Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Suns are fan Friendly?Wild night in Hagerstown
On a night that celebrated the 150th anniversary of the ticket booth,the Hagerstown Suns likely did not match that with the number of live fans in attendance (go figure with a great promotion with that) and continued to show the opposite of the "Fan Friendly" shirts that the ushers wear at games.
But on the good side,the game was very entertaining,if a bit sloppy, and was still fun to watch in a 7-6 extra inning Hagerstown victory.
The game was most notable for some ninth inning blowups by the Suns Stephen King and manager Darnell Coles.
King thought a ball hit by him off the bat of Lexington's Craig Corrado down the third base line in the Lexington ninth was foul and it was ruled fair.
We were standing down the line and I thought it was one of those calls that could have been called either way,which means no matter which way that you call it-someone was going to be pretty upset.
King was quite vocal in his displeasure and I think that set the stage for the bigger eruption by his manager Coles in the Hagerstown half of the inning.
King led off with a double and was the winning run for Hagerstown,but with King running on contact,Aaron Seuss grounded to Lexington SS Ronald Ramirez,who threw to third and King was tagged out.
I thought he was pretty clearly out,but IMO was still upset by the play in the field and threw his helmet and went after the umpire.
Coles then threw his helmet into the outfield and went berserk on the ump,all the time keeping King away from the arbiter while doing so.
Of course,Coles was ejected,but was far from finished as he took a bucket of baseballs from the dugout and tossed them on the infield!
I must say this-I really like what I have seen from Darnell Coles as a manager.
He took the hit for his guy on a play that really was not that close,keeping his player in the game and out of trouble and showed the type of passion that is simply great to see.
It is pretty easy to see that Coles will continue to work his way up the managing ladder and should be a successful bench boss.
King,on the other hand,does not appear to have learned much from his demotion last year from similar incidents.
I have trouble with this because off the field,King is pretty quiet and almost unassuming,but yet on the field seems to struggle with the smallest bit of adversity.
King clearly has a lot of talent,but has to come to grips with the fact that he is going to fail,bad calls will be made and that is simply the nature of the game.
I hope he can do so.
The Suns would win the game in the bottom of the tenth before maybe 40 people left watching as a double play bouncer hit to Ronald Ramirez that would have ended the inning and sent the game to the 11th was thrown by Ramirez into right field allowing the winning run to score.
The series continues today,but I am skipping.
I am unsure on Thursday,but will definitely be there on Friday.
Now to the off the field stuff.
To celebrate the ticket booth anniversary,the Suns had cake for the fans.
But the season ticket holders could not have any (not that this bugged me-I am not a huge cake fan and lord knows that I don't need it any!) ,so only people that bought their tickets at the ticket booths were given a "Cake ticket".
But that did include Ryan and Battlin Bob,but the guys at the ticket office didn't give them the coveted "Cake Ticket",so they were not given any cake.
As Ryan said "only the Suns could screw up free cake".
Is this nit picky?Likely.
But fair is fair when you consider that the Suns management is the same on little things.
Long time readers may remember this from the first few weeks of the blog on the Suns "suite area" and the autograph collectors and with literally 10-20 people in the ballpark last night,45 minutes before game time,We were talking to the only other collector there with me leaning against the edge of the area (not inside) and Ryan along with Battlin' Bob a few steps inside.
Not far inside,but clearly inside.
An usher was sent down to ask us to leave (she was very nice about it) having been sent down by Director of Sales Drew Himsworth to clear the area.
We did so,but requested to have Himsworth come down and attempt to explain the position of the team.
When he did,he and I discussed it,point and counterpoint, for roughly ten minutes and without getting into minute' detail,I still disagree with their policies and think that it is far from fan friendly,but Himsworth was professional,rational and we shook hands at the conclusion.
Not that anything changed,but they knew where we stood on some of the small things that would be helpful to the Suns to be bit more lenient on.
Besides,I did them a big favor by being our representative.
Battlin Bob was furious and likely would have been far more aggressive on this night!
I would wager the Battler has his own take on this sometime today over at his blog!
Back later with the Pirates loss and Bullpen Notes