Thursday, October 22, 2009

My trip to the ALCS game #4

The Big A, a sea of red, rally monkey dolls, thundersticks, a monument to Nick Adenhart, bad umpiring calls, footlong italian sausages, Sabathia's strong 8 innings on 3 days rest, and more. We went to last night's ALCS game and it totally rocked! There were so many NY fans throughout the stadium, cheering on Jeter and the boys. The best was seeing most of the depressed Anaheim fans with their annoying thundersticks leave in the 7th inning when the score was 5-1. No rally monkey sightings at all last night. Tomorrow's game is now just a formality...To quote Ice Cube..."today was a good day."

Too bad Torre couldn't pull it off. It's kinda boring with the Phils in the WS again. Plus I was really hoping to go see the Yankees in a WS game at Dodger Stadium, since I've never been to a WS ever...stupid Dodgers!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Don't Follow Me to Vegas...

Once again, please keep in mind that I have a really bad track record when it comes to making my, please don't take my predictions to Vegas, because I know I certainly wouldn't. I just take my most educated guesses. I give that old college college that is!!! But hey, like college football, it's October baseball, anything can happen! Just sit back and enjoy my friends! Happy Columbus Day everyone!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Post Season Predictions

Here are my MLB post season predictions:

Phillies beat the Rockies in 4 games
Cardinals beat the Dodgers in 5 games

Yankees sweep the Twins
Angels beat the Red Sox in 4 games

Cardinals beat the Phillies in 6 games

Yankees beat the Angels in 5 games

Yankees beat the Cardinals in 6 games to capture their 27th World Series Championship

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cleveland- Jacobs Field Review

Jacobs Field
Year Built: 1994
Capacity: 43, 515
Surface: Grass
Cost to Build:
$175 million
Overall Grade: B-
Return Someday: Yes

Cleveland ROCKS!!! We went to the Jake in 2007, now called Progressive Field. It was one of the best family atmosphere's that we have seen in a ballpark. Jacobs Field was pretty cool to see. The franchise is one of the older teams in MLB and the fans show their constant devotion for this team. I actually have a lot of respect for this franchise and their devoted fans. The fans were friendly, the stadium workers were friendly, and the food options were good. The stadium is kinda bland looking. The seats were comfortable. The national anthem was sung by the Bare Naked Ladies rock group. Heritage Park was neat to see, as the Tribe honored their historical past. You could hear the drum beating in the crowd. It was a great midwest summer afternoon and the Indians won. I recommend checking out the Jake, if you've never been, and bring the kids!

Chicago- Wrigley Field Review

Wrigley Field
Year Built: 1914
Capacity: 41, 118
Surface: Grass
Cost to Build:
Overall Grade: A+
Return Someday: Yes

Go Cubs go...What can I say about Wrigley Field? Being in this ballpark actually brought a grown man to tears. I got really choked up in disbelief that I was actually in Wrigley Field. I am not ashamed of telling my readers that I got teary eyed. This is the 2nd oldest ballpark in the majors and I was actually there staring at the ivy covered outfield walls that I had only seen on WGN throughout my lifetime. Wow, what an experience.

Right before we walked into the ballpark, there was a statue of the late great broadcaster Harry Caray. There was a barber shop quartet singing and you could smell the Italian sausage and peppers being grilled up. Wrigleyville is the surrounding area and it is like a party atmosphere everywhere inside the stadium and outside. not to mention the cool rooftop bleachers on the houses across Addison Avenue.

The original wooden seats were really neat to see and pretty comfortable to sit in. The food was good. The stadium staff were very friendly, the ballpark had a nice family atmosphere. In addition, there were a lot of college aged kids just chillin' and looking to hook up with potential dates. This is history. If you've never been...GO!

Chicago- U.S. Cellular Field Review

U.S. Cellular Field
Year Built: 1991
Capacity: 40, 615
Surface: Grass
Cost to Build:
$267 million
Overall Grade: C+
Return Someday: Maybe

I went to Chicago in 2007 and visited both MLB ballparks in the windy city. We took the train from our hotel to the southside of shy town to catch a White Sox game. Unfortunately our seats were in the upper level, which restricts you from traveling to see everything that it is in the lower levels. There is a secret to get to the lower levels if you dare. Just tell the ushers that deny you access that you want to go to the Majestic custom t-shirt shop, which is located on the bottom level. This worked, even though we weren't lying, because we got a couple of matching shirts to commemorate our trip, and we got to see the rest of the stadium. The stadium workers were friendly but not overly friendly. The food options were pretty standard. The stadium was pretty generic looking overall. I did like the pinwheels in the outfields that light up when the Sox hit a homer. There are statues of historic players on the main concorse that demonstrates the franchise's rich history. I even took a photo next to the original pudge's statue. Not sure if I would ever return someday, maybe if the Yankees were in town and I happened to be in Chicago.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Papi, Manny, A-Rod..who's next?

Okay, I know that I haven't written a baseball related posting in a while... but with yesterday's news about Manny and Papi testing positive for steroids in 2003, I had to get this off my chest. WTF!?!? I am so close to walking away from this ridiculous circus of a game completely. Were all of the MLB stars from the last two decades on steroids? Are all of beloved players cheaters? Are all of the Dominican players on the juice? I am so sick of hearing about these players cheating. It's really disgusting to think of the past couple decades and all of the broken records that were treasured by baseball purists. And what's up with the ridiculous stupid fans continuing to cheer for these losers? Manny comes back and gets standing ovations by almost all of the fans, except my buddy Rob, at Chavez Ravine! Aren't these the same idiots that booed and vilified Bonds just a few years ago? So it's okay if he's on your team? Trust me as a Giants fan, I didn't cheer for Bonds. And to Bonds' credit, his name hasn't surfaced from the 2003 list, at least not yet. Even the idiots at Fenway were jumping on their feet cheering for Papi after his double and HR during yesterday's game...come on BoSox fans, you are smarter than that! These are the same morons that held up asterisks signs and booed Barry at Fenway in 2007 when I was there watching my beloved Giants (see the proof above). Even most of the fans of the Bronx Bombers still cheer for A-Roid...come on people, show some respect for the game and it's history. Do something that Papi, A-Rod, Manny, at whoever's next hasn't done...RESPECT the game and it's treasured records!

So even the Curse of the Bambino wasn't strong enough to ward off the great cheaters of 2004 and 2007. What do we do, strip them of their WS titles? Put asterisks on everything achieved since 1989? No, that's not practical, but it is very very sad. I already once walked away from the game in 1994 due to the strike because I was disgusted by the players greed, but this is way about greedy disgusting players! I didn't return to watching baseball until 2000, when my wife got me back into it. Who's next? Pujols, Howard, Ichiro, Vlady, Mo? I promise you all this...I will walk away from the game FOREVER if Derek Jeter, MLB's poster boy and fan hero, is ever found to have used steroids. I will keep my words and find a new past time. Maybe soccer or hell kite flying, why not?

Monday, July 13, 2009

All-Star Game

It's finally here...the 2009 All-Star game in baseball's most beautiful ballpark in St. Louis. I love the homerun derby. My prediction is Adrian Gonzales to win tonight HR derby contest. I have been to new Busch Stadium, and it is the best stadium that I have been to so far...I even like it better than AT&T Park. I will write my stadium review later on when I get to that part of the alphabet. Enjoy the festivities my friends!

Atlanta- Turner Field Review

Turner Field
Year Built: 1996
Capacity: 50, 096
Surface: Grass
Cost to Build:
$209 million
Overall Grade: A
Return Someday: Yes

I apologize to my faithful readers that I haven't written a posting for quite a while, we spent a week in Atlanta, then went to Costa Rica. We were fortunate to visit Atlanta's famous Turner Field. What an experience! The stadium was originally constructed as the 85, 000 seat Olympic Centennial Stadium for the 1996 Summer Olympic games. Immediately afterwards, it became the new home to the Atlanta Braves after some modifications. The stadium's nickname is "the Ted", affectionately named after Atlanta business tycoon, and former Braves owner, Ted Turner. In the parking lot is the original outfield wall from Fulton County Stadium with te exact marking where Hank Aaron hit his 755th homer.

There were many bronze statues of former Braves greats like Hank Aaron in the front plaza o
utside the stadium. Once you enter, there is a huge photo of Hammerin' Hank's 755th homerun ball on the side of the stadium wall.

In the entry plaza, there is a Cartoon Network kid's zone with games and activities. The was a talented marching band playing a drumline outside which was really cool to see.

Since Atlanta is the home of Coca-Cola, there is a Coca-Cola area in the LF. They have these huge Coke bottle shaped chairs to sit in and Coke bottle cannons that shoots out smoke when a homerun is hit.

There is also a huge Coke bottle standing up that is made up of Braves jerseys, bats, and coke bottle plastic caps. The food options were really good. They had a nice restaurant that we dined in before the game. The menu was pretty much usual ballpark fare, but it was a great experience, nonetheless. We both had the pulled BBQ chicken sandwich with fries. The stadium staffwere very they d
emonstrated that famous southern hospitality. This was pretty much universal throughout the city as well. It was a very humid day with the temperature at 94 degrees, which doesn't seem all that bad, but with the humidity, it was pretty brutal. I have never experienced humidity like this before in my life. Before the game, we took a tour of the stadium and the Braves Hall of Fame museum. Both were very interesting and historical. We got a free foam tomahawk to do "the chop." We never did "the chop" because we were actually rooting for the visiting team...luckily for us, the Yankees were in town! The Yankees won by the way. The fans were very friendly, showing their southern charm. The seats were very comfortable. Apparently Coca-Cola isn't the only company based out of Atlanta. Chik-Fila is a hometown favorite and they have a few Chik-Fila concession stands, but even better, they have a 25 foot tall cow standing up holding a sign and a wearing a Braves cap. He does the tomahawk chop with the crowd when they play the chop music. It was really cool seeing that.

We truly enjoyed our Turner Field visit, and would definitely go back if we were ever in the neighborhood. We also toured the World of Coca- Cola, CNN, Centennial Olympic Park, and the sweet Auburn neighborhood where we saw Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth house and his final resting place. If you've never been to Atlanta, Georgia, treat yourselves and make the trip. You won't be disappointed, I promise.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Boston- Fenway Park Review

Fenway Park
Year Built: 1912
Capacity: 37, 400
Surface: Grass
Cost to Build: $650, 000
Overall Grade: A+
Return Someday: Yes

We took a baseball bus tour trip in 2007 on Diamond Baseball Tours ( The tour took us to see games at Wrigley, PNC, New York, Cooperstown, Fenway, and Cleveland. It was totally worth it. We got to see a lot of ballparks on the east coast that we have never been to before. Check out their website for all of their trips available. I recommend this tour group, having had a great time on our trip. 
Anyway, this week's stadium review is Fenway Park, the oldest stadium in the bigs, and my wife's favorite ballpark. Talk about baseball's great history!!! Part of the bus tour included a behind the scenes guided tour of the stadium. We got to go on top of the Green Monster ("Monsta"), touch the Pesky Pole, see all of Fenway's wonders, and sit in Ted Williams seat (the lone red seat in the right field bleachers- section 42, row 37, seat 21, siginifies where the longest measurable home run ever hit inside Fenway's 1934 configuration landed. Ted Williams hit the home run on June 9, 1946 which measured 502 feet. In between the tour and the game we had some time to kill, so we decided to tour the colonial city. We saw Paul Revere's trail, Quincey Market, Boston Common (the U.S.'s oldest public park), and of course the area surrounding Fenway. When we returned to Fenway for the game, the streets around the ballpark had been shut down and there were musicians, food and merchandise vendors, and people partying it up. It was like a Red Sox mardi gras. This was going on even stronger after the game. The surrounding bars and restaurants were pumping on Yawkey Way. 

I was in for a real treat because my SF Giants were in town for some interleague action. Barry Zito was on the mound and ready to take on Big Papi and Manny. 

As you can see we took some great photos at this game. I even have my Ted Williams with the orphan statue picture as my blog header. The food was good, the stadium staff were very friendly, and the Boston fans were actually pretty cool. I expected a bunch of obnoxious and rowdy fans, but it wasn't the case at all. It was hispanic heritage night and the Red Sox honored a couple of hispanic high school kids with college scholarships. We had decent seats in RF. The hot dog vendors in the stands actually carry the hot dog wieners in a separate hot box container from the buns and use tongs to remove the hot dog wiener and place them into the square bread-slice like bun. I have never seen the vendors assemble the hot dog for you in the stands before. The other Barry, Bonds...Barry Bonds, was taking his typical visiting stadium fans abuse with boos and chants. The Boston fans even were holding up asterisk signs up...pretty clever. I have never seen that at Dodger stadium before. It's probably safe to assume that the Boston fans are much more intelligent than those in LA. Anyway, there was a silent auction at the concord level which had Red Sox memorabilia to benefit the Jimmy Fund. In the 8th inning, as tradition holds it, the stadium played "Sweet Caroline" and the entire stadium sang along, just like in Fever Pitch. My wife even got a game used ball tossed to her from the Giants pitching staff from the bullpen. Unfortunately, the Giants lost 10-2, partly due to Pedroia having a 5 hit game with 5 RBIs. Hands down, Fenway has the best atmosphere of any ballpark that I have been to. If there is one ballpark out there that you haven't been to, go to Fenway, you surely won't be disappointed. I hope that the Red Sox never get a new stadium. It would be a real shame to lose this one, like we just lost the House That Ruth Built. We can't wait to go back again someday!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Anaheim- Angel Stadium Review

Having been to 15 of 30 current MLB stadiums and a handful of MiLB, college, and spring training ballparks, I have decided to begin a series of review postings on the MLB stadiums that I have been to in my lifetime. My grading criteria includes: staff friendliness, food options, seat comfort, overall ambience, stadium appearance, and fan attitudes.I will begin with the Anaheim Angels and move on alphabetically according to geographical location. I will be going to Atlanta in June and the two new NY stadiums in September, so I will review those ballparks then.

Year Built: 1966
Capacity: 45, 050
Surface: Grass
Cost to Build: $24 million/ $118 million renovations 
Overall Grade: A-
Return Someday: Yes

I have been going to Angel Stadium since I was a kid and it was a multi-purpose stadium when the LA Rams were still in town. I've seen the Angels go from the California Angels to the Disney Anaheim Angels, to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. But nonetheless, I have always enjoyed going to the stadium. It has a very special place in my heart, because my parents used to take me and my brother to games here. The renovations that Disney did in 1997-1999 really made the Big A look great! I used to like the Angels as a team until they beat my beloved Giants in the 2002 World Series game 7. What a huge heartbreak loss that was for me. Anyway back to the stadium review.... great food varieties: Carl's Jr, Panda Express, typical ball park fare, roasted corn on the cob, mexican food, a Ruby's, and a Hooter's. YUMMY!!! The seats are very comfortable, the employees are very friendly and accommodating, it is a great family environment, the best in LA. Family fun is in the kids zone, and in the Nestle Family seating area, where there isn't any beer sold. They have a splash mountain looking rocky area in center field, where fireworks shoot out of after an Angels homer. Other notable landmarks are the two gigantic Angels hats in front of the stadium's main entrance and of course the iconic Big A in the parking lot. They have their 2002 WS Trophy proudly on display in the glass case by the stadium store. I hate walking by the store having that heartbreaking reminder. Even the nose bleed seats are nice...unlike their cross-town rivals. I would and am returning this season in July to see a game when the Yankees are in town. This stadium is right off the 5 freeway and it is very easy to get in and out of. For some reason, I always have a hard time finding my car after the games, but that's just me forgetting where I parked, not the stadium's fault.  One time we walked the entire parking lot around the stadium after a game trying to find the car. Expect a good looking fan base, especially since it is the OC. The fans a mildly tempered. Don't be afraid to cheer for your visiting team while wearing your team's gear environment, so bring the kids and enjoy the rally monkey's antics! 

Arizona- Chase Field Review

Year Built: 1998
Capacity: 49, 033
Surface: Bull's Eye Burmuda
Cost to Build: $354 million
Overall Grade: B+
Return Someday: Yes

I was fortunate enough to attend a D-Backs home game last season with a bunch of my lifelong buddies. We were in Tempe for my friends Eddie's bachelor party. Since Manny and the Dodgers were in town, and all of my friends are Dodgers fans, we decided to go to the game. I was the only one of the group rooting for the home team, due to my hatred towards the Dodgers. The stadium in Phoenix was the site of the 2001 World Series, where the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in a heartbreaking game 7. Chase Field was built in 1998 and has a retractable roof. The roof was closed when I was there. They have a TGI Friday's inside where you can dine and watch the game. The TGI Friday's has a bunch of memorabilia throughout on display with a bar and outdoor balcony seating to watch the game. It's definitely worth checking out. They are even open year round. I ate at the Fatburger inside the stadium, and it was awesome! I had the turkey cheeseburger and fries which was a greasy delight. There are so many different types of food places to eat like pizza, mexican, hotdogs, sandwiches, etc... It's definitely one of the more better stadium eats that I have been to. I was glad that the roof was closed, because it was in the high 90's outside that day, and it was very comfortable with the AC on inside the stadium. The seats seemed a little crammed, but then again, I was with a lot of friends that live large and fill in their seats well, so, I won't judge it that much. Chase Field is definitely a family-type atmosphere with a kids zone and they have their 2001 WS Trophy on display. The stadium staff was very friendly. The D-Backs fans were friendly and didn't give my friends a hard time for cheering for the visiting team and being decked out in Dodgers gear. Unfortunately, Man Ram and the boys in blue finished off the D-Backs, but a great time was had by all. I would definitely go back again! 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I'm going to Hotlanta!!!

I just found out that I get to go to Atlanta for a work conference in June. And the best part of it all, the Yankees are in town that week playing the Braves. I've never been to Atlanta, and I am definitely going to one of the night games at the famous Turner Field. Woohoo!!! Another ballpark to cross of my list. I will be at 18 out of 30 current stadiums...only 12 more to go, that is until they tear down some of the current ones and build new ones. Then I have to go to those too! Which isn't a bad thing at all. I love traveling to new ballparks!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

I miss the WBC!!!

Man I miss the WBC!!! The new season has been kind of drab so far. I was excited about today's first Yankees win at home, and I enjoy that my NL wild card prediction, the Marlins are doing really really well, as in the best team in MLB right now well. Going from the WBC to April's regular season games is like running full speed for a marathon, then going down to a jog for a few miles. The excitement, the fans, the pride, and the flags are missed. I know that this will change as the season gets going and starts to really heat up, but it's difficult to think that I will have to wait 4 years from now to see the next tourney. I wish that it was every other year...oh well, needless to say, I had a blast watching the games in person and on tv. I got some nice souvenirs (photos, a few t-shirts, an autographed team Italy ball, a game used ball from Venezuelan pitcher- Hernandez, and a custom Italia BP jersey). As you can tell, I love the WBC and can't wait until 2013 ! 
Some bloggers like Sully "demands" that fans like me have forgotten about the '09 WBC and think that we came to some realization that the tourney was only "spring training" and "meaningless." If only they watched some of the tourney's play, they would realize that it's a very meaningful thing that Bud Selig created to promote the game of baseball to the world. They would have probably enjoyed the high level of play that 15 of 16 teams displayed in honoring their countries. It's sad to think that people are that close-minded to not even give the WBC chance. They probably wouldn't like watching the Caribbean Series either, because it's not part of the 162 game regular season. I only hope that people give it a chance in 2013. I promise that they won't be disappointed in what they see! 

Ahh it's Yankee Stadium again

The ghosts from 161st and River must have finally strolled across the street to the new stadium because it was just like the good old  days today in the Bombers first win in their new home. It was a tied game in the bottom of the 8th and Mr. November, Derek Jeter, laid down on a fastball to go yard for the Yanks 5th RF homer of the day. Half an inning later, the Sandman, Mo Rivera,  entered that game to close it out.  It was a great day in Bronx baseball, especially since the day before the Yankees got spanked by Cleveland in their home opener. Let's hope that this is a sign of what's to come the rest of the season!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Okay my friends....what's with the crappy blowouts today??? The Yankees are losing 15-5 in the 8th inning right now to TB. Also, I went to the Dodgers home opener today versus the Giants. The Blue Crew beat the Giants 11-1, handing their Bay Area rivals their 4th straight loss. Big Unit pitched horribly. He gave up 7 runs total (6 runs in the bottom of the 5th). It was cool going to Chavez Ravine for the Dodgers' Opening Day with my friends Robert and Moon. We had a great time watching the opening festivities, seeing the 1981 WS trophy on display, seeing Tommy Lasorda, Fernando Valenzuela, Manny being Manny, and Vin Scully throwing out the first pitch. Their was a B-52 Stealth Bomber fly over the stadium with fireworks, doves being released, and fans in high hopes for their team who had a heartbreaking loss last season in the NLCS. Not to mention seeing Orlando Hudson hit for the cycle. He is only the 2nd LA Dodger in history to do it. The last was in 1970...way to go O-Dog!!! It was cool seeing to potential Hall of Famers face each other (Manny vs. Randy Johnson). I only wish that the final game outcome was completely different...oh well, it's going to be a long season!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Opening Day is Finally Here!!!

My friends, it's finally  here, only a few hours away. The best day of the year, Opening Day...a fresh start, a new beginning, a new hope, everyone's record is equal. MLB has decided to continue with it's Opening Day patriotic themed ceremonies, which is always very fitting since it's America's favorite past time! You can't get more American than baseball. I LOVE BASEBALL!!!
So before today's games begin, I am making my predictions for this year (just don't go to Vegas with them, considering my predictions track record). I am pretty confident with these picks this year. 

East- Yankees
Central- Indians
West- Angels
Wildcard- Red Sox

East- Mets
Central- Cubs
West- Dodgers
Wildcard- Marlins

World Series
Yankees beat Cubs in 6 games to capture their 27th title in their history.

Friday, April 3, 2009

New Yankee Stadium

Well peops, it's official. The first game is being played in baseball's new cathedral. It just started and Jeter led off for the Yankees with a double. This gives him the last Yankees at bat in the old stadium and the first Yankees at bat in the new park. Pretty cool...I am so excited about the new season starting in two days. The new stadium looks beautiful. It better be, due to it's billion dollar price tag! For free, is showing all of this weekends NY home games for the Mets and Yankees to show off the new stadiums in NYC. I can't wait to go back this September to see both stadiums first hand. I just bought our Yankees tickets online last week and our behind the scenes tour tickets of the Stadium. I haven't bought our Mets tix yet, they haven't gone on sale yet...not really sure what the hold up is over in Queens, but Opening Day is only 2 days away...hmmm? From what I have seen so far by watching the game vs. the Cubbies is that the friese and monument park are still a part of the Yankee stadium tradition. the big change is the huge Sony scoreboard screen in, it's gotta be the biggest one in the Majors! Have a great baseball viewing weekend my friends!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

WBC Finals...Japan Wins Again!!!

Nippon, nippon!!! That's what the fans of the stadium's minority were chanting (including us), unfortunately we kept getting drowned out by the Korean faithfuls! My wife (who's a Japanese girl at heart) made a really cool ninja/Nippon sign and I was wearing my Yomiuri Giants cap as we were rooting for team Japan to repeat their WBC title. This was by far the best WBC game that I have ever is even one of the best baseball games that I have attended. The Korean fans were intense with their drums, flags, powder blue thunder sticks, and uniform Korean chants throughout the entire stadium. This was definitely the most respectful group of fans that I have ever seen at Dodger Stadium. There weren't any of the usual fights among fans breaking out and no disrespectful behavior at all. Just a group of 55,000 fans pulling for their teams and having a great time. The Hollywood celebs were even out, as we saw Dodger season ticket holder faithful, Alyssa Milano taking pics with her Japanese fans. 

Talk about two pure fundamentally sound teams, giving it all. After 10 exciting innings, Ichiro led Japan to the repeat WBC title. Why Korea didn't pitch around Ichiro is still puzzling, but hey, it worked in Japan's favor, and backfired on Korea. This game had it all...small ball, strategy, Ichiro, stolen bases, great pitching, and even Yu Darvish. This is the closest thing that I will have to attending a WS game 7 and an Olympics game. We got to see the opening and closing ceremonies, the medal ceremonies, the trophy presentation by Bud Selig, and Dice-K receiving the WBC MVP award. Even Tommy Lasorda and Fernando Valenzuela made appearances by throwing out the first pitches. It was cool hanging with my friends that I've had since junior high school, Robert and Cyrus (Dodger season tix holders), at the game who were sitting a few sections over from us. This game displayed the total essence and spirit of what the World Baseball Classic stands for. What a perfect finish to our 2009 WBC journey!!! Hey, Team USA, take note, this is what it's all about. This is baseball at it's purest, finest form. I applaud teams Korea and Japan for showing the world their finely tuned game of baseball. What perfection. This was the best way for the WBC tourney to wind down, proving to all of it's critics that the WBC is necessary for the game. Thank you WBC for giving us a truly great baseball adventure...we can't wait for 2013!!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What went wrong for Team USA in the '09 WBC?

After tonight's disappointing 9-4 loss against Japan, I decided to write about what went wrong for the US team in this year's WBC. First of all, many of the 
best American players turned down their offers to play in the tourney. Whereas, their foreign born counterparts did not, unless they were injured. Next, the Americans treated the WBC as spring training games, playing half-ass. Where all of the other 15 teams did not. The other 15 contending teams played for their country by giving 110%. Davey Johnson showed that he was a terrible manager by playing the games as if they were spring training. What happened to "the team comes first" mentality that he preached before the tourney started? He kept in Peavey and Oswalt during their starts way too long, when they were getting blown out, because he said they need to get their work in...this basically lost the game to Japan tonight. In addition, Johnson batted Evan Longoria, a righty vs. a righty with the winds blowing in from RF with available runner on third. Instead he should have kept Shane Victorino, a lefty in the game to take the at bat. Johnson batted Longoria because he felt bad that Longoria travelled all the way from FL two days ago and needed to have an at-bat in the WBC for his troubles. What's up with Dunn not hustling for the looper into RF tonight? His old lazy ass needs to retire.  Another big reason was having Adam Dunn starting in RF and even 1st base throughout the tournament...why not have Granderson in CF and Victorino in RF, and use Dunn as a PH as needed. Hey Davey, this was an international tournament against the world's best, not an all-star game! Like I said before, if the American players knew that they were going to play in the WBC ahead of time, they should have started training for it back in December/ January. This was obvious with all of the US injuries and fielding errors in the WBC. Why didn't the other teams endure as many injuries to their MLB players? PREPARATION, IS THE ANSWER, MY FRIENDS. I am tired of people making excuses for the US team, saying that since they have MLB players, they don't want to risk injury by playing their hardest and that they weren't in game shape to begin with...uh, what about all of the other 15 teams that had MLB players on them? Did the Dominican Republic give those excuses for their early departure? No, they did not.  Did Puerto Rico or Venezuela give those excuses...No way! I am embarrassed at my country's WBC performance. They really didn't deserve to beat Puerto Rico to go to the semis. I wonder what would have happened if PR had deservingly beat the US in Miami...hmmm? Yes, the US did better than their '06 performance, but this is our game...our national past time, and we should be in the finals every time this tournament happens. What a huge disappointment. Especially when you hear Chipper Jones making ignorant statements about Toronto being a cow town. Uh...Toronto is a cow town??? Funny, I didn't see anything like that during our week in Toronto. It was like a mini NYC or Chi-Town. Toronto proudly touts the title of the world's most multi-cultural city. Talk about an ignorant redneck! This type of arrogance and ignorance portrayed by an American is a huge reason why the US is disliked internationally. Chipper Jones shouldn't have been on the team to begin with. At 3B, it should have been Wright and Longoria. Jones shouldn't have been able to even only makes the rest of us look bad to the rest of the world. I am so disappointed and once again embarrassed at USAs performance in the WBC. I guess I will be rooting for Ichiro and team Japan at Dodger Stadium tomorrow night to repeat their WBC title against they very strong gold medal winning team Korea. News to team's no longer our sport, and you don't automatically deserve to win just because you are American MLB All-Stars! Maybe we should use a team full of AAA minor leaguers in 2013...I'm sure that they would treat the WBC tourney with the same pride and respect that it receives internationally. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

2009 WBC- San Diego

As promised, here are the deets on our trip down to San Diego last Sunday to watch Cuba vs. Japan. Since it is only a 2 hour drive to San Diego from LA, we thought, why not? So we went doen to my wife's home town and watched a second round WBC game at Petco Park. It was a 2006 WBC Finals rematch between two of the world's best baseball teams. Dice-K was on the hill for Japan, which was cool to see him pitching for Japan and not the BoSox! It was really amazing on how many Japanese and Cubans filled the stands. There were definitely some Cubans wanting revenge from there team's loss three years ago. We were sitting in a section of almost all Japanese fans. We joined in and cheered on Ichiro and his country mates with the fans in our section. I even wore my Yomiuri Giants cap to the game. Dice-K was awesome, and Japan won the contest 6-0. The noise from the fans was continuous with chanting, waving flags, holding signs, and the thundersticks. We had a great time. If this isn't a reason for the WBC, I don't know what is. The international spirit of the game was definitely there among the players and the fans!