Posted by: elsalamigrande | February 4, 2010

Live from the Obstructed View Seats, Venezuela Gives The People What They Want.

We caught two pieces of a doubleheader yesterday; the Dominican Republic thumping on Mexico 7-1 in the day game, and Venezuela executing decisively for a hometown victory against Puerto Rico, much to the delight of an extremely noisy packed house.

The crowd was light when we got there and took our spots in the bleachers. It reminded me of the Wednesday nooners at my local single A ballpark , everyone basically hanging out in the sunshine, the game being mostly an excuse.  The sun dropped down under a light cloud cover and made a brief final appearance before continuing down behind the green hillsides beyond the home run fence during the 7th as Nelson Figurroa, a New York Mets prospect, worked what would turn out to be a gem of a complete game. A handful of Dominicans were on hand, chanting and cheering in the waning sunshine as the rest of the stadium got ready for the main event.

During the hour between games, we hung around drinking beer and eating some uniquely Venezuelan barbecue that comes as a heaping plate of meat over potatoes and coleslaw. By the time the plate was finished, the stands had filled up with Venezuelan supporters.

I wrote before about how the Mexicans broke noise barriers with oversized clackers and snare drums. It turns out that the Venezuelans put them to shame on pure volume. Noisemakers are as standard here as programs and peanuts at an American ballpark, and the fans tax their limits with every out, every hit, and every questionable call. Add to that the perpetual din from the vendors. You name it, they’re selling it, especially noisemakers. And that crap ain’t gonna move for a vendor who isn’t ready to make himself heard. One particular popcorn vendor had a piercing mouth whistle that cut through the whole soundscape. It got to be a bit much; I didn’t want the popcorn the first time that I identified the guy, but I guess that a few ear-splitting whistles might make me think it over a little more carefully?

In any case, Los Leones de Caracas went ahead in the first and added to it with a 2 run jack courtesy of Oakland A’s farmhand and recent drug sweep victim Raul Padron and finished Puerto Rico off 5-2, to bring Venezuela’s record to 1-1, and PR’s to 0-2.

Of course, I wouldn’t know on account of poor seat placement. What were terrific bleacher seats for the first game (great angle from 1b side, not too far away) became fairly worthless once the crowd, and especially the vendors, began pacing up and down the aisle, directly between us and the ballgame. Seats on the other side of the aisle would have rocked pretty hard.

Tonight is Dominican Republic v. Venezuela in the nightcap and Mexico v. PR in the day game, but I’m not sure which we’re going to catch. Mrs. El Salami Grande is almost at her baseball threshold, so we might have to hit the beach for a while to re-charge. Stay tuned.


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