Tigers Opening Day

 

For, lo, the winter is past,

The rain is over and gone;

The flowers appear on the earth;

The time of the singing of birds is come,

And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land

“I can’t believe they pay us to play baseball – something we did for free as kids.”

Published in: on April 8, 2011 at 8:35 am  Comments (1)  

Get Inside The Pitchers Head

Okay We’re up by three, it’s the ninth inning, you’ve done this a million times, three more outs and my day is done. We have all been in this situation at some point in life, the chips are down but we sometimes do are best work when the pressures on. Whatever you do DON’T walk the first hitter but when the brain sends the signal to the arm all it hears is WALK THE FIRST HITTER! So the easy out is on first and now the set up man is up to bat. Your head is pounding, 80,000 eyes are drilling into your back your mouth is dry but you got this. we think we know what we’re doing when we’ve do something so many times in life and then it goes wrong once and you’re lost. Chipped up the middle good for a single and the tieing run is in the batters box, the clean up man, last years home run king the MVP. Now the ball is a grape fruit the mound is 500 hundred feet high and your catcher is ten miles away. How could you let this happen? The game was over in the bag and now its all on the line. Something you’ve been doing since your hand could grip the ball is foreign to you now. Back door slider never fails the hitter is looking for heat but you are going to throw a slider, you get your bearings and give it all you got. Fail. The ball didn’t do what you told it to at all and the games tied. Here comes the skipper to strip you of the ball and your manhood. In front off your family, your home town the millions of views at home. You just got fired in front of the whole world.The crowd gives you a sympathy clap but you hang your head low and slink of the mound.

Published in: on April 7, 2011 at 11:05 am  Comments (4)  

Laid Off Ball Players

 

Just My Thoughts-What happens when a player’s contract runs out and he isn’t picked up, file for unemployment?  Pedro Martinez hopes to pitch again. Pedro’s last outing was in the 2009 World Series with The Phillies and let in four runs in four innings to lose game six.  It’s hard to believe that one of the greatest pitchers of my lifetime would end his career on such a sour note. A three-time Cy Young winner who had a 1.74 ERA in 1999 which was almost three times lower than the average.  How about Bengie Molina? Bengie hit for the cycle with the Rangers in Boston last season and caught in the World Series.  Sure he’s a 36-year-old catcher but he still has some play left in him.  Bob Feller and Ted Williams missed four years to serve in World War II, both picked up right where they left off before the war and went straight to the Hall Of Fame.  But aside from WWII has any other players come back after missing several season.  I can’t think of any nor find any in my research.  I guess you are only as good as your most recent performance.

On This Day In History

1971 Willie Mays, a month shy of his fortieth birthday, homers on Opening Day and will hit home runs in the next three games to tie a major league record

 

Quote Of The Day

When we played softball, I’d steal second base, feel guilty and go back.  ~Woody Allen

Published in: on April 6, 2011 at 10:24 am  Comments (2)  

The Old Ballpark

This season marks the twentieth season for Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Camden Yards was the first of the new retro parks a much needed change from the cold lifeless multi purpose venues from the seventies. The new parks as designed with many family activities, most are located in the heart of downtown and have the look and feel of the original ball parks. Astroturf is gone with the exception of the Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay and Rogers Centre in Toronto. Who ever thought playing baseball indoors was a good idea and why did Cincinnati have turf in an outdoor park? It all came down to money, they could play football in the same place they played baseball. But you cut corners too much and the fans leave. Baseball hit an all time low in the seventies and again in the eighties. Now that the owners are listening to the fans and are designing the venues with the fan in mind instead of just money most markets are reporting record high attendance.

My Top Five Parks To Visit
.Miller Park in Milwaukee-Miller features a retractable roof and a slide that Burner brewer goes down when the brew crue hits a homer.

.AT&T Park in San Francisco-McCovey cove is a cool design in the home park of the World Champion Giants, side note they forgot to put in a bullpen so pitchers practice in foul territory like in the old days.

Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati- A beautiful ballpark on the Ohio River plus I could catch a game with family in the buckeye state.

Busch Stadium in St. Louis- Home of the Cardinals and said to be the greatest baseball city in the world.

Rangers Ballpark in Arlington-Everything is bigger in Texas and Arlington is the new sports capital of the lone star state with Cowboy stadium right across the street I’d love to see Hamilton and the boys crush the ball out of this park.

Of course I’ve been to Wrigley but have yet to see a game and I have to visit Fenway before I die. The new Yankee Stadium would be cool but I would have to sell my first-born to afford a seat with a view. PNC Park in Pittsburgh is beautiful too. My kids want to go to Target Field in Minnesota cause they love Target plus its by mall of america so that would be a good family trip. I love our new Comerica Park but still miss Tiger Stadium its too bad they couldn’t have left it up as a museum.

Quote Of The Day-Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer. ~Ted Williams

On This Day In History-1913 In an exhibition game against the Yankees, 25,000 fans watch the Dodgers play their first game in Ebbets Field. Brooklyn beats New York, 3-2, with Casey Stengel hitting the park’s first home run, an inside-the-parker.

Good Reading-Take Me Out To The Ballpark, a coffee table book with great pics of ballparks from yesterday and today plus loads of facts.

Published in: on April 5, 2011 at 10:12 am  Comments (2)  

Make A Liar Out Of Me

So many times in baseball as soon as you state one the thing and as soon as you say it the opposite happens. The Tigers looked like the same old Tigers, now they look like the new squad. As in life sometimes the small changes make the biggest impact. But also you can’t read too deep into scouting reports and stats alone. Look at Boston right now, on paper they are the best in the American League but Texas just swept them. The one stat sabermetrics can’t measure is the pure heart and guts some players put into the game. Watch out for Baltimore they are ridding high after sweeping The Rays. Buck Showalter is doing something right. Garza was lights out on the mound for the Cubs with 12 strike outs but some bad luck in the 9th lost them the lead and the game.

On This Day In History-1911 The Most Valuable Player award is introduced and sponsored by Hugh Chamlers, an auto manufacturer. The first winners of the MVP, selected by a vote of one baseball writer representing each franchise in the league, will be Tigers’ outfielder Ty Cobb and Frank Schulte of the Cubs.

Quote Of The Day-If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there are men on base. ~Dave Barry

Fantasy News-Longoria is on the 15 day D.L. with an Oblique strain and I should have put Boesch and Ichiro in my line up this week!

Detroit Tigers 10 – New York Yankees 7 –
Apr 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Tigers 2 0 3 0 2 2 0 0 1 10 14 1 «
Yankees 0 2 2 0 2 0 1 0 0 7 12 0
Next game: @ Baltimore Orioles, Apr 4 3:05pm ET

Published in: on April 4, 2011 at 10:23 am  Comments (1)  

Have A Backup

Just like in life its good to have a backup in baseball.  Backup pitcher, backup fielders and backup team.

Living in Detroit most sports fans have a backup team to restore their faith in the sport.  My current backup is The Texas Rangers.  You could say I’m a bit of a band wagon fan.  I read Josh Hamilton’s book two years ago and started following his career.  I call myself a Tiger fan and I will always root for my home team even if I move away from the Detroit area.  But first and foremost I’m a fan of the game. 

Other than The Red Wings most detroit fans have a backup team to follow, to lift your sprite after yet another disappointing outing by our beloved home team.  I won’t even mention our NFL team.  The Tigers aren’t bad but the should be a lot better.  Detroit is a major market with the fifth largest payroll in baseball.  So to expect at least a top five performance isn’t too much to ask. The season is still new and plenty of baseball is left to play so lets hope that our Tigers start looking like the new team and not so much like the team of the past.

What’s working so well in Arlington?  I think it’s the old saying that the best offense is a good defence.  Pitching wins the game.  With Nolan Ryan as part owner and very deffanit presence at games the pitching can not fail.  Everyone thought that with the loss of Cliff Lee the Rangers pitching staff would fold.  Not so.  Ryan brings his old school style of starting pitching going deep into a game to his club.  Dont forget the Rangers have the best pitching couch in the game Mike mad dog Maddux the older brother of four-time Cy Young winner Greg Maddox. Maddux is another old schooler and he gets the most out of his bullpen. 

Let’s not over look the all-star permanence by last years AL MVP Josh Hamilton or Ian Kinsler who has started the season with back to back lead off home runs.  Rangers are off to a great start in 2011 and may just make another appearance in the post season.

Most sports fans would agree that we are fans of the sport and part of that means losing but we also like to feel good again and turn to a winning team to follow as well.

Quote Of The Day-Ninety percent of this game is half mental. — Yogi Berra

On This Day In History

1987 The Cubs trade starter Dennis Eckersley and minor leaguer Dan Rohn to the A’s for three minor leaguers. The ‘Eck’ will become one of the game’s top relievers in Oakland
Published in: on April 3, 2011 at 5:36 pm  Comments (2)  

Moneyball

I heard an interesting fact today, Alex Rodriguez’s salary this year is almost as much as the entire Kansas City Royals combined! The salaries for Kansas City’s 27 players on its opening-day roster and disabled lists total US$36.1 million, according to an analysis of major league contracts by The Associated Press. A-Rod alone makes $32 million.  Are the salaries of major league players out of control?

Don’t get me wrong I am still a fan of a great five tool player which A-Rod once was.  He deserves to be highly paid for his abilities.   Since he was bought by the Yankees who, by the way already had a future hall of fame short stop in their line up.  Alex has just been just another player gone to the dark side.

The real question is has our interest in pro sports shifted from a love for the game to just pure entertainment.   You hear the agreement all the time that pro racing for example is not a sport,  it’s just an entertaining way to pass the time.   But really how much sport is left in the so-called real sports?  Everything is a business and the teams with the biggest payrolls can draw the best players because they can afford to pay ungodly salaries.  However there are still some underdogs teams who grow talent.  Look at Tampa Bay, they have a great farm system that grows talent the old fashioned way.  But like all great farms they get harvested every season and they lose their free agents to the big money franchises like this past off-season.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is we have to not only remember baseball is a business but we also have to look close for the nuggets of the once great sport.  You can buy all the best players and still lose in the end.  The underdogs still win on occasion but the big businesses will always buy the dynasty.

On This Day In History

1938 Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis, not a fan of Branch Rickey’s farm system, grants free agency to a group of nine Cardinal minor leaguers that includes Pete Reiser. A reported gentlemen’s agreement, that has Brooklyn signing and hiding the 19-year old in the low minors to be traded back to St. Louis at a later date, doesn’t work when Brooklyn manager Leo Durocher disobeys orders allowing the phenom to display his amazing ability in spring training exhibition games.
Published in: on April 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Opening Day

Roger Angell, “Agincourt and After,” Five Seasons:

“It is foolish and childish, on the face of it, to affiliate ourselves with anything so insignificant and patently contrived and commercially exploitive as a professional sports team, and the amused superiority and icy scorn that the non-fan directs at the sports nut (I know this look — I know it by heart) is understandable and almost unanswerable. Almost. What is left out of this calculation, it seems to me, is the business of caring — caring deeply and passionately, really caring — which is a capacity or an emotion that has almost gone out of our lives. And so it seems possible that we have come to a time when it no longer matters so much what the caring is about, how frail or foolish is the object of that concern, as long as the feeling itself can be saved. Naivete — the infantile and ignoble joy that sends a grown man or woman to dancing and shouting with joy in the middle of the night over the haphazardous flight of a distant ball — seems a small price to pay for such a gift.”

On This Day In History-1948 At Ebbets Field No. 2, the Dodgers play their first exhibition game at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, which will remain the team’s home for 61 years. Amidst much fanfare, including Governor Millard Caldwell throwing the ceremonial first pitch, Jackie Robinson homers in the first inning as Brooklyn beats its top farm club, the Montreal Royals, 5-4.

 

Today is the first day of the 2011 Major League Baseball season and the first day of my long over due baseball blog.  I thought I would start with my favorite quote by Roger Angell, my favorite author.  I feel that this quote pertains to all sports.  I recently rediscovered baseball in teaching my son about the game.  Few things in life transcend time like sports, music and cars are two others for me personally.  The sights, sounds and smells invoke so many memories that for the few hours nothing else in life matters other than the success of our team.

So today on this first day of major league play let’s not just look forward to an exciting race but look back to the path that brought us here.  That first game we went to or watched on T.V. and the very important people who passed on to us the love of the game.

Thanks for checking out my blog please bare with me as I figure out how to make it better.

Shawn

Published in: on March 31, 2011 at 3:12 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags:

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Published in: on March 31, 2011 at 1:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: