockey player.
Lauren:  Maybe he should do MMA when he's finished pitching.  He's scary enough.
Alison:  Definitely.  So Eddie comes out, and I'm practically waxing lyrical about him.  We both hearts infinity Eddie.
Lauren:  She was giggling a little.
Alison:  I think he noticed the camera in my hands, because he stopped in front of us (we weren't on the wall) and he had this half-smile on his face and his hands on his hips.  I felt extremely awkward and felt like something should happen.  I don't do well with staring contests.
Lauren:  Yeah, me neither…
Alison:  So I waved.
Lauren:  And she giggled again, because the whole situation was cute and not creepy.  :D
Eddie:  What’s so funny? [big grin]
Us:   [no response; are you talking to us?]
Eddie:  [walking closer, smiling more] What’s so funny?  Why’re you laughing so much?  [bigger grin]
Alison:  I smiled and responded with, "I'm just a very happy person."
Eddie Perez = Hearts Infinity
Eddie:  "That's good, I like that." [super huge grin]
Alison:  "Could I maybe have a ball please?"
Lauren:  [in Lauren’s head: This is hilarious.]
Eddie:  "Yeah, sure...  I'll get you one.  Are you sitting here?"
Alison:  “For now.”
Eddie:  "Ok, I'll be back, I'll get you one."
Alison:  Then he went off and did bullpen coachly things, and we giggled and took pictures.
Lauren:  Correction, Alison giggled and took pictures.  I was too busy freaking out that we got called out for Braves-watching. I took, like, 1 picture for every 5 of hers. Are they watching us now? What about now?
Lauren:  So Eddie came back, I saw his head pop up in the bullpen, and I nudged Alison to go get her ball.  I told her to tell him that he and I have the same birthday!
Alison:  I went over to get the ball, and strangely didn't pull out my Sharpie and ask him to sign it.  :( This is what happens when you don't sleep much the night before and you get up at some ridiculous hour to go to the Braves game.  Then I told Eddie, "My friend wanted me to tell you that you both have the same birthday!" Eddie then smiled and said, "Oh, really?"
Lauren:  Alison waved me over…
Eddie:  “When is that?”
Lauren:  “May 4!”
Eddie:  “Well that just proves only the most beautiful people were born on May 4!”
Lauren [laughing in her head]:   “Of course!” [she may have inadvertently winked here, but she was definitely smiling back]
Alison:  I don’t think I stopped grinning at all, really, but my grin got bigger and I said, "it's totally true!"
Tommy Hanson sans Friendly Mutton Chops
Lauren:  So we can’t remember the exact dialogue here, but Eddie told me he’d get me a ball too, then asked where our seats were.  I said over near the dugout, waved my hand generally in that direction (our tickets were in 117).
Eddie:  “You should sit here!”
Alison:  “Maybe!”
Lauren:  “I think we’re in the shade over there...” (hee hee) “Maybe we can stay for part of the game.” He needed to go back to his coaching duties then, and started to walk away...
Eddie:  “Don’t go anywhere.  I’ll get you a ball too, and maybe next time you’ll get seats over here with us.”
Lauren:  We said okay, and went back to our seats to take more pictures, and the next thing we knew Faye, the way-cute security guard, was handing us BULLPEN BLOW POPS.
Faye:   "From him." [points to Eddie, who's waving and smiling]
Alison:  I giggled (yes, like a schoolgirl...) and Lauren blew him a kiss.
Lauren:  Just a little one! And a wave, thanks for the bullpen blow pop! Seriously, I can’t think of a better possible surprise he could have given us at that moment.
Alison:  Eddie went off to do coachly things, while we took that opportunity to run off and grab a bite to eat.  We then walked back over to the bullpen to watch Rossy and Mike Minor warm up.  Couldn't see MM, but DEFINITELY saw Rossy.  I took pictures.  Game face, what what!
Lauren:  Rossy was coaching him (MM) a little – that was very cool to see.  Eddie saw us pretty quickly and waved a ball at me, and pointed to the right side of the bullpen (where we’d been sitting before), and the usher stopped me.  I’m like, “Eddie says he has a ball for me,” and she looked at me like, “Yeah, right!” Then I turned and motioned in that direction and he was walking over, and Faye was waving us down, so the usher let us walk down.
Alison:  Did he hand you the ball or did Faye give it to you?
Lauren:  Eddie tossed it up to me.  :)
Alison:  He flashed a smile at you I think.
Lauren:  He did :)
Alison:  He was supposed to be doing coaching things.  He waved at us to sit down and stay, like, "sit down...  sit down" and motioning for us to sit.
Lauren:  We did, and talked to Faye for a bit.  She was so sweet, talking about how nice Eddie was and how the boys are all like her sons.  As the bullpen filled up, several of them came over and said hi to her and shook her hand.
Alison:  And she was callin' them "baby" and "sweetheart." Ultra cute.
Lauren:  Heart.
Lauren:  Jonny shook her hand extra-long.  HEART.
Alison:  it's true. 
Lauren:  So we sat next to the bullpen for about half the game, boiling in the sun.  BOILING.  We fanned ourselves, the bullpen watched us fan ourselves.  One of the bullpen boys stared in the most creepy way.
Alison:  Were we particularly cute that day?
Lauren:  Well, you had your hat on like JJ, and my shirt was…smaller…than some of my others.  So...
Alison:  hahaha
Lauren:  Your hat is cute – don't change it.  :):)
Alison:  So we're sitting there, trying to remind ourselves that we were sitting in the outfield next to the bullpen because Eddie waved at us to sit down and stay, while fanning ourselves as the sun roasted us.  It was a noon game!  And while we slowly roasted in our own sweat to a nice shade of pink, I noticed that some of the bullpen boys were watching us fan ourselves.  I cheated and pretended to look at the upper decks where all the kiddies were cheering their little hearts out.  Some of the boys quickly averted their glances when I "casually" glanced over after "looking at the kids."
Lauren:  Hee, good boys.
Lauren:  Eddie noticed how hot we were, temperature-wise, too.  From the other side of the bullpen, we "talked" for a minute during the game – he pantomimed fanning himself, and Alison and I laughed, and he mouthed, “Are you hot?” I replied, “SO hot.” He grinned really big and fanned himself harder, and I put my arms out and flipped them over, saying, “I’m going to get a suntan!” He seemed to think that was really funny.
Alison:  I like how you added “temperature-wise.”
Lauren:  Well!
Alison:  Faye was really interested in my fan.  It is rather handy and portable.  She borrowed it for a bit and took it over to fan the Camera Guy, who clearly adored her as much as the bullpen boys.  Then she fanned the security guard on the other side of the wall, inside the bullpen.  I took this opportunity to take a peek at the boys.  You know, by “watching” my fan.  She was so cute!!
Lauren:  Faye had a really pretty fan too; I complimented her on it. I was using my gameday program as a fan, which wasn't as fun. I was totally waiting on the security guard to pass Alison's fan down the bullpen bench -- which would have been awesome -- they were all watching it like they wanted to give it a try. It? Her? I don't know. ;)
Alison:  Us?
Lauren:  HA!
Alison:  In the short time that we've known each other, Lauren and I have discovered that we both like to "dance" and "sing" to the walk-up songs of our players.  And during one of Rossy's at-bats, we got caught.
Lauren:  I may have been rapping along.
Alison:  How did we know we got caught? I don't remember.
Lauren:  Eddie laughed at us! And Faye and Camera Guy were laughing too! Not in a mean way, they just seemed to be enjoying our tiny dancing in our chairs.  Faye goes, “Get it, girls!” and clapped her hands, and we got embarrassed.  We weren’t crazy dancing or anything.  Those of you who’ve been to games with me before know how I do!
Alison:  If I weren’t already red because of the sun, I probably would have blushed a little bit.  Personally, I think our chair dances are amazing.  ;D  By that point in the game, though, we had been staring very longingly over at Section 117, where the shade was slowly creeping its way up to where our seats were.  I think that’s what did it.  I was soaked in sweat, the Braves were down, and we decided that we needed to change our luck (and get into whatever shade is left ASAP).  So we got up, and I told Faye that we were going to seek some shade from the sun.  She wanted to know if we were coming back.  I told her, “Maybe… We’ll try.”  And then we left.
Lauren:  I was pretty pink. As we left I looked over to see if Eddie was looking up, so we could say thanks again, but he was too busy coaching and didn't see us. I asked Faye to say thanks again to him for us, and thanked her watching out for us in our sneak-down seats. I tried not to look at the bullpen boys as we left, but the ones who watched us fan ourselves and watched us reapply sunscreen watched us leave. Shocker. ;D

And that was that.  :)  Game Day Photos, now... with captions as usual. 

Smiling Prado with a Adam Dunn in the background...
There are more Adam-Dunn-has-a-towel-on-his-head pictures in the full album.  Don't worry.  I am as amused as you are.

Melky Cabrera, sneaking over to move second base closer
For those of you who haven't been to the games, one of the activities that takes place at Turner Field between innings is the stolen base challenge.  A fan is picked to run from the far right field corner to second base, grab the base, and then run all the way back the RF corner in twenty seconds or less.  This is a long run in a very short amount of time.  Melky helped the fan out by flinging it closer.  :)  Seriously, I <3 Melky.  What a teddy bear.

MattE approves of Melky.
The Umps were tiny.  Seriously.

That was Gonzo's strikeout, by the way.  
And this was Rossy's.  :(
One of my only good photos of J-Hey.  So I had to share!
Smiley Eric Hinske with a Serious Ryan Zimmerman
Height Comparison pictures never get old.
Business as usual for Gonzo.

Kimmie was awesome.
JJ squeezing in.

We lost.  :(  BUT our consolation prize was a chat, a ball, and a blowpop from Eddie Perez.  Hard to be depressed about that!  :)

Lauren's post is over at her blog, Braves Love (direct link)... it's funny because we posted a few practically identical photos!  

Full album is at Photobucket as usual.  Some goodies include:  Clean-shaven Tommy (he looks like a little boy), an optical illusion, a graceful KK, a cheerful Nyjer Morgan, Omar Infante at-bats, the Venezuelan Troupe, etc.!  I took a lot more, so if you're looking for someone in particular and you can't find him in the album, let me know, and I'll see if I have something.  :)  Thanks for reading.


MollyG said...

Glad y'all had such an awesome time! Great stories about Eddie and the boys. And love your pictures!

Lauren T. said...

Love the head butt. :D But then, I love those two anyway. Have I said that in the last hour? ...Oh, I have? Ha!

Alison said...

<3 <3 <3 all around all the time. :)