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2015 AllStar Game at Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark

This comes under the heading "Items you don't need and if you should by them, you need to be watched.


However, Cincinnati isn't alone in this dastardly horse shit bastardization of our National Pastime. To wit:








Great Programs and Ads of Yester-year











Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA Royals) Come through!

All beef dog, beef brisket, onion rings, bar-b-que sauce and jalapenos....yowsa!




Mike Savage, well, he's done it again!

Way back when I lived in Lawrence, Kansas and managed a college watering hole, I hired a snot nosed little kid named Mike Savage. I then hit the road and moved back East and never really thought of him again. Once again, the internet came to my rescue and I hooked up with a grown family man who has a thriving little art business in Kansas City.

Sav-Art is his business and he produces some wondrous watercolors of various things, all kinds of stuff, his site is worth a look. (Click Sav-Art above).

 One of his most recent offerings is an African American ( Hilton Smith) posing from the long ago "Negro Leagues",sporting his KC Monarchs jersey. Hilton was a right handed pitcher who played on the Monarchs from 1932 to 1948. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001 Mike has also done some great pictures of Royals Kaufman Stadium. An inspired artist and a good friend.





New York Gnomes

Move over Matt Harvey, Jacob DeGrom will be the first Met to be honored with a bobble head garden gnome. May 2 will Jacob DeGnome Day and you can get your very own Jacob DeGrom garden gnome to do with what you will.




Shorts on Opening Day

The Chicago White Sox and Bill Veeck were not the 1st to sport shorts back in 1976. In 1950 the AAA affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers, The Hollywood Stars sported shorts on opening day!




A Cornucopia of New Ballpark Taste Treats

Ah, another season dawns and again I can smell the hot dogs, cold beer and warm peanuts as I enter the good ol' ballpark. But what's this? Who are the gelatinous cretins wallowing around the rotunda (an apt name for the rotund)? A cursory glance at some of the new menu items that our great American ballparks have awaiting our salivating appetites show that the bar is indeed lowered.

First up on our gastrointestinal hit parade:

Lehigh Valley IronPigs - Pork Parfait - The “Pork Parfait” features layers of mashed potatoes, pulled pork and cheese sauce topped with green onions


Milwaukee Brewers - "Inside the Park Nachos" - Though it's called "Nachos on a Stick", it's really not nachos at all. It's a corn dog like stick stuffed with taco beef and re-fried beans and rolled in crushed Doritos then deep fried. Topped off with a drizzling of cheese and sour cream.

Milwaukee Brewers - "Down Wisconsin Avenue Brat" - 18 inch bratwurst topped with cheese curds, gravy (not sure what kind of gravy, hopefully not brown), sauerkraut, fried jalapenos, sour cream and chives. Finish this and you'll be headed down "Wisconsin Avenue" at a fast trot looking for a loo.

Arizona Diamondbacks - "Churro Dog" - Clocking in at 1,117 calories, this desert puts a churro in a donut bun and then is topped with frozen yogurt, whipped cream, caramel and chocolate sauce. What? No freaking cherry!?

Wilmington Blue Rocks (Kansas City Class A Carolina League) - "The Krispy Kreme Donut Dog" - Like something out of a fevered nightmare, this has to be the most interesting and indeed bizarre concoction in baseball land. The Blue Rocks teamed up with Krispy Kreme Donuts, placed a hot dog in their infamous glazed donut (sliced to insert said hot dog) and topped with raspberry jelly and BACON! I can hear the idiots on those "Diners, Dives" type TV shows now, reviewing it: "The snap of the casing of the hotdog mixed with the sweet of the raspberry jam and the creaminess of the donut is offset by the delectable savoriness of the bacon....mmmmm, MAMA"

 Battle Creek Bombers (Collegiate summer baseball team from Michigan that plays in the Northwoods League) - "Twinkie Dogs" - Yup, while the above took a little bit of thought, this one is just plain ridiculous. It doesn't take too much to figure out the ingredients: sliced Twinkee to form a bun, insert hot dog, top with whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry. You get 3 of these monstrosities per order (1 is 1 too many).

Chicago White Sox - "Bacon, Mac Cheeseburger" - It seems that the poor pig is the big winner this year in terms of ballpark food. Mainstays as well as deserts have bacon, the new National food, it seems. While the 3 above are dessert offerings, where the hell is the all American burger? The White Sox have one for you, on steroids! 1/2 pound pure beef burger, grilled to perfection topped with a huge dollop of creamy decedent mac and cheese then sprinkled liberally with, what else, bacon! All on a toasted bun.

Cincinnati Reds - "Meat Lovers Hot Dog" -  Not to be outdone by their neighbor to the North, the reds have erected a true colon cleaner. The poor hot dog is subjected to being deep fried then topped with chili, pepper jack cheese and then the piece de resistance, fried salami. Oy!

New York Mets - Bacon a a stick - Leave it to the Mets to strip down the art of bizarre cuisine to it's bare bones. Deep fried bacon a stick, no more, no less.


New York Mets - Angus Beef  and Grilled Cheese Panini - Well maybe there is some class left at Citi Field. Short rib Angus Beef is married to grilled cheese and then pressed, panini style, to complete this tasty offering. Just about anything goes with grilled cheese, right?


A Baseball Fans true "Man Cave"

To spend hours before I sleep and when I wake to study this collage would be exhilarating. Some of my fondest memories of childhood, like so many other guys, is collecting Topps Baseball cards. There was just one type of card to get, not the dizzying array of "Type I", "Type II", Early Season, Late Season, Retro Throwback etc., etc. Just one card, Topps "The Real One"





The Old Professor

Baseball will never see another like him.





Retro Programs of the past



Some wonderfully retro programs from the old Houston Colt 45's (now the Astros). A great cover and only $.25, whoa!


Ah, the joys of the early 60's before it was politically incorrect to have a cover like this!
Thanks to the great Twitter feed "Stirrups Now!" for these and many pics in the future.


1970 All Star Game souvenir program!



The Ills of celebrating every time you win

I'm getting a bit tired of the incessant celebrating by baseball teams after every series win on their way to the series. Watching a team dance about on the mound and then popping champagne corks after winning the one game Wild Card playoff is a bit premature. All the celebrating should be saved for the final prize, the Series. Everything else up to that point is just another step.

The never ending champagne and Oysters has to weigh thin on a ballplayer until all of it seems a bit anti-climactic. Some of the league championship series have been real barn burners. So much so, that the winning team, upon winning, celebrates like mad and looses focus on the true prize. It happens.

And what is this crap of bringing out a box of t-shirts and ball caps each and every time a team wins? You know what it is? If you haven't already guessed by now perhaps you should look into buying some cheap swamp land in Florida. The Money! Moola, Cabbage, Clams, Loot, Scratch...yup, it's all about the Benjamins.

I wish baseball would take page from professional ice hockey Stanley Cup etiquette. There are wins along the way on the quest for the cup and trophies are handed out, but there is NO celebrating nor skating around with a trophy until that trophy is the Stanley Cup.

And while I'm at it, one more thing might be nice. Each side lines up and shakes hands, then celebrates.






It Ain't Really Over When It's Over

No-sir-ee, there's the Arizona Fall League for all the MLB teams top prospects and you can visit the page here: Arizona Fall League



with teams like the Scotsdale Scorpions

So for nuts like me, it doesn't necessarily end after the last out of the World Series. Thank God for the internet!


10/8/2014

The following iconic scene is a picture of Don Larsen throwing the only perfect game in World Series history. It was game 5 of the 1956 World Series, Yankees VS. Brooklyn. The Yanks went on to win the series and Larsen, the MVP.

I love this pic for 2 reasons: 1) great capture of Don Larsen's form and 2) the Ballentine Ale and "No Betting" signs in the outfield.




10/5/2014





Should be an absolute wild one at the "Big K" this evening! Oh to be a Royals fan after all these years of waiting. I was around the last time they won it all.






10/3/2014

Today, NOW, starts 4 continuous playoff games on Fox Sports and TBS. Naturally, of course, work calls me in. But, until I go, it's Baseball heaven! What the fuck is a football?






Battle of the Division Series gastro-intestinal Delights



Detroit's hot dog thingy, called the "Poutine Dog" (top) followed by some sort of pretzel hot dog concoction from Baltimore called the "Walk Off Pretzel Roll". Whatever happened to Beer and Peanuts?

Scenes from Game 1 ALDS

Baltimore vs. Detroit at Baltimore









And the afternoon slips into night


Meanwhile, on the "left coast, Anaheim vs. Kansas City in Anaheim. Some BP etc.

The opening night lineup: Royals vs. Angels, game 1





Pre Season Hockey Season Begins!



Devils vs. Islanders at The Prudential Center in Newark, NJ




Post Season Pics











Batting helmet Sundae

Most of you have probably seen 'em at the games. The mini batting helmet with the teams logo, filled with ice cream, hot fudge etc., etc. Well, the Chicago White Sox, in an effort to make sure that no one leaves the stadium weighing less than 305, introduce the full size, pro batting helmet stuffed to overflowing with a gigantic banana split sundae. When you're done consuming this monstrosity you can then put on the helmet and go about your daily business of looking for the next ball park pig out.




On Sandy Koufax:

"Trying to hit him was like trying to drink coffee with a fork" Willie Stargell




The story of the origin of Baseball

We've all heard the story, how Abner Doubleday, distinguished General Officer at the battle of Gettysburg and later a Major General in the Union Army, invented the game in 1839 in the small village of Cooperstown, NY. There is even a Minor League team in the Class A major league affiliate New York Penn League, the Auburn Doubledays, Class A farm team for the Washington Nationals. One of their on-field caps sports a Union soldier shouldering a bat at the ready:



Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Here is a very good article discussing this old legend:
The Real Story of Baseball

Minor League Madness

I love everything about the minor leagues of baseball. From their great, unusual logos to their eclectic ballparks to their wild team mascots to their unique and outrageous food offerings to their overall way of approaching the game with the fan, and family, in mind.
Here are series of different, unrelated pics from around the nation:


Some teams in the Frontier League


The Chicago Cubs AAA affiliate, The Des Moines, Iowa, Cubs. The Iowa Cubs recently made major headlines in the sports world when they hired ex-slugger, ex-juicer, Manny Ramirez as player-coach for the team. While the Major League Cubs have no intention of ever bringing him back to "the Bigs", they are interested to see if he can give guidance to young batters at the AAA level. After all, despite the juice, he was a hell of a slugger.



A Beautiful Sight

I spent many hours of sheer enjoyment at this ballpark in the 70's. Just hop on I-70 in Lawrence, Ks and head East to just past Kansas City, and there it was...The Big K!


A great friend of mine, Michael Savage painted this wonderful picture of the ballpark. You can visit his website of fine artwork here: Michael Savage Art



Back when Ball Players just played




Stan "The Man" Musial clerking at a grocery store during the off season.

Back in the day, long before free agency, baseball players were just work-a-day mugs like the rest of us. During the off season they needed to continue to support their family. Stories of winter ball leagues in Latin America and players "barnstorming" across the U.S. in the off season abound ('Barnstorming" was when players from different teams and even different leagues played small town teams in exhibition games. It was the only time that Negro League players and Major League players (white) played with and against each other) and the pay was oft times very good. 

Other players took part time jobs in Grocery Stores, Bait and Tackle Shops, and some even caddied on Golf Courses. A few of the wealthier ones set up business ventures in the hopes of drawing with their name recognition.


Phil Rizzuto & Yogi Berra Bowling Alley in Clifton. NJ


The Dugout Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge owned by Mets players Ed Kranepool and Ron Swoboda. It was located on Long Island, NY




Mickey, Whitey, and Yogi endorsed Yoo-Hoo Chocolate Flavored Beverage. "Me-He for Yoo-Hoo"

I Miss Shea!




Beautiful, cookie cutter, Shea with it's original exterior


Going from the 7 line to the ol' ballgame!


Shea from high in the air....looks like from the "Baseball Like it Oughta be" era (early 80's). Note the Twin Towers in the center background.


Shea in the 80's, transformed to it's neon age with players pictured doing various things in neon (Batting/swinging, Catcher etc)


Way up behind home plate


The view from high up on the right field side.


Tomato/Cabbage patch in the right field bullpen


Placing a bat to stake the tomatoes.  In those days it was a far better use of the bat by the lowly Mets


Earl Weaver, manager of the Baltimore Orioles, had a patch at Municipal Stadium as well.


...and the super cool, dandy, give-away during the last season.

There is just a plaque in the parking lot of the new Citi Field designating where home plate was....that's it. ALL of my baseball memories, save my KC days, were in that stadium. While I did visit the old Polo grounds during the Mets inaugural years (1962,63), the memories are far too distant.

Unfortunately, since the construction of Citi Field, the Mets have returned to their lowly status having not achieved a .500 season since play started there. Oh, woe is me.

For my story on early memories of Shea go here Baseball


My Buddy does Pittsburgh, PNC

My friend, Susan, is doing an admirable job on her ballpark bucket list. Earlier this season she visited Wrigley Field, Chicago (featured below) and she recently spent an evening at the beautiful PNC park in Pittsburgh. I can attest to the beauty of this park. Pittsburgh is, indeed, a great place to view a ballgame!









What trip to Pittsburgh would be complete without a trip to the legendary Primanti Bros. delicious deli...home of the giant sandwich w/ fries on the bottom and a bottle of Yeungling?






Bobble Head Mania

One of the greatest fan giveaways is the Bobble-head which celebrates players, managers, legends and even broadcasting favorites. One being offered is from the Fresno Giants, minor league affiliate of the SF Giants. It features "Kung Fu Panda" Pablo Sandoval when he played with Fresno. It sports a bobble-head Pablo blowing a huge bubble and is aptly named "Kung Fu Bubble".



Wrigley Field Visit

A good friend of mine was lucky enough to be visiting Chicago and got to go to a Cubs day game. After all, the only real time to visit Wrigley is an afternoon, right?

 Another packed house despite the fact that there hasn't been a championship in 100 years.

 The scoreboard, the iconic ivy and the rooftop bleacher seats....classic!

View down the 3rd base line on an almost perfect baseball afternoon.

The scoreboard! Note the standings at the time displayed in the arrangement of the team flags.



The Little Book of Yankee Evil

My old buddy and fellow Mets supporter, Brook Zelcer, has written a book and it is published and available here: Little Book of Yankee Evil

I am honored to have been asked to write the forward to his new updated version, keep an eye out for its publication.


Referring to Keeping Score
 Some great pics of Scorecards from yesteryear, back when they cost a dime AND you got a pencil. Well, NOW they cost $10 and even though you still get a pencil, it is small and rarely keeps a point.




Thank goodness there is almost always an exception to every rule. When visiting PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, several years ago, to my amazement their scorecard was FREE! Unreal!



"Food Fight" The Beshttp://www.milb.com/milb/fans/food_fight/y2014/leaderboard_full.jspt Food in the Minors

Opening Day in the Grapefruit League Mets vs. Nationals

Ike Davis homers in opener!


The Final Jewel in the Triple Crown

Could the Mets, very soon, have the most elite, talented young pitching staff in all of base ball? If Noah Syndergaard lives up to expectations he just might help make this team a contender in the very near future.

Noah is the final "jewel" in the R.A Dickey trade with  Toronto and the Mets have been nurturing him like they did with Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey. Nicknamed "Thor" by those who have played with him, the tall, lanky Texan has a drop off the table curve or "hook" ball and a sizzling heater clocked upwards of 97 MPH. He is able to constantly pound the strike zone and seems in control of his emotions which is key to any ace hitting the "Bigs". One just to think "Pelfry" to be reminded how disastrous self doubt and not being able to keep your cool can be to a young hopeful pitcher.

His first inter squad game of the 2014 season he pitched 2 innings and struck out 5. It remains to be seen how he can adjust to the big sticks up in "The Show" when he surely gets called up in June.




Required Reading

There are no shortage of books about the great players, the great teams and the different great era's of baseball. But, when was the last time you saw a book about The Worst?



Yes, this is required reading during those long rain outs, a book to be kept at your side all season long. Jam packed with stories and stats of the worst and most pathetic players and teams to ever walk on a base ball diamond. However, even the worst of the worst are still heroes to me. To be allowed to don a pro uniform and participate in even one game is an honor few get to experience.

2/26/2014

MLB network will televise the 1st spring training games of the season! It's here! It's here!
1:05 PM Detroit vs. Atlanta
1:05 PM Yankees vs. Pittsburgh
1:05 PM Toronto vs. Philadelphia
3:05 PM Cincinnati vs. Cleveland
3:05 PM Oakland vs. San Francisco
3:10 PM Dodgers vs. Arizona

Baseball 2014 ~ A new beginning or the same old stale crap?


Yes, the light is certainly visible at the end of the tunnel, pitchers and catchers have reported to their respective camps and other players are trickling in. Derek Jeter announced his retirement at the end of the season and Alex Rodriguez announced he will not fight his suspension for the entire 2014 campaign. The Yankees, it seems have guaranteed themselves some great crowds this season as fans strive to see Captain Derek one more time, last year was Mo Rivera. Not many analysts are predicting a stellar season for the Yanks, so they need some help filling the stadium...who the hell will they trot out next year?

The Mets, on the other hand, have really no where to go but up. With the addition of Bartolo Colon and Curtis Granderson (both ex Yanks) the future might be a bit brighter.

Catch up with all things Mets via their blog: Mets Blog
 
Omaha Storm Chasers

Minor League Baseball, especially AAA Minor League Baseball is a wonderful way to pass an afternoon, the seats are cheap and the level of play is usually top notch as the players are only one step from "The Show" and could be called up at any time if they produce. The big market teams like the Yankees and Red Sox can usually buy whom they need in the free agent market, but small market teams, like the Kansas City Royals, are all about having a great farm system and nurturing their prospects into hopefully big league and even superstar material.

Thus it is this way with the Omaha Storm Chasers, the AAA affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. The Storm Chasers were known as the Omaha Royals for many years until this season when they moved into their brand new stadium and changed their name.

I was able to make the last game of the home stand vs. the New Orleans Zephyrs, the AAA affiliate of the Florida Marlins. It was beyond hot, not a cloud in the sky for the 2:30 PM start. Before I even bought a seat I was drenched in sweat. I grabbed a $5 seat and sat in a great location on the 3rd base side, the only problem was that I would melt if I stayed too long in the sun.
Those brave enough to hang in the sun could hang out as long as they liked, I headed for the concourse into the shade and a cold beer. There was a great bar on the first base line, enclosed in beautiful air conditioning...the "Storm Cellar" or something like that, looked a bit too expensive, besides I was here to drink up some great minor league ball. I sat for awhile directly behind home plate and watched some excellent hitting by the Storm Chasers. Johnny Giavotella, their 2nd baseman went 5 for 5 with 2 home runs, a small guy but a superb prospect. The next day in Memphis the Storm Chasers pitcher, Luis Mendoza, a 6'3" right hander threw the 1st no hitter since 1988 for the Storm Chasers.

I decided to take a stroll around the outside of the stadium as you can sometimes find stray balls hit during batting practice or missed by the fans. Sure enough I was able to grab a ball from the "berm" in left field behind the fence, probably from batting practice. Sorry that the pic didn't come out too well.


It was now time for the 7th inning stretch daily race between the non descriptive beer bottle, the ear of corn, and the sausage. These poor bastards had to be sweating their tits off in those dopey costumes, but a jobs a job I guess and they trotted from the left field bull pen area down the 3rd base side to home plate.






Looking very wilted, the corn cob took the day. At this point I did notice that they sold hot corn on the cob on a stick...I mean you're in Nebraska, what the hell else is a better snack at the ballpark? I looked high and low but could not find the kiosk so I had another beer and sat on the 1st base side for the remainder of the game.
The Storm Chasers won the game 7-4 and thus ended a hot but very enjoyable afternoon of minor league ball. Leaving the stadium I saw some placards. One denoting that this club is the Royals affiliate

and one denoting a local boy made good, Bob Gibson, who is an Omaha native but did not play for the Storm Chasers.

Now because I couldn't find the cob-on-a-stick, I had to settle for the next beat thing...on my way back to my sisters house I stopped in at my favorite taco fast food joint in the world

and picked up a "six pack and a pound" (six pack o' tacos and a pound o' potato oles). Yes, some things are just worth traveling for!

 New Jersey Minor League Ballparks

The tolls for the bridge and tunnel crossings into New York are going up to $12 ($9 for EZ Pass). If you are going to Citi Park then you have another $12 toll at the Whitestone Bridge or at the RFK Bridge. So before you are even seated you could be looking at $24 spent. So, it will be far more worth while to start taking in the various venues NJ has to offer.

Trenton Thunder - AA affiliate of the Yankees in the Eastern League. Waterfront Park, Camden
Newark Bears - Unaffiliated, Canadian-American League. Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium
New Jersey Jackals - Unaffiliated, Canadian-American League. Yogi Berra Stadium. Little Falls
 While you are there, you should visit the Yogi Berra museum, totally awesome and well worth the time!
Rockland Boulders - Unaffiliated, Canadian-American League.  Provident Bank Park, Pomoma, NY (Just north of Jersey, no river crossing)

New York Federals - Unaffiliated, the "travel team"* of the Canadian-American League.
*The "New York State League is an unaffiliated league composed of 4 teams which is kind of like the "Cape Cod League", that is, an instructional league. 2011 marked the first season that the "NYSL" joined up with the "Can-Am" League by having a "traveling team" in the league composed of NYSL players. They have no home field in the Can-Am League, they are to be nurtured to ascend to the Can-Am League. To read more about the NYSL click here: http://www.nystateleague.com/league_history.html The players in this league consist on non drafted college players and young men who were released from a pro contract and are looking to work their way back up.

This is the beauty of the minor leagues, a lot of hungry kids trying to play the game the "right" way.


Somerset Patriots - Unaffiliated, Atlantic League. TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater.

Lakewood Blue Claws - Single "A" affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. First Energy Park, Lakewood Township.

Baseball Pinball - I played this game by the hour as a kid when "down the shore" at the arcades. It's a "bucket list" kind of thing to have.


2012 Season


February is now here and the new season is only months away. Look to these pages as I make my way around Jersey and visit the different ballparks. It's gonna be a "Jersey Baseball Summer"!

Pocket Schedules
It's official, the new schedules for the 2012 Omaha Storm Chasers season are out and available now! Not long now!

Pitchers and Catchers Report!

The faintest hint of spring is now here. The pitchers and catchers start as early as tomorrow, 2/20/12. Below is one of my favorite managers, Clint Hurdle. Now in his 2nd season with the Pirates, I knew Clint when he broke into the BIGS with the KC Royals. Really looking forward to seeing what he can do with this woebegone team.

Great MLB sign.....says it all!


Will I Get My Shit Together in 2013?
...and actually report on some ball games, go to some minor league games. Last year was a wash, watched a lot on TV but hardly went to any games.

I did, however, go to the final home game of the season to watch R.A. Dickey become a 20 game winner. I attended the festivities with "The 7 Line Army", a group of fanatical fans. We filled an entire section by the rising apple and had a wonderful afternoon.

He later went on to win the Cy Young for the National League and promptly got shipped off to Toronto. Now I realize that in terms of baseball common sense, his age being a major factor, his trade value was at the highest it will probably ever be.

Still, in all, he was their ace and once again they are relying on the minors to supply them with a miracle. Not to mention the fact that they have NO outfield at this point. It seems to me that this is "Money Ball" going horribly wrong.

So 2013 is upon us and Spring Training will start soon enough. May God keep and protect our National Pastime.
Sunday, 2/24/13
Spring training is now in full swing and it is just beginning to hit me that the season is back upon me. Starting to watch the MLB network with increasing regularity and am interested in a variety of teams, most noteworthy, the Toronto Blues Jays, who are now stocked with Mets and Marlins. It will be interesting to see how the AL East pans out.

Meanwhile in Metsville, Johann Santana is bring pushed back and back from actually starting a game. I think his days are numbered as it will soon come to pass that he was yet another pitcher who was brought aboard just a bit past his prime. I have it in my mind, finally, that it is all about rebuilding and the new pitching, new phenom catcher and the re-signing of David Wright for the long term will make the season somewhat exciting. The outfield scares the shit outta me though, we'll see.



New Spring Training hats....not sure how I feel about the Mets one.

A great reason to collect Base Ball cards:


Wednesday, 2/27/13
Today at 1PM...this guy pitches! A bright spot for the lowly Metsies!

Sunday, 3/16/13



A 360 degree video view of Citi Field done by the infamous "7 Line Army".

A good friend of mine has an extra ticket for the Washington Nationals home opener in their ballpark. 8th row center behind home plate. All the food and drinks you can handle included, waiter service and the joy of watching an emerging powerhouse ball club with future hall of famers on the field! So all I need is $300 for the ticket and train fare to DC. It's to the bodega for me to try my hand at "scratch offs"!

Two weeks til opening day!

David Wright named Mets 4th Captain
David Wright joins an incredibly select list of Mets who were named Captain of the team. That list includes: Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter, John Franco and now David Wright. Although he has been unofficial Captain for awhile now, it is a good idea to make it offiical. Let's see if he's up to the task The team is extremely frail this year with Johann Santana already on the DL for the beginning of the season, Daniel Murphy sidelined and even David, himself, is being affected with sore ribs from playing in the Base Ball World games. And so it goes....

Opening Day Menu
Thanks go to Johnny "Mags" for bringing me this idea for those of us staying at home but want to get that ballpark feel for the home opener:

Peanuts in the Shell (guess I better not throw the shells on the rug)

Soft Pretzels ~ There is a good brand you can buy and bake and even add how much salt you would like.

Hot Dogs ~ I'm a Nathan's guy. I own a Procter Silex dog griller, it cooks the dogs while the long round bars beneath rotate grilling the dogs evenly.

Bun Steamer ~ The buns need to be good hot dog potato buns. Just a simple rack that fits into a pot, semi filled with water. When boiling set the buns on the rack and put on the lid. There is space to add hot dogs in case you want the street vendor "dirty water" type dog.

Saurkraut ~ Any brand will do

Spicy Brown Mustard ~ I like the type that comes with horse radish in it. I also like the mustard/relish combo in a jar.

Domestic Cold Beer Here! ~ Bud, Coors, Miller. The usual suspects served in a plastic cup.

There you have it. What more can you really ask for except for somebody to clean up the mess after the game is over.

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, yea.

Between Innings Hi-jinks
It's all the rage! Food, Condiments, even past Presidents racing around the warning track between innings for your entertainment and delight! I've been unfortunate enough to witness this travesty on a few occasions and all I can really wonder is "What's Next?"

Pittsburgh has it's pirogi's...that delicious pastry stuffed with a multitude of different things, traditionally potato. Think of a Chinese dumpling, but the Polish version...they are about the same size and make a ridiculous spectacle at the Pirates PNC Ball Park.

Next up are the silly sausages at Miller Ball Park in Milwaukee, Home of the Brewers. I'm not sure exactly whats what, but the one in the sombrero I think is a red hot sausage. There is a chef sandwiched in there too.

Last but by far not least are the Presidents at the Washington Nationals Ball Park. George, Abe, Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt, otherwise known as the Mt. Rushmore Crew, race at every home game of the Nationals. Now for some reason, for the few years they have been doing this, Roosevelt has NEVER won. Finally, this past season he won a race and it was all over the media...this is the important news of the day for Christ sake!

Let me know about any I missed and I will cram them in here!

April 12, 2013
Well, the season is underway and is thus far fairly enjoyable. Inter league play is ridiculous and I can see where this is heading: One league with different conferences and within each conference, different divisions...all leading to the biggest fuck up of all, the universal adaptation of the DH. Woe is me!

The Mets have lost Santana for the season and probably forever but Jon Neise and Matt Harvey have filled the front part of the rotation nicely. The big surprise, thus far, has been John Buck, the veteran catcher. He had a good season with with Toronto in 2010 hitting .281 with 20 HR and 66 RBI's in 118 games. Not what you would call HOF numbers but decent. He spent 2011 and 2012 with Miami where he did little to excite anyone. So we find him in 2013 with the Mets, a back up catcher as we await the phenom Travis d'Naraud who was acquired from the Blue Jays as part of the R.A. Dickey deal.
John Buck, however, seems not to be content with sitting around waiting for d'Naraud to get seasoned in the
minors. He is setting the world on fire with a show of hitting the likes the Mets have not seen from a catcher since Carter and Deluca. Last nights Grand Salami in Minnesota seemed to place an exclamation mark on his "I'm here to play!" statement. I hope the rest of the season goes well for him.

July 25,2013
Since memorial day the Mets have one of the best records in the Eastern Division. They are above .500 on the road thus far and more importantly, they are beginning to win at home.

First and foremost is the pitching. Matt Harvey has been nothing short of stellar and living up to everything that was expected of him. Zack Wheeler is a work  in progress but shows enormous potential. Dillon Gee is coming along very nicely and Bobby Parnell is settling into his role as a closer and doing a fine job.

Acquiring Eric Young Jr, from the Rockies for a leadoff hitter and a left fielder fills the need in two places and Eric is making the most of the situation. His base stealing and heads up running has resulted in 10 steals with only 3 caught stealings. He is performing the best he ever has in the majors.

Juan Lagares, fresh from the minors after being signed in the free agent draft in 2010 may really be a solution for their center field slot which has been a shambles since the exit of Angel Pagan to the Giants. Fast and gracefull, he patrols center field with ease it seems and is contributing with the bat as well.

Josh satin, called up when Ike Davis was sent down to AAA, has contributed mightily with his bat and been above average at first base. Hard to play Ike now that he is back when he has done so well and deserves playing time.

The above is all fine and dandy but what remains to be seen are how these "new" guys going to stand up to a grueling 160 + game season. Therein lies the rub. But, hey, it's fun again to watch them, I may just have to go to Citi this year and a .500 season is not out of the realm.

Sandy Alderson? Could I have been wrong? I sure hope so would rather come to praise him than bury him!






One of the coolest give- aways of the year, The San Fran. Giants and their grateful Dead bobble head!


  July 27, 2013 - Reminiscing about a trip to Omaha

Sunset at The Storm Chasers Park in Omaha


Give away's a plenty!

Omaha Steaks! It don't get too much tastier than that!


Old school throwbacks, back when they were known as the Omaha Royals

And they're off! Hebrew National in the lead, with Hunt's tomato ketchup close behind...Orville Redenbacher closing in fast with some poor taco kid bringing up the rear.

Omaha dressed in their weekend black "vest" jerseys.

Bobbleheads!



I only own a couple but I crave more! Might even be a type of "Bucket List" thing. If I win the lottery I will invest in Bobblehead art, big time!

Baseball was so much better when:

1) The World Series were day games
2) Fans went to the park and actually watched the games 
3) You weren't lost in a sea of food choices, there were dogs, peanuts, pop corn and drinks, period. 
4) You could buy a scorecard and ONLY a scorecard rather an encyclopedia of ads. 
5) People actually kept score and knew how to do it. 
6) It was a great family and friends night and not a drunken brawl.

Click here:
How to Score a Baseball Game