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Bee is for Baseball

Bees have become baseball fans. But I don’t think the bees feel welcomed by the baseball community and protests seem to becoming more and more prevalent with some turning aggressive. We need to start including bees as fans to bring back the peace. Its a win-win for both the bees and baseball. The bees can be counted in the popularity counts which would put baseball back on top as the most popular sport in America.

Don’t Bee-lieve me that the bees aren’t an organized protest (OK, I’m done with the Bee comments)? Take a look at the timeline below:

  • July 2, 2009 – PETCO Park San Diego – The Astros and Padres are delayed for 52 minutes when 2000 bees swarmed Kyle Blanks in left field in the 9th inning. A bee keeper was called in to take care of the unexpected fans. Its too bad too because those bees would have put the attendance over 25000. Something the Padres are hoping more of in 2015 after spending a lot of money in the off-season on big names.
  • May 18, 2012 – Coors Field Denver – A camera man is evicted from his camera well when thousands of bees take it over in the 5th inning. The umps must of had important dinner plans with their wives because they barely halted the game and demanded the teams keep playing. A vacuum showed up in the 6th inning and relocated the bees outside of the stadium.
  • Sept 22, 2013 – Angel Stadium Anaheim – Felix Hernandez runs screaming like a little girl when bees start taking over the field. After the bees successfully scare the King, they move to the outfield and scatter the players out there. After 23 minutes, a man with a Gatorade cooler full of honey and wielding a broom takes care of the bees just long enough for them to terrorize the Angels outfield in the next half inning. No one was harmed but the bees are getting more aggressive in their fly in protests.
  • March 16, 2014 – Salt River Fields Scottsdale – Bees swarm the left field fence padding between the Brewers and the Diamondbacks. Left fielder Parra wanted nothing to do with the bees and headed to the infield waiting for them to leave. Many believe this upset the bees whom were simply looking for autographs. Now they just felt excluded.
  • March 18, 2014 – Steinbrenner Field Tampa – Things are starting to get ugly. Bees invade left field causing the Red Sox to panic. Teixeira decides to try distracting the bees by leading them out of the stadium with a trail of honey. But the inexperienced ground crew decide to use chemical warfare on the bees causing casualties over a 7 minute span. This may be considered the shot heard ’round the world for bees vs baseball.
  • April 3, 2014 – Chase Field Phoenix – Upset by the attack the previous month, the bees try to protest in center field but the game starts anyways. Angel Pagan sends a warning shot out into them when AJ Pollock charging. The bees retreat and plot their attack.
  • March 8, 2015 – Diablo Stadium Tempe – Bees decide to avoid the players and just sit with the other fans at a Royals vs Angels game. However, the fans avoid them and masked man comes charging in with chemical warfare. Bees lives were lost that day.
  • March 20, 2015 ‘B Day’ – Elk Fields Utah – The bees have had it. No more peaceful protests. Thousands of bees descend from left field and start attacking fans. One family sustained the most injuries when the mother was stung 15 times, the son was stung 40+ times, and the father was stung over 400 times… in the face!. Firefighters were called in and due to the aggressiveness of the bees, they had to take to chemical warfare. Bees lives were lost but let’s not forget their message or the war may never end. Bees are for baseball!

Spring Training Is Here

Finally! The cold weather has broke. The snow is melting. And I can here the cracks of wooden bats in the far distance (the TV amplifies the sound a bit).

Unless a last minute free airfare deal pops up, this year will be the first time in the last 4 that I haven’t made it to the Cactus League. Instead, I may just put on my shorts and sandals. Grab some beer. Plug in the heat lamps. Spray paint my grass green. And listen to some streaming baseball.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy it. Seriously, stop reading this post right now. Go over to your favorite travel site. And look for flights to either Phoenix or Florida. You won’t regret it.

Spring training seems more popular than ever. Seems like everyone around me is going this year compared to not knowing anyone going in past years and having to explain what, where, and why I was going to the desert.

Well, after you have bought your airfare to Phoenix, come back here and check out my previous reviews of the Cactus League stadiums so you know which games to attend.

Change Is Good… Most Of The Time

Welcome 2015! And welcome back to myself!

As the saying goes, change is inevitable. Sometimes its wanted. Sometimes its hard to achieve. Sometimes it just happens. But ‘change’ is inevitable, for better or for worse.

For those of you further removed from my personal life, my wife and I welcomed our first baseball player child in October during the MLB playoffs (people say he looks a lot like me):

Unfortunately, the Brewers weren’t in the playoffs so I didn’t get to name him Lucroy-Braun Gomez-Gallardo… but we did name him after one of the greatest (if not the greatest) pitchers of all-time… Denton Young. Don’t know that name?! Go ahead, Google it now. I’ll wait.

Thanks to the new acquisition to my home team, the site has been idle for much longer than I ever would like. And it may sit idle longer than desired in the future as well, but I vow to keep this contest and site going as long as possible with hopes that my little guy can submit a home run derby team one day.

Usually, I don’t welcome change but our little Cy Young is a great exception. For most things, I live by the saying ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. But when it is broke, I HAVE to fix it so it will never break again. Sometimes that goal is achievable, but for most things, time will always break them again. And one thing time always breaks are strong baseball dynasties.

Weak teams will always stay weak unless strong moves are made. Strong teams will always crumble unless they continue to make those strong moves that made them a dynasty in the first place. And recently, dynasties have been digging themselves into deep debt that they can’t overcome by offering long term deals to players that can no longer perform *cough*Yankees*cough*Angels*cough*Marlins???

So what has happened so far this off-season:

  • Padres – Weak teams only stay weak if they do nothing… and the Padres did everything but nothing. I don’t know where the Padres found the cash but they have invested a lot into the 2015 season. They traded for every outfielder in the majors, or so it seems. They added 2-time silver sluggers Matt Kemp and Justin Upton, and rookie of the year Wil Myers. They also added Josh Johnson, Brandon Morrow, Brandon Maurer, Derek Norris, and Will Middlebrooks. And they basically gave up nothing. It’s almost as if they went dumpster diving, picked up everyone’s used crap, and are going to refurbish them into dinning room tables and chandeliers that everyone will be jealous of in the NL Worst West. I’ll go out on a very short limb and say that the Padres finish above 0.500 for the first time in 5 seasons and may get a wild card out of their big acquisitions.
  • CubsHello 2015 and Marty Mcfly… Back to the future II predicted the Cubs winning the World Series in the year 2015, so it has to be true, right?! (Well, it was against Miami which we know isn’t possible unless there is a last minute rules change). The Cubs are a team who may have been weak for seasons, but their strong moves didn’t come in off-season acquisitions. Most of their moves came in the minor league drafts, trades for young players, and international signings over the past several. Their team is filled to the brim with players under 25 years of age just waiting to become the next Mike Trouts or Troy Tulowitzkis. Remember these names Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, and Tommy La Stella. They are about to become common references on ESPN highlights. Now pair them with Anthony Rizzo, recently acquired Jon Lester and Miguel Montero, Jake Arrieta, and Jason Hammel and you may have a team that won’t miss the playoffs for a few seasons (assuming they all stay healthy). Oh, I forgot to mention the new coach, Joe Maddon. Game over NL Central. The Cubs are no longer the division doormat that gets walked all over.
  • White Sox – Could we be looking at a Windy City World Series (the White Sox won the last one in 1906)? The South Siders have made a huge splash in 2015 and I believe the AL Central will be the most exciting division to watch this year. They acquired Jeff Samardzijaqxkasfzza, David Robertson, Zach Duke, Adam LaRoche, and Melky Cabrera without losing any of their main pieces in their 2014 starting lineup. With the Tigers bathing in bad contracts and the Royals wondering if they were just a one hit wonder, the White Sox are looking to capitalize in the near term and will worry about the long term later.
  • Brewers – Weak teams only stay weak if they do nothing… and the Brewers did nothing. I really enjoy early December because the Winter Meetings in baseball are occurring. All the team front offices and agents get together to talk trades and signings over 4 days in some hotel in some warm city. You know what the Brewers did this season? They took a vacation to some sunny beach. The Brewers literally did nothing. They watched some Netflix, ordered some pizza, had pillow fights… oh, they did talk to the Boston Red Sox about something, probably about the 7th season of Sons of Anarchy. So, I will go back to my basement in the NL Central and just wait a few decades for the Brewers to become relevant again.
  • Athletics – Billy Beane decided to sell high, which isn’t unusual for him. But he didn’t buy anything with the money other than a DH who hasn’t learned to hit in the bigs yet. They shipped off Jeff Samardzija, Josh Donaldson, and Brandon Moss. What they got in return is a lot of hope for 2017-2018. That doesn’t help their fans stay interested when the Angels and Mariners are buying in the AL West. Oh, they did get the best Hashtag nickname out there though. #CountryBreakfast is moving from KC and bringing his BBQ sauce with him to the west coast. If only he had a bat to bring with for that paycheck they gave him. Maybe Oakland is just looking for a BBQ sauce to endorse.
  • Marlins – It seems like every 5 years the Marlins buy, buy, buy. And then 1-2 years later, they have a fire sale and get all the big contracts off their books. Well, they are back at it again. They signed Stanton to a crazy long contract. However, they were at least smart with their long term deal by giving him the option to leave in a few seasons and leave 9 figures on the table… but who would leave over $100mil on the table? I know I wouldn’t, not even for a ring. Heck, you can buy a replica WS ring for less than $10k. They then traded for Dee Gordon, Dan Haren (who is refusing to play anywhere but on the West Coast), Mat Latos, David Phelps, and Martin Prado. They also added oft injured slugger Mike Morse. The only problem with that group… it’s going to be a lot harder to have a fire sale with those names than they had in 2012.

I’ll keep scratching this baseball itch I have so check back again for more offseason baseball posts.

Hunter Pence Laughs At His Own Jokes

I don’t remember if I brought this to everyone’s attention or not, but in early August some hecklers got very clever and the MLB fan base exploded with copycats. What made these hecklers so clever? They specifically targeted San Franciso’s awkward, googly eyed, Hunter Pence with ridiculous trolling signs. Just simple statements that if they were true would make you look at the person being accused and say “How” or “Why”.

Here are some examples:

    Hunter Pence Hates Bacon – who doesn’t like bacon?
    Hunter Pence Cant Shuffle Playing Cards – So he can hit a 98MPH fastball but his hand eye coordination isn’t strong enough to shuffle a deck?
    Hunter Pence Still Uses Websites From the 90’s – What’s a tweet and where is this book of face?
    Hunter Pence has Sharknado Insurance – Screw zombie apocalypse, if its raining sharks I’m going to get my roof and livestock replaced.

The best part was Hunter Pence even responded to the signs with his own Memes on Twitter:

But he wasn’t satisfied so he needed to put it into real words (aka rap music):

I wish this was the normal convention for heckling and athlete personalities. Instead the last few weeks the sporting world has been clouded by controversy, legal issues, and down right crude/unacceptable role model behavior. Something needs to change because money and egos are going straight to the brain for too many of these gifted and talented players.

Lock In Luc

A line has just been drawn into the diamond. I have no idea how this hasn’t gone viral yet so I decided to upload the Milwaukee advertisement myself (hence the poor sound quality)… until the copyright police come knocking.

Edit: Thanks to the video below, the baseball blogosphere has blown up and the video advertising has gone viral. MLB has finally published the actual video. (There is also a great video advertising for Carlos Gomez.)

The Milwaukee Brewers have announced their battle cry. When will the Cardinals rebut (they probably won’t because it’s not the “Cardinal Way“)?

Seriously, this is one of my pet peeves about All-Star voting by the fans. All it is is a popularity contest. Take almost any position and the “best” player at that position in 2014 probably isn’t leading it. The AL is far worse than the NL which makes me again think that NL fans are smarter than AL fans. Wieters leads catchers in the AL and he is on the DL. Cano and Cabrera are great right side of the infield guys but what about Encarnacion and Dozier? They are the elite in that category so far this season. In the NL, Puig will always make the All-Star game from here on out (same with Trout in the AL). So guys like Carlos Gomez and Charlie Blackmon will miss out on deserving All-Star game starts. David Wright is having a down year and Aramis Ramirez hasn’t been healthy enough to prove himself. But both of them are in the top-4 and the best 3B is the NL in 2014 (Todd Fraizer) isn’t even worth mentioning in the latest poll totals.

But back to the video above, Lucroy isn’t in the lead in All-Star balloting for NL catchers. He isn’t even second. Molina owns the top spot followed by Posey. Don’t get me wrong, both are amazing catchers. But are they the best in 2014? Lucroy is at least 60 points higher than both in OBP and more than 160 points higher than both in OPS. Offense isn’t everything, but Lucroy also has the highest Defensive Wins Above Replacement (DWAR) among the three by 0.6 according to ESPN stats.

Let’s end the madness of fans voting in the starters. Let the players and managers take care of that. The fans can vote for the backup and bench players. That’s where the popularity winners belong when compared to the season’s best.

May’s Must Click Links

With the weather warming up and summer in the air, The Commish’s dedicated writing time gets shorter and shorter (well, my daily sleep time is even shorter than that). And I feel like in the last few weeks there has been an abundance of articles in off-the-wall locations that I haven’t had enough time to catch them all.

So, I’ve decided to regurgitate all of them here at once. Ready for links to keep your mind off work on Friday. Then, here we go:

  • First on the list is a feel good video. I won’t even make you click a link to leave the page (unless you want to). You can watch it below:

    How cool is that?! The kids first professional baseball home run (in the minor league that is) was caught by his dad. If I’m the father, I can think of 2 options:
    1) Wrap it up and cross your kid’s name off your Christmas list early this year.
    2) Use it as blackmail for free lifetime season tickets, a house, and a Ferrari if the kid ever makes it to the Majors.
  • NY Times Upshot captures regional data from Facebook users and creates very interactive maps. Earlier this season, I stumbled upon a baseball dedicated map that actually takes fandom geography all the way down to individual zip codes. Nothing is too surprising at first glance but then you realize that there are only 26 ball teams in big bold letters at the farthest zoom. So who are the 4 missing teams… one is Toronto, so no real surprise there. But then there is no Oakland, White Sox, or Mets listed. The White Sox have the ‘largest’ areas of those 3 teams as a small pocket in south Chicago. But for as much as I love Oakland fans, this shows that they are almost non-existent. Which makes me wonder, why haven’t they moved to San Jose or somewhere else. I think I was most surprised about how large the Mariners, Rockies, and Twins kingdom spans. Granted there aren’t many teams to choose from in that area of the country. But another concerning aspect I found on this map is that every single zip code lists the top 3 teams and almost EVERY single one has the RedSox and Yankees in 2 of the top 3. Why does it seem everyone roots for the dynasties (granted the RedSox weren’t what the Yankees were in the 90’s). I mean root for the little man for once! It’s fun. The die hard fans of these fans make the games amazingly fun even though they may watch their team lose more than 50% of the time.
  • I love watching baseball. Even if it isn’t one of my teams, the game play is what I enjoy. The strategy between the two teams is like watching a dance or a suspenseful action movie. So naturally I purchase all the sports packages and one of them I need to get access to all 30 teams is MLB.tv. Nothing like being able to stream radio audio or video of every single game out of market. Or if you are like me, you enjoy your radio announcer (Uecker!!!) more than the TV announcer so you sync MLB.TV audio with your satellite video feed (ya, I’m that kind of baseball geek). But have you ever pondered about what it might do to your mobile data plan if you wanted to watch or listen to whole games. Well, I found you the link that shows you what it will cost of your precious data plan to watch a 4 hour Yankees/Red Sox game… only about 1.5 to 5.5 GB depending on download rates. For me, that’s well out of my monthly data limit and I would hate to owe ATT the calculated $4499 in monthly overage fees. Thank goodness for hacking wifi networks!
  • I’ve professed my love to a few things in my lifetime, and fantasy baseball is one of them. I live for it every season and I finally found another blog post that shares my love of fantasy baseball and hatred to football (and why baseball fans are better than football fans). On a daily basis, you can usually find me walking around, staring at my phone, trying to read the latest player news (and usually walking into poles). It’s my chance to basically be a GM without requiring to pay out millions of dollars in player salaries. And if you want to be good at fantasy baseball, it is a daily job. Lineup changes, new acquisitions, daily injuries/scratches, etc. I enjoy trying to predict players’ abilities to play baseball and predict their upcoming trends (whether they are hot or cold). Ripping off fellow baseball fanatics in trades is a favorite pastime of mine.
  • Everyone remembers the movie ‘BASEketBall‘, right? Of course you do (heck, a few of us have even played a few baseketball games ourselves). One of the core values of the game of Baseketball was that players weren’t allowed to be traded. Therefore, every team was quote, Homegrown. So what if the MLB had similar values where players couldn’t be traded, only acquired through drafts. Well, this blogger did a phenomenal job recreating every MLB Homegrown team for active players back in 2013. Some of these lineups are AMAZING (and others are just horrendous). Could you imagine a Marlins team with Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, and Matt Dominguez with Stanton and Willingham in the OF. Not to mention Beckett, Jose Fernandez, and Josh Johnson as the top 3 starters. Or how about the Rangers with Encarnacion, Kinsler, Ott, Profar, and Teixeira in the IF with Chris Davis in the OF. But probably the best team… the Mariners. Fister, King Felix, Iwakuma, Morrow, and Tillman as starting pitchers is ridiculous. But even more ridiculous is their offense (specifically the OF) of Suzuki, Shin-Soo Choo, Ibanez, and Adam Jones. Oh, how about David Ortiz at DH. And then basically the current Mariner IF (Miller, Frankling, Seagar, and Ackley) with the addition of Asdrubal Cabrera. That’s crazy good and doesn’t even include A-Roid. Go check out your homegrown team (Brewer fans should avoid reading the SP rotation though).
  • Technology is crazy these days. You can basically stalk whoever you want (thanks Facebook). You can look up what relative of yours was overthrown by their minions and forced to give back their land in France (thanks Ancestory.com). You can now get instant offers, player walk-up music, and concession menus thanks to MLB.com’s At the Ballpark app. What’s even better is some parks offer free seat upgrades on this app. Hello first row!
  • Apps are cool and all, but what about new data and video systems. Well, Miller Park was 1 of 3 teams that got a new data system installed this offseason to track even more statistical data online and display wicked awesome graphics. You want to know what Carlos Gomez’s top speed was while robbing Votto of a home run? You want to know how far he ran to get there? You want to know how quick his reaction time was before taking his first step? You want to know his acceleration? Done! I really hope this data is used for good and not evil. The good would use it for evaluating players performance and giving the players performance reviews in order to earn their raises like everyone else. The evil would use it to calculate how fast boyfriends jump out of the way of a foul ball instead of protecting their girlfriends.
  • Speaking of at the ball park, do you hate the fact that beers cost $500 there? Me too. But being the total cheap ass that I am, I can now plan what stadiums I need to visit to get the bang of hot dogs and beer for my buck. See, money.CNN released an interactive catalog of every team‘s home stadium and what $20 will buy you in hot dogs and beers (it even includes different beer sizes). Where am I going next? Either Arizona or Cincinnati, where you can buy 5 hot dogs and 3 fourteen oz beers for $20… want more beer, go to Arizona which has the cheapest oz of beer per dollar rate in the MLB.
  • Last on the must click link of May is to the Intentional Walk Rage Scale (IWRS) scoreboard. What is the IWRS you ask? Well, does it piss you off when your team issues a free pass to first base? Yes?! I know it does to me. There is no one that good in baseball that the odds of them getting a base hit is higher than them making an out (batting averages over 0.500 don’t exist). Well, an NBC sports analyst came up with a way to rate how bad an Intentional Walk is and how upset it should make you. It’s too complex for me to explain (so go read it at the link above) but let’s just say that when your manager walks a guy on purpose in the second inning with 2 outs and a runner on 2nd in a one run game, then you should be FURIOUS!

Only 2 full days left until we crown a winner in May of the 2014 Home Run Derby… Big Stinky is trying to run away with it late thanks to Nelson Cruz.
Stay Tuned.

Jeter’s Farewell Gift Baskets

UPDATED AS NEW GIFTS ARE RECEIVED:

Team Jeter’s Gifts Rivera’s Gifts
Astros: Golf Clubs, Cowboy Hat, Custom Pinstripe Boots Rivera Collage Painting
Angels: Pinstripe Paddleboard Oil Painting
Brewers: Bronze bat, $10k to Jeter’s Charity No visit to Milwaukee
Mets: Framed Subway Tiles, $22.222K to charity Mounted Callbox and Fire Nozzle
Cubs: #2 from Wrigley Scoreboard No visit to Wrigley
WhiteSox: Bat/Base Bench, SS Dirt, $5K to charity Framed Scorecard, 9/11 Collage, $4.2K to charity
Mariners: Kingsdome Seat&Base, Gold Watch, $5K to charity $5K to Charity
A’s: Custom Bottle of Cabernet, $10K to Charity, Dinner/Hotel Stay Surfboard, Custom Bottle of White Wine
Twins: Last 2B at Metrodome, $10K to Charity Broken Bat Rocking Chair, $10K to Charity
Indians: Pinstripe Les Paul, LEGO artwork Metallica’s ‘Sandman’ Gold Record
Reds: Framed Larken/Concepcion Jerseys No visit to Great American
Rangers: Pinstripe Boots, GW Bush Photo, $10K to Charity Cowboy Hat, Boots, $$$ to Charity
Cardinals: Musial Cuff Links, $10K to Charity No visit to Busch
Royals: $10K to Charity Donation to foundation
Tigers: Framed Print, Stadium Seats, $5K to Charity Plaque with dirt from both Tiger stadiums
Blue Jays: Ski trip to Canada, $10K to Charity Inuit Sculpture, $10K to Charity
Yankees: Italy trip, $222K to charity, Waterford Crystal, All-Star game patches, Massage machine ‘Sandman’ Live, Willie Mays Metallica Guitar, Rivera Watercolor, Custom Speaker Cabinet, Waterford Crystal, Framed 42 print, Bat rocking chair, $100K to charity

I’ve been traveling a lot lately which hasn’t allowed me to post interesting baseball related news lately.

But I’ll try to make it up to you by posting this hilarious video of Ichiro impersonators in Los Angeles this week imitating Ichiro’s every move in the stands.

Now that I’ve gained your attention back, some of my travels have taken me to see the Derek Jeter farewell tour. I traveled to the great city of Milwaukee to do some tailgating with family and Yankee friends and to watch the Brewers take 2 out of 3 games (I was hoping to see Tanaka pitch but missed his start by a day). We were really hoping to be a part of Jeter’s farewell tour since this is his last stop in Milwaukee before he retires after 20 seasons with the Yankees.

As typical farewell tours have gone recently (Mariano Rivera and Chipper Jones) when the player comes through the stadium for his final game, the home team presents him with a small parting gift. I think my favorite gift in recent years has been the Twins gift to Mariano, “The chair of broken dreams” (a rocking chair made up of bats that Mariano’s cutters have broke).

Jeter has taken his tour through 3 stadiums so far and here is his current collection of gifts (compared to what Rivera got):

Team Jeter’s Gifts Rivera’s Gifts
Houston Astros: Golf Clubs, Cowboy Hat, Custom Pinstripe Boots Rivera Collage Painting
Los Angeles Angels: Pinstripe Paddleboard Oil Painting
Milwaukee Brewers: Bronze bat, $10k to Jeter’s Charity No visit to Milwaukee

I really wish a team would give him a patented ‘Jeter Gift Basket‘. At least give it to him as a gag gift…

If you are interested in all of Jeter’s goodbye presents, I’ll pin this post to the site’s menu bar and keep the Jeter gift list as up-to-date as possible. So check back often on Yankee road trips.

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Billy Hamilton is…. FAST!!!

Ok so maybe that isn’t news to any of you. Based on all of this hype and the fact that he stole over 100 bases in a Minor League season… twice. He even holds the minor league record with 155 steals in a season. He is the next Vince Coleman.

But due to his horrible, awful, incredibly dismal start to 2014, he hasn’t been able to flash that speed…
Until today.

I mean, who tags up on a fly ball just over 2B, and is safe. I think I read somewhere he ran from a dead stop at 3B to home in 3.2 seconds. If we were having a Stolen Base Derby, Billy Hamilton would be the only choice in Group A.

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Opening Day(s) Snafus

Wow, you guys (and gals) are really on top of your game this season. It only took 1 day for someone to notice my inability to spell players’ names correctly which totally scrambled the standings. It probably helped that it was a Brewer home run that wasn’t showing up since we have so many Brewer fans keeping tabs on the Home Run Derby.

That’s not where the credit ends for this group of baseball fans. Within a matter of 3 days, I’ve received more recommendations for sharing certain baseball stories than I have received in the past 5 years. I really enjoy getting recommendations for posting and sharing with everyone else, whether the recommendations make it into a full blown story or just an embedded link. Such as this great photo and story of Hank the Dog enjoying some Miller Park hot dogs.

Or this great Twins clubhouse prank for March Madness. And this unbelievable photo of Andrew Cashner’s magnificent hairdo. So, keep those links coming into The Commish’s inbox.

But let’s talk about the two under performing teams in the NL East and how they may have lost even more fans on opening day.

Mets Opening Day Is A Circus… Literally

    What should have been a short trip to the park for most New Yorkers, turned into an opening day nightmare. With the Cirque Du Soleil eating up Citi Field’s parking lot, fans spent HOURS weaving in and out around the stadium trying to find a place to park. And most of them didn’t make it into the stadium to see the opening pitch, which is why the game looked so empty in the first inning like a college football student section still pregaming at kickoff.

    What was the Mets organization thinking? Did they forget the traveling circus was in town? Were they confused when fans called the 2013 Mets a giant circus? Did they think Ike Davis could be the next bearded lady? I’m just dumbfounded on what the Citi Field scheduler was doing the day they booked the circus for Opening Day, or the same weekend, or whatever.

    I would be livid if that happened to me at an opening day. Granted, if it were Brewer Opening Day, I would be on a Bar bus to a huge tented tailgate with leftover St.Patty’s Day kegs (or at least in the parking lot 5 hrs before the game started for tailgating). But seriously, if I were a Mets fan, I would be thinking twice before going back for another live game. Sitting at home, with cold beer in the fridge, and better than front row seats on TV, sounds a WHOLE LOT better than sitting in traffic with tickets listening to the first 100 pitches on the radio.

Marlins Ownership Is Clueless On Running A Business

    So how can a team screw up worse than the Mets on opening day? Let’s take a look at the team that’s well known for their ‘spend a ton, then fire sale’ management style and what the ownership was saying about his ‘loyal’ fans. That’s right I’m talking about the Miami Marlins. Yes the same Marlins that just built a new stadium yet averages just over 19,000 fans per game. The same team that hasn’t had a winning season since 2009 (although their record is currently a winning one). The same one that hasn’t won 70 games in either of the past 2 seasons. How Miami still has a team just baffles me (although not as baffling as Tampa Bay who has a winning team but a lower attendance than Miami).

    What’s really confusing is how they have any fans at all after the team president keeps making certain comments to the public. My favorite in the past few months was in his publicized Survivor biography where he states, “Personal Claim to Fame: Got local government in Miami to contribute over 350 million dollars to a new baseball park during the recession.” WHAAAAAAAAAT?!

    Who would say a thing like that? Oh, I know, the same guy that accuses his own fans… his customers… for poor transportation planning, for slow concession lines, for being fans. Has he never been in business before? I even know the saying ‘The Customer is always right’. It doesn’t mean they are right, but give the fans/customers the respect and gratitude for being fans of a horrible team. Take accountability for not expecting 35,000 fans when your average is 19,500 fans. Lesson learned? Probably not because he obviously learned nothing on the 3 days he was on Survivor this year.

Off-Season Outlook

Well, it’s finally November. And there is no baseball to watch… wait, what is this?! The Arizona Fall League is being televised with expanded replay on the MLB network. Baseball isn’t dead yet.

This also means that I may have baseball thoughts and comments that require me sharing with the entire world (because I know all of you care what I have to say). And I’m going to start with teams and players to pay attention to this off-season.

  • First, go over to MLB Trade Rumors and sign up for your favorite team’s message alerts. You can get tweets, text messages, rss feeds, apps, what ever you want. I use the text messaging service through twitter and it’s awesome. Every time some one breathes the name ‘Brewers’ in a player acquisition rumor, I know within 1 minute. Here’s a link on how to use the site to its max. And while you are on the MLB Trade Rumor site, make sure you sign up for the yearly free agent prediction contest. You only have to try and predict where the top 50 free agents go this off-season… super easy.
  • Now, where to start concentrating your off-season energy. I would recommend monitoring the actions of the St. Louis Cardinals. One thing everyone saw in 2013 was the depth of their pitching. Lance Lynn, Wacha, Shelby Miller, Rosenthal, Carlos Martinez, and Joe Kelly are just the common names at the moment. They have a ton of options in pitching and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them shipped out for a SS or an outfielder. Kozma isn’t bad but he’s not great. And I don’t see them keeping Beltran roaming the OF. Craig needs to shift to RF. Matt Adams needs to play 1B. I see the Cardinals as one of the few teams with a lot of big trade chips already at the professional level caliber required to play today.
  • The next team I am going to be watching is the LA Dodgers. Why? Because they have the money. The Yankees are no longer the big spenders of the MLB. The Dodgers ownership are the ones emptying their pockets (banks will give loans to anyone these days). They have already signed a Cuban sensation at 2B this off-season, so they won’t be in on the Cano dealings. But their OF is very crowded and I see them adding some big names to their starting rotation (not that their rotation isn’t already filled with big names). One being the sensation from Japan, Masahiro Tanaka, who just pitched a regular season record at 24-0 and pitched a complete game at 160 pitches in the playoffs.
  • There are some big name free agents but there really is only 1 real big name that I think is going anywhere new… and his name isn’t Cano or Granderson. Where will Jacoby Ellsbury end up?! One idea is a team I already mentioned, the Cardinals. Sure, they already have Jon Jay, but it’s Jon Jay. I already talked about how the Cardinals have plenty of prospects but this is a guy they can sign without having to give any of them up. They can then save those trade chips for a SS. The other team that that I would guess could own Ellsbury in 2014 is the Seattle Mariners. I hope the Mariners land him because I would love to see the Mariners return to stardom and the playoffs and they have the pitching staff in place but need a spark on offense.
  • Another name I’m excited to watch is David Price. I know, I know, he isn’t a free agent, but he’s about to make a lot of money and TB doesn’t pay anybody because they are so good with the talent they find for cheap. Where will Price go? Definitely to the West Coast. More specifically, Los Angeles. I will put the Dodgers at the front but the Angels should be in the discussion on Price as well. I just think the Dodgers have the money and the prospects available. Could you imagine a Kershaw, Greinke, Price, Ryu, and Tanaka rotation? You may get to see it in reality in 2014.
  • Lastly, as much as I’m sick of it, the A-rod vs MLB case. Yes, I’m sick of this whole thing but this is actually getting entertaining. I mean, this hearing is turning into a good ol’ fashioned mud-slinging political he-said-she-said debate. Check out this link to the New York Times story that summarizes what’s happening in the case when it’s on hold until November 11th. This whole thing is currently a bash session with key terms of ‘MLB’, ‘A-Rod’, ‘leaks’, ‘spying’, and ‘Bosch’. I just can’t wait for the rulings because it’s going to destroy the loser. Whether its A-rod or the MLB organization, this is like watching a train wreck because we just can’t turn away.