Archive for » August, 2014 «

Money Talks

Time for a random rant… I recently finished my summer baseball voyages and got to experience a few things. One was a rare same city double header. I started with a day game at US Cellular between the WhiteSox and Royals and immediately followed it up with a night game at Wrigley the same day. Both were new venues to me and unique experiences that I got to share with some good guys.

Later in the summer, I ventured down south and made some pit stops at a few minor league stadiums, the Asheville Tourists (Rockies single A) and the Louisville Bats (Reds triple A, plus a side trip to the Louisville bat manufacturing plant tour and museum).

The two similar trips got me thinking… I had more ‘fun’ at the minor league games than I did at the major league games. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the baseball much, much more at the MLB level but the games were missing the excitement, entertainment, and energy that the minor league games had.

And I think I know why, the fans are ‘true’ fans. The fans were more into the heckling, the chants, the game. There were always some stupid contest or humiliating task for fans to win prizes after every side batted. And front row tickets were under $15. They live for their hometown entertainers and they can afford to go and support them. That second point is key… They can afford to go. Professional sports have gotten caught up in the business boom and solely trying to make money. What this means is real fans can’t afford the good seats or any seats (or the concessions). It’s sad too because these are the people that truly care about the teams. Not the business men buying the suits to butter up clients. Not the millionaires looking to flaunt their money. I tend to splurge and pay for the good seats but I would enjoy it much more if I hade some spare money to buy a beer and hot dog. And there is no way I can go to a World Series game without being in standing room or nose bleed sections. The normal seats for those events are reserved for social royalty.

I think Olbermanns rant below solidifies this idea of sports being purely business these days. Everything could be made better but then there would be no money for the owners, office, and players to swim in.

And in tonight’s Braves/Mets game, the Braves tv broadcast actually kept a clock of all the time batters were not standing in the batters box after they approached the plate… The final tally in the 9-innings was an astonishing 23.5 minutes. If the MLB enforced the rules, that game would have been done almost 30 minutes sooner, but they would also be thousands of dollars poorer.

Category: Baseball Nonsense  Comments off  Tags: ,

HR Derby – August Trades

So because I’ve been nonexistent the past few weeks, I thought I’d give everyone an update of trades made in the home run derby this past month. So no rants or weird links, let’s just dive right in:

  • Cowhide Joyride July 31 – Will Middlebrooks traded for Jose Abreu (only after hanging on to Middlebrooks for 2 months too long)
  • Chicks Dig The Long Ball Aug 8 – Wil Myers traded for Javier Baez (and let the trades start for Baez)
  • Hangovers Happen Aug 14 – Ryan Zimmerman traded for Anthony Rizzo (Rizzo also might be the first player in HR derby to have -1 HR in a day)
  • Kettle Poppers Aug 21 – Goldschmidt traded for Giancarlo Stanton (This may be what catapults him back into first place in September)
  • …but when I do, I Profar Dos Equis Aug 21 – Goldschmidt traded for Giancarlo Stanton
  • Philly Phanatic Aug 21 – Goldschmidt traded for Giancarlo Stanton (common trend on Aug 21)
  • Little Stinky Aug 22 – Allen Craig traded for Javier Baez
  • Team Biogenesis Aug 22 – Eric Hosmer traded for Javier Baez
  • Bucky Ballers Aug 22 – Allen Craig traded for Oswaldo Arcia (which I immediately gave him crap about and that day Arcia hit a HR)
  • Break Even Aug 23 – Allen Craig traded for Josh Donaldson
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The Long Overdue August Post

Hey look at that, I found some spare time to share random baseball thoughts and ramblings with other people.

First thing obviously comes first… the Kings of Cork Home Run Derby. It’s still a two horse race but one is starting to pull away thanks to… Chris Carter?! Why is that guy always a surprise in this thing? He has lead numerous teams in the past to some type of glory in the Derby (usually top-10) but no one gives him any credit. Well, The Big Stinky is the team that is capitalizing this season. Their team is stacked too. They have correctly picked the best player in 3 out of 5 categories (Cruz, Carter, and Abreu). The other impressive quality about this team is that The Big Stinky was the first team to ever stumble on to our competition via the World Wide Webs with no ties back to The Commish at all. They fully trusted mailing a random guy $5 in snail mail waiting for it to pay some dividends. Well in their fourth year in the derby, they just may get a return on their investment big enough to play ‘free’ for the next 30 seasons (assuming no inflation on the registration dues).

However, they have Paul Goldschmidt, who we all know is out for a while with a broken hand, AND they already used their trade on a guy that was supposed to be out for the season but has returned early and already hit some home runs (Avisail Garcia). That gives an opening for the team that has been leading most of the way, Kettle Poppers. Their team is also leading my fantasy baseball league, which would be a very impressive double win in the same season if they can pull off a victory in the HR Derby and maintain their lead in fantasy baseball. They also have Goldy but still can use a trade (now that Goldy is trade eligible).

And don’t forget we are still playing for monthly winners. The Big Stinky is currently in 2nd place for August with 18 and half of them are from Chris Carter. The only team currently in front of them is Mauer Power. Thank you Carlos Gomez (6HR), J-Upton (5HR), and company. There are still 10 days left so there are plenty of games left before the August King (Queen) is crowned.

I mentioned Fantasy Baseball earlier and I’d like to come back to that topic. Even though it’s August and football preseason games are starting… IT’S STILL BASEBALL SEASON. Just in case anyone forgot. Why is it that every one forgets about baseball during the playoff push and playoffs because football has started? I don’t understand why there is more draw to football over baseball. I always like to blame that it’s for the lazy fan. The one that just wants to be able to tune in to their team for a single day for a few hours a week. But there has to be something more and I can’t place my finger on it.

But back to Fantasy Baseball. Fantasy Baseball is for the diehards, fantasy football is for the weak/lazy. Yes at times I am completely consumed and overwhelmed trying to manage 2 baseball teams consistently over 180 days. But it’s intense, fun, and most players in fantasy baseball are very passionate about the game (and you have to be, the game lasts FOREVER). What I think draws me towards baseball is all the various strategies, trade possibilities, injuries, off days, scoring categories, player statistics, and the diehards. It’s a game that involves a high level of thinking and predicting outcomes based on hundreds of statistics. You will sit there and contemplate starting a pitcher when you know that it’s against the Cardinals at home where they always destroy starting pitchers. But you need K’s and Wins, so you have to start him only to watch him give up those 10 runs in 4 innings. Or if you benched him, he throws a complete game shutout. But then there are the trades… its such a long season and players are so volatile that you see trades proposed or accepted that you would have never thought possible. Trades that sound completely lopsided in real life actually mean something in a 180 day season (really, who trades Billy Hamilton for King Felix… someone desperate for steals is who).

Every year I rant about this, but baseball is superior to football in both real life and fantasy… or at least it should be during the last few weeks of the MLB season when the NFL is just beginning its season. Rant over.

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