Tag Archives: Spring training

“BACK TO BASEBALL!”

BACK TO BASEBALL SPRIG EDITION

Here’s something new from our Sounds of Baseball partner.  It was  contributed by Alan Babbitt.  Just in time for spring training, the song evokes the sublime feelings of the sights, sounds and feelings of childhood baseball memories. And, like Alan says, “Kinda gets you hankering for a good hot dog”.

 

To whet your appetite, here’s what he says about the original “Back to Baseball”:

“This song tells the true story of a boy growing up in Brooklyn in the 1950’s. It’s about the joy of 1st love and the heartbreak of losing it. And it’s about reflection, renewal and redemption. It’s even got a humorous, surprise ending!

Oh, yeah, it’s also about Baseball.”

Want more?  Go to Alan’s website:  https://alanbabbittmusic.bandcamp.com/track/back-to-baseball

‘Can’t Get Enough of a Good Thing!

A few weeks ago my son, while watching a Seattle Seahawks clip, said “I just can’t get enough of this stuff.”  And that’s exactly how I felt while watching this interview with Madison Bumgarner.   Like a lot of baseball fans who’ve been in a dry spell waiting for Spring Training, I’ve been craving some little tidbit, picture, video, or article about baseball, but especially about Bumgarner.   He was  in the face of the baseball world everywhere, non-stop for weeks and all of a sudden there was ………nothing!

So when I came upon this 10 minute interview I was in my element.  This was ten minutes of Mad Bum responding candidly to questions we’ve all been wanting to ask about him, his family, his feelings, teammates and the game in general.  Good Stuff.

And a special thanks to the KNBR staff for putting this together on You Tube so it can be shared with everyone.  Spring training just around the corner folks …… See you soon!

“Homer at the Bat” Video

I never saw this “Simpson” segment when it first appeared on the telly.  Thanks to Deadspin for recreating it for us.   I really like most of the “Deadspin” blogs but this is  only one of a handful I’ve been able to share with you, ours being lily-white and theirs being, well, um, colorful.   This Deadspin blog’s titled, “The Making of Homer at the Bat. The Episode that Conquered Prime Time 20 years Ago Tonight” (February 20).   I found the article totally entertaining.

Consider this little fluff-post a jump start as we head into spring training ~ I mean a gal’s gotta do something.  Can’t just sit around and twiddle our thumbs waiting for opening day you know …

Braving the Fan Fest at AT&T Park!

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Photos courtesy of KNBR and Ronni Redmond

I made up my mind last year that no matter what happened, I was going to the Fan Fest this year!   And I did.  We, my husband and I, always take Cal-Train to Giants games at AT&T Park just to avoid the parking and we did the same today.  It’s a few blocks to the ballpark from the train station and it’s the perfect way to travel stress-free to the games.

All the stories about the crowds proved true again this year.  Rumor has it the crowd was around 35,000 but to tell you the truth we avoided all of that.  I leave the autograph-seeking to the youngsters  so we headed up to the club level and found a perfect spot, a little to the right of  home plate,  front row, seats 1 and 2.  And we settled in for the day with our perfect seats for some perfect photo’s and perfect weather.  I loved this.   And we had a fantastic view of the KNBR Broadcast Stage and could hear the interviews and conversations as though we were sitting right there with them.   We had a great time at the park today!

Baseball season is finally here.  Almost.  But it’s close enough you can reach out and touch it, feel it.  Tomorrow’s Super Bowl Sunday which is probably great if you’re a football fan.  Oh okay,  I have to admit I did get a little taken up with the Tebowing  thing this year, but honestly can you truly say there’s anything better than spring training and opening day of baseball?   I’ve been waiting for this since the 7th  game of the world series last year and it’s just as good as I’d hoped it would be.  Thank you God. Baseball, one of the many pleasures in life.

You might remember a Bill Cosby video many years ago that included a story about little Jeffrey.  “Little Jeffrey” on the airplane.   On the one and one-half hour ride home  we had a little Jeffrey on the train.  Little Jeffrey screamed all the way home finally de-training just one stop before we did.  I watched him as his poor drained parents stepped off the train and  carried him past our window, little Jeffrey all smiles.  Our children are all grown now and gone, with children of their own.   But I remember the days.  Thank you again God.  Retirement, one of the many pleasures in life!

Roy Oswalt ……. Luck of the Irish (Scots?)

Oh no!   Not Roy Oswalt!  This video just shows how close these guys are to disaster with every pitch!   This is scary stuff!   As you’re probably aware, Roy’s one of the Phab Four for the Phillies this year and expectations are high for them and also for the Phillies.    Back in the old days,  dad always said a pitcher was supposed to be ready to field after the delivery.  Get yourself  right back in position with your mitt in front of  you to protect from this very thing.   But back in the 40’s and 50’s, I doubt very much the pitchers were throwing with the same intensity and velocity they are today.   Who has time to do that; get back into position I mean?  Baseball’s changed.   They may have thrown just as fast back then, but the players now are huge in comparison and my thought is their reflexes are not as fast as the smaller pitchers.  I don’t know, I’m just saying, there’s a reason those old fashioned rules don’t seem to apply anymore.  Pitchers now aren’t expected to play the entire nine innings like they routinely did back in the old days.   They give it their best shot, and a reliever comes in to continue where the starter left off.   And then in comes the closer!   So I doubt very much dad’s thinking would apply now.   

Last reports are that Oswalt is doing well,  and except for the baseball-sized welt on the back of his neck he should be able to start the regular season as scheduled.   He’s lucky.   His teammate Chase utley is facing surgery after his bout this spring with tendinitis in his knee, and most likely will miss a good part of the season, after missing a majority of 2010.  Heartbreaking for the players and heartbreaking for the fans. 

Spring training!   A must for getting back into shape and letting the players gel with each other.  But what a price to pay for these guys!    The Giants closer, Brian Wilson, suffered a strained oblique muscle, and is looking at possibly sitting out just the first couple of regular season games, if he’s lucky.   It could be much more and Cody Ross caught what appeared to be a routine fly ball yesterday, only to limp off the field with a calf strain.   A visit to an MRI center resulted in a walking “boot” and crutches for Ross.  It’s anyone’s guess how long he’ll be out.  Here’s a list of a few other incidents this spring:

  • St Louis Cardinals starting pitcher, Adam Wainwright had Tommy John surgery last week and will most likely miss the entire 2012 season.
  • Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher, Shaun Marcum, suffered a “tight shoulder” after his last outing.  Whether he’ll be sidelined for the beginning of the season is questionable. 
  • Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher, Zach Greinke, broke a rib in a “basketball game” and remains on the disabled list this spring training.  (Okay, okay, probably not entirely related to spring training!)
  • Los Angeles Angels First Baseman Kendry Morales was sidelined with a broken foot for the majority of 2010, and spring training hasn’t been able to help Morales get back on “foot” still.   Looks like more rehab time for him before he’s back in the regular season.
  • Yankees lead-off hitter, Brett Gardner, is back in the line-up after suffering a bruised shin during spring training.

The list goes on and on.  But wait!   Believe it or not, there’s actually some good news for the rest of us.   The 2012 Regular Baseball Season begins next week!   So it’s time to clean up the barbecue, get out those scorecards, stock up on popcorn and hotdogs, and get out the gear.   Makes me all emotional just thinking about it.  

And cross your fingers for all those guys on the disabled list so they’ll be able to join us soon.   Let’s face it.  It’s just not the same playing a game with one or more of your guys sitting on the bench with a disability!   Too bad we can’t just go from post season to regular season and skip the Spring Training!    Save us all some headaches!

Spring Training Odds & Ends ……

David Letterman’s Top 10 List of  Things you Don’t want to hear During Spring Training!

Pablo Sandoval "Before"

I’m not a huge fan of David Letterman, but still ……. this was kinda sorta funny.   I’ve been following Spring Training this year,  more than in the past and I’m seriously thinking about running down to Arizona next year to see what all the fuss is about!    One of the things that struck my funnybone this year was all the

Pablo Sandoval "After"

hubbub that’s going around about Tim Lincecum‘s In ‘n Out Burger runs.  When one of the  analysts asked him today if he took the Panda with him,  Tim assured him he always went solo, at least during spring training.  Panda, if  you’re not from the Bay Area, refers to Pablo Sandoval who, at the end of last season, weighed in around 289 pounds much to the dismay of management.   At the threat of being sent back to the Minors this year if he didn’t get back into serious shape, Panda Pablo managed to drop 38 pounds, while adding some muscle,  and looks and acts fit as a fiddle.  Good news for Giants fans, that’s for sure!   But the conversation about Timmy’s lunch relates to his daily routine of three double-decker burgers, two orders of fries and a vanilla/chocolate combo milkshake.   That’s about 3,400 calories just for lunch each day and Tim only weighs 165 pounds!    Sure would be great to have a metabolism that could burn that off!

Luis Salazar

One thing that always bothers me about spring training is how many players get injured.   I’m pretty sure the reason for spring training is to get back in shape after the three months “vacation” from regular and postseason.   One of the injured this year is Chase Utley, who’s always been a powerhouse for Philadelphia.   But a real casualty this year happened not to a player, but to a spectator.  Actually, he’s  Luis Salazar,  a Minor League Manager for the Atlanta Braves and he was hit in the face by a line drive during a Spring Training game on March 9.  Salazar, 54, was leaning up against the railing on the top step of the dugout when Brian McCann slammed a foul ball directly towards Salazar, who didn’t see it coming.  He ended up losing his left eye, a real tragedy in any ballpark.    I know, I know, accidents happen, and this was indeed a tragic accident, but it’s still really sad when we hear about them.    We still have a few more weeks of Spring Training left and let’s cross our fingers we can get through without any more casualties.  A big hug and a “get well soon” to  Luis!