Tag Archive | "MLB"

Opening Day in Toronto


Recently I got the chance to travel back to the States after two years in South Korea. My timing of my trip just happened to coincide with Opening Day in Toronto. So with a stopover in Canada, I hit up Opening Day at my third ballpark, Texas and Atlanta being the others.

First of all, Toronto seems to be a really nice city. I was only there for two nights and one of them I got in late, so I really only had a day to visit the city. I took to walking around the city on the one full day I had, and really enjoyed it.

The weather was cold and there were even some snow flurries later in the day. But that didn’t stop me from getting out to see a little bit of the city. I stayed downtown near Chinatown, but coming from Asia I had no interest checking that part of town out. Instead, I headed toward Skydome (yes I know it is called Rogers Centre, but forgive me because it will always be Skydome to me).

One of the coolest things I saw was CN Tower which sits next door to Rogers Centre, and I decided to head up early in the morning. It was a beautiful morning and walking up to the Tower I was able to snap this shot showing the blue sky.

CN Tower - Toronto

CN Tower – Toronto

The view from CN Tower is great. Not only do you get the views of the city, but you also get views of Lake Ontario. With the weather being cold, the dome was closed. But if you go on a day when the roof is open, you could look down on the field. Here are a few shots from the Tower.

Toronto, Canada

Toronto, Canada

View of Toronto from CN Tower

View of Toronto from CN Tower

View of Toronto from CN Tower

View of Toronto from CN Tower

View of Toronto from CN Tower

View of Toronto from CN Tower

Toronto from CN Tower

Toronto from CN Tower

The city was a buzz with anticipation for the Blue Jays new season. With all the new faces the team is one of the favorites to make the playoffs. Everyone was decked out in Jays gear waiting in line to enter the game early. They would face off with the Cleveland Indians on a Tuesday night.

On the hill for Toronto was the 2012 N.L. Cy Young Award winner, R.A. Dickey. However, it wasn’t a good night for Blue Jays fans as Dickey gave up four runs (three earned) in six innings taking the loss. He was out pitched by Justin Masterson.

The game for the most part, wasn’t too exciting. The fans were quick to turn on JP Arencibia after he had a few passed balls on Dickey knuckleballs.

I did enjoy the stadium though. I sat up top because it was cheaper, but the seats were still okay. I watched part of the game from the first level just standing behind the rail.

Food options in the upper levels were slim pickings as far as good food goes. They have the usual affair like hot dogs, but what I didn’t like was that they took the cap from me off of my coke bottle. I’m sorry but if you are worried about people throwing bottles don’t sell them!

There were a lot of good food options on the first level with a wide variety of things to choose from. You are able to move from level to level through the dark ramps that lead up and down. So if you are sitting up top and want to get some food from the lower levels you can.

Here are a few shots I took.

Rogers Centre - Toronto

Rogers Centre – Toronto

Rogers Centre - Toronto

Rogers Centre – Toronto

Rogers Centre - Toronto

Rogers Centre – Toronto

Rogers Centre - Toronto

Rogers Centre – Toronto

Rogers Centre - Toronto

Rogers Centre – Toronto

View from my seat at Rogers Centre

View from my seat at Rogers Centre

Opening Day Rogers Centre - Toronto

Opening Day Rogers Centre – Toronto

Opening Day Rogers Centre - Toronto

Opening Day Rogers Centre – Toronto

Geddy Lee throwing out First Pitch

Geddy Lee throwing out First Pitch

First Pitch - Opening Day - Toronto

First Pitch – Opening Day – Toronto

I really enjoyed my time in Toronto and hope to be back at some point to see more of Toronto and maybe check out a game when the roof is open at Skydome.

Posted in MLB, TravelComments (2)

All 30 MLB Parks in 2013?


So I am back, I guess I never really left, to wanting to plan a Major League Baseball stadium tour for 2013. Now that the schedules are out, I am looking into routes to take.

But the other day someone asked me why I want to do this? It got me to thinking.

The main reason is I have been a passionate baseball fan my entire life. It’s the one thing that I can look back on for as long as I can remember knowing I’ve always loved the game. I love to watch baseball. I love the experience of taking in a new stadium, walking the grounds, seeing the fans, and looking at the game as if it is new again.

Not only do I love the game, but I love the stadiums. The roar of the crowd, the smell of the stale beer and hot dogs, and even the architecture that goes into the new and old ones alike are all things that interest me. The fact that no two stadiums are alike makes me want to see them all.

But it goes beyond just baseball. This is America. Driving to see all 30 MLB stadiums would take me to places I’ve never been. Seeing the west coast, the mid-west, and even Canada are all things I really want to do. I see it not only as a baseball journey, but a journey across America and that excites me as much as the baseball does.

Then the question becomes, why not spread it out over the course of many years. I’d have more time to see the country and the stadiums along with it. True, but I haven’t lived in the States during baseball season for 3 years now. And I don’t think that will change much over the next few years.

The final thing is, I have the money. I’ve never had the money to undertake such a trip before. However, even though I do have it I am reluctant to spend it. This is the first time in my life I’ve had the money and time, but I am worried even still.

I’d love to mark this off of my list of things to do (I hate the term ‘bucket list’). Then I can start to plan my next adventure.

What do you think? Should I go for it?

Posted in MLB, TravelComments (0)

I Really Don’t Know What to Say….


I’m still in shock from Friday nights games. I think it’s going to take me a while to find the words to describe what happened.

All I can say for now is:

Bad call but that’s not what cost us.

and

Where did they disappear to?

I’m really lost for words. More later after I wake up from this “dream”.

Posted in MLBComments (0)

Postseason Baseball – There’s Nothing Better


The end of the 2011 MLB season was a painful one for me. For the past 25+ years I have rooted for a pair of teams. One I fell in love with because they had a great power hitting outfielder and they were on TV every night of the week.

Yes, the Atlanta Braves. I have been a die hard fan since the mid-80s and the collapse last year was difficult to swallow. Seeing that great bullpen collapse at the end of the season was tough to watch.

The other team is the Texas Rangers. I grew up in Texas and old Arlington Stadium is where I got to see the few live games during my childhood. I remember it fondly, and I got to see some of the all-time greats there like Nolan Ryan, Reggie Jackson, and so many more.

They were the other team I could watch on TV, and I rooted for them in the AL for as long as I can remember.

So being 1 strike away from a World Series victory was a hard pill to swallow. Game 6 in 2011 reminded me all too much of Game 6 in 1991. Both were hard to watch, and honestly I am not sure I am over either one. I mean really what was Lonnie Smith doing?

Anyway, the 2012 season I am hoping for redemption. Both teams are in the playoffs even though they both might wind up as wild card teams depending on what happens with Texas and Oakland later. I’m okay with that.

Atlanta is playing really good ball this year in September, and I like their chances. Friday they get their chance at redemption in the one game playoff against the team that edged them out of the playoffs last year the St. Louis Cardinals.

Texas on the other hand is really struggling and after leading the AL West for most of the season it all comes down to 1 game in Oakland for the division title.

No matter what happens this year, it can’t be as bad as it was last year. That really tore my heart out. I’m excited about both teams chances. And if they happen to meet in the World Series by chance, I hope Atlanta sweeps ’em.

Posted in MLBComments (0)

Who Would Have Thought…..


Who would have thought…..

There are several of these this season so far. I think the biggest one is who would have thought the Baltimore Orioles would be this good?

Heading into tonight’s play, the Orioles are atop the AL East with a 27-15 record which is the best in the American League. Not only are they in first but the whole division seems to be turned upside down with the Yankees and Red Sox in 4th and 5th place.

There seems to be a surprise in just about every division.

AL Central

Who would have thought the Detroit Tigers would be under .500 and trailing not only the Cleveland Indians but the Chicago White Sox?

AL West

I think everyone though the Rangers would be at the top of the division, but who would have though the Angels would be bringing up the rear? They are 8 games out of first and 6 games under .500 already this season. Albert Pujols just hasn’t hit yet but they could easily turn it around. Maybe.

NL East

I think we thought the Washington Nationals would be good, but this good? They are trailing the Braves by a half game and have played really well this season. Perhaps the bigger surprise is the fall of the Phillies. So far they are in last place 5 games out and a game under  .500 but they have had a lot of big injuries.

NL Central

Not any huge surprises here. Cincinnati and St. Louis are tied for first, but Pittsburgh and Houston are next in the standings which might be the biggest surprise.

NL West

The Los Angeles Dodgers have the best record in baseball. Not sure anyone saw that coming with all the off the field issues they have had. They are hot of late (8-2 in last 10) and are almost unbeatable at home going 19-4.

I think the Orioles are the biggest surprise so far. I hope they can keep it up. It’s nice to see teams that haven’t won in a few years return to the top of the league. It’s time for some new blood in the playoffs.

What do you think is the biggest surprise so far?

Posted in MLBComments (1)

USA or Europe Baseball Trip?


I am torn. After this year in Korea I will have been here for a total of 3 years and 2 in a row without going home. I really enjoy it here, but I also really want to travel. So I am torn whether to try and plan a trip in the US or in Europe.

I’ve never been to Europe, and there is so much I want to see. I’d only be able to go where I want for 90 days due to visa regulations for the region. If I went home, I could travel basically until I run out of money.

There are a lot of upsides for either trip which is why I am so torn.

Europe Trip
1. See new countries and experience new cultures while watching baseball.
2. I would plan on seeing Germany, The Netherlands, and the Czech Republic for the majority of my trip.
3. After spending 3 months there, I thought I might head to Thailand and relax for a month or two where it is cheap to do so.
4. Overall it would be about 4-5 months of travel.
5. It would be shorter and cheaper than a trip to the US.
6. I’d get to see baseball in at least 3 different countries and maybe more.

USA Trip
1. I’d go to every MLB park and quite a few minor league parks.
2. I’d get to see friends and family who I might be able to talk into joining me during parts of my trip.
3. There are still a lot of places in the US I’ve never been to.
4. However, it would be more expensive (I don’t own a car anymore).

Either way I go, I plan on coming back to Korea to teach some more. I enjoy it here, but I might have to find a different place to work.

Perhaps I am trying to do too much with a trip to the US. I was planning for 6 months on the road. Maybe if I trim it down to 3 months there, it wouldn’t cost as much and even then I could head off to Thailand or somewhere in Central America to relax and take a rest before coming back to Korea. I might even get to watch some baseball in Central America and practice my Spanish. I just though of this as I was typing and now I am a bit more excited about the prospects of a US trip.

Time for some more planning, but first I need some more go-go juice or coffee.

What would you do?

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Posted in TravelComments (0)

I Plan to Watch 100+ Baseball Games this Year


One of my goals this year is to watch more baseball. I got away from watching last year and only saw a handful of games, and to tell you the truth I missed it.

I have it made here in Korea where I can watch games in the morning before going to work. A typical Braves game comes on at 8am here and a Rangers game usually 9am. This is perfect timing since I don’t go to work until 1:30. The problem for me has always been simply getting up in the morning since I used to stay up very late, think 3am or later.

I’ve changed this year though. I am up earlier to watch games and blog (you can read my Braves only blog at Braves Baseball World), and it has been a lot of fun.

My goal is to watch 100+ games this year. That includes all the game I hope to go to live as well as just a lot of games on TV. I’ll miss most of the games in August when we work in the mornings, but until then and after I plan on watching a lot of baseball.

Plus I have plans to hit up every ballpark again in Korea. This time I’ll be bringing my video camera. I hope to see some of the minor league games here too. They call it the Future League or Second Division. Not to mention some games my friends play in in an adult league, and hopefully some college and high school games.

I’ve watched every Braves game so far this year, as well as Yu Darvish’s first start. I plan to watch a lot of him as well. He’s the most exciting thing to come through Arlington in a long time. I’ll watch more Braves games than anything, but when the Rangers and Angels play, I’ll be watching. That match up is getting heated and I can’t wait for them to square off.

It’s just going to be a huge year for me and baseball. I plan to write a lot, film a lot, and take a ton of pictures. I fell happiest when I am working on anything baseball related. I’ve even tossed around the idea of writing a book, but I haven’t put my finger on the right topic just yet.

So I am about 5 games into my goal of 100. It’s gonna be a fun ride.

I wonder what the record for most games watched in a season is, at least as far as live games goes. I saw the other day where someone set a record by seeing all 30 MLB stadiums in something like 20 days. That’s impressive. I wonder just how many MLB and MiLB games one could take in in a season. That could be a fun challenge.

What do you think?

Posted in MLB, KBO, TravelComments (0)

Yu Darvish Struggles in First Start Against Seattle


The most anticipated match up in the 2012 MLB season so far took place last night, or this morning depending on your location. Yu Darvish took the mound for the first time as a Texas Ranger and went face to face with one of, if not the most, popular Japanese player ever to hit America, Ichiro Suzuki.

Darvish didn’t look too impressive but did show signs of what might come as he gets more comfortable with the baseball here in the States. He lasted only 5.2 innings, gave up 5 runs, walked 4, and struck out 5 to pick up his first, of hopefully many, MLB win.

In the celebrated match up he didn’t fare so well. Ichiro got the better of him going 3-for-4 including a double and 2 runs scored.

Darvish looked nervous and couldn’t find the strike zone early on. He settle down after giving up 4 runs in the 1st inning to only allow 1 more run over the next 4.2 frames.

What Darvish will surely like is the offense he has behind him. The Rangers put up 11 runs, including 4 home runs on the night. Darvish will need offense like this behind him on nights. Then again everyone does. He has a learning curve to go through, so don’t expect him to be dominating every time out. He did show he has the stuff to be dominating. He just has to get comfortable and that will come with time.

I know I am excited about what is to come with Darvish, and I can’t wait to see him pitch again. Based on the schedule, it looks like Darvish will pitch against the Twins at home on Saturday afternoon. It should be a good game to watch. I know I’ll be up early Sunday to catch it here on MLB.tv (game time 2:10am KST).

If you watched the game, what did you think of Darvish?

Yu Darvish’s Record – 1-0

Posted in MLBComments (0)

This is a Great Time of Year – Baseball is Back


The baseball season is upon us, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was needing this distraction.

I’m really looking forward to the Braves and Rangers seasons. I’ll be blogging about the Braves, my all-time favorite team, at a new site, Braves Baseball World (I’m just getting it up and going – should be finished soon).

I’m looking forward to watching a lot of Rangers as well, but not because I think they will win the World Series. But mainly because of the intense rivalry with the hated Angels this year.  It hasn’t been this exciting since Vincente Padilla pitched for the Rangers and loved starting bench clearing brawls by throwing at hitters.

C.J. Wilson is now an Angel, and has already started heating things up by Tweeting Mike Napoli’s phone number. Sure he may have played it off as a joke or accident, but nobody really thinks so. He can be a douche that way. I look forward to the games when he pitches. Not that it will be easy. He is a solid pitcher.

Then add in that the Angels signed Albert Pujols, and you have the makings of a really good pennant race. And let’s be honest, there is nothing better in baseball than a good pennant race. This one could go down to the final day of the season. We’ll just have to wait and see how things go.

I’m am really anxious to see Yu Darvish pitch as well. I watched him a bit during the spring games, but nothing is like regular season competition. I’ll be tuned in with millions of others in Asia watching his first game against Ichiro and the Mariners on Monday night.

There are a lot of other interesting teams this year too. Washington could do some damage in the NL and Toronto could make it a four team race in the NL East.

I love this time of year.

Posted in MLBComments (0)

2012 MLB Predictions


The 2012 MLB season starts in less than 24 hours for most teams. With the rosters set, I’d thought I’d take a stab at who will win what this year. I probably won’t get close, but it’s always fun to predict and see how far off you came.

NL East – You can see a more detailed explanation here.
1.Philadelphia Phillies 96-66
2.Atlanta Braves 90-72
3. Washington Nationals 87-75
4. Miami Marlins 72-90
5. New York Mets 68-94

NL West
1. Arizona Diamondbacks 91-71
2. Los Angeles Dodgers 85-77
3. San Francisco Giants 80-82
4. Colorado Rockies 80-82
5. San Diego Padres 65-97

NL Central
1. Cincinnati Reds 90-72
2. St. Louis Cardinals 87-75
3. Milwaukee Brewers 84-78
4. Pittsburgh Pirates 76-86
5. Chicago Cubs 75-87
6. Houston Astros 61-101

AL East
1. New York Yankees 97-65
2. Tampa Bay Rays 91-71
3. Boston Red Sox 85-79
4. Toronto Blue Jays 82-82
5. Baltimore Orioles 70-92

AL West
1. Texas Rangers 95-67
2. Anaheim Angels 90-72
3. Seattle Mariners 84-78
4. Oakland A’s 70-92

AL Central
1. Detroit Tigers 98-64
2. Cleveland Indians 85-77
3. Kansas City Royals 84-78
4. Chicago WhiteSox 68-94
5. Minnesota Twins 65-97

Playoffs

NL WC Playoff Atlanta def St. Louis

NLDS Philadelphia def Atlanta 3-1

NLDS Arizona def Cincinnati 3-1

NLCS Arizona def Philadelphia 4-2

AL WC Tampa Bay def Anaheim

ALDS Tampa Bay def Detroit 3-2

ALDS Texas def New York 3-1

ALCS Texas def Tampa Bay 4-2

2012 World Series Texas Rangers def Arizona Diamondbacks 4-0

I just have the feeling the Rangers will be back with a vengeance this year and will accomplish what they have never done before. Who knows what will happen, but I know it will be fun watching it all unfold.

Posted in MLBComments (2)

New Era (eFashion Solutions)

Quote of the Month

There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem - once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit. ~Al Gallagher, 1971

Polls

Who Will Win the 2014 World Series?

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