Writing > Last home series

July 30, 2012: Last home series

Diablos Rojos del México 8 Pericos de Puebla 4
7:00pm Friday July 27, 2012
Time: 3:06
Attendance: 4,670

Diablos Rojos del México 10 Pericos de Puebla 4
Diablos Rojos del México 2 Pericos de Puebla 3
12:00pm Sunday July 29, 2012 (doubleheader)
Time: 2:02 (game one)
Time: 2:37 (game two)
Attendance: 8,957

Diablos headed into the final weekend needing one win or for the Acereros del Norte (the fifth placed team) to not win all of their remaining games. As it happened, the Diablos got that win in the opening game of the last regular season series. There are no out-of-town scoreboards at the ballpark here, and, true to form, this baseball club doesn't bother keeping people informed, it'd rather just go to the kiss cam every half inning. So, instead, right at the end, the announcer announced what anyone who pays attention already knew: Diablos had made it to the post season. For the 30th consecutive year. Which is mental, right? In that time, they've been runner-up seven times, and champions eight times.
It's kind of funny for me, a Yankees fan, to be supporting the Diablos. I mean, when I came here, I was very much looking forward to automatically supporting the local team. And, despite the general apathy to baseball (and particularly to the local team) in Mexico City, the Diablos are kind of the Yankees of Mexican baseball. Ho hum.
A handful of minutes after arriving at the park for Saturday's game, it started to rain. And rain. And rain. The warning track started looking swampy, and rain was spilling off the tarp into pools around the edge. And some of the Diablos players played a prank. A prank that most people in attendance found hilarious. It was something that I (and I assume you) have never seen at a game before. The Diablos Rojos’ batboy, who is a little person, taped to one of those things UPS/FedEx people use, and wheeled across the tarp to the top of the mound, and left there for more or less five minutes, before one of the players came out to take him back. I can see the humour in the idea of the prank, but it feels like bullying doing it to the batboy. I wish they'd done it to one of the better players on the team or something. Then it would've been really funny.

Game postponed, and a doubleheader on Sunday. And sometimes, better things than baseball happen at a baseball game. I had a pretty boozy night on Saturday, and didn’t get to bed until around 5.30 a.m. The doubleheader began at noon. If you do the maths, the answer is “never in a million years am I going to arrive on time.” And that was the case. I woke up, had coffee and some bread, put on last night’s clothes (mmmm, delightful) and traipsed to the subway. I arrived at Foro Sol around 1.30 p.m., top of the 5th of game one. Last regular season games, and it was pretty busy. I went to the section I usually sit in, and saw the beer vendor who I see every game. He was, like, “where the fuck were you?” He said it with a smile, shook my hand, put his arm around my shoulder and pointed to the ass of an attractive woman walking by. I told him I had a hangover, I got a Coke from him, and took a seat.
A while later, he was bringing drinks to a family near me, and I asked him for another Coke. He came over, quizzical concerned look on his face, and ask why I didn’t want beer, did I feel bad? I told him I felt like shit. He gestured and said “one minute” and hurried off to talk to a guy sitting a couple of sections over. He came back holding a plastic Canada Dry ginger ale bottle. It had about an inch of liquid in the bottom. “Drink it.” It was tequila. And, damn it, if I didn’t feel better straight away. Maybe it was the tequila, maybe it was the fact that someone who is paid to work at the baseball stadium took the effort to do something so friendly and thoughtful. I thanked him, and ordered a beer. He told me I didn’t need to thank him, “you’re my brother” and slapped me on the shoulder.
Diablos and Pericos split the doubleheader. There was an enjoyable moment when the Pericos fans in attendance (Puebla is just a couple of hours away) applauded the Diablos fans, and we applauded them in return. It was a genuine thing. I've seen four games at the Pericos ballpark, and it's a great place, and their fans are cool. The playoffs begin this week. Diablos will be playing the Sultanes de Monterrey. Sultanes have home field advantage, so games one and two (and six and seven, if needed) will be there.