I woke up at 2 a.m. and trekked to my friend Kenneth’s house to watch the Mariner’s and A’s kick off the season in Tokyo. Here are some things I noticed and wrote down.
The Tokyo Dome gives the impression that you are playing in the 1970s. The deep, blueish green of the astroturf, and its general expansiveness (no dirt infield) create a quaint throwbacky feel.
Dave Sims and Mike Blowers calling the game from back in Bellevue. I imagine that without a ballpark to stimulate their interest, these two will put one another to sleep by the fourth inning.
This astroturf is SO astroturfy.
It still feels like a spring training game. I think part of that is the relatively subdued atmosphere in the stadium and the general lack of pomp and circumstance surrounding the game. In other words, the only bunting is the kind that Bob Melvin demands from his players for no reason.
Yeonis Cespedes is amazing. His body language is fearsome. He is the best even though he might not actually be the best. At every moment, he looks ready to tackle a mountain lion and then possibly eat it raw. He is going to hit some gorgeous home runs.
Michael Saunders singles in his first at-bat! My favorite spring training moment is a radio interview I heard with Saunders where he talked about zen and his approach to the plate in an extremely Canadian accent. I really hope he puts it all together.
Mariners promo/highlight video showing Alex Rios getting thrown out at second trying to steal. Baseball.
Sideline reporter Jenn Muller on concessions at the Tokyo Dome. They have Bento Boxes. Stacks of them.
Josh Reddick’s angular face and high/tight mullet make me wonder what his deal is. I feel like he probably listens to P.O.D. Between Reddick, Yeonis, Coco Crisp, Eric Sogard’s 12-year-old nerd deal, the A’s might be the most stylistically diverse team in baseball.
Exchange rate graphic!
Miguel Olive is a grandpa? Kenneth informs me. He is surprisingly bald.
It’s 4:18 a.m. I just opened a box of cracker jacks.
Is that a baby on that wall-ad in the RF corner? Yes. Yes it is. There is also a nearby advertisement with a box with a diagonal exclamation point in it.
Dustin Ackley hits like a left fielder. He stands tall and he’s so relaxed at the plate. Him and Ichiro are a great stylistic contrast. Him and Figgins are a great productivity contrast.
More ad discussion: There is a massive yellow poster with Ichiro’s face above the seats in left field. He is holding something up and there is lots of clutter around him. I wonder what the product is? He hasn’t played in Japan in a dozen years. It’s easy to forget how famous he still is there.
Further ad discussion: Bunny rabbit with stars next to it. Possibly playing baseball possibly throwing a star in the air.
Kenneth where’s Mark Ellis? Eric: He’s the Dodgers starting second baseman and number two hitter. Magic Johnson can’t fix everything.
Mariners commercials are the best. Even when they don’t work, they work because they are Mariners commercials.
Wikipedia excerpt on the Tokyo Dome: “Tokyo Dome’s original nickname was “The Big Egg”, with some calling it the “Tokyo Big Egg”. Its dome-shaped roof is an air-supported structure, a flexible membrane held up by slightly pressurizing the inside of the stadium.”
Product alert: Pocari Sweat. Google tells me that this is a sugary Japanese sports drink meant for Ion-replacement. It has a mild grapefruit aftertaste.
Yeonis Cespedes is awesome . It’s refreshing to again see a physically dominating player on the A’s.
Useful information courtesy of Root Sports broadcast: Largest cities in the world.
Bob Melvin has Brandon Allen bunt. Brandon Allen pops up.
Eric Sogard is Chris Sabo’s puny little brother.
Instead of wearing Mariners or Athletics uniforms, the ballboy and ballgirl are wearing what appear to be corporate uniforms that include white batting helmets. They are sort of creepy, sitting side by side near the dugout with the white helmets. In a Clockwork Orange sort of way.
Kenneth, at 5:19 a.m., emphatically, “I KNOW WHAT KEVIN MILLWOOD LOOKS LIKE”
How come this game has been going on for less than 3 hours but it already feels like a lifetime?
Can I reiterate how 1970s this whole thing feels?