When Dodgers pitching coachRick Honeycutt
went out to the mound to calm down his struggling starterHiroki Kuroda
in the third inning Tuesday night, the theme that accompaniesDarth Vader
in theStar Wars
movies filled Angels Stadium.
But those sitting behind home plate might have mistaken the intended target of the snarky music cue, as the beats matched perfectly with the creepy hunk of metal lurking above the infield.
Fox Sports, which uses a similar robotic camera to cover NFL games, is experimenting with the technology at major league ballparks in the network's coverage area.
But a gridiron is rectangular, and the camera's track can run parallel with the field a pretty safe distance from the action and fans. While the baseball version only comes out for shots between innings and other times the action stops, it's still disconcerting to see the thing glide overhead and past the backstop before swooping down for closeups on players and coaches.
Photographer Christopher Victorio--click here for his slideshow from last night's game--certainly noticed it. Here's how he slugged his photo that opened this post: "Hello, Dave. Fox Sports experimenting with a skycam at Angel Stadium."
Maybe it's worth it; we in the stadium could not see the no-doubt amazing footage shared with television viewers. But if one of those suckers ever slips off its cables . . . yikes!
Speaking of Hazards: In the bottom of the fifth inning, a mysterious clear liquid flushed down on the section of the second-level press box occupied by scribes from the Los Angeles Times and other print outlets. It appeared whatever it was splattered onto a laptop or two.
While sports journos and Angel staff were chortling over the un-ordered shower, a hot foul ball off Angel shortstop Erik Aybar's bat zoomed into the same exact area of the press box.
Fortunately, no one was injured in either mishap but it did prompt one fellow covering the game to remark, "This is getting to be a very dangerous place."Chip Off the Old Block:
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--yes, that Tony Gwynn, Jr.--got into the game in the seventh inning. He made some solid plays in left field, but it appeared he might not get a chance to shine at the plate as his old man did more than 3,000 times (or 4,000 if you count the walks, hit-by-pitches and sacrifices) in 20 seasons with the Padres. That's because the Angel pitchers seemed to be retiring everyone in front of Junior in the batting order.
But shortstop Justin Sellers opened the ninth with a single, and after Angel reliever Jordan Walden struck out Jamey Carroll and Jerry Sands, up to the plate strolled Tony's kid (and former Dodger Chris Gwynn's nephew).
Junior promptly slapped the first pitch into left field. He'll be following the ball out there, as an eye injury to Jay Gibbons is giving Gwynn an opportunity to start the season in left.