Monthly Archives: May 2012

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 …..


Leesburg, Georgia …. What’s Going on Down There?

Who ever heard of Leesburg anyway?   The name kept going through my head all week as I was anxiously awaiting the results of this year’s American idol winner.   Philip Phillips is one of the two finalists.  Philip is from Leesburg.  Where have I heard that name before?  And then it hits me ~ our very own Buster Posey is from Leesburg, GA.  A quick search on Wikipedia confirmed it.  But for Pete’s sake, the total population of Leesburg according to the last census is only 2,965, so I can’t help but wonder what the heck they’re feeding those kids down there.  Or maybe it’s something in the water.   Whatever it is the place is oozing with talent.

Buster’s sister, Samantha, is on the Valdosta State Softball team that just won the 2012 NCAA Division II National Softball Championship this year.    Well it appears they’re doing something right in Leesburg.  Maybe the rest of the country should take note.   I mean, what’s the odds of having these (and who knows how many others)  like-able, humble kids make it to the big time, at the national level, from a little podunk town in Georgia.

So hats off to the parents, teachers and townsfolk of Leesburg, GA.   Send some more our way.   Let’s spread, whatever it is you’ve got, around a little bit!

Winning a Contest ~ The Odds!

In full disclosure I have to tell you that the winner of our current contest, David Wing from Detroit, Michigan, is the exact same person who won the two free tickets to our first contest last summer!

“What are the odds” I asked you in my previous blog.  The question is a good one, but David’s name was drawn out of the hundreds of subscribers in a total random drawing.   In the last drawing it took four random drawings to get one response, which happened to be from David Wing.   This time he was the first name drawn.

Disclosure etiquette prompts me to tell you I’ve never met David Wing and the only contact I’ve ever had with him was through these two drawings.  There’s absolutely no favoritism or nepotism involved.  Perhaps next time we’ll change the rules a bit and exclude previous winners, but this time, it’s fair and square.

So congratulations once again, David, and I hope you enjoy the book. What an interesting Monday this has turned out to be!

We Have a Winner!

Congratulations to David Wing from Three Rivers, Michigan.  Dave has won an  autographed copy of my book “Garlic Fries and Baseball: The Book” which is being mailed to him today.  This is our second contest in less than a year and both winners have been Detroit Tigers fans!  What are the odds?

Here’s the response I received from David this morning:

“I’m thrilled to have been selected as the recipient of your new book. My name is David Wing and am a big fan of the Detroit Tigers. My address is (……….) Three Rivers, Michigan 49093. Please feel free to use my name in any way needed.  Thanks again from an avid reader of your blog. Dave”

The contest was a drawing to celebrate this blog’s 50,000th view which occurred yesterday. The blog started only two years ago and we appreciate the response we’ve received.  Baseball fans are awesome and you Detroit Tigers fans are among the best.  Look back at our June 3, 2010, post “The Umpire ….. Toughest Job in Baseball” where I fell over backwards loving those Tiger fans.   And now with Justin Verlander the raves just keep coming.

So thanks again to all our subscribers and especially to David Wing.  We’ll do this again when we reach another milestone!

Win A Free Copy of “Garlic Fries and Baseball: The Book”!

On August 11, 2011 we hit a milestone when our blog was viewed for the 20,000th time.   We then had a drawing and selected one subscriber who received two tickets to any MLB game of his choice.  His name was David Wing,  from Three Rivers Michigan and he’s a Detroit Tigers Fan.  Believe it or not, it took some time to give away the tickets (read about it here) but we finally did it and it’s almost time for another drawing.  You see, we’re just about to hit another milestone, our 50,000th view!

This time we’ll be giving away a copy of my book “Garlic Fries and Baseball: The Book” which is a compilation of  these blogs plus a tad more.  The book  has received some very favorable reviews.

The rules are simple.  You just have to be a subscriber to this blog to be eligible.  Current subscribers are already eligible and if you sign up now, or before the drawing, you’ll also be eligible.   The drawing will be held on the day our total views reach 50,000 ~ estimated to be approximately May 21st.  They’re tallied in real-time on the right sidebar of this blog, “Blog Stats”.

You can subscribe on the right hand side of this blog “Follow Blog Via Email”.

That’s it!  Hope to be sending you a copy of my book soon!

Capitalism Alive and Well in Baseball!

“Courtesy of Money Ball”

Last week I was perusing the San Francisco Giants website looking for tickets.  I  settled on two $46 tickets in the Premium Lower Box section, went through the hoops and hit the button only to find that the $46 tickets were now miraculously $150!   Here’s the Disclaimer that was shown on the page:

“Market pricing applies to all tickets. 
Rates can fluctuate based on factors affecting supply and demand.  Lock in your price and location today!”

What the heck is that all about?  I mean if you list something for a certain price shouldn’t that be the price you pay for it?   I’m just as much in favor of capitalism as the next guy, probably more so, and I’m not an attorney,  but shouldn’t this be considered false advertising?

I understand having different prices for different games.  For example,  a June 4th game between the Giants and the Dodgers is priced at $56 for a lower box seat but a game on August 3 between the Giants and the Padres is only $32 for the same seat.   I get it.  Nothing wrong with that.  But to buy a ticket advertised at a specific price and then find out “at checkout” that it’s three times the price you agreed to pay for it 10 seconds ago?  I don’t think so.  I wonder if other teams are doing this.  Ticket prices  should be published at the beginning of the season and remain the same throughout that season, or at least until you get a chance to click the purchase button.

“AT&T Park not the only game in town” Photo Courtesy of Gerald Carpenter

Needless to say, I cancelled the order I was working on and instead I’m flying down to San Diego in June to watch the Padres and Rangers at a price we agreed upon.  Okay, I realize with the air fare, hotel, meals, etc.,  it’s going to cost me a fortune.  But this is a protest purchase you know?  And it’s the principal of the thing.  I mean how many times do I have to keep paying for Zito’s salary?  Enough already.

One bright spot in the week.  We received an email from the Oakland A’s a few weeks ago offering $12 Field Level tickets on Mother’s Day.  And that’s exactly what they cost.  These were great front row seats, beautiful weather, friendly fans, and extremely friendly vendors and staff, and a beautiful pink rose to boot!  Needless to say, we’ll be back.

And we’re flying to Seattle and attending a Mariners game week after next.   If this is perceived as being disloyal, so be it.  I love my San Francisco Giants but I love baseball even more and I’m going to the games one way or another.

Like I said, it’s the principle of the thing.

Happy Mother’s Day Baseball Fans and Patriots ~ This One’s For You!

What does this have to do with baseball?  Well, probably not very much but Gary Sinise is an avid baseball fan, a Cubs fan, Check it out here. And  I thought you might give me some leeway, me being a mom, a patriot and a baseball fan myself.

Hope you enjoy the video (disregarding the girlies promo at the end).

Happy Mother’s Day!

Porking out at the Ballpark on Mother’s Day!

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 Some of the above pictures courtesy of  Fox Sports MLB’s Best Food List.

I just found out I’m going to the Oakland A’s – Detroit Tigers game on Mother’s Day so I went online to find out what’s for dinner!  My search found this great website  with such tantalizing food pictures I think I’ll conjure up some ballpark food for dinner tonight!

One of my favorite ballpark foods is the Primanti Brothers Sandwich at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.  When I was there the fans were lined up around the block for this one.  The special sandwich (pictured above) includes not only the roast beef, but also the salad and french fries  stacked high and part of the sandwich.

And someday I’m going to try those Rocky Mountain Oysters at Coors Stadium.  Or maybe I’ll watch someone else try them but it’ll still be an experience.

And for dessert it’s a toss-up between those yummy looking cupcakes at Safeco Field in Seattle and the  funnel cakes at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

If you don’t have plans for your mom, your kid’s mom or someone else that’s really special on Mother’s Day why not consider taking her to dinner at the Ballpark!  You’ll get to enjoy the camaraderie of some the greatest fans in all of sports, hopefully a great game and some really terrific food.

The Brewers’ Braun and Those Whinging Critics

Ryan Braun Speaking at a Press Conference after his Appeal was upheld.

Remember back in December when ESPN leaked confidential information that Ryan Braun had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs?   Braun vehemently denied that he had ever used any illegal substance and, facing a 50 game suspension, he appealed the results of the test.  The appeal was upheld in January, 2012 much to the pundits and critics dismay.  There was a huge outcry of “foul” against Ryan Braun, in what seemed to me to be a huge contingent against him.  So much for innocent until proven guilty huh?

At the heart of it all was the fact that Ryan Braun had been named the National League MVP in a close race between Braun and Matt Kemp of the LA Dodgers.  The Kempies were out in full force crying about the injustice of it all and demanding that Braun be stripped of the MVP title and Kemp named in his place.     They were whining even before the test results were overturned but now that the decision had been made the noise of it all was deafening.

So last night when Ryan Braun smacked three home-runs out of the park and topped it off with a little old triple it somehow warmed my heart to see this kid finally getting at least a little of the respect that he deserves.   Not to take anything away from Matt Kemp.  It’s not his fault his groupies are a little lame.  And nothing’s really changed by the smack of Ryan Braun’s bat last night but it does make a statement.   It says “the MVP is mine.  I earned it, I won it and I’m wearing it proudly”.

And so it goes.  Good for you kid.  Go out and smack some more homers…..just not at AT&T Park and not against the Giants.  We’ve got enough problems finding our own rhythm this year,  you know?