Thursday, June 7, 2007

Game Report: Chico at Reno (6/7/2007)

Opening night for the Sox was a great time. It started with a ring ceremony presentation to last year's players and the raising of the championship banner in left field. We really needed something like that for atmosphere as the park is definitely the homefield of a college team...the scoreboard, the marquee, and the concession stand all say "University of Nevada". And the outfield wall is lined with pictures of Wolfpack players who made the pros like Lyle Overbay, Chad Qualls, and Chris Singleton. There are a couple of sponsor signs that have the Sox logo on them but other than that it feels like we play at someone else's field. I can't wait for the day when the Sox have their own field because they deserve it.

The Sox used great spring training uniforms. They looked like style the D-Backs used to wear where it looks like a shirt underneath with another shirt on top with the sides cut out. Really sharp. Tonight, they were back in a traditional jersey but they had their names on the back. I think that is a great move as it helps the fans learn the player's names. I think when they can relate to one or two or gain at least a cursory familiarity, it can only help to build loyalty to the team.

The game was pretty exciting. Nick Singleton, the Chico pitcher, looked good while Dusty Bergman looked a little shaky with a lot of pitches that seemed to get away from him. But the good news is they both left with the score 4-4. The Sox were down early, 4-1 until J.J. Sherrill's monster bomb tied it up.

Les Lancaster said that his concern this year was the bullpen. Matt Parris came on in relief. He looked great in the exhibition game last Saturday but was a little shaky during this outing. He struck out the side but allowed a couple of runs in the process.

The radio announcers kept commenting that Masa Chikazawa is a fastball hitter and struggles with the breaking pitches. Well, not sure if that is the case but the one fastball he saw in the 8th was sent over the left field wall which was nice to see. By the way, the announcers also said the stadium was packed but it seemed like the stadium was maybe half full or less. Hopefully they were wrong about Chikazawa too or it may be a long season.

Unfortunately, that was the end of the Sox offense and the game ended 6-5.

A couple of memorable non-game daughter got to run the bases and beat Nugget around so she won a shirt they will be sending her. I am glad she got picked because she thinks baseball is boring and that made her have a great time.

The other was not so great. After the 7th, the umpire (#45) threw out the PA announcer. Why? Because he played a sound clip from the movie Major League that said "We got hosed on that call". And after he was ejected, there were no more announcements, player introductions, or music. That is pretty wierd. Imagine watching a Giants game and seeing Jon Miller get booted and have the rest of the broadcast be silent. A PA announcer and the music he plays serves to energize the crowd at key moments. Kicking him out seemed a little over the top. The GBL plays with 2 umpires so you can expect some close calls. They need to have a thicker skin. It is not like the PA announcer told people to harrass the ump or throw trash on the field.

After the game, my daughter was also happy to get Masa Chikazawa and J.J. Sherrill's autographs and can't wait to go back tomorrow and try to get some more. It is fireworks night and I think the Sox are primed to even this series after a close one tonight. Great game...thanks to all the Silver Sox staff and players for an excellent night of baseball.
Announced Attendance Figure for Opening Night: 1704.


John said...

I have heard the PA guy in Reno has a bit of a loose cannon reputation. Maybe the umpiring crew has been told to take extra initiative if the PA guy gets out of line.

In all seriousness, the PA person should not commentate, but inform and entertain. I actually look forward to traveling to Reno and experiencing the atmosphere myself.

Again, another great blog... thanks!

Anonymous said...

Last night's game had probably the best atmosphere in our short history. The fans were getting very loud and into the game in the last few innings. Hopefully we can keep it up