Tag Archives: Sports

SF Giants Fan Fest 2013 ~ AT&T Park

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Thousands of San Francisco Giants fans decked out in orange and black showed up for the 2013 Fan Fest this year at AT&T Park.   I’m posting my own photo’s along with a smathering of those from the San Jose Mercury News.  Maybe you’ll spot yourself in one.  A special thank you for those who so kindly allowed me to get a quick snapshot – usually because of something that really struck my fancy, like the “Kings Wear Rings” guy with the big smile  or the guy with the great “Giants Know October” shirt.  Giants fans are great and so much fun to be around, especially when it’s beautiful weather, not a cloud in the sky, and smiles everywhere!  I can’t honestly think of a  better place to be on a beautiful sunny day  than at AT&T Park.  And the Giants players gave so much of themselves with the interviews, autographs and just taking the time to stop and chat with their fans.  Whatta great bunch of guys we have here!   And that’s exactly what you’d expect from the reigning World Champions and the best fans in all of baseball.

GFBB Update:  The Giants have estimated nearly 40,000 in attendance at this year’s Fan Fest.  See more Photo’s on the MLB Blog Website.

 

This Day in History …… Designated Hitter 10th Man On

“December 10, 1972The American League adopts the designated hitter rule on a trial basis for three years.”  Forty years later we’re still stuck with it.   Whether you like the DH or not pretty much depends on which league your favorite team plays for. 

cartoon- scared baseballI’m a bit obsessed with this designated hitter thing.   I mean why not have a designated catcher that doesn’t have to do anything except “catch”.  Once the opponent has a runner on third, the DC can step in and take the hits for the regular catcher as the runner heads for home , thereby assuring the regular catcher’s safety.  The next inning, or maybe even the next play, the regular catcher can resume his position at the plate.

I tackled the subject earlier this year when I wrote about it based mostly on fact, but also with a tad bit of emotion:

“The official rules of Major League Baseball, Rule 1.01, states clearly:

Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each …..”

I’ve been trying to wrap my arms around the designated hitter since it was first introduced by the American League back in 1973, but Official Rule, 1.01, that first rule of baseball, keeps getting in the way.    The Designated Hitter Rule got thrown into MLB Miscellany as an official rule which states that a hitter may be designated to bat for the starting pitcher  in any game.   This came about in 1973 and the “any game” thing meant not only the American League but also the National League.

This was news to me.  I never realized the National League had a choice in the matter.  But for some reason I can’t explain I’ve always thought the National League to be just a little superior in that they played the game with nine players as the game was originally intended to be played,  not with the ten players the AL chose  to protect their prima donna  pitchers from getting a little ruffled.”

I can’t imagine any scenario that would allow me to wholeheartedly accept this notion.  If anyone has any ideas, other than you’re trying to protect the pitcher, I’d like to hear them.   It’s rather like a sacred cow you know, and it’s one of the  reasons I find the National League just a little superior to the American League.  

zoe at the ballparkOkay then.  I got that off my chest this morning.  Wonder what’s in store for the rest of the day?

“Happy Birthday Zoe!”

Worst Ballpark Food? You Decide ~

Last month ESPN held a contest to decide the “Best Ballpark” in the major leagues.  Miller Park in Milwaukee won the contest while AT&T Park in San Francisco came in a distant second.  You can read about it in the “Related Articles” section below.  But when I read this I couldn’t help wonder if the ballpark food entered into this, because everyone knows AT&T Park is hands-down the winner in that category.  Here’s a sampling of the food at Miller Park I found this morning at “My Boyfriend Fatty’s Blog“.    I would categorize these as  “Worst #1 and Worst #2.  See what you think.

Worst Ballpark Food #1.   This is called the “Crazy Meatloaf Sandwich” from the Comet Cafe, near the Milwaukee Brewers Miller Park.  It may not be the worst, but it sure looks like it!

Worst Ballpark Food #2.  This didn’t actually look too bad until I realized what’s in it.  It’s called a “Pulled Pork Parfait” and I can only begin to wonder what the cream-colored filling is made of.   This little gem is available at a concession stand at the Brewers Miller Park.

Peanuts and crackerjacks anyone?

Umpire Accountability ~ Doing Nothing about Something!

“I’m thinking, I’m thinking!”

I responded  to a poll this morning.  Nothing unusual about that.   Usually my baseball thinking is right in there with the others, but this one surprised me.     This  one asked what to do about umpires who consistently made bad calls

Here’s the preface to the poll:

“Should umpires be subject to performance-based punishment? Should a high-profile missed call subject an umpire to suspension, fines or even demotion? Or, perhaps, should MLB raise the league minimum for umpires to $480,000, to match their player minimum, so that umpires do have a financial incentive for such scrutiny?”

The responses were overwhelmingly in favor of, you guessed it, doing nothing!  The article, written by Curtis Granderson in the New York Times,  was posted in Close Call Sports,  linked here.    It’s a good read.  Take a look and see what you think.

 

“Safeco Field” ~ Who Does the Mow Job?

I just returned from an Alaska cruise and was perusing the photos I took.  One of those special shots that really stood out had nothing to do with the cruise.  In fact, it was a photo of  Safeco Field, taken on Friday night, May 25, 2012, before the cruise and during a game between the Mariners and the Angels.

The Seattle Mariners Safeco Field

Take a look at this picture.  What prompted me to even take this shot was the unusual designs all over the field.  In just this one picture, you can count over seven different diagonal directions the field was mowed.  What I really want to know is how long does it take the groundskeeper to mow the darn field, all of it, and what kind of equipment does he use to mow it with?

Okay, I know, it’s a pretty lame question, but I just thought the field looked really great and wanted to share it before I fall into bed fast asleep.  It’s been a rough week, having spent a good part of it tossing around my cabin with patches on my ears, bands on my wrists, and frothing at the mouth from being sea-sick.  Our poor captain had to face headwinds of 42 knots while sailing at 20 knots.  I hope I got that right.   Knowing about knots is not my forte.  Alaska’s a beautiful state but next time I might try the Trans-Alaska Highway just to be safe.

As for Safeco Field and the Mariners ~ they played a great game and were ahead until the ninth.  I don’t know, maybe they took just a little too long to admire the field instead of focusing on the game and old Albert what’s-his-name.  I know that’s what I was doing.

Baseball’s Official Rule 1.01 and the Designated Hitter

The official rules of Major League Baseball, Rule 1.01, states clearly:

Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each …..”

I’ve been trying to wrap my arms around the designated hitter since it was first introduced by the American League back in 1973, but Official Rule, 1.01, that first rule of baseball, keeps getting in the way.    The Designated Hitter Rule got thrown into MLB Miscellany as an official rule which states that a hitter may be designated to bat for the starting pitcher  in any game.   This came about in 1973 and the “any game” thing meant not only the American League but also the National League.

This was news to me.  I never realized the National League had a choice in the matter.  But for some reason I can’t explain I’ve always thought the National League to be just a little superior in that they played the game with nine players as the game was originally intended to be played,  not with the ten players the AL chose  to protect their prima donna  pitchers from getting a little ruffled.

There’s so much information on this subject it’s definitely good for a full-blown blog, but I’m rather limited with time constraints, being away on vacation this week, so will tickle this ahead for another day.  But basically here’s the gist of it:

1)  If your favorite team’s a member of the American League, you favor the DH.

2)  If your favorite team’s a member of the National League, you don’t!

And that my friends is about as scientific as this discussion is likely to get.

Now back to that Mai Tai …..

Opening Day 2012! Woo Hoo!

MLB All Star Game

Woo Hoo!   Today’s opening day for Major League Baseball and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than by re-posting this great blog by Bill Miller, “The On Deck Circle”.    Couldn’t have said it better myself Bill!

Take  a look at one of our previous blogs that shows  George Carlin expressing this same sentiment.

“Ten Reasons Why Baseball is Better Than Football”

Written by:  Bill Miller, April 4, 2012.  “The On Deck Circle”

I have to face the fact that football seems to have brazenly overtaken baseball as the de facto national pastime.  Even in its off-season, football news and gossip (usually the same thing), often intrudes itself into our lives with depressing regularity.  The bi-weekly drug arrests, revolving quarterback soap operas, and mind-numbing stories about which draft picks will break camp hold about as much interest for me as my aunt’s wilted cole slaw on Easter Sunday.

Still, I won’t go down without a fight.

So, for the record, here are ten reasons why baseball is better than football.

1)  Baseball is not constantly interrupted by little men throwing their dainty little yellow flags all over the field every time they have a conniption fit because they saw something that offended their hair-trigger sensibilities.

2)  Baseball players do not wear helmets that make them look like anonymous Terminators bent on the destruction of the universe.  They look like actual, you know, people.

3)  When a baseball player hits a home run, peer pressure causes him (generally) to put his head down while circling the bases, cross home plate, and quietly receive the accolades of his teammates.  When a football player scores a touchdown, he (generally) responds with an epileptic seizure in the end zone.  It’s not something I enjoy watching, and it makes me wonder why they don’t regulate their medication more effectively.

4)  Baseball fans embrace their sports history and mythology in a way that football fans are incapable of understanding.  Baseball’s lineage is practically Biblical.  To the average football fan, football history goes back to last weekend.

5)  A father playing catch with his son is an emotional bonding experience, passed down through the generations, an unspoken acknowledgement of love, mortality and hope.  A father throwing a football at his son is just a guy suffering from low self-esteem who needs to occasionally pretend that he is an N.F.L. quarterback so he can justify the ongoing emasculation he suffers every Monday morning at work.

6)  Baseball has induced tremendous social change in America.  Jackie Robinson is one of the most famous Americans who ever lived.  His personal bravery and talent greatly improved our civil society by challenging us to re-examine our personal values regarding fairness, race, and what it means to be an American.

Football teaches us that there is nothing bigger in life than immediate success and personal gratification.  Winners are loved, losers are vilified, and none of it means anything three days later.

7)  Baseball gave us Tommy John surgery so that young men with injured arms could rejuvenate their careers.  Football has given us Post-Concussion Syndrome in numbers so large that it is now becoming a virtual epidemic.

8)  A baseball diamond is a pastoral throwback to a time when most of America lived on or near farms and in the countryside, and understood man’s proper relationship to his world.  The football grid-iron, by contrast, resembles the endless modern suburban sprawl that disconnects us from our natural environment as well as from ourselves.

9)  Baseball has “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” a fun, carnival-like song that kids and grownups alike can relate to.  Football has “Are You Ready for Some Football?” an unimaginative, annoying pseudo-country song written by a man who has forever been trying to simultaneously emerge from and cloak himself with the shadow of his much more talented father.

10)  Every baseball at bat boils down to one man facing another, and may the best man win.  It is Achilles vs. Hector, Burr vs. Hamilton, Doc Holliday vs. Johnny Ringo.  An N.F.L. quarterback, by contrast, has no correspondingly singular opponent.  The protagonist has no antagonist.  He wields his sword dubiously against the faceless masses before him, a Roman Legionnaire lost amidst the swirl of the barbarian horde.

And that’s why baseball is better than football.

Braving the Fan Fest at AT&T Park!

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Photos courtesy of KNBR and Ronni Redmond

I made up my mind last year that no matter what happened, I was going to the Fan Fest this year!   And I did.  We, my husband and I, always take Cal-Train to Giants games at AT&T Park just to avoid the parking and we did the same today.  It’s a few blocks to the ballpark from the train station and it’s the perfect way to travel stress-free to the games.

All the stories about the crowds proved true again this year.  Rumor has it the crowd was around 35,000 but to tell you the truth we avoided all of that.  I leave the autograph-seeking to the youngsters  so we headed up to the club level and found a perfect spot, a little to the right of  home plate,  front row, seats 1 and 2.  And we settled in for the day with our perfect seats for some perfect photo’s and perfect weather.  I loved this.   And we had a fantastic view of the KNBR Broadcast Stage and could hear the interviews and conversations as though we were sitting right there with them.   We had a great time at the park today!

Baseball season is finally here.  Almost.  But it’s close enough you can reach out and touch it, feel it.  Tomorrow’s Super Bowl Sunday which is probably great if you’re a football fan.  Oh okay,  I have to admit I did get a little taken up with the Tebowing  thing this year, but honestly can you truly say there’s anything better than spring training and opening day of baseball?   I’ve been waiting for this since the 7th  game of the world series last year and it’s just as good as I’d hoped it would be.  Thank you God. Baseball, one of the many pleasures in life.

You might remember a Bill Cosby video many years ago that included a story about little Jeffrey.  “Little Jeffrey” on the airplane.   On the one and one-half hour ride home  we had a little Jeffrey on the train.  Little Jeffrey screamed all the way home finally de-training just one stop before we did.  I watched him as his poor drained parents stepped off the train and  carried him past our window, little Jeffrey all smiles.  Our children are all grown now and gone, with children of their own.   But I remember the days.  Thank you again God.  Retirement, one of the many pleasures in life!

1969 Seattle Pilots ~ Remember When?

I love this stuff.  What a fun way to reminisce about  baseball.  I’d almost forgotten about the Pilots since in my mind I considered them more of a minor league team than the majors.   I can’t help but wonder what the Seattle old-timers feel about Bud Selig and the Milwaukee Brewers now.  I mean do you think they’re cheering for the Brewers this postseason?  It’d be interesting to talk today with the man on the street in downtown Seattle about the subject.

I found these two great back-to-back You Tube videos  from a fellow blogger at the “Pasttime Post“.   So Seattle Mariner fans and anyone else from the Pacific Northwest who remembers ….. get yourself a beer, pop, whatever, and grab some garlic fries. This one’s for you!  (Note: Contains “colorful language”!)

The Baseball Cap ….. America’s Greatest Export?

Sorry.  I just had to do this.  It’s really an excerpt of my previous blog, but this little paragraph in Jim Caple’s commentary deserves a special place of its own.   Read it, embellish it and swirl it around in your mind so you can remember it when confronted with footballisms,  guaranteed to happen these next few months.

Baseball caps: They are as quintessential, ubiquitous and indispensible an American apparel item as a pair of blue jeans, especially if you’re losing your hair. They are the greatest U.S. export other than democracy, jazz and stifling consumer debt. Travel anywhere in the world and you will see people wearing baseball caps, though unfortunately they occasionally bear Yankees or Red Sox logos (what, do no Belgians root for the Brewers?). They are worn by everyone from rappers to astronauts, from President Obamato Pope Benedict. And what is the first thing football players do at the start of their NFL careers? That’s right — they don a baseball cap on draft day.

Meanwhile, I don’t see anyone wearing football helmets, even on the absolute worst bad hair day imaginable.

Reprinted from Jim Caple’s ESPN.com article, Why Baseball is Better than Football.

Baseball vs Football. An Unbiased Opinion …..

Oh okay, maybe the opinion isn’t exactly unbiased, but there are reasons.   Back in August, 2010 I wrote a blog titled “Gimme a Break.  Is this Baseball Season or Not?” about football taking the sports pages hostage every year two months before baseball season ended.

The blog included a delightful George Carlin video which I’ll repeat here, because it’s good enough to show  again in case you missed it.  

The reason I’m bringing this up again is Jim Caple, Sr Writer for ESPN.Com wrote a great article yesterday about”why baseball is better than football.  Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports Online recommended it, saying it explains why, quote “baseball beats the crap out of football”, unquote.

Anyhow take a look at Caple’s article, linked above, and see what you think.  It’s not that we die-hard baseball fans need reminding, it’s just always nice to see that others agree with our unbiased opinions, don’t you think?

“Best Game in Town?” ….. Absolutely!

Whoa!   I don’t care what your political leanings are, this stuff is awesome.  I found it in, of all places, this morning’s editorial section and its pure poetry.  Whenever a writer can take an entire paragraph to describe a throw to first base and keep me hanging on to every word I’m hooked.

Such is the case in this article.  You might remember I wrote on the Washington Nationals Stephen Strasburg last December and have been anxiously waiting for his return,which is  scheduled for this coming Thursday.

So here it is ~ from Thursday’s Washington Post.  See what you think!    

“BEST GAME IN TOWN” By Charles Krauthammer, Published: September 1

In that fleeting interval between natural disaster (earthquake, hurricane) and the president’s 57th (or so) major national address next Thursday, I can finally devote a summer column to the finest efflorescence of that season this city has to offer: the Washington Nationals.They are a baseball team. Not yet very good, mind you, but it matters not.


When you live in a town with a great team, you go to see them win. When you live in a town with a team that is passing rapidly through mediocrity on its way to contention — the Nats have an amazing crop of upcoming young players — you go for the moments. Continue reading