I went to my first baseball game of the season tonight, Tigers vs. White Sox. Pre-season, I was looking forward to observing Alexei and reporting back here on his appearance and performance. But Alexei has had a rough start, and Ozzie had enough yesterday, explaining that Jayson Nix would start in place of Alexei. So I thought I would be unable to report here, but luckily, I am one of those weirdos who like to watch the national anthem at sporting events. Today was Greek Heritage day at U.S. Cellular Field, so there was a middle aged Greek man who sang "The Star Spangled Banner" pretty well. I started taking pictures of the most visible Sox and Tigers players who held their hats to their chest and faced the flags. When I noticed Carlos Quentin by the dugout, I saw a thin young man without a number on his back.
CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS SIGHTING! Especially next to Carlos, Alexei looks so small, like a bat boy.
THEN HE TURNED AND SHOWED HIS FACE! It's a little blurry, sorry. I'm pretty sure I started freaking out, trying to get a decent picture of his face, but I was in the upper deck and my zoom was at it's max. I think everyone's right--he looks like a lizardly creature, a chipmunk, an alien. There is something definitely endearing about Alexei overall though--his narrowness, his strange face, his speed, the internal struggles that must be taking place while he fails at bat and gets benched by many fantasy owners (me) and Ozzie.
One more photo:
I like that the cover of the White Sox program is of Alexei's "almost Christ-like" picture, as Jenni put it. I'm not sure why it says "MISSION IMPOSSIBLE" on the cover (I need to actually look through the program), but I really hope it's not some sort of mantra for the '09 season for the White Sox or for Alexei. Will he play tomorrow? I'm going to tomorrow's game as well, for the "Facebook Friday" promotion (I recommend being a fan or friend of your favorite local baseball team). I'll be at field level, so maybe I'll get a better close-up of his face during at least the national anthem!