Posted on: August 8, 2009 5:34 pm
Last week, I was in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My brother in law asked me if I wanted to go to an Albuquerque Isotopes baseball game. The Isotopes are the AAA farm club of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Pacific Coast league. At first, I thought it wouldn't be that much fun, but I recalled some previous years when I had watched the Toledo Mudhens play, so I took a chance.
Only a week or two prior to my visit, Manny Ramirez had a rehab assignment in A,buquerque and they sold out every game. Well, fortunately for me Manny was back with the big club, so I got to watch the Oklahoma City Redhawks play the Isotopes. The Redhawks are the farm club of the Texas Rangers...
One thing I have to tell you from the beginning is that the stadium only seats about 15,000, but it is a very picturesque ball park. There are mountains in the background, and an ammusement park behind the right field picnic area, and the weather was perfect. We had great seats behind the 3rd base dugout, and paid 11 bucks a piece. Now, I also remember when I watched to Toledo Mudhens back in the early 90s and some of the best seats in the house were only 5 or 6 bucks. It was entertaining, and besides, watching a ballgame at tiger stadium was very painful all around.
Anyway, the night we went, they had Albuquerque Dukes throwback night, and they brought back some of the old players from the 1972 Dukes...this team was amazing and went 92-56 and won the league. They were managed by none other than Dodger Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda. Some of the notable major leaguers on this team were, Ron Cey, Joe Ferguson, Larry Hisle, Charlie Hough, Davey Lopes, Tom Paciorek and Rick Rhoden, just to name a few. It was an impressive list of players who played for the Dodgers and other MLB teams throughout the 70s and 80s.
Tom Paciorek was on hand for the ceremony and since he is a broadcaster for the White Sox, he was pretty impressive. I have alittle better appreciation for him after that night. You know, when you are in a small stadium, everything seems so close, and the players are right there. We had a great time, and the Redhawks beat the Isotopes/Dukes 6-2.
Now, I know it's not majot league baseball, but i can tell you one thing...it's baseball, it's fun and a great place to take kids to see a game. Some of the players on the field last week, are probably going to be major league players, so if you get a chance and you're near a AAA or lower minor league city, give it a shot and see a game...I think you'll be glad you did. Besides, it's cheap and it won't break your budget to take the whole family.
Enjoy...and talk to you all again soon.
Posted on: May 14, 2009 1:48 pm
After seeing Ryan Zimmerman's 30 game hitting streak broken last night, I decided to put together a list of baseball streaks I think will never be broken. I'm only going to list 10, so it's my top ten and my opinion. These are offensive stats only. I may look at pitching later. Have a look, and see what you think.
2. Ted Williams - 84 - Consecutive games reaching base(1949) - it's been 60 years, and no one has been close.
3. Joe Sewell - 115 - Consecutive games without a strikeout(1929) - with all the pitchers who are specialists, do you see this happening?
4. Ray Cullenbine - 22 - Consecutive games with a walk(1947) - I thought it would be Barry Bonds, but no.
5. Ray Grimes - 17 - Consecutive games with an RBI(1922) - are you kidding me???
6. Billy Hamilton - 24 - Consecutive games scoring one or more runs(1894) - this one is over 100 years old.
9. Ted Williams - 17 - Consecutive seasons, .400 on-base percentage or better(1939 - 1958) - Teddy Ballgame had a great eye at the plate.
Actually, some modern day players have some interesting streaks...Barry Bonds had slugging Pct. of .600 or better 7 consecutive seasons, but he may have used steroids during that period. Ichiro Suzuki of the Mariners is poised to break the record for most consecutive seasons with 200 hits, all he has to do is get 200 this year, and he will be the record holder at 9.
Posted on: April 21, 2009 7:04 am
When I was growing up outside and around the Philadelphia area, there are two things I distinctly remember. The first, was watching my first Phillies game on TV. The second, was the very first time I went to see a Phillies game in old Connie Mack stadium. Ever since then, I was hooked on baseball, and watching the Phillies.
Back then, the only time the Phillies had gone to the World series was 1950, and they lost to the Yankees in 4 straight games. So, I didn't like the Yankees much. When we played the Cardinals(the first real game I saw), I remember they had a young speedster named Curt Flood and he could cover ground and run...and I remember, he dared the Philles Catcher to throw to third as he was halfway there...and off he went, but the catcher threw in the dirt and Flood stole the base. So, I didn't like him either.
Later, I learned to appreciate the Yankees and Curt Flood, and lots of other baseball players, Teams and little nuances about baseball. Another thing that kept me interested, was watching movies about baseball. I guess it was the kid in me, or some other reason, but I loved baseball movies.
So, here's my chance to let you know my top 10 favorite baseball movies. Let me know yours...
OK, that's it guys...let's hear about your favorites.
Posted on: April 15, 2009 8:53 pm
The World Champion Philadelphia Phillies atarted the defense of their title last week, with an awful performance. Brett Myers gave up several home runs, the Phillies bats were silent and the Braves won the opener...followed by another 4-2 loss in game two of the series. The Braves should have swept the series, but their bullpen fell apart and the Phillies rallied to win. Then they took two of three in Colorado, but their picthing woes continued against the Rockies.
Lucky for the Phils they got to visit the Nationals, but had to hang on for a 9-8 vitory. Do you see a pattern here...the Phillies are giving up a lot of runs. Their starters are giving up an awful lot of runs. The Phillies starters ERAs look like this:
I know we have one of the best bullpens in the league, but if the starters keep this up, they will be on par with the Texas Rangers. It's a miracle the Phils are 4-3...to say they need a 5th starter, well, any starter to go a few innings and get a win, would be an understatement of the highest proportion.
Now, I know what your thinking...he's leading up to something. Well, yes, I am. What about Pedro Martinez? I mean, he's younger than Jamie Moyer. Heck, Jamie is almost as old as me, and that's a lot. If the Phillies continue to have their starters lit up every game, there won't be a best bullpen in baseball any more. There will only be the remnants of the Phillies bullpen arms out there with the Philly fans trying to get souvenirs.
With the Phillies bats starting to heat up, the starters have to step up, or Charlie Manuel has to make some changes. The Florida Marlins are not going to go away. I know the Braves aren't a threat, but there is the NY Mets wating in the wings to beat us and take our crown.
Speaking of pitchers, I saw Dice K went on the DL...arm fatigue. Hall of famers Warren Spahn and Robin Roberts were probably giggling when they sew that headline. These guys used to pitch 300 innings per year. Those days are long gone.
Earlier this week, Harry Kalas passed out in the press box before the Nationals game and died. We're going to miss you Harry. You have made some great calls in your day, worked with one of my all time favorites(Richie Ashburn), and left us with a lot of memories. I hope there's baseball in Heaven Harry...and I hope you see Whitey there too. I know he's been waiting to talk to you. RIP...
Posted on: April 7, 2009 2:08 pm
Every spring, it seems the "so called" experts start out with picks for the MLB division crowns, wildcard teams, and eventual World Series winners. They even have it down to predicting who will win the MVP, Cy Young, and comeback player of the year awards.
Then comes opening day and the sportswriters, and bloggers, have a field day with everything that happens on opening day. OMG, the Yankees lost to the Orioles and C. C. Sabathia pitched a horrible game($300 million + down the drain), and Mark Teixeira went O fer. It's the end of the world.i
The Mets actually didn't blow a 1 run lead, and that's big news...they're the next World Champs. Are you kidding me?
So, what does it all mean? Well, for one day, the Orioles, Jays, Angels, Mariners, Rangers, Braves, Marlins, Mets, Cubs, Pirates, Dodgers and D-Backs - by winning - are all in first place. Plus, there are a couple of 0-0 Teams in first in the AL Central...White Sox and Royals, they were snowed/rained/or frozen out.
Stat people went crazy because two players for the D-Backs(Felipe Lopez and Tony Clark), each hit 2 home runs(one batting left, and one batting right). That was the first time in MLB history(when these stats were kept) that one person hit home runs from opposite sides of the plate on opening day, let alone two. I didn't know they kept stats like that...I wonder if there was a betting line on that happening. I'll bet there's one next year or even tomorrow in Vegas.
Truth is, I love baseball for this reason. It's like the economy...everyone is hopeful at the start. Your team may be in first place for a day, a week, who knows. But at the beginning of every season, we all have hope, that maybe our team can go all the way.
As a long suffering Phillies fan for many years(sorry I can't tell you how many years because it's embarrassing), I undertsand this sentiment. I've felt this sentiment, until the Phillies won their first World Series in 1980. And the way they won it, through the playoffs and the World Series, at times, it was excrutiating, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
So, in this time of economic trouble and disaster, let's look to the coming days, as ones of hope, and recovery for everyone. Hope for us, hope for our country, and hope for the world.