Writing > Brawl

May 4, 2012: Brawl

Diablos Rojos del México 6 Saraperos de Saltillo 2
7:00pm Thursday May 3, 2012
Time: 2:49
Attendance: 1,174

The Diablos have had pitching problems. It's been frustrating. They've not been doing what they need to do to make up the games that would get them into the playoffs. Not sweeping; if they win a series 2-1, they seem to lose the next series. In the last couple of weeks though, there seems to have been an improvement. In the context of the season, it's tough not to get down about games that the pitching loses, but on the whole, signs of improvement are there. I still think they won't make the playoffs, and if they do sneak in, they don't have what it takes; but I've been to eight games in the last fortnight, and the defeats I've seen have been close.

It was a game of chatting for me, though. Chatting with Luis, the Cuban beer guy, and one of the taco guys. I go to games on my own most of the time, and while I'm more than comfortable spending time alone, just sitting back, watching the game, thinking about bullshit, it's nice to have moments during the game where you shake hands with someone, have a chat for a few moments, and then get back to the game. The thinking about stuff, the drifting off during a game into my own head doesn't happen as much as it used to, though. I think that's because towards the end of last season, I started keeping score. And now, there's always a scorebook and a pencil in my hand. I think I need to stop doing that. Even though it's not the case, I don't want my baseball experience to solely become checking boxes, which is something I'm starting to worry about. It's time to leave my scorebook at home, even though I do kind of enjoy the beauty and logic of the abbreviations and recording a game so methodically.

I realise that virtually nobody reads these game reports, cos, y'know, who really cares about Mexican baseball? Having heard about how some beat writers do their thing, beginning their write-up before the game ends and then capping things off when the game finishes, I now realise what they must go through when big things happen in the last couple of innings. I'd written the above and a bunch of other stuff into my iPod during the breaks between pitching changes and half-innings in the seventh and eighth. When the Saraperos bateador designado, Refugio Cervantes was hit by a Juan Sandoval pitch in the top of the eighth, it was just one of those things: write HBP and do a line on the scorecard. In the bottom of the inning, Edgar Lizarraga seemed to retaliate, and plunked catcher Gabriel Gutierrez. Gutierrez trotted to first, and all of a sudden, everyone was on the field. Not sure if Cervantes was hit intentionally to begin with (I've seen all three games of this series, and there was nothing to indicate any bad feeling), but Gutierrez certainly was. Both teams came out, and it wasn't the normal pushing around, with people trying to break it up: it was proper full on punches being thrown. The mass of players moved like a scrum towards the Diablos dugout, calmed down for a minute, which players continued discussing things, and then erupted again. By this time, I'd bothered to get my camera out.

Fans threw paper beer cups and other trash onto the field. A Sarapero was hit by a beer cup. The stadium announcer requested we didn't throw stuff, and the PA system began playing classical music. It was quite a bizarre moment, seeing players still angry with each other, hearing the smooth sounds of light classical music drifting around the park. Sat near me were a boyfriend and girlfriend. She was a Saraperos fan, he a Diablos fan. While all this was going on, they were stood up, hugging each other. That was nice. All in all, the game was delayed for around ten minutes. The Saraperos had their manager, the pitcher, and some other dude ejected.

Diablos won the game, took the series 2-1. Onto the weekend series now, against the Reileros de Aguascalientes, one of the two new teams in the league this season, (although they are actually a resurrection of a team that have been in the league on and off since the mid-seventies). Fingers crossed the semi-decent pitching continues. There's two weeks (twelve games) until the All-Star break, and they're in 7th place in the eight-team division, three games back from a top four playoff spot.