Content about baseball

We're about 2.5 weeks into the 2024 MLB season and the Guardians have the best record in baseball. Not bad for a young team with major pitching challenges, at least with respect to starters.

tags: mlbbaseballguardians

postposted by matt in Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Feds accuse Ohtani ex-interpreter of $16M theft (espn.com)

The amount was pegged at about $4M when the story broke a couple weeks ago as the Dodgers opened the season in Korea. Now federal investigators allege the theft totaled more than $16M. That's an insane amount of money, which makes it more shocking if Ohtani truly was ignorant of the entire thing.

tags: mlbbaseballdodgersohtanigambling

posted by matt in Thursday, April 11, 2024

Bash brothers: Naylors homer in same frame on National Siblings Day (mlb.com)

This has to be the greatest National Siblings Day celebration of all time - Josh and Bo Naylor each homered in the fourth inning of the Guardians game tonight. Cleveland even came back from a 0-5 deficit to win the game…on a walk off single by Bo in the 10th. Incredible.

tags: mlbbaseballguardians

posted by matt in Wednesday, April 10, 2024

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We saw a gem of a game last night (posting this to the day of the game on the following morning). The Guardians came to town and opened a three game series against the Rays.

To start things off, we were a bit conflicted. The Guardians are our team, and the Rays are our second team. Who to root for? Everyone else pulled for the Guardians but I donned my Rays hat and pulled for the home town team. Why? First, we're in St. Pete. Second, and probably more importantly, the Guardians sold at the trade deadline (including Ace pitcher Aaron Civale, to the Rays...and he started tonight). That's a huge signal to me (and the players) that ownership doesn't believe the team has it this year, and they're taking actions to support that lack of faith. Indeed, the starting lineup for the Guards included several players I've never heard of. They've given up on 2023. Meanwhile, the Rays are a legitimate contender this year, and bought at the deadline to solidify that. The Rays still believe, and the Guardians don't. That contrast is clear at the ownership level, and I suspect it will become more clear on the field in coming weeks.

The game itself was incredible, too. Back and forth, with a lot of scoring. And long! More than two and a half hours of baseball, which is rare these days without extra innings.

And speaking of extra innings, we nearly had some free baseball. The Guardians scored four runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game, thanks in large part to some lousy pitching by the Rays closer and some equally lousy catching (several passed balls that let runs in). So, to the bottom of the ninth we went, evened up. Wander Franco of the Rays promptly settled it though, two pitches into the home half with a walk-off home run. Wild finish to a ball game. Certainly the craziest finish I've ever seen in person.

This photo shows the first pitch of the game. Looking back at it, I remember another strange aspect of this game. The Guardians started off with two, back-to-back lead off bunts. Rays pitcher Civale (who played for the Guardians just two weeks ago) botched his fielding assignment on the first one, letting Steven Kwan reach base. In the photo, you can see Kwan showing bunt as Civale prepares to release the first pitch of the game. Second batter Andres Gimenez then bunted Kwan over to second. So the game started almost as weirdly as it ended.

Let's go Rays.

tags: mlbbaseballtampabayraysclevelandguardiansraysup

photo posted by matt in Friday, August 11, 2023

Oakland A's Buy Land For New Stadium Near Las Vegas Strip (huffpost.com)

The A's had been looking for a new home for years to replace the outdated and run-down Oakland Coliseum, where the team has played since arriving from Kansas City for the 1968 season. They had sought to build a stadium in Fremont and San Jose before shifting their attention to the Oakland waterfront.

There has been some debate over whether Tropicana Field or the Oakland Coliseum is the worst stadium in baseball. Both are certainly worthy of the title. But now it looks like we're set to see a race between the two teams that call those stadiums home, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland A's, to open new ballparks. The A's will likely win that on paper if expected timelines play out . But, regardless of who wins between the two, the more interesting thing to watch is maybe this—the Rays and A's are likely to go from worst to first over the next few years with the opening of the two newest stadiums in the game.

tags: baseballmlbtampabayoakland

posted by matt in Thursday, April 20, 2023

Rays’ Randy Arozarena has arrived in Tampa Bay, so let the party begin (yahoo.com)

We had a front row seat for the Arozarena show at the Rays game, with seats in the left field boxes just a few rows behind the wall. He's a character, for sure, and was clearly having fun.

As were we and everyone else sitting in his seats.

tags: mlbbaseballtampabayrays

posted by matt in Thursday, March 30, 2023

The Guardians lost their opener in a game that, I guess, qualifies as a pitching duel.

Castillo was lights out for the Mariners, and Bieber managed to keep things together and avoid damage as the two starters battled to a 0-0 lock until each left the game.
Relievers told a different story, though. Seattle smoothly transitioned to the bullpen, while Cleveland hit a major bump in the eighth when a clearly rattled by the pitch clock Karinchak served up a three run homer, which was the difference.

Guardians lose the opener 3-0.

tags: mlbbaseballguardians

postposted by matt in Thursday, March 30, 2023

15 games, 1 huge day: Here's what you need to know (mlb.com)

"For the first time since 1968, all 30 teams will play their first games on the same day (March 30), so Thursday will feature hours of nonstop baseball action."

First time in my lifetime then. That's pretty cool.

tags: baseballmlb

posted by matt in Thursday, March 30, 2023

It's Opening Day! We've got a great day of baseball planned, too. Renee, Jake, and I will be at Tropicana Field as the Rays open the 2023 campaign against the Tigers. The Guardians are conveniently in Seattle, which will give us plenty of time to get home from a Rays victory (here's hoping!) to watch Cleveland in a late game.

tags: baseballmlbclevelandguardianstampabayrays

postposted by matt in Thursday, March 30, 2023

Aaron Judge, rightfully so, is all the talk on sports radio. Standing at 60 home runs for the season, it's only a matter of time until he catches and passes Roger Maris's single season home run record of 61.

There's another layer to the story, though, that most people aren't talking about. Yet.

Remember that Judge "bet on himself" before the season started, turning down a truckload of money from the Yankees and, in effect, choosing to use this season as a demonstration of his abilities before entering free agency after the season ends.

He's certainly made the best of it, too. The Yankees are now going to need a second truckload of money to keep him in pinstripes. Don't feel too bad for the Bombers, though. The team, no doubt, has loaded several trucks full of cash as Judge put butts in the seats, turned on televisions (and phones and tablets), and sold jerseys, hats, and all the other things.

I don't think Judge is going anywhere. He's a Yankee and will remain a Yankee. It's just a question of how many trucks the team brings to the table.

As a side note, I suspect Lamar Jackson, another superstar athlete who bet on himself by turning down a truckload of money, is watching intently as Judge makes the mold.

tags: sportsbaseballmlbyankeesaaronjudgelamarjackson

postposted by matt in Thursday, September 22, 2022

Boy the Guardians are playing great baseball. They all but knocked the Twins out of the division race in the last series, taking four out of five. Tonight they kicked off a road series against the White Sox that stands to be the definitive set as the American League Central race winds down.

It took extra innings tonight, but the Guardians settled it in the 11th with an emphatic five run effort, ultimately winning 10-7.

It feels appropriate to say it while they're playing in the south side of Chicago — the kids can play.

Go Guardians!

tags: sportsbaseballmlbguardiansclevelandcleguardians

postposted by matt in Wednesday, September 21, 2022

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With the move completed, we went to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox play the Rays. It wasn't much of a game, with the Rays winning 12-4. They jumped to an early lead and the Sox struggled to catch up, particularly after the bullpen entered the game.

But, any day at the ballpark is a good day, and any day at Fenway is a great day.

We did get to see five (I think) home runs sail over the Green Monster, which was pretty cool. We also got to see a position player pitching, which I don't think I've seen in person before.

This photo is of Red Sox pitcher Nick Pivetta serving up the first pitch of the game to Rays third baseman Yandy Diaz.

tags: baseballmlbredsoxrays

photo posted by matt in Sunday, August 28, 2022

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There's a lot to criticize about Tropicana Field. It has some positives, though. Just look at this photo–The Trop clearly has the most interesting geometries in all of baseball! Besides the beautiful shapes that all baseball fields share, look at the rings of the catwalks, the radiant supports on the roof, and the way the left field foul pole just stabs through it all.

And a bonus for this game–our seats were ever-so-slightly out of plane with the third base foul line.

tags: mlbbaseballtampabayraystropicanafield

photo posted by matt in Wednesday, August 3, 2022

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Having Harry with us provided an excuse to visit the Touch Tank at Tropicana Field. We haven't visited that in several years, despite going to several games over those years. I think it's clear from this photo who was most excited about it.

tags: mlbbaseballtampabayrays

photo posted by matt in Wednesday, August 3, 2022

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We went to the Rays game this afternoon. Nearly missed it, thinking first pitch was at 7 PM. Nope–noon start today! The surprise early start was nice, though, giving the boys a reason to get moving relatively early in the day.

I always want this picture when we're at Tropicana Field–the group selfie in the beautiful atrium of an otherwise less-than-beautiful (but I love it!) stadium. Phone cameras just can't capture it well, though. I need my mirrorless Sony, a tripod, shutter release, and a graduated neutral density filter! Oh well, playing with the editing of the phone versions is fun, and reminds me that there's no perfect way to develop or edit a photo. Have fun with it, and see what comes from it. I love the over exposed, super contrasty, grainy look here. And black and white can always help to recover things in a janky exposure.

tags: stpetebaseballtampabayraysmlb

photo posted by matt in Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Rays jumped out to an early lead but gradually let the Yankees back into the game, eventually losing. We did see Aaron Judge hit two home runs, though, which was pretty cool. He cleared the catwalks on one that actually came right toward our left field bleacher seats. There is no question about his talent–he's an absolute monster; a once in a generation power hitter.

Watching him crush two home runs was special, and will undoubtedly become a baseball memory that I cherish.

But, it's the Yankees in Tampa Bay, which means their fans outnumbered Rays fans in the stadium. I hate that.

So, as a Rays fan, my favorite memory of the night was watching Judge come to the plate with bases loaded in the top of the fifth inning. Yankees fans were confident he was going to crush a grand slam. He had, after all, already hit one of his two homers for the day. They could just feel the grannie in the air. And so could Renee and I, frankly. The guy is flat out fearsome in that situation, and the entire stadium–Yankees fans, Rays fans, and, I suspect, the players, too–felt that.

But the Rays pitcher had nerves of steel and struck him out swinging. Beautiful!

That at bat, with the tension and battle that comes with every pitch and every swing in those situations, is everything I love about baseball.

And, I have to admit, the redemption opportunity baseball gives every player, often later in the same game, is part of it, too, even when it works for the Yankees. Judge did, after all, hit that cat-walk-clearing second home run of the game in the top of the seventh inning, his first at bat following that strikeout in the top of the fifth. Mr. Judge redeemed himself, with emphasis.

tags: baseballmlbraysyankees

postposted by matt in Wednesday, June 22, 2022

I have a feeling it's going to be a long season for the Cleveland Guardians. There's been a few games worth watching during the first few weeks of this season, but a lot more that have been painful to watch. They're currently on a four game losing streak and, so far, tonight's game feels like it will add to that.

I don't think there's much chance of losing the claim to the longest World Series title drought this year.

I'll still watch, of course. Go Guardians!

tags: baseballmlbguardians

postposted by matt in Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Kiké Hernández walkoff sacrifice fly in bottom of ninth lifts Red Sox past Rays, into AL Championship Series - The Boston Globe (bostonglobe.com)

This is why they play the games.

No one saw this coming. The Rays were the unbeatable force rolling into the playoffs, and the Red Sox were off the rails a bit. The teams flipped roles in this series though, and now the Rays are headed home and the Red Sox will play for the American League pennant.

Man I love baseball.

tags: baseballmlb

posted by matt in Monday, October 11, 2021

The Rays have to be the favorite to win the World Series. And if that happens, Tampa Bay will hold three (NHL, NFL, MLB) of the four (NBA) major sports championships this year. That's incredible. And the city doesn't have an NBA franchise, so it's hard to ding them for that.

tags: baseballmlbtampabay

postposted by matt in Thursday, October 7, 2021

Brewers RP Williams punches wall, breaks hand (espn.com)

There's never a good time to punch a wall, but doing it hours after your team clinched a playoff berth is probably the worst possible timing. Alcohol was involved, of course.

tags: baseball

posted by matt in Wednesday, September 29, 2021