Wednesday, the Royals played an evening game, so Mrs. Buddyball and I spent the day doing some sightseeing things in Phoenix, with a plan to return to the hotel in time for a swim and time to leave early for the game to walk around the complex and purchase some new Royal gear for Buddyball. So, at about 3:30, just as we were thinking about getting ready to leave poolside, the fire alarms go off in our hotel. People started pouring out of the hotel and 9 firetrucks showed up, along with other various emergency vehicles. There was a fire in a utility room on the 4th floor, but this meant that nobody could get into the hotel. We sat there, watching time tick on by and weren't able to get in until 5:30. Fortunately nobody got hurt and nobody's stuff was damaged, it just smelled smokey and there was a little water damage in some of the rooms. We avoided all of that. However, with traffic at that time of day, we didn't get to the game until the bottom of the 2nd, we missed the good Xaq pitching. However, not all was lost. We got to see TPJ gound out with runners in scoring position (twice). The third inning we saw the sequence that Mellinger described in his recent post. The ball that got by him that was ruled a hit was a bad play by him and a bad call by the scorer. He took a step or two to his right and it went right under his glove. I would have expected more of an effort for someone fighting for a position on the club. The official error was a nice effort to get to the ball, but the throw was pretty far off. I don't know if it affected Xaq, or if he was tired, or if he was experimenting, but it went to hell pretty quickly. He was still throwing 93-94 heaters with good control. Anyway, after he was done, he walked out to the bullpen to leave. Our seats were in section 121 and we were in the second row, on the aisle. He stopped 10 feet from us to sign some autographs and a crowd quickly formed. He was very nice to do it, continued to sign even though the inning had started and looked up to make sure he got everyone. I was totally unprepared for this, and when he was almost done, he was looking around like he would still sign something, so I pulled out my ticket and he signed that. I was glad I thought of that because a little girl who was sitting behind me saw me do this and she did the same thing. She was panicking a bit about not having anything to sign. I can't emphasize how conscientious he was about doing this. Most other players just walked on by.
Other notes: I continue to be impressed by Teahen and Buck. They are hitting well. Jacobs seems to be in control in the infield. He makes the calls on popups and goes out to the mound on all visits from the dugout. I like Hamulack. He seems to have good stuff and he's got those George Brett high socks.
I like Surprise stadium better than the brand new Camelback Road stadium. The field looks to be just as nice, but the atmosphere seems better for the Royals and the scoreboard is 1,000 x's better. At Camelback, no radar gun, no info on players, almost like a high school scoreboard. Surprising that the Dodgers or ChiSox would settle for that. Also, they charge $5 to park there, no charge at the Royals stadium. Also, they have a better selection of beers. I had a Stella.