Baltimore Follies Forgiven ….. For Now

An Empty Oriole Stadium

An Empty Oriole Stadium

It took a  Seamheads.Com post by Terry Keshner this morning to get me back in the saddle.  I really miss posting, but have a lot on my plate for at least another week and my favorite thing to do has had to take a backseat.

Seamheads is a great baseball site, one of my favorites, so I sat up and took notice when the Baltimore Orioles/Chicago White Sox games took center stage when the games were closed to the fans these past few days.  “It had to be that way” the article said.

“It had to be that way”?  When the Europeans closed their stadiums it was directly related to the players and the fans. They were getting killed on game day at those stadiums.

This didn’t have to be that way. What did the attempt of some high school kids and community organizers trying to usurp the authority of legally empowered law enforcement officers have to do with closing the stadium?  Does the system need to be overhauled? Probably.  But by closing the stadium they denied workers, vendors, and fans their legal rights so now you don’t just have the kids and their enablers affected you’re also affecting 40,000 individuals who had nothing to do with the mess.

Maybe the regular security measures that accompany most stadiums on game day, along with National Guardsmen strategically placed around the stadium, inside and out, might have been a better alternative. Just one suggestion. And I’m sure there are many others that are better than the decision to close the stadium on game day.

But this is something we’ve not had to deal with in our country before and hopefully it will be the last, but don’t count on it.  The times-they-are-a-changing folks  and now’s the time to get our smarts in order so that decisions  for better strategies can be made in the future.

In my humble opinion, of course.

OPENING DAY and THE REASON FOR RAINBOWS

kids playing baseball imageOne of my clients last week casually mentioned  about opening day being so special this year because of the new kids, the rookies.  Such an abundant resource the team has never seen, he said.  I think he’s probably right.

But you could probably say that about any team, in any year, on opening day.  I love the rookies.  I love that first hit, that first home run, that first steal, that first great defensive play ….. whenever, wherever it might happen.  Joe Panik comes to mind for the Giants last season.

And it also brought to mind one of my favorite poems.  I wrote the author a few years ago and asked for permission to reprint his poem in my book “Garlic Fries and Baseball“.  I received his permission with a most wonderful and supportive letter.  It’s about a kid, and about the person who takes the time to teach that kid about baseball.   I love this poem.

The Reason for Rainbows
A Song to Baseball by J. Patrick Lewis
Published: Baseball Almanac
There was an Old Man of Late Summer
Met a Winter Boy out of the blue,
And he whisked him away
From the city one day
Just to show him what country boys do.
He taught him three whys of a rooster,
And he showed him two hows of a hen.
Then he’d try to bewitch him
With curve balls he’d pitch him
Again and again and again.
He taught him the reason for rainbows,
And he showed him why lightning was king,
Then he fingered the last ball—
A wicked hop fastball—
He threw to the plate on a string.

Oh, the Old Summer Man and the Young Winter Lad
Spent the light of each day—every moment they had—
In the wind and the rain, or the late summer sun,
Where he taught him to pitch and he taught him to run
In the wind and rain and the late summer sun.

But when that Old Man of Late Summer
Met the Winter Boy out of the blue,
He said to him, “Son,
You can pitch, you can run,
But to hit here is what you must do:
Just pretend that the stick on your shoulder
Is as wide as a bald eagle’s wing.
You’re a bird on a wire
And your hands are on fire—
But you’re never too eager to swing.
Stand as still as a rabbit in danger,
Watch the pitch with the eyes of a cat.
What will fly past the mound—
Unforgettable sound—
Is the ball as it cracks off the bat.

Oh, the Old Summer Man and the Young Winter Lad
Spent the light of each day—every moment they had—
In the wind and the rain, or the late summer sun,
Where he taught him to pitch and he taught him to run
In the wind and rain and the late summer sun.

J. Patrick Lewis

Ballpark Food Everywhere …. This time from Calcaterra!

garlicfriesandbaseball:

bacon flight baconApril 2nd and it’s still all about the food folks.  These morsels can be found at U. S. Cellular field, Home of the Chicago White Sox.   Hang in there.  Only a few more days. But in the meantime just looking at these little mouthwatering tasties can’t hurt and they give us something else to look forward to!

Personally?  I’m still trying to get that “Diamondback Churro Dog”  out of my head.

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

The “Singularity” refers to a notion that, eventually, our technology will push so far that it will lead to a point where artificial intelligence will exceed human intellectual capacity, thereby radically changing civilization. We will lose complete control, life will become unpredictable and possibly even terrifying. Our creations may bring about our very own destruction.

A related phenomenon: the Ballpark Concessions Singularity, when we lose control over the insanely over-the-top terrible-for-you novelty food they trot out each spring. I mean, it was nice and life-enhancing when we moved beyond mere hot dogs and peanuts and into things like nachos. But we’re entering into a chain reaction of concessions escalation from which we’re unlikely to emerge unscathed on the other side.

The latest example: what the White Sox will be serving at U.S. Cellular Field this year:

View original 81 more words

Milwaukee Brewers “Hank the Dog” Mascot

garlicfriesandbaseball:

hank the dog2Okay. I have to admit this is a little bit lame, but you have to admit it’s a little bit about baseball. Hank’s a stray that somehow wandered in to the Milwaukee Brewers baseball scene.  Now he’s not only the team mascot but recently got his own Bobblehead. !  I couldn’t resist ~ Scroll down through the pic’s and you’ll see what I mean.  Only a few more weeks folks:))

Originally posted on The Baseball Continuum:

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2015 season. Previous installments can be found here. Today, a cute dog.

I could write about the Brewers, but why do that when I now have a perfect excuse to have pictures of Hank, the cute little stray pup who was adopted as a unofficial mascot by the Brewers last season and found it’s way into America’s heart?

I mean, look at this fella:

D’aww.

(Go below the jump for more, since this is image heavy.)

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“BLUE SOCKS UP!” A Tribute to David Balfour

Blue socks upTampa Bay Rays wear “Socks Up” to honor Grant Balfour’s father, David.

I review 50-100 baseball blogs and articles, photos, etc., on a weekly basis and this is the one that caught my attention this morning.  I’m not sure why I have an affinity for the ballplayers who choose to wear their socks up during the games.   I even use it as a home page photo for this blog.  Maybe it has to do with the old-timers, the guys who started it all.  You know, tradition  ….. the real thing.  At least that’s how I see it in my mind.

So the picture caught my attention and that lead to the article.  It’s about Tampa Bay’s relief pitcher, Grant Balfour and his father, David who died last week from a long bout with pancreatic cancer.  David was the original owner and General Manager of the Sydney Blue Sox of the Australian League.  He retired in 2013 due to his illness.

I don’t know if the Sydney Blues all wear their socks up or not.  Maybe it’s an Australian thing.  Not so much here in America.  But in my mind, it’s just a real classy look.  And it’s a real classy thing the Rays did for Grant Balfour on his return to the ballpark this week.

It’s an inspiring story.  You can read it here at Big League Stew, by Mark Townsend.   To Grant Balfour ~ welcome home to spring training.   It’s obvious   how much the Rays appreciate having you on board, and that’s always a good thing.

 

 

Not Exactly Garlic Fries but still ……….who cares?

The Churro Dog

The Churro Dog

OMG!  The Arizona Diamondbacks have come up with something that might be just as good as garlic fries.  And only 1,117 Calories!  If I ever make it to Chase Field I’ll sure give it a try.

Here ~ Take a look at the article.   Churros, Diamondback Style!

Courtesy of Sportress of Blogitude.

 

Letterman on Sandoval

Back in 2011 the Pablo Sandoval reported to Spring Training in Arizona looking much like, well, a Panda Bear,  to the chagrin of the powers that be for the SF Giants.

The Panda belongs to the Boston Red Sox now and is no longer the problem of Bruce Bochy and the San Francisco Giants.  I get that.  But I’ve had so many searches on my blog today looking for for  David Letterman’s Top 10 List on Pablo Sandoval that aired last night,  I had to dig it up and view it myself.

I never personally cared about Pablo’s weight while he was with the Giants because to tell you the truth it didn’t seem to slow him down much.  He wasn’t hitting as well, but he could sure round the bases at top speed when he needed to and he dove and caught most of the in-flight balls and grounders that headed his way towards third base.  He never lost the fan base, they loved him, even though the press rode him pretty hard about it.

So now it appears the Panda’s put on another few pounds and it’s going to be interesting to see how the Red Sox organization deals with it.   I wonder if there’s a “Panda Pounds” clause in his new contract?

Because, honestly, if he keeps his stats and numbers up, who cares?