Monthly Archives: April 2011

Defensive Indifference?

                                              MLB Rule 10.07

I had to look it up!  Sully gives us a good explanation, and here’s another from Answers.com:

“That is a term generally used when a base runner is stealing a base. The catcher will not attempt to make a play on the runner (throw the ball to the base that the runner is attempting to steal). Sometimes, the official scorer will rule this defensive indifference’ and not award the runner with a stolen base. You might see this in the 9th inning of a game where the team batting is down by several runs and the defensive team is more concerned with getting the batter out than attempting to throw out a base runner attempting to steal since that run will not affect the outcome of the game.”

I tried several resources to see when the defensive indifference rule came into effect.  I learned to keep score in 1956 and I don’t recall ever have this come up before.  It appears to be in the early 1950′s, but don’t hold me to it.  A complete list of Major League Baseball Rules can be found at Baseball Almanac.   This video caught my interest because I had never heard the term”defensive indifference” before and I was curious what it meant.  I’m such a novice …..but there’s hope.  Here’s what Einstein had to say about the complexity of baseball:

You teach me baseball and I’ll teach you relativity…. You will learn about relativity faster than I learn baseball.  Albert Einstein 

Thanks again Sully!  You can check out his website at sullybaseball.blogspot.com    So little time…..so much to learn!

BALK OF THE YEAR?….. PROBABLY …..

Justin Verlander ~ Just one of those days!

 

Here’s Verlander’s explanation:  “I went to go pick one and I didn’t get my body turned,” Verlander said. “The way I thought — and this was all in milliseconds — if I just throw it home, they won’t call anything.”

The incident happened during a recent game between The Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Athletics.  Justin Verlander threw the unwieldy pitch behind David DeJesus and it was initially thought DeJesus was hit and he was sent to first base; however, on review, the officials ruled that a balk had indeed been committed, DeJesus had not been hit, and he was called back to the batters box.  The fellow who had been on first base advanced to second. 

“I saw the video of it and I couldn’t help but laugh at myself,” Verlander said later. “It might be the first time it happened in general. I thought nothing could happen at the plate. It was funny talking to the umpires. They gave me a hard time about it, too.”

I’m sure we’ll be seeing this play in the recordbooks for years to come; probably one Verlander would like to forget!

Dynamite!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwYZ3LHHERI&feature=player_embedded

With Me, Keenan Cahill, and San Francisco Giants Cody Ross & Brian Wilson

Couldn’t resist this!  “DYNAMITE” A fundraiser for Keenan Cahill: SF Giants Brian Wilson & Cody Ross bring their talents to youtube as they assist Keenan Cahill, Youtube celebrity, with fundraising efforts.   Get more information on the fund raising efforts of Brian and Cody here at Brian’s website!

Ballpark Food Recipes! ….. Umm, Umm, Good!

It’s baseball season again and I’m thinking of family get-togethers, picnics and hotdogs!   AT&T Park in San Francisco will allow you to bring food and beverages into the park which is great for families with little kids .  If the economy’s taking a bite out of your pocketbook,  and that includes a lot of us right now, you might consider taking a basket full of goodies to the park.  If you prefer to watch the game at home and want to enjoy a little of the ballpark atmosphere food-wise, here’s some  items you might consider for just good eating, especially during baseball season!

We’ve talked about other recipes throughout the year here on this  blog;  Garlic Fries of course,  and those famous Maryland Crab cakes.  And we’ve talked about my very favorite ballpark food at Citi Field Park in New York, Nathan Hot Dogs and the famous Roxy’s Delicatessen in New York City.    Here are a few more to get you thinking along these lines and to wet your whistle!

HOMEMADE SOFT PRETZELS & PRETZEL DOGS!

Here’s a dandy that’s been tested and proven to be a 5 Star Winner.  This recipe is provided via “Foodie For Two” especially for Opening Day of Baseball Season!   Be sure and visit the website for this one.  Melissa has some little fun tidbits about her recipe that make eating it much more fun!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for pan
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel salt

DIRECTIONS

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size. 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.  Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

CARAMEL CORN WITH NUTS!

At last week’s opening game I ordered a huge bag of Kettle Korn…..huge!   It was in a plastic bag, probably 2 feet long (really!) and, at least I thought, it was pretty much tasteless!   As we munched on the first couple of bites I reminisced about my sister Pat’s homemade caramel corn she made in the oven at Christmastime one year.  It was the very best I’d ever eaten, probably because it didn’t have any hard pieces you could break a tooth on.  You probably know what I’m talking about.  But anyhow, it made me want to run home and make my own, which I did and here’s the recipe if you want to be a real hero with popcorn lovers everywhere!

PAT’S OVEN CARAMEL CORN WITH LOTS OF NUTS!

  • 20 Cups Popcorn, popped
  • 2 cups dry roasted peanuts
  • 2  cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 250°F. Combine popcorn and peanuts in roasting pan; set aside.

Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a full boil (8 to 10 minutes). Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until candy thermometer reaches 238° F or small amount of mixture dropped into ice water forms a soft ball (3 to 5 minutes).

Remove from heat; stir in baking soda. Pour mixture over popcorn, stirring until all popcorn is coated. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour or until caramel corn is crisp. Remove from pan immediately. Cool completely, stirring occasionally. Store in tightly covered container.

EASY TO MAKE TAMALES!

This is a family favorite that I’ve only made 3 times in my life.  But they’re easy to make and everyone loves them!    Mexican food is one of my favorites and tamales are easy to pack and carry, since they come in their very own “package”.  If you’ve never made tamales, here’s a video that might give you an idea of how it’s done, but, trust me, use the recipe below and you can’t go wrong! 

 

Basic Homemade Tamale Recipe

2 cups masa harina
2/3 cup lard
1 cup sour cream
1 can of beef broth
1 tsp baking powder
1 (8 oz) package dried corn husks
½ tsp salt

Ingredients for Tamale filling
1¼ lb pork loin
4 dried California chili pods
1 clove garlic
1 large onion, halved
2 cups water
1½ tsp salt

Place pork along with garlic and onion in a skillet and add water to it. Bring it to boil. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about 2 hours, until the meat is cooked well.  Remove stems and seeds from the chili pods and place them in a saucepan. Add 2 cups of water and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool down. Blend chili and water in a blender, until a smooth paste is formed. Then, strain this mixture and add salt. Shred the cooked pork and add to it one cup of chili sauce.   In a large bowl, mix a tablespoon of beef broth with the lard, until it becomes fluffy. Mix together masa harina, salt and baking powder and add the lard mixture to it. Add more broth if required, to make a spongy dough. 

Now let’s prepare the corn husks for wrapping. Clean the corn husks and soak them in a bowl of warm water to soften them. Spread the dough over the corn husks to the thickness of about ¼ to ½ inches. Add 1 tablespoon of meat filling at the center. Fold the sides of husks towards the center and tie with a string. Place tamales into the steamer and allow them to cook for about 1 hour.   Remove tamales from the husks and sprinkle the remaining chili sauce over them. Then add sour cream on the top.

EASY OLD FASHIONED BAKED BEANS!

I love anything that saves time and using big old cans of beans will do that!   If you have lots of time, of course, go ahead and soak the beans overnight and then cook the daylights out of them for 2-3 hours and then start the cooking; however, Costco has those huge cans of beans for under $5 and it’s one of those great bargains that make these recipes fun!   Take a can of beans, add the bacon and your own serving dish and ….who knew?

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bacon
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans baked beans
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle chili sauce
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine beans, chili sauce, onion, brown sugar and bacon. Pour into a 9×13 inch casserole dish.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

TIM LINCECUM IN SLO’ MO’

An exclusive look at World Champion pitcher Tim Lincecum’s wind-up at an awe-inspiring 1000 frames per second. The Red Bull Moments video series…



Back on September 8, 2010, I posted a blog titled “Athletic Baseball Players …. You Kidding me?”  The blog dealt with a video and photo’s of baseball players performing athletic acrobatics in pursuit of their craft and presumably during a game.   This video of  Tim Lincecum takes the cake!   I’ve seen this type of thing before; the bizarre contortions a pitcher’s body goes through in pursuit of that all perfect pitch.   This is one of a series of amazing videos Red Bull has produced and I hope you find it as interesting and amazing as I did!

Those Classy Cardinals!

 

Giants 2011 Home Opener vs Cardinals

A few weeks ago I saw an article in the Bleacher Report that listed all of the Major League Baseball Teams in order of Fan Loyalty and Support.   The fans were judged on the basis of commitment, knowledge, participation and attendance.  It didn’t surprise me to learn the winner was the St. Louis Cardinal fans.    For one thing, Tony La Russa’s been the Manager of the Cardinals for the past 16 years.  During an interview back in 2004 by MLB.com’s Mark Newman, La Russa made this statement;

….I think they say St. Louis is the best because fans are as enthusiastic as in other places but are probably more fair-minded.  You can get booed here some, but you’re not going to get embarrassed.  Here, you never see nastiness from our fans.  If you like knowledgeable people who are fair-minded to the other side, this has got a chance to be the best.

Cardinal fans have even been known to give a standing ovation for a strikeout, which occurred when Larry Walker, a newcomer, came to bat for the first time as a Cardinal, promptly struck out and received the standing ovation.  One fan explained they stood because they were saying, in effect, thanks for coming here kid.  We’re glad you’re a Cardinal.   They have the reputation of not only being some of baseball’s most knowledgeable fans, but also the most polite. 

So I’m reflecting on this as I’m watching the pre-game ceremonies yesterday at AT&T Park in San Francisco.   This was the first league home game for the Giants since they won the World Series back in November and, believe me, it was a big, big thing!  Huge!   I don’t know who plans these events, but for some reason, the first thing they did was introduce the visiting team, the St. Louis Cardinals, one at a time as they usually do.  They individually trotted to their place in line on the field to a smathering of applause, some boo’s, the usual stuff. 

Then they began the round of festivities.   And this is when I really first noticed those nice, polite St. Louis Cardinals.  Here they are, standing almost at attention, almost in a perfect line, hardly moving while the Giants organization did the following:

  1. Introduced “Train”, the band, live, who performed their local hit, “Save me San Francisco” in honor of the World Series Champions.
  2. At the end of the song, the Giants started streaming into the park  from Centerfield, walking at first, then breaking into a trot as they made their way to the 3rd base line, where they, too, would stand at attention, well, sort of.  This was to the roar of 42,000 crazy fans who were delighted at just the sight of them!
  3. The members of the Giants organization were then introduced, one at a time, beginning with the bat boys, and including the clubhouse assistants, the clubhouse managers, trainers, assistant trainers, massage therapists, the coaches, the bench and finally the starting players for this game.
  4. Then a memorial tribute was given to those from the organization who had passed away during the offseason.
  5. The Color Guard was then introduced.
  6. The singing of the National Anthem was then played which ended in the fly-over of the Navy jets.
  7. During the National Anthem the flag was beautifully rolled out onto the full scope of the field displaying its colors.

Now all of this really nice ceremony took place while the St. Louis Cardinals were standing on the 1st Base line, still as steel, and as patient and polite as you can possibly imagine.   After the National Anthem was played, the festivities continued, though the players did get to retreat to their dugouts.  We were then introduced to a gentleman who had been a season ticketholder since 1958, and Brian Wilson presented him with the World Series game ball.  During this time the big screen was showing the most memorable scenes from the playoffs to the wild applause of the fans, and this was followed by presentation of the MVP and Babe Ruth awards from the World Series.   Approximately 45 minutes later, Willie Mays presented Bruce Bochy with the World Series flag which was passed on down the SF Giants line to end up with Brian Wilson, who then trotted out across the field and up the stands and hoisted the World Series flag above the stadium.  It was emotional and very impressive;  at least to me and the other fans. 

The Polite Pujols & Posey

But I kept watching the St. Louis Cardinals and wondering what they must be thinking during all this.  Maybe they were really enjoying it and thinking about when it would be their turn again, and maybe they were happy for the Giants and their fans.  Maybe they admired the Giants ability to overcome huge obstacles that allowed them to come to this point.  But more than likely it’s possible they were just thinking, “For pete’s sake, would you hurry up and get this over with ?”  Which it finally did, 45 minutes later. 

I had noticed during the introduction of the St. Louis Cardinals, one of the fellows in front of me, probably in his mid 30′s, politely clapped and applauded as each Cardinal was introduced.  Remembering the best fans in baseball, I thought this is probably something the Cardinals did for us when we played on their home turf.   Later I approached this man and mentioned to him how impressive it was that he applauded the visiting team members.  He just smiled and said “It’s just a game.  Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do”?  I asked him where he was from and he said he lived in San Francisco, but his grandma lived in St. Louis.  Uh Huh!  And it passes down from generation to generation.  His dad’s probably the same way.  Anyhow, I had a good feeling throughout this game.  Not that we’d win or lose, but that we’d experienced probably the worst of baseball fandom the previous week, and we were experiencing  some of the best of baseball fandom today.  The spirit of St. Louis is alive and well and the spirit of baseball is too.

A Dodger Fan? …….

This morning in the San Francisco Chronicle, a headline read “GIANTS FAN ON LIFE SUPPORT AFTER L.A. BEATING“.  When I first heard about the attack I wasn’t surprised.  It’s happened before.  Back in 2003, a fan was shot in the Dodgers stadium parking lot after a game, and then again, in 2009, in the same parking lot, a man was stabbed after leaving a home-opener game there.   So ho-hum, (yawn) here we go again.    But then I picked up the local Santa Cruz Sentinel and the headline read “SANTA CRUZ MAN CRITICAL AFTER BEATING AT DODGER STADIUM“.     Please read the article.  It will give you a better perspective.

It’s rather sad that I accepted the story as being routine until I found out it was one of my neighbors, someone from my home town.  All of a sudden it becomes really personal, and that’s not acceptable.  This type of story should involve all of us, everywhere, and not just baseball fans.     How many times have you heard about a crime where there were onlookers, passersby everywhere and no one stopped to lift a finger, to intervene?    In this situation, imagine leaving a baseball stadium with thousands of people walking,  totally ambivalent to their surroundings, or probably aware,  but just don’t want to get involved.  It happens all the time. 

In February I purchased tickets to this very game, the season opener with the World Champion Giants vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers!  Whatta game that would be!   I’d never been to an opening game before so I was stoked;  only to receive an email a few weeks later from Stubhub announcing the tickets had to be cancelled and refunded (evidently they had the game time at 1:00 PM instead of the actual 5:10PM game time and had to reissue the tickets.  I never found out exactly what it was about, but nonetheless, when I tried to repurchase the tickets, it was not to be.  They were sold out.  

I’d been warned about Dodger Stadium before;  don’t wear your game colors, etc.  But I wouldn’t have paid attention.  After all, a game’s a game and what would it be without fans from both teams there cheering them on?  So this morning I was totally disheartened after reading about this local fellow being in a coma after the attack.   It’s especially disheartening when you read responses like this, reprinted from the LAist blog.   Here you go, hang on……

“really not that big a deal and certainly nothing inherent in Giants or Dodgers fans, sure there was some extra trash talking leading up to the game this year but people get in fights in the proximity of alcohol period no matter where they are or from or whether it’s a wine bar or a ufc fight or the parking lot at Dodger stadium. Calling fans thugs is naive and ignores reality that drinking with thousands of people around is fun and probably going to cause a fight, these people were probably drinking and got rowdy after them game it’s doubtful that it’s more complex than that  

Oh really?   Talk about naive.   The statement above would be good for another  blog but I’ll refrain, for now.   The reason I was so intent on blogging this morning was because I believe there’s a high probability the perpetrator of this crime wasn’t even a Dodger fan!    Think about it.  The Dodgers won the game!   And it was a great game!   The Dodger’s young pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, had an outstanding game,  and the Giants didn’t.   So from a Dodgers  perspective, what was there to get so ticked off about?  What was it about the game that would make someone become a total jerk?   It’s pathetic.  

I’m guessing these guys probably fit the stereotype of a bunch of thugs, no job, nothing to do, totally miserable with their life , and this is how they get their kicks.   And even though no one stopped to intervene, they certainly weren’t standing around cheering the guys on.   That ambivalence is a societal problem that’s probably here to stay, spurred on by the litigious spirit that, unfortunately, surrounds each of  us on a daily basis.

I don’t know.  I’m just saying I feel bad for the Giants for losing the game, of course.  But I also feel badly that the Dodgers fans who earned the right to revel in their glory after beating the World Champions should have been able to enjoy the win without having this albatross around their neck.  

UPDATE:  4/5/11.   THE SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS ARE SUPPORTING A FUND SET UP FOR THE BENEFIT OF BRYAN STOW, THE PARAMEDIC WHO WAS ATTACKED.  HERE’S THE LINK

BRYAN STOW FUND,  C/O SF POLICE CREDIT UNION.

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