Back in May, I posted this diary about an upcoming visit to Denver which would include my first visit to your beautiful ballpark. I thought that I'd share my experiences with you PR'ers, along with some pictures. BTW, my wife (aka Mrs doctorK) and I went to that tense pitchers' duel on July 4. I posted another version of this diary on AN - you can read it here if you like. The AN version only stayed on the front page for about 15 hours today before it got consigned to the archives due to a bunch of incoherent rage and nonsensical angst over the Rich Harden trade.
Before we get started, here's a little quote from Silverblood from my first diary.
If they (by some miracle) win, we’re imprisoning you there.
Well, they did win, and it did require a miracle, but unfortunately, I got away.
Getting to Coors Field
Mrs doctorK and I came to Denver on Amtrak's California Zephyr. The trip through the Rockies was just beautiful. Here's a few pictures from the rails (BTW, you can see the whole schmeer here).
At the station in Glenwood Springs
In Glenwood Canyon
Near Dotsero, while waiting for another train to come through
The high country just before entering Gore Canyon (I think).
If any of you want to travel to Winter Park, Glenwood Springs, or points west, the Zephyr is the way to go.
I am not normally a fan of cities (for example, my favorite view of San Francisco is in my rearview mirror), but I was very impressed with the area around Coors Field. The day before the game, I took a little walking tour of the LoDo area.
Nice use of an old trestle by turning it into a foot-bridge.
I wish I brought my swimsuit.
The free shuttle buses on the 16th Street Mall were most appreciated. However, I believe your transit authority may have borrowed the idea for the name of the light rail system from the Honolulu bus system.
We entered through the gate behind home plate. Here was my first view of the field.
Our seats were in the front row of section 206. When we got there, the Marlins were taking batting practice. Here is Kevin Gregg, who had blown a save the previous night (more on this later).
While Mrs doctorK hid from the heat, I took a hike up to the upper deck for the Purple Row. Thanks go out to a couple of nice ladies who were willing to take my picture.
Overall, the ballpark is fantastic. I didn't see a lot of amusement park-like stuff, but that's just fine with me since I go to baseball parks to see, uh, baseball games.
My impression of Rockies fans is that they were well into the game, even when it was 13-4 Marlins in the fourth inning. A few observations.
- Don't do the wave - ever.
- There was one bonehead sitting down the LF line who decided to grab Willingham's 2nd-inning double while still in play. The umpires sensibly allowed the runner at first to score. The fan in question was immediately booted (clown - he missed one heck of a game).
- Rockies fans sing along with just about everything. I especially got a kick out of how they kept singing "Livin' on a Prayer" in the 9th inning even after the sound had been faded out.
- Nobody hassled me for wearing an A's shirt. Had it been October instead of July, I imagine the treatment would've been somewhat less friendly. Then again, I'm smart enough to not wear anything with Oakland on it in Denver during the NFL season.
July 4th just happens to be my birthday, and there is no better way to celebrate getting old by watching our national pastime, followed by a fireworks show. Here was the night's starting victim coming in from the bullpen before the game.
If your front office had any sense, that would've been Tim Lincecum.
Hanley Ramirez started the game off with bang by drilling Reynolds' first pitch to straight away CF for a big fly. Here is Brad Hawpe fielding the first of 13 doubles in this game.
Cedrick Bowers came in with one out in the second for his second major league appearance.
and then he left after giving up 5 runs and getting 6 outs.
Thankfully for the home team, the Marlins pitching was just as awful. Starter Scott Olsen yielded 9 runs in 5 innings, but was still in line for the "win" until the 9th. This leads me to the head-scratching part of the game - like why Fredi Gonzalez sent Olsen out to lead off the 6th inning. After making a weak out, Gonzalez sent out another pitcher for the bottom of the 6th. What?
The only dumb move by a member of the Rockies was Tulowitzki putting himself on the DL by shattering a bat after having been pulled in a double-switch.
After Matt Holliday blasted a slam in the bottom of the 7th, I was virtually certain the Rockies would win, even though they were still trailing into the bottom of the 9th. Three consecutive singles off of former Los Angeles Angel of Anaheim (and therefore a player I detest by association) Kevin Gregg tied the score, eliminating the lunacy of awarding a "win" to a pitcher who threw 5 bad innings of baseball. With runners at 1st and 2nd with no outs, Jeff Baker hit what should've been a double-play grounder.
Hanley Ramirez dropped the throw from Amezaga, however, so the bases were loaded for Chris Iannetta. Iannetta then sneaked a ground ball through the drawn-in infield for the game winner (note: had the Marlins turned a DP on the previous play, Iannetta's game-winner would probably have been out #3, and off the extra innings we go).
Final score - Rox 18, Marlins 17. Somehow, this line looks more appropriate.
After the game
The fireworks were great (I already posted this FanShot). Mrs doctorK and I walked back to our hotel, as there were relatively few 16th Street Mall shuttles running after 11:00 pm.
My first visit to Coors Field was a rousing success. I hope to make another visit some time in the future.