Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Batter up!

I'm very excited.

I'm going to a Mariners-Red Sox day game Wednesday afternoon with a couple friends.

I love to watch Ichiro play. He's an inspiration to anyone who wants to pursue anything seriously. He's superbly disciplined and constantly preparing himself for his next move.

If you are able to watch him play at Seattle's Safeco Field (known as The Safe here), you'll see something you don't see in just about any other baseball field come the end of the season. Because he moves around so much, the grass is still full and green and growing there.

Most other players in their home ball parks tend not to move as much, so where they play their outfield positions, the grass is beaten down and the area worn.

One summer day I was walking my little Pomeranian Oscar around a three mile path at a place here called Green Lake. He was a perfect little gentleman when he walked with me, never paying attention to anyone or anything else but me.

A group of Japanese tourists were chatting away, coming from the opposite direction, when they saw Oscar, who was, if I do say so myself, a very cute little dog. They were absolutely fascinated with him and how well he behaved. I even got down to show them how he would sit and shake hands.

They "ooooooed" and "aaaahed" at my little guy, talking (I imagine) about what a great little dog he was.

I only know how to say "thank you" in Japanese, and did so. But I wanted to say more. After all they were snapping Oscar's picture and fussing over him so much.

So I spread my arms and declared, "ICHIRO!"

They stopped, sort of stunned, were silent a moment, then spread their arms and echoed in unison, "ICHIRO!"

To which I anwered, "ICHIRO!"

To which they responded, "ICHIRO!"

And we simultaneously bowed a number of times as we parted.

Seattle Times columnist (and now Seattle City Counsel member) Jean Godden declared "Ichiro" a "universal language!"

Meanwhile, the Mariners have had a pretty up and down season. It's always disappointing when one's hometown team isn't consistent. A couple of players are, like Ichiro, but the pitching has been, as Randy says, "pitchy." Inconsistent.

And one of my favorite teams has always been the Red Sox. So while I'll be happy if the Mariners win, I have to say the Red Sox are having a spectacular year and deserve the winning season they're enjoying. David Ortiz is someone I love to watch play as well.

Ichiro may leave the team after this season if they're not in contention. Can't say I blame him. He's such a reliable, winning component of the team, but unless all his team members are just as reliable? Especially the starting pitchers? It will be a sorry sorry day in Seattle if the Mariners lost our champion.

In short, I'll be happy if either team wins. But I have to keep that to myself. My mother is a diehard Mariners' fan, and I'd never live it down if she saw me on TV (she watches the games all the time) cheering for the Bosox. And it would be just my luck that I'd get caught on camera the nanosecond I cheered for the Bosox.

It's always fun to go to a game with friends. One of the things I like most about baseball is that it's a game that can be enjoyed along with a great conversation or two.

Awhile back I worked as the news director and morning news anchor for a rock radio station in Seattle - the short lived KSPL FM. The morning disc jockey, Joe Michaels, and I were given Mariners' shirts with our names on the back and we'd go to games and hand out free Mariners tickets to listeners who came up to us during the game and asked us if we were Colleen Patrick and Joe Michaels from KSPL.

PA's (public appearances) like that were always enjoyable for me.

The station arranged for several of them to boost ratings.

One of which was an elephant race. Several stations in town participated - each with its morning team (DJ/Newsie) riding a contending elephant.

Let me tell you - elephants are *very* large and tall and sitting on the neck of an elephant makes one feel as if one will fall over and plunge a couple stories unless one maintains one's balance. Joe sat behind me, sort of hanging on to me and the slightest pressure from him made me feel like I would topple over on the pavement below.

"Get back! Sit back!" I thought I commanded as I was sure he was so close I could feel his breath against the back of my neck. Until I realized I was too scared to speak, and what I felt on my neck was my flop sweat dripping.

I've always believed that those poor elephants wished we would have fallen so they could laugh at us doing such ridiculous things for attention. I bet they wished we would have instead brought attention to the need for them not to participate in such silly activities and be sent home where they belong, to roam freely.

Lessons learned.

Oh - and as I recall our elephant won the race. Probably in a rush to get the crazy woman off its neck who kept screaming - in her own mind - "Get back, Joe! Sit back!"

Took me a week to stop shaking.

Yep. One more thing to talk about at the game. Think I'll have some kettle corn, too.

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