I went to see another Staten Island Yankees game on Saturday. No wait, it was the Staten Island Direwolves.
You see, this game was a special Game of Thrones themed day. George R. R. Martin (author of the book A Song of Ice and Fire that was eventually adapted into the Game of Thrones TV series people are obsessed with today) came to the stadium and the team went all out with this promotion. Giving away free books to the first 2,500 fans, changing the name of the team to the Direwolves, donning special jerseys, and various other things that probably flew over my head because I don't know jack about Game of Thrones.
So if you were wondering, no I don't watch Game of Thrones nor have I ever read any of the books. I don't have cable, I don't use Netflix anymore and I'm not white.
|George R R Martin|
Anyway because there was a chance to meet and get an autograph of the creator of an admittedly important part of current pop culture, there were massive lines prior to the game. In a way it was to be expected and some of the people in line had really impressive costumes that obviously took a little time and effort that made it seem pretty cool.
At the same time it was horrible because it's not like these were just Game of Throne fans here to meet the man responsible for their reason to exist. No, that would've been tolerable. These were also people who had just seen the New York Yankees take on the Toronto Blue Jays earlier in the day and stopped by Staten Island to watch a bunch of guys they couldn't name. The "fans" are the very reason I hate going to MLB games, now they were invading my beloved minor league team.
Then again they probably only came because this was (on paper) the game to come to. Normally a game played between the SI Yankees and Hudson Valley Renegades (Rays affiliate) would draw barely 1000 fans. Throw in some current pop culture phenomenon and BAM, more asses in seats.
In any case the lines were so massive that I spent the hour before the game I usually devote to getting autographs just sitting on the boardwalk watching the Hudson's waves hit the shoreline. It was relaxing and I probably need to do it more often.
I did manage to get some autographs but they were all from after the game.
Yoel Espinal was the first player to come out of the stadium after the game (he didn't play and was one of the guys behind the net holding a speed gun recording data for scouting reports). As soon as he saw me he recognized me, shook my hand and signed that Charleston Riverdogs card above. Performance-wise he's been a mixed bag this year but I really wish nothing but the best for him. He's a cool dude. And yes I'm biased, but I don't care.
Andre Del Bosque was recently assigned to SI after spending some time in Charleston and he was somewhat surprised that I had this card of his. He's primarily a reliever.
My last autograph was from another one of my favorites this year, LUIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS Cedeno. Cedeno has come to recognize me as well and asked, sarcastically, if I had any extra copies for him. Unfortunately I wasn't able to afford second copies of these cards for these guys. I might have to make it up to them by going a different route (custom 8x10 photos maybe?).
On a sidenote, I had just received these three cards in the mail a few hours prior to the game. Within a matter of hours they went from unsigned base cards to signed key pieces of my PC :).
So how was the game itself? It was pretty decent actually. The Yank, er pardon me, the Direwolves destroyed the Renegades 10-1. The Direwolves SP Ethan Carnes kind of struggled and it looked like the Renegades had the advantage until the offense came to life in the fourth to seventh innings. Jonny Drozd and Jose Mesa Jr. both threw a combined 6.1 innings of scoreless ball.
Also, it's probably because of the pitch clock but these MiLB games are getting tidier and tidier. This game was over in less than three hours. In 2013 this game probably would've taken 3 and a half hours to finish.
Also these jerseys, which sort of are of cool and sort of ugly at the same time, were auctioned off later on to help support the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. They're basically an organization that tries to help wolves and wolf-like dogs escape the grasps of foolish humans who think they'd make great pets. If you want more information visit their website. They even brought a real wolf to the game.
Oh and here's a fun fact, Hideki Matsui was apparently at this game. What was he doing? Beats me. All I know is that people predictably asked for his autograph and for a picture when he came out of the building. I just watched him from a distance as he tried to get into his car and vacate the premises/those autograph hounds.
All things considered this game was a perfect mix of the good, the bad and the bleck. It was an interesting experience to say the least, and a perfect reminder that I really need to sit out weekend games.
As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).
2015 IP Auto Count: 78