Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I Admit I am Starstruck

I have to admit I am starstruck at the World Baseball Classic. Up close and personal, at Scottsdale Stadium, we are about 30 feet from Damon, A-Rod, Jeter and Street. I even used my new camera phone to snap photos as souvenirs. Our seats are in the area with scouts, managers, team owners and, yes, Hall of Famers. It allows me to continue my favorite sport of spotting World Series rings. Last night I saw my first guy with three rings! I have discovered a "scout" ring, with a blue background and one single diamond in the center. It was my first sighting of two Cardinals rings.
What I don't understand is fans jeering at A-Rod, screaming out "you suck" ,various comments about his sexual orientation and boos -- my husband says it is because he is not playing for Dominican Republic team. It is reminscent of the games on the east coast, where everyone yells "you suck". I don't get it, but I think they are just jealous that they are not out there playing baseball for milllions of dollars. Damon, got screams of "traitor", but most of the crowd loved him; he loves them and signed everything for everyone. The flashbulbs flash most for A-Rod, with a close tie for second with Jeter, Damon and Griffey, Jr. Flashes were rampant for Roger Clemens as well.
At Chase Field, I was in the crowd waiting over the USA Team dugout for players to come out -- and ended up on the big screen where they play my beloved relish races. I loved the little clips they made for the World Baseball Classic (spinning globes instead of hats, three balls running around the map to each country in a race past all their flags). I am touched by the ceremonial hat exchange that follows the playing of the various National Anthems. I screamed and cheered so furiously for South Africa that I was asked if I was South African. I replied that they were playing their hearts out, we had met some of the parents and I was cheering for them as underdogs. Unlikely that they will move on, but they are sure trying.
We have a new family favorite -- Vinny Castilla. We spotted him and his teammates, still in uniform, in the bleachers at the Canada-South Africa game. Yes, they were sizing up their competition, but smiling, having a great time and soaking up the whole event. Kind of the same thing we are doing...