I didn't have much of a chance to get too upset about last night's loss, because immediately after it I left to watch my first minor league game in about 2 years. California League (high A), watching the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Angels affiliate now; Matt Clement once played for them) play the Inland Empire 66ers (Mariners affiliate), in Rancho Cucamonga. We had the option of $4, $7, or $10 tickets; decided to "splurge" and get the $10 ones. That put us right behind home plate, which was a surprisingly empty section...except all the scouts. Which was insane. Mostly guys from the Angels and Mariners, but a couple from other AL teams, including one from Boston. I talked to one of them a bit about timing the run from the plate to first: the average major leaguer is 4.2-4.3 sec, depending on whether he's RH or LH, and they have this scale based on tenths of a second. He said Ichiro was about the fastest you can be -- an "8", which I think means he gets to first in 3.5 seconds. I had about a thousand other questions for him, but I felt bad asking too much. (Plus I had been drinking, shockingly, and I can only assume they hate drunk fans asking them stupid questions.)
The game itself was okay. The Quakes have a lot of mashers -- they scored 11 of their 13 on the HR (or maybe the 66ers just have terrible pitching). I was excited to sit behind the plate and watch the pitches, but there didn't seem to be much movement to most of them, which I guess is to be expected. Dallas McPherson was there for a rehab start, and had a couple hits, including one massive HR; he's the Angels rookie who can't seem to keep his jersey buttoned. He had a red batting helmet, compared to everyone else's blue one; I didn't see if it had an "A" or a "Q" on it, but I assume it was because he's been a major leaguer. (Is that normal for farm teams? I find it sort of obnoxious.) Also notable was Michael Garciaparra, who looks amazingly like his older brother, though without the OCD-warmup before every AB.
Besides the baseball...their mascot was "Tremor", a dragon/dinosaur who liked to dance...they actually had cheerleaders, the "Shakers" (seriously), who weren't very good dancers but still tried very hard to live up to their name...nice fireworks show afterwards, which even the players seemed pretty into...and as we were leaving the park they gave out free loaves of bread. I swear to god. Very surreal scene, leaving a ballpark as part of that big post-baseball crowd, but with everyone holding a loaf of Sara Lee white bread. Turns out it makes for a pretty nice weapon.