Archive for the Baseball tag

Mike

MLB Realignment

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By now you’ve read the talk about the potential realignment for baseball. A team moving to the AL. No more divisions. Interleague all the time. Stark’s Rumblings & Grumblings has a good conversation with Olney about it.

No one seems to be talking about solving some of this with expansion or contraction. I don’t think contraction will happen, but why not expansion?

It will take a bit of work. It might lead to more distance between the top teams and the bottom. If they wound up as small market losing teams it would be more competition with the likes of the Pirates and Royals at the top of the draft. My only suggestions to help with this, and this is just for fun, so these could be argued, would be a cap or lower luxury tax threshold, and reworking the draft. Having a global draft with limits on draft pick salaries is a must without my expansion suggestion.

My first shot at the new teams are Portland and Vegas. Rivals for the Mariners and DBacks. This would bring the total to 32 teams, 16 per league. Then the divisions can be divided up with 4 teams in each. For the playoffs there could be no wild card, or two with some sort of bye for the top division winners. Oh, and the World Series homefield is for the league with the better record in interleague, which I have been saying forever. Also, with an even number of teams in each league eliminates that odd NL-only matchup during interleague times of the season, which really screws with the out of town scoreboards.

While I’m making things up, might as well come up with the divisions.

AL
East
Blue Jays
Orioles
Red Sox
Yankees
Central
Indians
Rays
Tigers
White Sox
South
Rangers
Royals
Twins
(Vegas)
West
A’s
Angels
Mariners
(Portland)
NL
East
Braves
Mets
Nationals
Phillies
Central
Brewers
Cubs
Pirates
Reds
South
Astros
Cardinals
Marlins
Rockies
West
Diamondbacks
Dodgers
Giants
Padres

I didn’t do anything drastic. Seems to fit pretty well. I probably screwed up some rivalries, but most of the geographical ones are still in place.

Mike

I love triples, so do the Blue Jays

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Video Link (still not sure what MLB is doing with embeds)

The Blue Jays had 3 triples in a row last night. 3! The best is the announcer saying ‘you don’t see that everyday’ after the 2nd one.

I love triples. I wanted them to be worth more than home runs in my fantasy league. I think we settled on them being worth the same.

More: Baseball Reference blog has some facts including the last time this happened was the Expos in 1981.икони

Mike

Somebody Should Explain The Concept Of A Walk Off Win To Chris Berman

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Somebody Should Explain The Concept Of A Walk Off Win To Chris Berman

Sadly, this can’t be much worse than the usual ESPN announcers. If the video gets taken down, the key quote is, “The Cardinals have seven walk-offs this year, most of them at home.” Ugh.

I watched some of Sunday Night Baseball and got to see how awful the new crew is. I had high hopes after getting rid of Morgan, but that also meant getting rid of Miller. I also had high hopes because when I was at ESPN a few months back and asked about that particular duo (I subtlety hinted how awful they were and the employee subtlety agreed with me) and was told things would be ‘different’. Which to me meant better.

Mike

Bruntlett in the HOF

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Reading this article about a new exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame, I spotted a jersey in the background of this picture.

An Eric Bruntlett jersey? I know the triple play to end the game against the Mets was amazing to see and a big deal, but HOF worthy? Watching the video again … unassisted triple play to end a game. Ok. Oh, MLB had embed code …

Anyway, this new exhibit sounds pretty cool. Not that I need a reason to go to the HOF. I’ve been saying I would go every summer for the past few years. I haven’t been to Cooperstown since Schmidt and Ashburn were inducted. I have only been to the museum once, I think it was the year before that. So yea, it’s been a while. It was certainly in the plans for this summer before my internship came up.

Mike

Mrs. Phanatic HBP

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Continuing catching up. This clip is from 4/18 but it qualifies for today (well, what would have been today an hour ago). The Phanatic threw out the first pitch on his birthday and hit his mom right in the mouth (?). She goes down and then charges the mound with other mascots holding her back.

Ugh. Another autoplay. Watch at CSN Philly

I think Mrs. Phanatic made an appearance tonight. I look forward to some quality video tomorrow.

Phillie Phanatic plunks mom on birthday – 4/18.

Mike

Verlander Balk (from a few weeks ago)

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It’s time to start clearing out my list of things to post. How crazy that the oldest thing on my list is a crazy balk by Justin Verlander from a few weeks ago. Tonight he had his 2nd career no-hitter. I managed to see the last out. I think it was overshadowed by the Kentucky Derby, so I didn’t hear about it any sooner than that.

This link (cause MLB doesn’t embed) shows that Verlander balk from April 16th. He does sort of a pickoff move toward home, but that’s a simplification. Everyone was confused. The umps had to conference to decide what to do.

A’s and Tigers get a laugh from balk sequence | MLB.com: News

Mike

Ice Cream Helmets have a home

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My Ice Cream Helmets have never had a home. They were displayed on a shelf with my hats in my old room. I don’t even think they made the trip to my first apartment. Here at my current apartment, they found a shelf of their own next to my TV, but it was more of a pile than a display. I hadn’t really thought about it too hard, but my mom had.

She was talking to a patient of hers who does woodwork and somehow they hatched a plan for a project. My mom had originally wanted some sort of enclosed case that could be hung on the wall so that I didn’t have to worry about my helmets getting dusty. These aren’t the most high quality items. The logos come off pretty easily on some of them.

The guy thought about that idea, but thought it might be too heavy. He came up with his own design and made it out of a really light wood so they could be easily hung on the wall.

On Christmas morning, I was down to my last present. I hadn’t asked for too much and I had already opened those. So I was extra curious what could possibly be in my last box that was saved for after everyone else was done and mom had the camera ready.

My first question was how many could each one hold. Each has 16, he couldn’t come up with a good design to have 14 on the AL one and 16 on the NL one. Probably good. If there is another expansion, it should be to have 16 in each league. Any more than that and I’m in trouble, but I think I have some time.

I sent a picture over to Evan on Christmas morning and it was forwarded to his mom letting her know she should get in contact with my mom to place an order.

After being back to school for a week I finally had a chance to hang them up.

As for the helmets, I obviously have some work to do in the AL. If you consider the two fewer teams, they aren’t that far behind. It just looks more obvious because the corner spots aren’t filled yet.

I’m currently missing four helmets of places I have been:
Orioles – I’ve been to Camden Yards, but it was before I had started collecting the helmets. I’ve already looked at the schedule and found two promising weekends in April.
Giants, A’s, Dodgers – Something about California. The Padres were the only stadium to have helmets on the trip. We didn’t go to Anaheim, so I can’t speak for them. The A’s had helmets for popcorn and french fries. I have one of those larger helmets, but will not be putting it on this display. The Dodgers may have had them, but Evan bought the tickets for the outfield seats and you aren’t allowed to leave that section.

Mike

Yankee Stadium to see the Phillies

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A few weeks ago Evan called to let me know he had purchased a plane ticket to NYC. School would be over, so he was free. He didn’t have any plans for when he arrived. He checked the baseball schedule after booking the ticket and saw that the Phillies were in town on Thursday and the Mets would be there for the weekend.

Phillies? I’m in. I checked with Janos, he was in too. Evan’s sister’s boyfriend John rounded out the group.

I went on to StubHub and got 4 tickets in the very top row of the stadium, in a section where I thought we’d get a good view of everything. I think that goal was accomplished.

Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium

There were Phillies fans everywhere. By the end of the game, they were all that was left. The 9th inning took forever and the Phillies put a few more runs on the board, leaving to a slow exodus of the rest of the stadium.

Yankee Fans never give up on their team

I’d been to the old Yankee Stadium twice. Once when I was about 11 and during the last season because Evan hadn’t been there so we made the trip. The new one certainly doesn’t have the charm of the old one. I feel like they tried to copy how the stadium looked at the end. Meaning they attempted to make the new building look old instead of letting it age. It either will look great in many years or will fall apart very quickly. To me, the biggest improvement is the amount of extra space. The lines for food used to fill the concourses so you couldn’t even walk through. Now there is almost too much space, which is a good thing.

Any points gained by design improvements are lost by that ridiculous restaurant in center field. There is no excuse for the bleacher seats being blocked from seeing the other outfield. TV screens are not enough.

The video screen in center field looks amazing. I’m just not sure why they don’t use it for replays. I saw a few early on, but later in the game, there was nothing. Especially in the 9th when the Yankees left the field and no one could figure out what had happened. When I got home I saw that Ibanez had been hit by the grounder to end the inning. No replay or anything in the stadium to let us know what happened.

Yankee Stadium

On last thing, every seat in the stadium has a warning: “Be alert for bats and/or balls.” Every seat. Even all the way in the upper deck. This picture isn’t even from all the way at the top where we were sitting, yet still, really, really far. No bat was making it’s way up there.

Watch out for those bats
Mike

iPad for watching baseball on TV

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My iPad stand arrived this week. I went with the Twelve South BookArc for iPad. I wanted something that could hold the iPad in either direction. I would have liked one that adjusted the angle but they all looked pretty large. Last night I was finally able to use it how I envisioned it.

The Phillies were between innings so I had on the White Sox/Nats game on MLBNet. On the iPad I had the Gamecast up for the Phillies game in the MLB At Bat app. If I get MLB.tv, I can watch video on the iPad, but I don’t need that just yet, maybe in September.

The stand is exactly what I wanted. I will probably get a Bluetooth Keyboard soon and use the stand for things besides supplementing TV watching.

Mike

Holiday Baseball

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If I were running baseball …

The baseball season spans, what I consider to be, four major holidays. Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. The fourth? Opening Day. A non-baseball fan could argue it being a holiday, but for my purposes, you don’t need to worry about that argument.

First, and this should be how it already is if it weren’t for tv (which is the case for most things), all teams should open on the same day. A single Opening Day. Not an Opening Night followed by two Opening Days.

My proposal is that every game, all 15, on each of these holidays should be on some sort of national tv. ESPN and MLB Network will show quite a few games, but not all, and I don’t expect them to show all of them. Other channels should jump in on this new tradition. Broadcast or cable, whatever. On most of these holidays they are showing a marathon of whatever they find around on the floor. I don’t care what the channel usually shows. Food Network? Sure. SOAPNet? Perfect. Some would make sense: Nick, MTV.

I know your question, ‘why would a non-sports channel want to produce a baseball game?’ They don’t. All these games are already on somewhere. MLB Net shows a local feed for most of their games already. If you wanted to be real ambitions, you could alternate the feeds for the national audience to get a taste of each team’s announcers. For the local fans, the game would still be on their regional sports net as usual.

I mentioned Nick and MTV has channels that would make sense because I could see them producing it themselves and bringing their own style to it. I bet Nick could even convince Fox to let them dig up Scooter. In these instances, it will be even more important for the local nets to still broadcast the game. It would be great for their target audiences, but not the real fans.

This could make baseball a big deal on each of these holidays. It’s supposedly the ‘national past time’ (and is for me, but sadly, not for everyone), it should act like it on occasion. Instead of tweaking (ruining) the all-star game and having November World Series games that take all night.

Mike

Why I Love Baseball: The Schneider Tag

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Today’s Phillies game was nuts, but this one play was just amazing.

Watch

First, mlb.com called this clip ‘Howard’s strong throw home’. Umm, did you watch the clip? Schneider turned into an acrobat to make up for the poor throw by Howard.

Look at everything that went in to the play:

Howard decides to go home instead of getting the 2nd out at 1st. The infield was in, but he still could have gone with the easy out, letting the Giants tie the game. He made the throw and it made it to the catcher.

Schneider catches the off-line throw. Spins around to get his glove to the plate. He not only gets it there, he gets it in front of the plate. This blocks the front of the plate and he’s in position to sweep the plate. He does this and Uribe plants his hand right on the glove. The bat was even in play, if Uribe had decided to go a different route.

Schierholtz, who was on 2nd after a double, doesn’t advance on the play. I don’t know what game he was watching. At worst, he froze on the hit. Once Howard goes home, he should have broken for 3rd. Even if the throw is on line, it’s very unlikely that he’s getting thrown out at 3rd. The Giants were left still a run behind with an out left, but the tying run was on 2nd, not 3rd.

The Phillies got that last out and won the game. I still would have been just excited about this play had it all fallen apart, again.