This year Petco Park celebrated it’s 10th anniversary, which you already knew. It a good time to talk about how old we all are, which you might have known but it will be brought to your attention every time someone mentions this was the 10th anniversary of Petco Park.

Inspired by jbox’s post from Opening Night 2004, published below for your viewing pleasure is a photo gallery from a trip to the ballpark with my parents and sister on June 20th of that year.

Baseball reference tells me Brian Lawrence of the Padres put together a nice outing, pitching 8 innings, striking out 6 with no walks, and allowing 2 runs.

Rod Beck was the opposite of that. He pitched two thirds of the 9th, continuing his crazy swing from living in the outfield of a minor league park in 2002, to dominating closer in 2003, then to not too good of a reliever in 2004. If only we knew about FIP at the time, as his 3.39 xFIP in 2003 indicated a somewhat hollow performance. Beck’s 5.35 xFIP the following year was, well still not great, but it was better than the 6.38 ERA made it seem.

I digress. Photos!

 

All my life I have hated being asked to explain what I am doing. I hate the question because I very seldom know the answer.

–Paul Theroux, Pillars of Hercules

A thin, silver-haired man approaches me while I’m sitting on a bench near the koi ponds at Ala Moana Center in Honololu as my wife shops. He wears shorts, shirt, and shit-eating grin as he points at my head and says, “I love the hat. I know it’s a beaver, but what team is that?”

I’d bought it in Portland, in 2010, the final season minor-league baseball was played there. By then, everyone in town knew the team–a Padres affiliate–was dead and the stadium would be converted to a more lucrative soccer-only venue.

The two nights we attended in August, there were maybe 1,000 people at the ballpark, which could accommodate more than 20,000. It felt less like a ballgame and more like a funeral, which in a metaphorical sense, it was.

During a lull in the action, while Josh Geer of all people was busy spinning a shutout, my wife wandered to the team store. Most of the Beavers gear had been sold off already, but she managed to find me some flip-flops and a cap with the Portland Beavers logo at discount prices.

The man is still grinning. He speaks with misplaced urgency: “What level is that?” Read More…