A promotion for Kansas City’s beautiful Kauffman Stadium just described the park as “the place you go and know everything’s gonna go your way.”
Now, I love ‘The K.’ It’s a beautiful park, and in my few trips down there this season, I’ve enjoyed the newly-completed renovations. But that promotion is an absolute lie.
The Royals play at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals are terrible this year – maybe the worst they’ve ever been? – and have won only 26 out of 67 home games, a .388 winning percentage. So to say a Royals fan visiting The K can “know everything’s gonna go [his/her] way” is only right 38% of the time. And that only accounts for the on-field action – only a small part of the ballpark experience.
What if the weather sucks? What if your food is cooked wrong or you spill a soda or you fall down the stairs or you have a stupid drunk fan yelling in your ear the whole time? Even on the rare occasions the team wins at home, there’s still a VERY good chance that not everything went your way. Let’s not add “blatantly false advertising” to the list of things the Royals have screwed up terribly this year.
The Internet is a silly and wonderful thing sometimes. It gives people the opportunity to reach out and make connections that would have been impossible without it. You can wind up caring a whole lot about people you’ve never met, but whom you “know” through the splendor of the Web.
Jonah Keri is one of those people. Keri and I have never met, and it’s entirely possible we never will. But I like his writing, and somehow ended up being one of his helpers on his upcoming book about the Tampa Bay Rays. He seems like a pertty awesome person, so when I read yesterday that he should be dead in a ditch, I was pretty shaken.
He’s OK, somehow. His wife, very pregnant with twins, is doing well too. In the comments of his post linked above, he gives sage advice, spoken like someone who has been given a sharp injection of perspective on life:
“Go hug your loved ones. In the end all that matters are family and friends.”
So…yeah. What he said.
Joe Posnanski, as you may know, is my favorite sports writer. You may also know that his new book, The Machine, is coming out very soon – 09/09/09. You can check out a wonderful excerpt on the Sports Illustrated website, or in the paper version of SI if you get that too.
Here’s one Pete Rose story from that excerpt that stood out to me. Love it!
[Pete Rose] ate up old stories. Waite Hoyt was a hard-drinking former Yankees pitcher who’d known the Babe and Ty Cobb and all the rest of those old baseball greats. He had also been a radio announcer for the Reds in the 1960s, and Pete would talk to him for hours. Pete would ask him to repeat the same stories again and again. Later, Callahan would hear Pete tell those stories, word for word, facial expression for facial expression. It was eerie. Several years later, when Rose was chasing Cobb’s record for most hits, New York Times sportswriter Dave Anderson asked Rose how much he really knew about Cobb. Rose, being Rose, indelicately answered, “I know everything about Ty Cobb except the size of his c—.”
Of course, The New York Times — the Gray Lady — could not report it quite that way. So the quote was delicately repackaged like so: “I know everything about Ty Cobb except the size of his hat.” Rose was furious. He knew damn well that Cobb’s hat size was 7 5/8.
Baseball Prospectus’s Will Carroll, another of my favorite people in sports writing, had good things to say about the book. “How good is @jposnanski‘s book ‘The Machine’? I read it on paper. If there’s a better sports book this year, I haven’t read it.” [via Carroll's Twitter]
Now, it turns out Posnanski will be in Omaha tonight, chasing down a story about Disco Hayes. What a funny coincidence – I will also be in Omaha tonight! Neat.
Via Baseball Musings, I learned that Joey Votto (the Reds’ first baseman) left Wednesday’s game because he had a “blurry spot” in his field of vision that grew as the game went on. Team doctors eventually decided it was a visual (or retinal) migraine.
I was taken aback by this. I never really hear about migraines in any mainstream media, except the headache-related stuff. But migraines, as many of you have undoubtedly learned for yourselves, are much more than just headaches. For example, many of my migraines avoid headaches altogether, but have a multitude of other symptoms, like the “blurry spot” Votto had, tunnel vision, extreme fatigue, et cetera.
I can understand why Votto was alarmed, too. He said he had never had a migraine before, so losing his normally perfect vision in any way would be scary. He said he hoped it doesn’t happen again, and I don’t blame him.
Tags: Counting the days, There is no place like NEBRASKA
I’m a resident assistant (RA) at my school, which has been quite a rewarding experience so far. But I started last January, so I have never gone through the long end-of-summer training process that can really mark the RA experience. For some reason, today’s training schedule included a tour of our beautiful football stadium, Memorial Stadium.
I thought I had been excited to see what the Huskers could do this football season. I thought I was pumped for coach Bo Pelini to help Nebraska claw back from a dark period back to the glory days of the 1990s. That was before heading down the hallways under the stadium. Like the one outside of the locker room where there is row upon row of portraits of first-team All-Americans from Husker teams past. There are over a hundred of those.
Or maybe the walls outside of the athletes’ dining hall where there are even more portraits of Academic All-Americans – that’s a nation-leading 269.
What about the talk from the legendary Tom Osborne, the most beloved coach in Husker athletic history, who is now a revered Athletic Director? That was pretty cool too.
Then there was the display case reminding passersby that the Huskers are just a few weeks away from the 300th consecutive home sellout – that’s a record too.The first one in the streak was 47 years ago, the homecoming game against the hated Missouri Tigers on homecoming day. That crowd was a quaint 36,000…the Stadium has grown a bit since then.
This is the view of the field from the press box – and perhaps a glimpse into my future? My phone camera sure doesn’t do it justice.
And I was sure psyched to pass the trophies from the Huskers’ National Championships from 1970, 71, 94 and 95 as I made my way into the Heisman Trophy Room. I’ve never touched a Heisman Trophy before, but I guess it was pretty cool (photo forthcoming, as it was taken on someone else’s camera). It set the tone for an awesome day, and put my previous excitement about this Nebraska football season to shame.
Now, it is time to count days until the first home game – sixteen, by the way – and start peeking at the weather forecast and planning that first tailgate. As much as I love and live for baseball season, I can’t wait to join 85,000 of my closest friends at Memorial Stadium for a brand new season of Husker football.
The soundtrack of my life…
[Ed. note: This was going to go up on my Royals blog, Royal Blues, but an extended string of technical difficulties prevented that. If you're not a regular consumer of Royals roster speculation, that's fine - you could skip over this one. But if you want to stick with me here, here's the Cliffs Notes version of what's going on.
Alex Gordon was drafted by the Royals in 2005, and was hyped up as "the next George Brett" - a Hall of Fame 3rd baseman who played his entire career with Kansas City. Gordon skipped Triple-A and began the 2007 season at the Major League level. He has had a lot of struggles, but the team has stuck with him, and never demoted him until now - he was sent down to Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday afternoon. That should be enough background to make the rest of this make some sense, maybe?]
Alex Gordon will join Omaha Wednesday night in Tacoma, which means the already-crowded Omaha infield might see some changes.
The O-Royals’ current bunch of middle-infielders includes Luis Hernandez, Tug Hulett, Mario Lisson, Travis Metcalf, and Irving Falu – although Falu also plays outfield.
Luis Hernandez has played shortstop exclusively since being demoted from the big club. He has a good, albeit powerless, line so far, batting .316/.368/.409. His defense is passable, I guess, especially for Triple-A. He’s a switch-hitter, and can bunt better than your average Royal, for whatever that’s worth.
Tug Hulett, with the exception of the last handful of games, has hit extremely well since his most recent demotion. His overall line for Omaha is .300/.391/.491. He’s also one of the more diverse defenders of the group, playing in right field, at shortstop, third base and second base this year.
Mario Lisson, of whom I’m a big fan for some reason, has been used at third base fairly often lately, but the vast majority of his games at AAA have been at shortstop. He really hasn’t hit well since his promotion from NWArk (.225/.273/.378), but then again, he really wasn’t THAT great a hitter at AA, either – .206/.287/.279. I feel like he might be the odd man out when Gordon arrives, and get moved back down to double-A.
Travis Metcalf should perhaps thank his lucky stars that Ryan Shealy has been hurt all season. His ability to occasionally fill in at first might save him from being bumped from the roster tonight. His defense at third is not inspiring, nor is his bat – unless you are inspired by watching a batter swing at everything.
Lastly, we have Irving Falu. I think that his spot on the Omaha roster is safe because he has played 22 games in the outfield, and the team is more in need of outfielders than usual now that Jordan Parraz* is on the DL and Chris Lubanski hasn’t played since August 11.
*I’m a HUGE fan of Parraz. I cannot believe we got him for Tyler Lumsden. Even if Parraz never reaches the Majors, this appears to be quite a steal.
The Gordon demotion surprised me, and I don’t know how much good 3 weeks in the minors can really do him at this point. But it sure is a convenient coincidence that his arb clock could be delayed until 2013 now, isn’t it? So VERY convenient.
Sorry I still haven’t been posting as much. Things have been pretty crazy with job training and whatnot, but classes start Monday so hopefully I’ll settle into some kind of “normal” routine again.
The deadline for Major League Baseball teams to sign their draft picks is just a few minutes away. Tension is probably higher in the offices of the Washington Nationals than any other place in the country as they scramble to find a deal that will suit top pick Stephen Strasburg.
Kevin Goldstein wonders if this is the year the Draft all falls apart, noting that many of this year‘s first-round picks hadn’t signed by this afternoon. He could be right, but we’ll find out for sure in a few minutes. I feel like if the Nationals somehow do get Strasburg, it will be some kind of miracle. I’m not loving their chances at this point.
UPDATE: Yahoo’s Tim Brown is apparently reporting that Stephen Strasburg signed for around $15 million. The Mariners also reportedly reached a deal with their top pick, UNC’s uber-hitter Dustin Ackley.
Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda was hit in the head with a line drive during tonight’s Dodgers/Diamondbacks game at Arizona. The video is horrifying, so please don’t watch it if you’re squeamish about head injuries.
To give you a taste of how awful this looked: After hitting Kuroda, the ball bounced all the way back to the stands. Kuroda had to be carted off the field, which is never good. As I head into yet another day of job training, my thoughts are with Kuroda, because no matter what his diagnosis, he is almost certainly in a boat load of pain.