Monday, April 30, 2007

Trip to Pittsburgh 2

Ah, the satisfaction of seeing the boys in red shaking hands at the end of a game...what a thrilling two days it was. Last of the photo posts, from the top: 1. Reds win! 2. A view down the park. 3. Hobbs at bat. 4. Stadium lights. 5. A Reds fan. 6. Outside home plate. 7. Arroyo at BP. 8. A view from the street. 9. The Blair Witch Scoreboard Project. 10. Clemente and his bridge. 11. Josh Hancock, RIP. 12. The Pirate mascot sees my hat. 13. Hobbs. 14. Reds win!

Trip to Pittsburgh 1

Ash, who used to write here but still comments on Red Reporter, and I met up in Pittsburgh to watch the Reds take on the Pirates over the weekend. This is part one of the trip.

It was Freddy Sanchez Batting Champion Bobble Head Night on Saturday, complete with mole. I don't have any bobbleheads, and this one, which commemorates something, is a good place to start.
I got all of this loot from the Pirates treasure chest. If you look closely at the scorecard, you will see some scribbles on the ball near the center of the card. Those scribbles are courtesy of Mr. Todd Coffey and Mr. Stormy Weathers, who signed quite a few autographs. So did Harang, but he had a mob around him. (Does that mean people have heard of him?)

Rain prevented batting practice, but we still got to see some of the guys warm up, mostly pitchers. There were a lot of Reds fans at the game, much more than I am used to seeing when I go to Reds games on the East Coast. A lot of people came out for bobblehead night on Saturday, but the crowd on Sunday, which was a gorgeous day, was dead - 18,000+.

It was quite exciting to see so much offense on Saturday night. (And again on Sunday.) That, coupled with Belisle's gem (no hits through the first five innings!) made it the perfect victory. And no bullpen!

Kirk Saarloos throws long toss next to the scoreboard. A photo of Kyle Lohse follows that one, then Eddie Guardado - playing catch!

Stay tuned for part 2, which will include the sunnier of the two games...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Two victories!

It sure was nice seeing the Reds play ball this weekend, especially since the two games were wins!

Today's weather was much better than yesterday, when rain cancelled batting practice. Here are a few images from PNC Park. I'll post more photos tomorrow.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Going to Pittsburgh

The Reds better wake up.

Will take plenty of photos.

Shake, shake, shake

I was surfing the net during lunch hour today and came across, a self-promoting pile of interwebal garbage. You can even win a day with Canseco!

Remember when this guy was a sure Hall of Famer, a member of the Bash Brothers and the A's mini dynasty at the end of the eighties? The guy ended his career with 462 homers. Granted, those were juiced homers, but we'll never know how many he would have hit without the stuff. He hit 91 in his first four seasons when he was still a scrawny dude, so who knows? Just another of the many what-could-have-beens.

I was in sixth grade when the A's went to the series in '88. All of the boys in my class were wearing A's caps at the time, and, well, I wanted one, too, so my mom found a mesh one for me. Back then, wearing baseball caps to school was ok, because baseball caps stood for baseball teams and not gangs.

I remember the '88 Series quite well, which is strange, because I don't remember the '87 Series at all. I guess my twelve year old brain had finally developed some capacity for memory by then. I remember Dave Stewart, Dennis Eckersley, and Terry Steinbach as much as I remember Canseco and McGwire. What a team.

Of course, the '89 Series was even more memorable because of the earthquake. Strange coincidence (fate?) how the two Bay teams were playing in that Series. My mother was having a Tupperware or Home Interiors party or one of those types of things and I was in my bedroom, where I had been permitted to have the television so I could watch the game. I remember Al Michaels talking about the Series when suddenly someone said "Oh my god" and then Michaels said something like "I'm telling you, we're having an..." before we lost the feed. When it came back (I think they played some television show before it did) and I found out what had happened, I remember feeling something like I was watching the Apocalypse. Al Michaels was awesome - I think he won an Emmy or something like that for his account of what he saw at Candlestick. (It's a shame he doesn't do baseball anymore.)

It was a traumatic experience for a kid who'd never before witnessed the horrors that the real world had to offer. I cut out every article from the Dayton Daily News about the quake for weeks and pasted it into a yellow notebook, which I still have today. Then again, these were pre-themediaisinsane days and live coverage of disasters was not something that happened everyday, which helped viewers feel the magnitude of the catastrophe. Today it kind of feels like we're immune to such things.

I stopped liking the A's in 1990 when, of course, the Reds swept them in the World Series. I still like them a bit, but it's funny how they went from being THE team in baseball to a moneyball small market team.

Baseball sure has changed. Then again, so has America.

Want some goosebumps?

Listen here.

Need relief from relief!

I was going through some old posts looking for a particular one when I came across this one and found it particularly poignant and relevant to today, so I thought I'd repost it. I know there have been some new visitors lately, so it's new to them! (I made an update to fit this season.)

Scene: Girl is enjoying a baseball game, eating a hot dog, drinking a beer, and watching her team take a comfortable 5-0 lead. Suddenly, it is the eighth inning and she collapses. They take her to the hospital, but the doctors are puzzled.

House: Have we ruled out leukemia?

Omar Epps: Yes, all of the tests have come back negative.

The girl: Well, what about a tumor?

The Aussie: It's not a tumor.

House: Well, have you checked out the ballpark? Maybe she got metal poisoning from the seat.

The three lesser doctors hang their heads and go check out the ballpark.

The Aussie: There's nothing here.

The girl: It must be something else.

Omar Epps: It could be [insert lengthy medical term here.]

The go on running all sorts of tests. Then, as House sits in his apartment, his oncologist friend comes in and House suddenly has an idea. He hurries to the hospital and asks Omar Epps to get a newspaper in Cutty's presence. She looks at him like he's crazy and he's going to be wrong.

House: That's it! Look, the bullpen nearly blew another lead! She just needs a prescription for a CLOSER and she'll be fine.

Stay tuned for scenes of next week's House, when Cincinnati fans beat up Tony Womack Juan Castro for starting over Freel Encarnacion.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

8th inning blues

It's official. I am on the bandwagon.

I hate this bullpen.

Hey Wayne, WAKE UP!

The Heads Must Go

So I'm looking at the All-Star promo on the homepage to see who they put up for Reds and Nats, when I noticed something odd. The Deadbirds in the bottom left corner (the bottom, where they belong!) had four players when everyone else had three. And then I noticed, oh, looky, the Bankees and Red Sox have four as well. And the large market Dodgers and Giants. And for good measure, last year's World Series losers, the Tigers. (Surprised it wasn't the Chub$ instead.)

Now, instead of taking every single tiny little opportunity to remind fans of small market teams that their teams are small market teams, why not just, um, well, put three heads up for each team? It's not like it won't work out that way, because each row would lose one head. And having three heads for each team would make each existing head a little bigger so you don't have to squint to see who it is.

It's time to start a revolution! Storm the Bastille! Overthrow the aristocracy! Off with their heads!

The Battle of Archopolis

Good triumphed over evil in the waning hours of yesterday, when an oppressed people fought gallantly to victory against an imperial force who had stolen baseball in a conquest just six months earlier. The hero of the battle had been a punching bag for Negativocles, who seemed to pop up everywhere, from the dark corners of the blogosphere to the incandescence of a stadium to the talking heads of the $por$ network$. Negativocles said he was a waste of money, destined to ruin a season with his light lumber and his aged 30 year old body. Negativocles looked up to the sky and saw clouds where blue should have been and screamed "The sky is falling!" Then came the thunder.

It came in the form of the coveted longball, the holiest of hits. While El Birdbrains watched in not-so-silence as their evil empire crumbled before their eyes, the enemy they had dismissed so readily hacked away at their outfield fences, and the hero, called The Man Who Has No Bat (misnomer), sent two missiles into the peasantry, who watched the battle from their tiny plots of stadium land.

The Man Who Has No Bat (misnomer) was also known as Defensively Overrated (misnomer) by Negativocles' followers, but he was renamed The Man With The Bat and was awarded the Webgem Medal of Honor for his skill on the soaking battlefield, which had been pounded by oceans of storms that had temporarily suspended the contest prior to its start.

Some notes about the battle:
  • The Imperial Prince was silent for most of the night, and then a battle injury took him out of the fight. The injury was brought on by a wizard who had put a voodoo curse on him.
  • The Artillery kept firing pitches with the blessing of St. Cy Young, who was tragically ignored during his own sacred holiday last year when the High Priest appointed under his name was chosen. The Artillery had been a perfect representative of the saint, yet the blasphemers chose a lesser deserving candidate.
  • The Immortal One wrote his own page of history when he pushed Mr. October off Olympus into the land of the lesser gods. Finally.
  • Steamy Hot Drink was full of spoiled milk once again as he secretly tried to aid the enemy in the ninth, but He Who Has No Bat (misnomer) fought the treason successfully, and victory over the hated Deadbirds was sealed.

Final score: 10-3.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Here we go

I'd say we have Harang going tonight and Bronson going tomorrow, but that hasn't worked out so well thus far since we have no freaking offense. I feel so disappointed that I'm not even looking forward to the game this evening. I know it's early. I know that saying the season is done is akin to saying the sky is falling. But I'm sick and tired of watching the losing, and even the winning is close to losing since we can't find the plate with a scoring foot. It doesn't even matter if the Reds are facing Randy Keisler on Thursday, because we can make shitty pitchers look like Cy Young right now.

But never give up hope. This, too, shall pass.

Monday, April 23, 2007

New stadium images part 1

It was a beautiful day yesterday, so I decided to go and check out the new Nationals stadium. These are some of the images. I'll post more throughout the week.