The dog days of summer are here.

Raley Field. Sacramento, Ca.

These are the dog days of summer. The days when you buy chopped fruit from a street vendor, wear breathable shoes, snicker at people wearing cargo shorts, wear a light sweater at night, and perhaps even kiss a summer fling. There are blasts from boomboxes (cell phones) and people lounging and splashing in the river. There are people sitting on porches with a can of beer and with no hope of ever getting anything done that day. The days are getting shorter and the baseball season is slowly coming to an end, as if a lovely friend was planning a vacation for 6 months. When it ends it would have been a deep and complicated relationship full of thrills, contemplation, happiness, anger, and finally…heartbreak.

Recently my “baseball buddy,” Manny and I decided to take in Game 1 of the Pacific Coast League playoffs this past week with The Sacramento River Cats (S.F. Giants) squaring off against the Las Vegas Aviators. (Oakland A’s) I was particularly interested in this game because Daniel Mengden was on the hill and he and his handlebar mustache had spent a significant amount of time as a starter in Oakland this season, doing a pretty solid job before being sent down. There were, of course, a smattering of A’s prospects that I wanted to see in person although most had been called up when the rosters were expanded a few days prior.

Manny and I did our usual “pre-game” routine of a twelve pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon in the parking lot complete with the musical stylings of Slayer and the Circle Jerks. We stumbled into the stadium right around game time and settled into our seats a few rows behind home-plate. This game was announced around 48 hours earlier and was only attended by 3000 and change making the atmosphere close to a funeral. The catatonic-like atmosphere only got worse as the Aviators took a 6-1 lead in the third inning, turning anyone in the place not wearing green and gold into a virtual zombie. This was quite the opposite of an MLB playoff game in every way possible.

He got one!

In a desperate attempt to liven up this experience, we had decided to walk around the stadium and take in the game from every angle possible every inning or so. This turned out to be fruitful as I had a moment of kismet when a ball was smoked down the left field line, arching foul and entering my outstretched hand on one hop moments before going over the fence. Manny returned from the bathroom and I told him he looked liked 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag moments before tossing him the ball.

“Can I have the ball, dude?”

Of course you can.

It was time to go. The game was in the bag and Manny had his foul ball. It was a beautiful, breezy night and I walked across the Sacramento River before biking home and immediately retiring to bed.


7 thoughts on “The dog days of summer are here.

  1. Ken Dowell

    I went to a AA game last week and got to see a Jay Bruce rehabbing for the Reading Phillies against the Trenton Thunder. He struck out three times. Then the Phillies said ‘good you’re ready’ and brought him up straightaway.

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      That tends to happen for some reason with the veteran guys. Also, the Phils are fighting for that Wild Card spot so they probably needed his bat in the lineup whether he was “ready” or not.

  2. Jennifer Halligan

    Cute post! I MISS THE SH*T OUTTA RALEY FIELD! I used to go every with my A’s friends for my birthday! I have not been able to bring myself to make the effort to go since the gnats stole away our River Cats (and no surprise – they totally SUCK! ha!).

    This game I had really planned to attend!! I was so bummed. I couldn’t get a ride and my husband, who is starting to actually get into baseball instead of hating it (during the first 6 years of our relationship he went to ONE game with me! Swear to the baseball gods! When he did watch games with me he’d end up saying some stupid and being a dick about it) this year he went to THREE games with me and actually watches with me daily, even knows all the players and has favorites! I’m optimistic – anyway, he had already been to a game that same week and I don’t drive bc of my epilepsy. And anyone else lives too far away to drive to where i live and then go to Sac so I was sh*t outta luck! It was sad.

    A good friend of mine is the “voice of the River Cats” and I have seen him in so long! I feel really bad – but hey next season if you guys wanna drink some beers the tickets can be on me (only bc I wouldn’t have to pay for them! LMAO! I’m broke AF!) and can be pretty much anywhere in the stadium. So think about it if you want! I NEED to see the Aviators kick the crap out of the River Cats! I’m pretty good at drinking beer – that’s like a country song, huh? I will stop rambling now …. HAHA! But really been enjoying your posts!! Thank for the fun read and also youre a very good writer!


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