Oh For the Love of Kim

Last night I took my daughter Mallorie to the second game of a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mallorie has been away at college so this is only her second game this season (the first being Carlos Quentin bobble head day). I’d like to say that Mallorie went to the game because she is a huge baseball fan but that wouldn’t necessarily be accurate. She likes baseball; she just thinks it is best taken in moderation. Given that attitude I had to wonder why she had a sudden interest in going not only to this game but several during this home stand and the next. I happened to mention to Trina my curiosity as to why the change. Trina stated that Mallorie had been talking to the other kids and found out that both Dakota and Whitney had gotten new Diamondbacks jerseys which they believed was a reward for attending at least 20 games each. During the bobble head game Mallorie had spotted the cutest Diamondbacks sweatshirt in the team shop and since it was only half the price of a jersey she felt justified in asking for that if she went to 10 games. I’d argue that but since I had been to every game and I had 4 jerseys I wasn’t sure I had a good excuse as to why her logic was flawed. Instead I decided I should just enjoy the one-on-one time we would spend together over the next 9 games.

We arrived at the ballpark early to watch batting practice. The changes to the ballpark going from purple and teal to Sedona Red were still quite new to her so we spent a lot of time walking the concourses taking in the hard work that the facilities team had done. Part of our ballpark excursion was a trip to the Diamondbacks bullpen. Byung-Hyun Kim was warming up for the game. Mallorie stopped and looked down and asked, “Is that Kim?” I nodded that it was.

“When did he come back?” she asked

“We got him off the waiver wire last week” I said

“Is he going to be the Diamondbacks closer?” she asked

“No, he is the starting pitcher tonight.” I explained

Mallorie shook her head in disbelief and we moved on. While we continued walking Mallorie expressed her confusion as to why the Diamondbacks had a relief pitcher starting the game. I tried to explain that Kim was not a relief pitcher any more that he had become a starter for Colorado then was traded to Florida where he was a starter there. Mallorie seemed skeptical but let the subject drop. The players were introduced one by one and their pictures were displayed on the JumboTron. When the public address announcer got to the Diamondbacks pitcher he announced it would be Kim. The crowd erupted in boos. It wasn’t Barry Bonds magnitude of booing but there were still boos. I was kind of surprised at the reaction. Rarely do fans in Phoenix have any reaction unless the JumboTron tells them to react. The game began with Kim giving up 2 runs in the top of the first inning which resulted in more boos from the fans. People settled down a little when the Diamondbacks scored 4 runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead. In the top of the third Kim again got into trouble and the fans really began to get on him. After a home run, three singles, a walk, and a hit batter the fans were calling for Kim’s head on a platter. Bob Melvin went to the mound to a standing ovation as he removed Kim from the game replacing him with Edgar Gonzalez. As I marked the pitching change in my scorebook Mallorie leaned over and said, “See I told you he was a relief pitcher.”

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