Results tagged ‘ major league baseball ’
I know this is getting to be old news, but MLB umpire Jim Joyce is back in the news today.
Last week, after his perfect game-blowing call in Detroit, he granted an interivew to a Detroit newspaper that has given some more insight to an already humbled man’s life.
I don’t know where you stand on this issue. I don’t know you if you care one way or the other if MLB changed the ruling on this call or not.
As for me, I’m human. I make mistakes, and there’s nothing that anybody can say to me that I wouldn’t have already said to myself. I’m my own worst critic. When another person owns up to their mistake I take notice. Not too many people are willing to admit when they screw something up, especially as quickly as Mr. Joyce did. That takes guts, or cajones, or whatever other word you may want to insert there.
He “man-ed up”. Plain and simple.
I want to post the link to this newspaper’s article because I feel it’s worth sharing. I found it on the Big League Stew page on yahoo sports MLB section and I’m pretty sure that not everyone reads that (not that you’re reading this either!)
So, without anymore rambling here it is.
I’ll go ahead and admit up front that I’m not much of a National League fan. I have a few teams that I try to follow as regularly as I can, Arizona, Houston, and Milwaukee.
Arizona, because I voted on the team name and colors, and I watched the stadium being built in 1995.
Houston, because they’re the only other baseball team in Texas.
Milwaukee, because they hired away my favorite general manager of the Rangers, Doug Melvin, and also because of the Happy Youngster’s blog.
With all of that being said, I was very impressed with game 1 of the NLCS. What an exciting game that was! I guess since I wasn’t rooting for a specific team, I was able to concentrate on the game itself.
I think I am equally split on the NLCS.
Part of me wants LA to win, while the other half wants the Phillies to win.
Here’s my thinking….
Everyone knows the storied history of the Dodgers, and the opportunity for them to be in the World Series possibly against the Yankees would be pretty cool for the old school fan.
On the other hand, seeing the Phillies try to repeat as champions would be pretty cool too since back to back championships is getting pretty rare in Major League Baseball.
Either way, I think the NL will be well represented by either of these two teams in the World Series.
I doubt I will comment on every game of the two LCS, but last night was just a good game all around, and worthy of discussion.
Since the last two games that I attended were minor league games, I was WAY overdo for some Major League Baseball.
We arrived at the gate at around 4:40 or so, and waited as patiently as we could for 5:00 to get here. When it finally did, we raced to the LF stands just in time to see this….
The Mariners were just coming out to stretch.
So, that gave Dirk and I time to check the gaps and stands for balls, which we found none. The Rangers must not have come out for BP today. Oh well, they’ve done that before.
Once the Mariners started hitting, we weren’t sure how it was going to go for us. We had been to a BP earlier in the year where the M’s hardly hit anything into the LF seats. Griffey and Ichiro have no problem supplying the people in the RF seats with balls, but we were skeptical of the righties on the team. After the first 10 minutes or so, that skepticism would soon fade away.
Dirk and I positioned ourselves on the railing, one section over from the visitors’ bullpen. Like I mentioned, there wasn’t much action for the first 10-15 minutes, but after that we had some shots at balls. At one point we were as close as 2-3 feet apart, and at that point some high school-aged kid thought that would be a perfect place for him to stand.
“Do you REALLY think you have ANY shot at a ball, standing between two adults with gloves?” That’s what I thought, not said.
I usually let a lot of things go, mainly to avoid any potential confrontations, but this kid was making it especially difficult for me to keep my mouth shut. All that came out of his mouth was negative. Some examples:
“Hey how ’bout a ball?” And when they would throw the ball in to the bucket, “Oh nice, real good. Way to appreciate the fans.”
Or when a player would go to retrieve a ball on the warning track, “I got jipped out of a ball earlier.”
Not to mention, he was responsible for Dirk and I both dropping a homerun ball. He bumped into Dirk and the ball fell in the gap, but Dirk was able to get it anyway. He bumped into me, and the ball skipped off the end of my glove and into the glove of a guy behind me.
First, don’t force your way into a space you shouldn’t be in, and then act like a (insert your own word here) while you’re there.
Second, no one gets jipped out of a ball. You either snag it, or you don’t. Plain and simple. Yes, I hold him responsible for missing a HR ball, but I blame myself also. I could’ve been more assertive, but that’s not who I am. I also don’t think that “entitles” me to whine to the players on the field like they owe me a ball.
Sorry for that rant, that guy just really got on my nerves.
Back to batting practice….
As I mentioned earlier, the skepticism in the M’s righties was short-lived. There were a lot more balls hit into the LF seats than we expected. Of course, there was a fairly decent crowd on hand, I guess because of it being cap night. So, our range was limited, leaving us to helplessly watch numerous balls fall into the gloves/hands of others.
At one point, a ball fell in the gap and Dirk gave me the heads up to go and get it. We take turns with gap balls, it’s kind of a routine between the two of us. So without any hesitation, I was on it.
I got to the spot where I figured the ball would be, looked down and scanned the area, and noticed the ball was in an odd spot. Here’s a photo I took a little while later to show the ball’s position….
This angle is actually looking down and to my left. The point of the arrow is in the exact spot that the ball was in.
The first plan of action was to get the ball out of that spot and into a position more directly underneath me. To do that, I had to lower my device (I decided to lower the device instead of my glove because it’s smaller, and I thought it would fit in that small space better) and swing it left to right approximately 6 feet. It was a little awkward at first, so it took me a few tries, and on the third or fourth swing I was interrupted by this guy….
Seattle pitcher David Aardsma.
He walked over and picked the ball up, and my first thought was “Cool, this guy’s gonna save me the trouble and just toss it to me!”
Turns out I was wrong.
Mr. Aardsma proceded to walk back up the stairs that lead into the visitors’ bullpen and throw the ball as hard as he could back toward the bucket.
There were so many thoughts going through my head at that point, that I didn’t say a word. What could I say? He didn’t have to give it to me. I had no legal right to that ball. To say I was mad though would be an understatement.
Partly for the fact that I was wearing a Mariners hat!
Oh well, there’s nothing left for me to say, except….
You have now been given a Zack Hample-esque “Powell Jinx”.
Consider this your official notification.
As numb as I was by this point, and as disinterested in BP as I became, I still managed to get 1 ball out of the gap. It helped, but there was still some pent up bitterness inside.
This ball turned out to be my 6th of the season, and 10th lifetime.
Batting practice ended with no more balls and no more incidents to report. It honestly couldn’t end fast enough.
We went and got our free drink vouchers after signing up to be designated drivers, cashed them in, and then got food. I had my usual cheese fries and Dr. Pepper, and felt much better!
We got to our seats with our food just in time for starting lineups and the national anthem. This was the awesome view I had from my seat….
I really can’t complain since Dirk bought my ticket, but still, how about a little “obstructed view” notice or something? Come on, Rangers!
The view of the game wasn’t really that bad, especially since the Rangers hit two homers on either side of us while we were out there.
We stayed in those seats until the top of the 5th, when we decided to go for ice cream.
A little back-story….
The last time I was at a Rangers game, I made my own ice cream helmet sundae in a roundabout way, and I fully intended to do the same thing this time, until we walked up to the ice cream booth and saw an amazing sight. They were using these….
I had no idea that a little piece of plastic could change my whole attitude!
After getting our ice cream, the next mission was to find a spot to eat it. Well, we found one. Section 15, on the lower level third base side, just past the infield. Here’s the view…
One odd thing that happened while we there….
A foul ball was hit about one section over to our left, and a guy in an aisle seat stood up and put his glove up, and let the ball bounce right off of his palm. Nothing special, right? It happens all of the time. Well, just keep reading….
A little while later, with a different pitcher on the mound and a different batter at the plate, another foul ball found its way to the exact same guy, and once again he muffed it! It hit off of his palm just like the first one did, and someone else got it just like the first one.
How weird is that? I heard about a guy in Oakland that had a similar experience in 2006, but he had a better turnout.
I thought that was worth sharing.
As the game wound down, instead of going behind homeplate like we usually do, I wanted to go over by the visitors’ bullpen to try and get a ball from the bullpen catcher. When we got over there, we saw this….
See the two pink backpacks? One is on the left end of the bench, and the other one is on the ground behind the white chair. That is “Seattle Mariner Rookie Initiation” at its finest.
I also saw this….
You see the ledge next to Phillips #62? Just in front of him, to the right? Knight helmets. I have no idea what those are for. More initiations? Maybe Mr. Todd Cook will leave a comment on this. He’s the biggest M’s fan that I know of. I’m curious to know what’s up with those.
The game was exciting from a Rangers fan point of view. Derek Holland pitched a perfect game into the 5th inning when he gave up the only Mariner hit until the top of the 9th.
Michael Young hit two homeruns, and Hank Blalock, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Marlon Byrd each hit one out to give the Rangers a 7-0 lead.
Holland retired the first two batters in the top of the 9th, then walked one and gave up his second hit of the game. Rangers manager Ron Washington made a pitching change with 2 outs in the 9th.
Warner Madrigal came in, walked one to load the bases, gave up an RBI single, then finally got the 3rd out.
Holland struckout 10 batters on the night. Rangers win 7-1.
Here’s a photo of the ball I got, and also one of some tickets I found after the game….
Next game: Mon. 8/17 vs. the Twins
And for the record – I didn’t get a ball from the Mariners’ bullpen catcher like I had hoped.
One parting shot of the Mariners’ bullpen guys walking off the field. Sorry for the blur, but I zoomed in as far as I could….
I wanted to go to this game for a couple different reasons. First, it was a Monday afternoon game, and I was off work (Memorial Day). Second, the Stankees were coming in for three games, and this one was going to be the easiest to make (I was taking my daughter Sarah, and the other two were going to be on school nights). With all that said, on Fri. 5/22, I bought the two cheapest tickets I could find online ($11.00 for mine and $3.00 for Sarah’s). The seats were in the upper deck straight down the 1st base line, but I really didn’t care ’cause I didn’t plan on staying there for the whole game anyway.
I had heard that the ballpark was going to open at 10:00, with the parking lots opening at 9:00. This kind of surprised me, since the gates normally open 2 hrs. prior to game time, which today would’ve been at 11:00. Were they expecting a big crowd for Memorial Day? Were they expecting a big crowd because of the Stankees? Both? Who knows, all I cared about was the fact that I could be inside the ballpark that much longer!
I figured (or at least I “hoped”) that the Rangers would be taking batting practice today, which is a good thing, because I’ve been to a few games this year where they haven’t. We pulled into the parking lot at around 9:30 or so, and got to the gate as soon as we could. After getting through the bag check, we scanned our tickets and were handed a “Baseball in the Military” magazine (more on this later). We raced to the left field seats and were greeted by this….
That’s what I’m talkin’ about! Beautiful sight!
We were in that spot for the entire BP session for the Rangers, and the closest we came to getting a ball, were the homeruns on the fly that missed us by 20-30 feet. There were more hit to the right field side, but I just hate fighting the crowd over there. Although, today that crowd was everywhere. The closet Stankee fans were out in force. This was my competition during BP….
And this is a look at all the Stankee fans waiting behind the dugout….
Now, as you can probably tell, I’m not real fond of that team from the Bronx, but even I cannot deny the greatness of this guy….
It’s not his fault that he’s on a team I can’t stand, that guy is a stud!
Here’s one of Sarah eating her favorite snack….Combos!
See the guy to right of #58 in the following pic? He’s another great player….
Those are the only photos I took of NY players. I respect Jeter, even though he is a Stankee-lifer, he can play & everyone knows it. A-roid & Mark Deushera? Don’t even get me started on those two wastes of MLB uniforms (as well as MLB money).
There was a lot of pre-game pageantry today (as was the case everywhere I’m sure), including a fly-over by three Apache helicopters, and I’m still kicking myself for not taking a photo. I love fly-overs!
Every game I attend, I take stadium photos, and every time I upload them to my computer I notice duplicate angles. So, I almost talked myself out of taking pics this time, but we were going to be sitting in an area I haven’t really been to before, so I took some anyway. Here’s some from the upper deck 1st base side….
I kind of like the look of the stadium from up there, but it’s not the best place for actually watching the game.
We stayed in our seats until the end of the 2nd inning, when we decided to walk around. Not only were our seats way up there, we were also stuck in the middle of a row of about 20 seats. Not cool.
We wandered all the around the park, until we came to the sports park in centerfield. That’s when we got tricked into filling out a casino survey (never set foot in one in my life), just to get Sarah a set of bang sticks. Here she is….
At least she’s happy, that’s all that matters!
We took shelter from the sun in Captain’s Corral, an enclosed concession stand basically, and bought some cheap nachos and a bottle of water.
After wandering, wasting time in the sports park, and hiding from the sun, it was now around the 7th inning, so we found some empty seats behind home plate to go for foul balls and also to look for tickets and stuff after the game.
No foul balls. Didn’t even come close to any really, just the “one section over” usual. The Rangers lost this game 11-1 and only had 4 hits in the game.
Here’s a shot of the tickets we found after the game….
Time of game – 2 hrs. 35 mins.
Attendance – 48,914
Stankee fans – GO HOME!!
Next game 6/11 vs. Toronto….
BY THE WAY – Remember the magazine I mentioned at the top of the entry, “Baseball in the Military”? I hope that Major League Baseball gave this out at every stadium, and that more people took it home at other places than people did here, because it is AWESOME! It’s about 20-25 pages long and has some great stories in it of guys enlisting in the military while playing baseball. If you got one, and haven’t read it, I highly encourage you to do so. You won’t regret it.