Category Archives: Baseball

Fan dies at Rangers game

By now you’ve probably heard about the Texas Rangers fan who dies last night at the Ballpark in Arlington. I won’t embed the video here because not everyone wants to see it but it is available here.

Shannon Stone was reaching out to catch a ball tossed his way by Josh Hamilton when he reached out just a bit too far and fell about 20 feet onto concrete. He died on the way to the hospital according to reports. He was alive and aware on the ground asking the paramedics to check on his six year old son (there is a video of the fall in this link) who had come to the game with him.

It is a really unfortunate incident but what can really be done to avoid it? People do go crazy reaching for foul balls pushing everyone and everything in sight but this was just a freak accident.

There is a transcript available of what Josh Hamilton had to say about the incident.

Shannon Stone was a firefighter in Brownwood, Texas. There has been a fund established for the family by the city of Brownwood. You can find more information here. The Texas Rangers have also created a fund. There is more information available on their website.

Kudos to MLB and ESPN for respecting the wishes of the family in not airing footage of the fall.

Major League Baseball released this statement last night.

“All of us at Major League Baseball are shocked and saddened over the tragic death of Mr. Stone last evening. Our thoughts and prayers are with his son and his entire family. Major League Baseball has the utmost sensitivity to the safety of all the fans that come to our ballparks. Our players are encouraged to be fan-friendly and we will carefully review this incident with our clubs to continue to ensure a safe environment for our fans.”

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WSJ: How to Visit 30 Ballparks in 35 Days This Summer

Starting on June 6th are you up for a 18,000 mile road trip over the next 35 days?

Today’s Wall Street Journal has a story about a man who built a program to map out the ideal way to watch baseball games in all 30 MLB stadiums this year. The program built by Ben Blatt of the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective takes into account an eight hour rest period after roughly twelve hours of driving.

What is the ideal road trip schedule this year?

TOR@KC, 6/6, 7pm (0) DET@COL, 6/19, 1pm (6,620) NYM@DET, 6/30, 1pm (12,248)
DET@TEX, 6/7, 7pm (563) TB@MIL, 6/20, 7pm (7,667) NYY@NYM, 7/1, 7pm (12,863)
S TL@ HOU, 6/8, 7pm (821) BAL@PIT, 6/21, 7pm (8,219) CLE@CIN, 7/2, 7pm (13,502)
KC@LAA, 6/10, 7pm (2,351) SD@BOS, 6/22, 1:30pm (8,808) CWS@CHC, 7/3, 1:20pm (13,798)
WSH@SD, 6/11, 5:30pm (2,448) SEA@WSH, 6/23, 1pm (9,257) TB@MIN, 7/4, 1pm (14,206)
CIN@SF, 6/12, 5pm (2,950) COL@NYY, 6/24, 7pm (9,483) PHI@FLA, 7/6, 7pm (15,981)
SF@ARI, 6/14, 6:40pm (3,705) OAK@PHI, 6/25, 7pm (9,580) COL@ATL, 7/7, 1pm (16,642)
CIN@LAD, 6/15, Noon (4,078) CIN@BAL, 6/26, 1:30pm (9,678) MIN@CWS, 7/8, 7pm (17,360)
KC@OAK, 6/16, 12:35pm (4,448) CIN@TB, 6/27, 7pm (10,647) TOR@CLE, 7/9, 7pm (17,705)
PHI@SEA, 6/17, 7pm (5,250) PIT@TOR, 6/29, 7pm (12,004) ARI@STL, 7/10, 1pm (18,267)

I would love to have the opportunity to do this one of these years as it is definitely one of the major items on my bucket list. As it stands right now I have watched baseball in at the Skydome in Toronto (now known as Rogers Center), Citi Field (home of the Mets in Queens), Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia as well as both old and new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. I also visited Wrigley Field in Chicago once but the Cubs were off that day but I still have a Mark Prior t-shirt from that trip.

How many stadiums have you been to? Would you ever want to take a road trip like this?

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The Wall Street JournalMLB 2011 Topps Series 2 Value Pack (18 Packs)

Jorge Posada is a joke

Jorge Posada is an idiot.

There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. When you are making $13.1 million to play baseball and you ask out of the lineup because you got demoted in the lineup you need to get in touch with reality in a hurry. Reports out of New York are saying that an hour before the start of the game Jorge Posada asked out of the lineup for tonights game against nemesis Boston Red Sox because he got dropped down to 9th in the batting order. Just what was going through his head? In 109 at bats this season Posada is hitting only .165 (he is 0-24 against left handed pitching) and being in the last year of his contract likely would not play next year. According to Buster Olney of ESPN the Yankees are keeping all options open and that includes a possible suspension. Jack Curry of the YES Network quoted Posada’s father saying that Posada should have played today.

Posada’s 2011 stats

2011 32 125 109 12 18 2 0 6 15 15 30 .165 .272 .349 .621 70 38 4 0 0

Late in tonights game word came out that he asked out of “back stiffness” but several baseball reporters are quoting sources who are denying that. The Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman himself went on the record earlier tonight and said that it was not an injury issue.

“There is no injury, obviously I’ve talked to Jorgie. I’m not going to comment on my conversations with Jorgie on it. That’s the only thing I’ve got to tell you.”

Posada’s wife got into the mix too commenting on the story via twitter.

Jorge loves being a Yankee > anything. He’s trying his best to help his team win. Today, due to back stiffness he wasn’t able to do that.

Yes, the Yankees are being hypocritical in demoting him when guys like Jeter and Teixiera are also struggling but being a major star does earn you that pass. Everyone has heard stories about him and Joe Girardi not getting along but again that doesn’t excuse this at all. It is only fitting that this game was against the Red Sox and Jason Varitek was on the other side. There is a veteran catcher who has handled things the right way the past few years. Keith Olbermann posted a picture from the press box showing Posada’s name penciled into the lineup in the lineup card that reporters got in the press box at 6:30 PM.

I am not discounting the great charitable work he has done on behalf of the “Jorge Posada Foundation” but him asking out of the lineup tonight is inexcusable.

Edit: Just watched the post game stuff. Posada is looking worse by the minute. His story is all over the place. He says his back was stiff but he didn’t mention it to Girardi. Um…why? Seems like revisionist history to me.
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Jorge Posada New York Yankees Name and Number T-Shirt (Medium)MLB New York Yankees 2009 World Series 5950 On-Field Cap (7 1/8)

Mel Queen

Mel Queen passed away today at the age of 69.

While he may not be a household name for all baseball fans he was responsible for rescuing the career or a future first ball Hall of Famer. Roy Halladay (circa 1998-2000) didn’t always look like the dominant pitcher he has gone on to become. In fact he had pretty much hit rock bottom after showing some early brilliance (was one out away from pitching a no-hitter in his 2nd career start). His 10.64 ERA in 2000 got him a demotion all the way down to Single A where Mel Queen worked with him and turned his career around. Tom Verducci wrote a great article for Sports Illustrated last year that documented Mel Queen’s work with Roy Halladay.

As a Scouting Director for the Blue Jays he oversaw the development of the likes of David Wells, Jeff Kent, Chris Carpenter, Shawn Green, Woody Williams, Mike Timlin and Pat Hentgen. He later served as the pitching coach for four years during which Pat Hentgen and Roger Clemens combined for 3 Cy Young Awards.

It is hard to predict no-hitters but I wouldn’t question Halladay coming close in his next start. Mel Queen had that kind of impact on him.
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Average MLB game has only 14 minutes of actual action.

This past summer we heard a lot of talk from American sports fans saying things along the lines of “soccer is boring because there is no action.” The next time you hear that from someone, just send them this Wall Street Journal article. This study shows that the average Major League Baseball game only has 14 minutes of actual action.

The stopwatch would start when a pitcher lifted his leg to begin his pitching motion. The timing would stop when the ball hit the catcher’s mitt or, if it was put in play, when the presiding umpire made a call or the players all stopped moving (pickoff attempts and steals were also counted as action).

The result is that during these games, there was a nearly identical amount of action: about 14 minutes. To put that in context, that’s about 10.9% of the total broadcast time (excluding commercials). It’s a fraction of the roughly 88 minutes the players were shown standing around between plays, nearly 45% more than the 10 minutes of replays that are shown and almost four times as much as the cameras show players lounging in the dugout.

Seriously, 14 minutes of actual game play during the average Major League Baseball game. A lot of us will stay up until past 1 AM Eastern on most nights during the baseball playoffs thanks to games that take close to 3 hours to finish. 
 This comes on the heels of an earlier study which reported that the average NFL game only had 11 minutes of action
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MLB 2K10Baseball: The Tenth Inning

Famed home run hitter Bobby Thomson dead at 86 – ESPN

If you follow baseball (and most likely even if you don’t) you’ve heard of the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”. Bobby Thomson, who hit that famous home run for the New York Giants has passed away at the age of 86. If you haven’t seen the clip of the home run you can find it here as Ernie Harwell talks about it and the radio call from Russ Hodges.

Link: Famed home run hitter Bobby Thomson dead at 86 – ESPN

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ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian is no longer collecting boxscores

I’m a big fan of Tim Kurkjian’s work on ESPN. Little quirks like this make him that much better. Apaprently he had a hobby of collecting MLB box scores. He did this for every single game, every single day starting in 1990. That streak has now come to an end.

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