Monthly Archives: March 2013

In Honor of Opening Day ~ John Fogerty’s “Centerfield”

Lyrics to John fogerty’s “centerfield”

Well, beat the drum and hold the phone – the sun came out today!
We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field.
A-roundin’ third, and headed for home, it’s a brown-eyed handsome man;
Anyone can understand the way I feel.

Chorus:
Oh, put me in, coach – I’m ready to play today;
Put me in, coach – I’m ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be centerfield.

Well, I spent some time in the mudville nine, watchin’ it from the bench;
You know I took some lumps when the mighty casey struck out.
So say hey willie, tell ty cobb and joe dimaggio;
Don’t say “it ain’t so”, you know the time is now.

Chorus

Yeah! I got it, I got it!

Got a beat-up glove, a homemade bat, and brand-new pair of shoes;
You know I think it’s time to give this game a ride.
Just to hit the ball and touch ’em all – a moment in the sun;
(pop) it’s gone and you can tell that one goodbye!

Chorus
Chorus
Yeah!

I’ve run this before  but it’s my all time favorite baseball video so it just seems appropriate to use it to start off  another baseball season.  Thank you God for giving us John Fogerty and these wonderful classic shots of baseball history, courtesy of Youtube and “Cowboy Lyrics.com“. 

Tip:  Use full screen and turn up the volume!

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USA Today’s Annual Baseball Salaries Report!

Hot off the Press Courtesy of USA Today!

2012 MLB Salaries by Team

TEAM TOTAL PAYROLL AVG SALARY MEDIAN STD DEV
New York Yankees $ 197,962,289 $ 6,186,321 $ 1,937,500 $ 7,938,987
Philadelphia Phillies $ 174,538,938 $ 5,817,964 $ 1,875,000 $ 6,833,158
Boston Red Sox $ 173,186,617 $ 5,093,724 $ 1,556,250 $ 6,311,421
Los Angeles Angels $ 154,485,166 $ 5,327,074 $ 3,150,000 $ 6,212,772
Detroit Tigers $ 132,300,000 $ 4,562,068 $ 1,100,000 $ 6,557,916
Texas Rangers $ 120,510,974 $ 4,635,037 $ 3,437,500 $ 4,728,330
Miami Marlins $ 118,078,000 $ 4,373,259 $ 1,500,000 $ 5,228,424
San Francisco Giants $ 117,620,683 $ 3,920,689 $ 1,275,000 $ 5,296,153
St. Louis Cardinals $ 110,300,862 $ 3,939,316 $ 800,000 $ 4,858,527
Milwaukee Brewers $ 97,653,944 $ 3,755,920 $ 1,981,250 $ 3,965,659
Chicago White Sox $ 96,919,500 $ 3,876,780 $ 530,000 $ 4,956,845
Los Angeles Dodgers $ 95,143,575 $ 3,171,452 $ 875,000 $ 3,673,217
Minnesota Twins $ 94,085,000 $ 3,484,629 $ 750,000 $ 5,207,450
New York Mets $ 93,353,983 $ 3,457,554 $ 875,000 $ 5,867,084
Chicago Cubs $ 88,197,033 $ 3,392,193 $ 1,262,500 $ 4,617,206
Atlanta Braves $ 83,309,942 $ 2,776,998 $ 577,500 $ 4,037,723
Cincinnati Reds $ 82,203,616 $ 2,935,843 $ 1,150,000 $ 3,462,247
Seattle Mariners $ 81,978,100 $ 2,927,789 $ 495,150 $ 4,998,379
Baltimore Orioles $ 81,428,999 $ 2,807,896 $ 1,300,000 $ 3,205,445
Washington Nationals $ 81,336,143 $ 2,623,746 $ 800,000 $ 3,618,322
Cleveland Indians $ 78,430,300 $ 2,704,493 $ 800,000 $ 3,661,123
Colorado Rockies $ 78,069,571 $ 2,692,054 $ 482,000 $ 3,272,886
Toronto Blue Jays $ 75,489,200 $ 2,696,042 $ 1,768,750 $ 2,881,414
Arizona Diamondbacks $ 74,284,833 $ 2,653,029 $ 1,625,000 $ 2,587,139
Tampa Bay Rays $ 64,173,500 $ 2,291,910 $ 1,425,000 $ 2,313,395
Pittsburgh Pirates $ 63,431,999 $ 2,187,310 $ 916,666 $ 3,109,669
Kansas City Royals $ 60,916,225 $ 2,030,540 $ 870,000 $ 2,282,159
Houston Astros $ 60,651,000 $ 2,332,730 $ 491,250 $ 4,543,506
Oakland Athletics $ 55,372,500 $ 1,845,750 $ 487,500 $ 2,179,703
San Diego Padres $ 55,244,700 $ 1,973,025 $ 1,207,500 $ 2,049,861

If you’ll click on the individual teams, you can access the individual player salaries.

The first thing I like to do when I see these reports is to check where the teams that made the postseason rank in terms of annual salaries.  For example, the World Champion San Francisco Giants rank 8th on the annual salaries list. 

Here’s a chart where you can do that comparison:  MLB Standings Overall for 2012.  See how your team ranks vs their annual payrolls shown above.

April 1st Isn’t Just for Fools This year!

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April 1st ~ Opening Day!

Adios Amigos! Latinos Dominate World Baseball Classic Finale!

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Latinos did indeed dominate the World Baseball Classic Finale and it wasn’t just Team Dominican Republic and  Team Puerto Rico!  The fans had a lot to say about it and they were plenty vocal  at this finale!   The Dominican Republic probably out-noised the Puerto Rican’s but it wasn’t because they weren’t trying. 

It started with the national anthems of both countries, both beautiful and bold and loudly sung by the local compatriots, and then with every strike, every hit, every call, every out, a loud and boisterous cheer would rise up from one side of the stadium or the other.  I didn’t really understand a lot of what the chants and cheers were about because I don’t speak Spanish, but there was no mistaken the enthusiasm from both sides of the field tonight.  And I loved it! 

I’ve always felt baseball was an American sport, my sport, and I’ve been rather complacent in that understanding.  I suppose secretly I felt it gave me just a tad bit of  superiority knowing I was an American spectator at “my sport” and no one loved and understood the sport quite as much as I did.  But that feeling quickly dissipated tonight as I watched how these two teams and their raucous rowdy fans with their horns and cowbells displayed their emotions with every bit the love, pride and enthusiasm I always felt was reserved for my team, my country.   And I found myself cheering just as loud as they were ~ for BOTH teams!  I mean how can you possibly pick one or the other?  You’ve gotta love them both, unless, of course, you’re from one of those two countries. 

And it wasn’t just at the game.  After the game we came across a young fan from Puerto Rico who was trying to take a picture with his cell phone of his one-star flag by holding the flag in one hand and trying to balance the camera in the other.  My sister offered her help as he explained he was trying to send the pic to his girlfriend.  He then gave us a brief lesson on the history of the flag and how important it was that they were in the WBC Finals.  Puerto Rico ended up losing to the Dominican Republic by a score of 3-0, as the Dominican Republic went 8-0 and became the first team to go unbeaten in a WBC.

But it didn’t seem to matter, at least not to this fan.  He was just happy to be a part of the experience.   And so were we.  The crowd was composed of Hispanics and Latinos happy, proud and loud, to be there.   It was exciting and humbling to witness that fan base.  I’ve attended several games in Mazatlan, Mexico, and it was the same thing there.  This isn’t just an American sport anymore folks, if, in fact, it ever was.  It belongs to all of us. 

Congratulations to the Dominican Republic and the Puerto Rican teams for an honorable display of  the love of baseball and patriotism combined.  And so, until the next World Baseball Classic brings all of us together again ~ sayonara, tot ziens and  adios amigos!

Baseball the Winner at World Baseball Classic!

Final Four:  Dominican Republic, Japan, Netherlands & Puerto Rico.

Final Four: Dominican Republic, Japan, Netherlands & Puerto Rico.

I was a little discouraged after the USA’s loss to Puerto Rico last night, especially after getting trounced the night before by the Dominican Republic.  I felt bad for our players who gave of themselves to the cause of honor and glory for the good old USA.   We all watched as some of their own teammates on Team Puerto Rico were bathing themselves in pride and victory, the first time their country advanced this far in the Classic.

The fact that I have tickets to the Finals in San Francisco on Tuesday didn’t help  either.  I mean who wants to spend the time and money to watch a game that your team isn’t even playing in?  Might as well watch it on television.  So I’m watching a replay of the 2012 World Series final game, where I knew I could find solace, and headed for the internet to knock off the evening before retiring. 

And that’s where I found this amazing article.  It changes my perspective on everything about baseball.   Now I can hardly wait for Sunday when the playoffs begin.  I’m going to start watching these kids very closely, trying personally to find the next all-star rookie from within the ranks of these four teams.  Good grief,  I might even find a new calling as a baseball scout ~ don’t laugh, it could happen.  Well probably not, but it gives me a whole new respect for those who are ~ scouts I mean.  

I love the concept.  I mean a true “World” Baseball Classic.  After all, isn’t that what this is supposed to be about?  In trying to promote baseball throughout the world wouldn’t it be a really great thing to have the World Series be just that, an honest-to-goodness world series?  

Take a look at this great article and see what you think.  I’m inspired.  And kudos to Matthew  Pouliot for writing it.

Repost from a Matthew Pouliot Article, HardballTalks, March 15, 2013.   

Let’s face it: the World Baseball Classic’s uphill climb as an event worth watching wouldn’t gain any momentum if Team USA ran away with it.

That’s why it has to be pretty exciting for MLB to see Puerto Rico advance past the U.S. and join the Dominican Republic, Japan and The Netherlands in the WBC semifinals. While baseball hardly needs a boost in the Dominican and Japan, it’s standing in Puerto Rico and Europe figures to get at least a modest boost thanks to this month’s tournament.

In the short term especially, it’s money more than talent than MLB is hoping to gain from Europe. But getting Puerto Rican kids more interested in baseball would be a nice boon for the league. It’s no coincidence that all of Puerto Rico’s stars on the field Thursday were over 30 years old. The only actual position prospect on the team is the Twins’ Eddie Rosario. And while I like Houston’s Xavier Cedeno as a lefty specialist, none of the pitchers would seem to have grand futures in MLB, either.

Puerto Rico just hasn’t produced much major league talent since MLB put its prospects into the draft. MLB teams can no longer set up there and develop the players themselves, as they’ve long done in the Dominican Republic. A nice run in the WBC isn’t going to undo all of the damage, but it’s a little something to try and build on.

The Dutch island of Curacao is already producing talent and even more kids there could be inspired to pick up a baseball as Andrelton Simmons, Jurickson Profar and Xander Bogaerts hopefully develop into major league stars. Throw in Baltimore’s Jonathan Schoop and The Netherlands’ infield could well rival the Dominican group come 2017.

As for the U.S. team, well, this was probably the best way for it to go down; it was competitive yet far from dominant. One imagines that the U.S. players will hear it from the Dominicans and Puerto Ricans in the clubhouse over these next several months. Whether that inspires a few more stars to suit up in 2017 remains to be seen; odds are the 2013 results will be largely forgotten a year from now. But I believe the next WBC will be viewed more favorably by the players. It’s not that we’ve gotten particularly high quality baseball from the teams, but we’ve seen a bunch of very competitive games and boisterous crowds. I think it’s the case that some of the guys who opted out — the Mike Trouts, Bryce Harpers and Prince Fielders — have watched these games and felt like they’re missing out.

 

Baseball Fans ~ Unite!

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“The only comeback you’ll ever need”.    The main reason people find baseball boring is because they don’t understand it.  Okay, maybe it’a a little slow at times, but that just gives you time to analyze the pitches, or keep up with posting the entries in your scorebook.   Spread the word ~ baseball rocks! And it’s here to stay! 

Just one fan’s opinion ~

Bacon Shelled Taco ~ Ultimate Ballpark Food? You Decide …..

Bacon Shell Taco

Bacon Shell Taco

That’s right folks!  The newest ballpark food just won a competition beating out “The Bad Joke”, a corn dog covered in cheese with two strips of duck bacon on a bun.   I found this AP article  posted by Craig Calcaterra on HardBall Talk .  Previous winners of the food contest include Chicks with Sticks and the Declaration of Indigestion. They’ve since been retired from the menu.  I wonder how long this one will last? 

Chocolate Covered Bacon

Chocolate Covered Bacon

Okay, I know.  I’m making fun of it, but to be honest I’m heading to the kitchen to duplicate it.  Here at the coastal resort town of Santa Cruz one of the favorites is “chocolate covered bacon” and “candied bacon chocolate chip cookies” run a close second.  Looks pretty darn good from here! 

So all I can say is,  Bacon lovers everywhere ~ unite!  And don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.  I  mean, really, isn’t everything better with bacon on it? 

Read the entire article from The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130314/LIFESTYLE05/303140427#ixzz2NY0gIaLH