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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rumors and Conjecture

Say it ain't so! Rumor has it that Tommy Milone and ::sob:: Brad Peacock could be called up to Washington this weekend to pitch against the Mets!

No! No! No!

It's bad enough that there are only two home games left. How much worse can it be if we don't see Brad in person again this season?

I mean, I'm really happy he's pitching so well. And I know the Nats drafted him for themselves, not for us, but this is a prime example of the downside of being a fan of Triple A Baseball: you never know what your team is going to look like.

Yes, I have Brad's autograph on my hat. 

Yes, I have this photo of Sandee and me that was taken with him.

But I'd like to see him in a Chiefs uniform for the rest of the season. There's plenty of time left in the MLB season for him to play for Washington. Is it too much for a fan to ask?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Gold Glove Type

The Chiefs are in Lehigh Valley tonight playing a double header against the Iron Pigs. Molly's favorite pitcher - Brad Peacock was named the "gold glove type" by his high school coach. This came up today because of a play he made...after he pitched the ball, he really extended and threw the runner out at first base. Extended so much that the pitching coach and the trainer came out to see if he was okay. And okay he was, a he proceeded to strike out the very next batter to the plate. Go Brad!!

The Chiefs won the first of the two games tonight and as I write, are winning the second game 4-0. Carlos Maldanado is catching this game and I wonder if he misses Molly and me. I wonder if there is anyone there that waves at him and screams his name, adoringly as Molly and I do.

I have to say, it's hard to be home and listen to them on the radio - especially when the season is winding down and you can count on one hand the number of games left in the season. Anthony and I will travel to Rochester to watch them play the Redwings this coming Friday. There are only two more games in Syracuse, as the season comes to an end on Labor Day. Then it will be time to get caught up on things that fall by the wayside during baseball season. As nice as that will be, there is a certain period of "mourning" and I can feel the familiar sensation in the pit of my stomach - already! The end of the season also signals the ending of summer and that, too, is sad. On September 6th, the fans in the front row of section 207 will start the countdown for the 2012 Syracuse Cheifs Baseball Season.

Missing Video: July 21 (WCNY Night)

First pitch, WCNY night.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Strasburg in Syracuse
DATELINE: Aug 27, 2011
We arrived at the stadium shortly after 5pm for a 7pm game. The main entrance was closed to traffic, but we use a different entrance anyway. There were plenty of folks already on hand. Several tailgate parties were in progress. The lot filled up quickly.

The gates opened at 5:45pm instead of the announced (and usual) 6pm opening. I immediately encountered Bill DeLapp from the Syracuse New Times, who was looking for a good vantage point from which to photograph the draw of the night.

I wondered if our first base coaches would even be able to hear us. Yet there didn't seem to be as many fans in the stands as there were cars in the lot. Soon, we glimpsed parked vehicles in the overflow lot.

While I was sitting around, waiting for starting lineups, they announced Brad Peacock was in the souvenir shop signing autographs. I went into stalker mode and got on line. He signed the brim of my hat. I said hi to him, but I'm not sure he recognized me. After all, he didn't go screaming off in the opposite direction.

NBA Hall of Fame &
One of the Top 50 Basketball Players
of All Time Dolph Schayes
Dolph Schayes showed up, so I went over to say hi to him and snap his photo. Not sure he recognized me either. He and TV Stevie are friends, having both graduated from the same high school in the Bronx. A local sports broadcaster interrupted us. Gotta suck up to Dolph.

Tim Fox from NewsChannel 9 stopped by to say hi.

I heard that Tug Hulett had been named Player of the Game for the 2nd game of the previous evening. YAY! We voted for him.

The crowd kept getting louder and louder. Sandee and Anthony made it in time for the start of the game, although they'd gotten stuck in all the traffic.

Finally, the game started. I began writing down pitch speeds.Strasburg got up to 96mph in the1st inning.
What's in Gregor Blanco's hand?

The first base coach in the bottom of the 1st (and for most of the game) was Gregor Blanco. The past several nights we've noticed him swinging something as he strolls to 1st base. It looks like a stopwatch to me, but that just could be my broadcast years catching up to me.

Bernadina, the first Syracuse batter, hit a home run to start the game right.

While I was looking around the stadium at the end of the first, I noticed something curious.
Grounds crew watching from
way up high!

Strasburg reached 98 mph in the 2nd inning . . . and never exceeded that for the rest of the game.

A newbie, Chris Curran, was first base coach for the next couple of innings.

We wondered if the lemonade stand people all went to the State Fair. We love the lemonade at the stadium and really missed it last night.

There was a family with several young children sitting immediately behind us, and TV Stevie loved them. TV decided that one little fella was going to grow up to be the next Michael Kay. "See ya!" the kid called out every time a ball was hit. It was very cute.

Carlos Maldonado tipped his hat to us before he started warming up Strasburg for the 3rd inning.

By the time the 4th inning rolled around, the sun was setting and the sky was gorgeous.
Notice the 200 Level is full
and the general admission
3rd level is nearly empty.

Can't find the words to describe

By the 5th inning, Strasburg had a perfect game going. It was very exciting to watch. Then the 6th inning. Oh boy. Strasburg allegedly gave up two hits, but I don't necessarily believe the first would have been a hit if a certain outfielder had just hustled a bit. Strasburg was pulled from the game. He left to a standing ovation.

Eventually Rochester scored. In the meantime, Steve Lombardozzi and Matt Antonelli each made an astounding catch. And Bernadina hit an RBI double in the bottom of the 6th (which is why I voted for him, not Strasburg, as Player of the Game).

At the end of the 6th, the stadium announcer informed us that Chris Marrero hit his first Major League hit tonight. YAY Chris!

During the 7th inning, the stadium announcer informed us that Dolph Schayes was in the stands.

Chase Lambin played pretty good at third base tonight, considering he has 25 errors on the season. We never did get his attention. The din in the stadium was unbelievable.

The Voice of the Orange
leaving the stadium
after fireworks.
Matt Park, the Voice of the Orange, was sitting behind me.

WAER's famous Eric Cohen stopped by to say hi.

The last couple of innings were tense. The score was close (I like huge leads). Our relievers were distracted. The Rochester manager was tossed from the game. I couldn't get to my camera quick enough to catch the argument, but it was classic baseball confrontation.

The grounds crew moved from the tippy-top of the stadium to the outfield fence.
Grounds crew watching the end of the game

Eric Cohen commented that I notice the weirdest things at the stadium. Well, that's one of the reasons I wanted to blog. Because being at the ballpark is baseball and more.

Sandee's favorite closer, Josh Wilkie, managed to make sure the Chiefs won. Very tense end of the game.
Team walking off the field after post-game congrats.
Love the "rakish" tilt of Carlos's hat.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Countdown: Three Home Games Left

DATELINE: AUG 26, 2011

Double Header Downer at Alliance Bank Stadium on Friday. We arrived at the top of the 2nd inning of the first game. Sandee texted me that Carlos Maldonado was catching and that Jeff Frazier was playing first.

We found out between games that Chris Marrero was called up to Washington (that's why Fraze was playing 1st). He left around 6:30pm. Good luck, Chris!  You've worked very hard for this moment. We'll miss your bat and your incredible teamwork in the infield.

Carlos Maldonado
at third
We arrived in time to see Carlos Maldonado's first at-bat. He hit a double, and the next batter (Lombardozzi?) advanced him to third. But he never made it home.

We were able to get a very startled wave from Chase Lambin as he trotted in from third base at the end of the second inning. Did he think we'd forgotten him?

Rumor had it (completely UNCONFIRMED rumor) that Strasburg was in the dugout instead of sitting with the other pitchers in the bullpen, because he doesn't like signing autographs. Now, I've read this elsewhere. The Nats have two number one draft picks that drive the media nuts: Strasburg is reluctant and Harper is a hotdog. I read online somewhere that eventually those two should room together in order to even out each other's attitude. But I also read that Strasburg just wants to play ball and all the hoo-ha surrounding him makes him uncomfortable. Completely understandable.

I have coined a new term, and some of the Chiefs' management like it: STRESSburg. Between Strasburg starting on Saturday, and it being a fireworks night, and the Great New York State Fair creating parking issues (due to park-and-ride lots adjacent to stadium), Saturday promises to be a zoo. Good luck to John, Mike, Paul, Erin, and the rest of Chiefs' management.

TV Stevie's Observation of the Game: A foul ball was hit in our direction. A kid chased it and would have caught it except for the empty drink cup in his hand. TV was appalled at the state of our youth. DROP THE CUP TO CATCH THE BALL!

Confusing moment of the game: Third inning of game two. Tug Hulett called out on strikes. Tug didn't agree. He argued. Then he tossed his bat. I mean tossed. Then his helmet. He continued to argue. We were shocked the home plate ump didn't toss him from the game. Then Tug tossed his gloves. His shin/ankle guard. Whoa! Finally the ump tossed . . . Randy Knorr. But we didn't realize this until Tug took his place at third base. We were very happy to see Tug back at third. So happy, in fact, that we voted for him as Player of the Game.

We've spent the past couple of nights asking the interns (with whom we've become friendly over the course of the season) where they go to college and what their plans are for next season. We know now that Jared will be back, working for security. GO JARED!

Celebrity look-alike at the game
Cute kid, but what's
with the
Eddie Munster Hair?
Cleverest fan innovation at the game:
Nobody tripping over this stroller!
First Base Coach Wave
  • Gregor Blanco coached first most of both games. He immediately waved to us. 
  • Jhonatan Solano came in for the last two innings of the first game, and he, too, acknowledged us.
  • Brad Peacock came in for the last two innings of the second game, and he knows to wave to us, too.
Carlos Maldonado Watch
Carlos was very busy during the first game, because he was catching. (And he calls a fine game, too.) During the 2nd game, every time he came out to help warm up a pitcher, he waved and tipped his hat to us. He has a bunch of faithful fans for life now.

Friday, August 26, 2011

4 Home Games Left ::sniff::

Paw Sox again tonight. We didn't cheer loud enough, so the Chiefs lost.

Scary Moment of the Night: We didn't arrive until the top of the second inning. I went down to our seats while TV Stevie bought dinner for us. OMG, it was a good thing he did. Otherwise, I would have been a widow. A foul ball came at Section 207, barely clearing the top of the rail in front of TV's seat before it bounced off the seat behind TV to land in section 107. Had TV been sitting there, it would have hit him in the head. He would have been there if the guy in line in front of him at the condiments station hadn't taken his time putting relish, honey mustard, and ketchup on his hot dog.

Moment of Zen: Both starting pitchers wore 29 (Brad Meyers and Kyle Weiland)

Curiosity of the Night: 
The staff, not the team, was wearing the throw-back Thursday jerseys. Kind of curious.

Suspect, his daughter, & Scooch
Suspect was there with his baby daughter. They posed with Scooch.
Sandee and Anthony had their grandchildren there, too. I'll let Sandee post those pix.

 Amanda (who is a follower of this blog) came over with her husband (with whom I also used to work) to say hi in the middle of the 4th.

Amanda & Eric Hayden

Irony of the night: The NYS Lotto Mega Million game gave buy-one-get-one free tickets to everyone in a section filled with Red Sox Fans. Hello? What's wrong with that picture? Try: they should be in Massachusetts doing that lottery. As TV Stevie always says about local Sox fans: they support the economy of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, not NY State.

In other baseball news: The Yankees set a new record today:
three grand slams in one game. Wow. I'm sorry I missed it.

Carlos Maldonado Watch: Saw him once but it was too loud to call to him.

Time Warp: In the eighth inning, a group of fans along the 3rd base side were chanting: Let's go Sky-chiefs! Wait! It's Throwback Thursday, so I guess that works.

1st Base Coach Wave:

  • Gregor Blanco was first base coach most of the game. He waved to us in the second inning.
  • Corey Brown. Let me put it this way. I spent several innings composing a limerick, which you can read below.
Guilt Attack: Ryan Tatusko came in to pitch in the 7th inning. I felt a little bad because we ignored him at the picnic last night while we were harassing Brad Peacock.

And now, the moment for which you've all been waiting:

My Limerick

There's always a frown on my face
When Corey Brown coaches first base
He acts like a jerk
with an arrogant smirk
Instead of a player with grace.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Counting Down The Season: 5 home games left

After tonight, there are only five home game days left (1 double-header) in the season. We are devastated. What happened to summer?

And worse, what are we going to do until April?

Tonight was Advertiser Appreciation Night and also the picnic for season ticket holders who attend a minimum of 30 games. Great food. A little windy. Two pitchers on hand to mingle with the crowd, including Section 207 favorite Brad Peacock.

Anthony cornered Brad so we could have a photo op with him. We reminded him who we were, and he remembered and reminded us that he'd waved to us. He's a good sport.
Molly, Brad Peacock, Sandee
at the Season Ticket Holders Picnic
Tim Fox
There were lots of people at the game tonight. Pawtucket always draws Boston fans, and Advertiser Appreciation Night brings out a lot of General Admission fans. It was also Dan Hoard's final baseball game of the season. Dan is the PawSox radio announcer, but he's off to Cincinnati to work for the Bengals. Several other media-types stopped by Section 207 to say hi, including NewsChannel 9'sTim Fox.

Tug Hulett is back from paternity leave. Congrats on the birth of Baby Hudson.

And the big news, in case you live under a rock, is that Stephen Strasburg will be pitching in Syracuse on Saturday.

1st Base Coach Wave:

  • Gregor Blanco waved in the first inning. He was the 1st base coach for most of the game.
  • Corey Brown coached 1st base in the 5th and the 8th. We didn't even bother. 
Carlos Maldonado Watch: We were pretty sure we saw Carlos sitting at the end of the bench in the dugout. He didn't come out until late in the game -- he helped warm up the pitcher in the 8th inning. As soon as we called his name, he lifted his hat in acknowledgment. He's a player who appreciates his fans.

An amusing moment: A group of fans in Boston hats asked the Usher for help. They were on the wrong side of the stadium. "No wonder I'm confused," one man said. "No," someone else said, "you're a Red Sox fan."

Oddest sighting of the night: There was a boy sitting in the 300 section above the home plate netting -- with a butterfly net. Apparently he planned to snag foul balls with it.

Random Act of Kindness: This happened during the t-shirt toss. A woman in the back of Section 107 caught a t-shirt, but dropped it. Someone in front of her immediately scooped it up and kept it. A man in section 109 saw this, and gave her the t-shirt he'd caught. 

Manners Aren't Dead: Paw Sox squatters -- a mom and several children -- sat behind us tonight, but they were very well behaved. At one point, two of the younger boys were trying to get Scooch's attention, but weren't having any luck. So I called out to Scooch to let him know he had some fans. Scooch immediately came over and did his shtick with the boys. Afterwards, they thanked me for getting Scooch over for them. 

Scoreboard Messages of the Night: 
  • Chicken Wing Hoard
  • The Chiefs Wish Dan Hoard Good Luck with the Bengals
  • Steve Hyder: All the wings are yours.
Tomorrow night is the PawSox again, followed on Friday and Saturday by Rochester. We plan to try to attract Chase Lambin's attention then. It worked with J-Botts!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sharing Tales of the Chiefs

I've just returned from Erie, PA, where I spent time with some baseball fans. Lisa & Chet go to major league games in both Cleveland and Pittsburgh (and elsewhere, too, but those are the closest MLB teams) plus they have a package for 8 games to see the Erie Sea Wolves (which are the Double A team for Toledo Mudhens/Detroit Tigers).

They've never been to a Triple A game, so Chet had some interesting questions: what are the stadiums like (not that I've been to all that many); how many games are played in a season (I had my schedule on me, so we figured around 130) -- things like that.

Then I told them about the two high points of this season: Michael Aubrey's 4 HR game on May 14th, and seeing the perfect game pitched by Justin Germano on July 26. Chet's face filled with awe, as he said in a hushed tone: "I've never seen a perfect game." I stressed how infrequently Michael Aubrey's feat happened, too -- he was the 10th International League player to do it and only 15 major league players have done it, no one has ever done it twice, and no one has ever hit more than four HR in a single game. Chet and I agreed: we'd both love to see an unassisted triple play.

Thanks for the bragging rights, Chiefs!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Don't be afraid to take advice

Babe Ruth said "Don't be afraid to take advice. There's always something new to learn."

This blog is about something Molly and I learned. It's a story about our 2010 favorite first base position player...Jason Botts. And it's totally a girl thing ;)

J Botts, as we so fondly called him, plays for Buffalo this season. Somehow we've never really gotten over losing him, so when Buffalo played Syracuse we were pretty excited to see him again. Even though, (not so) technically speaking, he dumped us last year. Yeah he left us, but we moved on...Chris Marrero has done a fine job of making us forget our former love.

It seems, however, that we didn't totally get over losing him...

All he had to do was give us his brilliant smile and wave to us. Then he bought us dinner at Taco Bell! (He just happened to be the Taco Bell "K" man that night and struck out).

So we thought things were going pretty well. We forgave him, took him back, agreed to dinner and THEN he delivered the final blow - he hit a HOME RUN!! He might as well have punched us in the stomach! Suddenly we weren't very hungry anymore.

At the bottom of the ninth inning, the game was in tie. My favorite pitcher - Josh Wilkie came in to pitch. He did his job well (as he usually does!) and Buffalo did not score.

The story does end on a happy note - Syracuse triumphed and J Botts went back to Buffalo.

The moral of that story - you probably shouldn't be so quick to take someone back after they left you in the first place. Though we will always hold a special place in our heart for the 2010 season first base player. Beacause it really is a girl thing and that's how we roll ;)

That's our advice ~ The Babe would be proud ~ we learned something new!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Half a Night

Due to family obligations, TV Stevie and I didn't get to the stadium until the top of the 6th inning tonight. The first thing we noticed was that the Maven was back. I hugged him. Then I noticed Sandee and Anthony weren't there. Family issues, according to a text message.

So it was a discombobulated evening at the stadium. The score was tied. The stadium was as full as I've seen it this year -- Public Library Night and lots of freebie tickets. It was also very, very loud.

I did give Tall-Mike-the-Assistant-GM the note for Adam Fox. Adam, I hope you find and enjoy the photos of you and your son that are in the archives here.

It was very loud in the stadium tonight. There was a row of kids in front of me (last row of section 109) doing a wave. So trying to say hi to the first base coaches was an exercise in futility. Okay, the 6th inning coach was Corey Brown, so I didn't bother. I did try to call to Carlos when he helped warm up a new pitcher, but he couldn't hear me.Other first base coaches were Tom Milone, Adam Fox, and Brad Meyers. Sorry guys. Maybe next time.

Gwynett scored two runs in the 7th to pull ahead and eventually win the game. The Chiefs should have won, but there were some . . .  interesting calls by the umpires.

In case you're living under a rock, A-Rod was sent to Scranton Wilke-Barre on 8/16 -- one day after the series with Syracuse. Doesn't that figure.

And in case you aren't aware, Tug Hulett is out on paternity leave. No word yet on Baby Hulett. Good luck, Tug!

Team Photo Night

Bernadina Down
Tonight was Team Photo Night. Sandee & I met in the parking lot and went in together to do our thing. We noticed that there weren't as many players available as there were last year, but figured that was because it was a Tuesday night instead of a Sunday afternoon. (This event was rained out this past weekend). Then we noticed the players available were mostly pitchers . . . which is cool. We like pitchers. They were all very nice young men. One got a little snarky with me . . . "oh, you're the ones," when I mentioned we were the ones cheering. He never let me say "from 207, behind 1st base." Pffft.

I asked players who they were, because we couldn't see their numbers while they were sitting at the tables. Some people said, "Me," another responded in Spanish, and one wise guy said, "Charlie Sheen." Yeah. Right. It was all in great fun, though.


  • Jhonatan Solano signed my hat. The fact that Jhonatan was signing meant that Carlos Maldonado was catching. 
  • Adam Fox is back with the Chiefs and I told him how much I enjoyed watching him play ball with his son over in left field after the games. Sandee said Adam's face lit up. I think I mentioned the photos to him. Later, during the game, I asked Tall Mike-the-Assistant GM how I could let Adam know where to find the pix.
  • Brad Peacock. I said, "Brad, we have a bone to pick with you. When you're coaching first base, we call out to you and you ignore us!" He laughed and said that he heard us, but didn't know who it was, but now he knows, so he'll wave back.
As we were walking down the concourse, Sandee saw Carlos over by the bullpen, so we hurried down the stairs, calling his name. The poor man kept walking. We stalked him. But he finally stopped, and we chatted. We told him we're the ones in 207 who always call out and wave to him. He signed my hat and my #48 Batting Practice T-shirt. Carlos is a really big man.
Carlos Maldonado and Jhonatan Solano 

Carlos Maldonado signed my BPT
1st Inning Highlights:
  • 1st base coach - Jeff Frazier. Came out late, so we couldn't say hi.
  • Roger Bernadina hit a 2-run homer.
  • Carlos Maldonado looked right at us and waved when he came on deck. We didn't say a word.

2nd Inning Highlights:
  • 1st base coach - Adam Fox. Came out late, so we couldn't say hi.
  • Carlos Maldonado grinned in our direction when he came to the plate.
  • The Famous Eric Cohen predicted that Carlos would get a hit, and sure enough, he hit a double.

3rd Inning Highlights:
  • 1st base coach Jeff Frazier waved
  • Seth Bynum hit a home run
  • Matt Antonelli hit a home run
  • Back-to-back home runs! 

4th Inning Highlights:
  • 1st base coach Adam Fox came out late so we couldn't say hi.
  • It was observed that Gwynett's outfielders all wore their sox inside their pants, while the infielders wore their sox outside their pants. 

5th Inning Highlights:
  • Carlos hit another double.

6th Inning Highlights:
  • 1st base coach Adam Fox waved.
  • The Gwynett coach was tossed from the game. (We don't know why)
  • A moment later, Roger Bernadina was hit inside his knee. He was down for a while (see photo at top of page)
  • A foul ball bounced off the railing between TV Stevie and XG-Man.
  • The bases were loaded when Carlos came to bat. He struck out. :-(
  • Some guy went butt over teakettle over seats chasing a foul ball.
  • Tommy Milone replaced Adam Fox as the 1st base coach so Adam could pinch hit for the pitcher.
  • Adam Fox hit a grand slam!
  • That cinched our vote for Adam as player of the game.

7th Inning Highlights:

  • 1st base coach: Brad Peacock -- and he waved to us!
  • TV Stevie finally won a jersey in the jersey raffle!

Jess-the-Intern hands TV Stevie his Throwback Thursday Jersey

TV Stevie modeling his jersey.
8th Inning Highlights:

  • The Famous Eric Cohen came back to 207 and told us that he'd seen Adam Fox wave to us then hit the grand slam. He believes they are connected events. We won't argue. He also mentioned that (at this point) the Chiefs had 16 hits. Every man in the line-up had gotten a hit -- except Corey Brown.
  • Suspect caught a Jeff Frazier foul right in front of us (lots of foul balls in 207 tonight).
9th Inning Highlights:
  • Atahualpa Severino managed to load the bases, but struck out the final batter.
  • The Chiefs win!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Catching Up

Wow. Seems like forever since I've posted here. I missed two games and two other dates were rained out. Hopefully tonight's rescheduled Team Photo Day will happen.

I never posted my notes from August 9, so here they are:

Maven was again missing. TV Stevie has finally touched base with him. I do hope we'll see him during the final games of the season. Section 207 just isn't the same with out him.

In-game host Dave Anthony 
After in-game host Dave Anthony's first act, he usually stops by Section 207 to chat. He really just wants to use our fabulous drink holder (which is another blog altogether). I did manage to have it ready for him on the ninth.

Miscellaneous game notes: 

  • The two ice cream sandwiches were still in the net behind home plate.
  • Sandee's nickname for Valentino Pascucci caught in with others in the section. He is now somewhat affectionately known as Pistachio.
  • The Barking Home Plate Ump was back.
  • The game went into extra innings -- and we won! YAY!

Jason Botts Watch: He wasn't in the line-up, but he did coach first base and when we shouted out to him, he lifted his helmet and grinned for us. I noticed that he is back on the 7-day DL. Perhaps he asked to be taken off for those two days because he knows he has fans in Syracuse.

Carlos Maldonado Watch: Carlos was in the game! YAY!!!

First Base Coach Wave (besides J-Botts):

  • Tug Hulett grinned for us
  • Brad Peacock dissed us. Completely. If I see that young man tonight . . . 
  • Jhonatan Solano waved
  • Jeff Frazier waved

Rumor of the Night: A-Rod would be at the stadium over the weekend, rehabbing with Scranton-Wilkes-Barre. The logic: he's rehabbing, all of the Yankee minor-league affiliates were on the road, making Syracuse the closest venue to NYC.  Of course, it didn't happen.

That's it for August 9th.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oh What A Night - take 2!!

Oh what a night...what a game!!! Stuck at 2-2 for the longest time - as the radio announcer said "we waited and we waited and we waited..." til the bottom of the 11th inning!!! "Jhonatan Solano's walk off single won the game - 3-2!!!" "It was a dramatic game, to say the least!"

The suspense of the last couple innings kept us on the edge of our seats. I am hoarse from yelling, but will be able to rest up tomorrow, so it's all good ;)

I have to go back to oh what a night (last night), I have some unfinished business...

If you read Molly's blog of last night's game, then you know of the ice cream sandwich man. It was a beautiful thing - it really was. And the timing couldn't have been more perfect - free ice cream sandwiches flying around the stadium on Happiness Happens day - like it was planned!! There is just that one little thing that keeps niggling at my brain...

There were two young boys standing in front of us and one of them caught an ice cream sandwich - the other did not. However, an usher was standing near the boys and HE caught one. The little boy that did not get one looked at the usher with longing in his eyes and a hungry look about him and the usher looked back at the boy, shrugged his shoulders and walked away. I could see him from where I sat and I watched as he leaned again the wall, unwrapped his sandwich and enjoyed his sweet treat. I just have to say (as in "polly want a cracker?") USHER WANT AN ICE CREAM??????????????? For real?? Either his Mom didn't teach him how to share with others or he was really really hungry. Somehow, I think the latter wasn't the case!

That's all I have for tonight - I am exhausted from all the excitement and all the screaming (I mean cheering)!

One last note - I'd like to say that happiness happens when one of your ex-favorite players (by that I mean our favorite first baseman of last year, who now plays for the Buffalo Bisons) waves and gives you a BIG smile AND when your second favorite catcher wins the game in the bottom of the 11th inning by hitting a walk off single AND your favorite pitcher gets the win!

Oh what a night, indeed!!!! Does happen!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Happiness Happens Day: Spreading Joy at the Stadium

Before I went to the game tonight, I checked on Jason Botts' status (off the 7-day DL) and also saw where Corey Brown was named IL hitter of the week.

Tonight was Latino night at Alliance Bank Stadium. TV Stevie and I arrived in plenty of time to hit the fiesta in the Hank Sauer room (complete with a band). Good food, good music, good time. 

Interesting jerseys in honor of Latino night.

1st base coach Seth Bynum
wearing Latino Night Jersey

Maven wasn't at the game (that anyone could see). We're starting to worry about him. He does not miss games. This makes two in a row.

Tonight's popular rumor: Strasburg will be pitching in Syracuse next week.

First base coach wave:
  • Seth Bynum -- wave and smile in the 2nd inning
  • Jeff Frazier -- big smile and wave in the 5th inning
Carlos Maldonado watch: we didn't see him at all.

Jason Botts watch: We actually got him to smile and wave to us in the middle of the fifth.

Great home runs by Lombardozzi, Marrero and, Antonelli. The Chiefs won!

And while there was fabulous baseball at the stadium tonight, there was something else going on along the first base side. During the sixth inning, TV Stevie said to me, "Look! They're throwing ice cream!" Sure enough, two men in section 105 were tossing ice cream sandwiches into the crowd.

Jim Durkin, who usually sells ice cream sandwiches during the game, told us these men bought 72 ice cream sandwiches from him and were giving them away.

Turns out they'd only just begun.

Ice Cream Sandwich on
net behind home plate
One sandwich was tossed onto the net behind home plate. Another hit Durkin on top of his head. We saw a kid catch his in his baseball glove.

By the time these two fellows were through, they'd purchased around 300 ice cream sandwiches (5 cases), all of which they tossed into the crowd, including to people up in the 3rd level general admission seats.

When they were done, they came over to talk to us. Turns out they are a doctor and a dentist from Canada (near Kingston, Ontartio) who came to Syracuse so the DDS wife & MD girlfriend could shop at the Waterloo Outlet Mall. The women deserted them when they started throwing ice cream from the first box. "That's okay," quipped the MD. "I think I've got a key to the hotel room." "I'll lose all the money in the divorce anyway," added the DDS. "I may as well spend it on ice cream."

It seems these two visit an American city with a major league baseball club every year. They like baseball, and are Toronto fans, but claim their countrymen don't get into the game the way Americans do. Canadians are into hockey (big shock there!).

 MD told us he'd visited Syracuse one other time, when he was 16 and he'd come to a game at the old MacArthur Stadium, but that this was his first minor league game as an adult, and he loved it.

Tonight was not the the first time they'd purchased something at a ballpark to toss into the stands for the fans. The ice cream sandwiches work much better than cotton candy . They discussed doing beer the next time.

As TV Stevie and I were driving home, he commented that he'd never seen anything like it before. These two strangers came into our town and spread joy at our stadium. And you know what? He's right. And you know what else?  Today is Happiness Happens Day, and MD & DDS made happiness happen at Alliance Bank Stadium tonight.

Oh What A Night!

Wow!! Sunshine, baseball, homeruns and ice cream!

What an incredible night for a baseball game - the weather was PERFECT!

Syracuse is home again for a two day teaser - but will be back on Friday - yay!

Check out Molly's blog for the ice cream excitement including pictures :)

Three home runs in one game - this time by three different players (that was for those of you who know that Michael Aubrey hit 4 home runs in ONE game!!)

For fun - 8th inning - 8-2 (Syracuse) on 8/8!! Is that way cool or what??

I've been lax in my blogging - but have lots of notes - so more to come!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Finally! A Recap of WCNY Night (July 21)

The temperature, like Strasburg's fastball, was in triple digits.
Molly & Sandee with "parasols"

TV Stevie and I arrived at the stadium early. He started doing his work thing, I bought a Dinosaur and a beer and made my way to my seat. Almost immediately, The Ushers converged on me. From every direction. You see, they deemed it too hot to sit on the first base side of the stadium and assured me I could sit anywhere I wanted on the third base side, out of the sun.

I waited all winter for summer. I was not about to hide from it.

Besides, I'd promised TV Steve I would take photos of the first pitch and the WCNY staffer singing the national anthem, and all of that stuff.  My angle was different. Here are a couple very "soft" photos that I took.
WCNY Staffers congregate
Jon English singing the National Anthem,
with TV Stevie taking stills.

WCNY General Manager, Bob Daino, was slated to throw out the first pitch. Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't like videos from my camera . . . and I did get the whole thing in video. If you really want to see it, contact me, and I'll try to e-mail it to you.

TV Stevie did capture a few stills, which he shared with me.

Bob Daino, Rosie Taravella, Clifford and crew

Clifford, the Big Red Dog,
throwing out the first pitch

Clifford in the Chiefs dugout

Clifford and Jon under the stadium
It was a busy night all the way around.

First Base Coach Wave:
  • Tug Hulett didn't turn, but definitely waved
  • Michael Aubrey tipped his helmet.
  • Gregor Blanco waved.
  • Brad Peacock ignored us.
Jason Botts watch: he acknowledged us. Barely.

Best named player on the Bison: Valentino Pascucci.  If you want to know why, ask Sandee.

Carlos Maldonado watch:  At first, he heard us and was looking around for us, but somehow missed us. Later on, after warming up a pitcher, he found us and waved.

Oddest game-related incident: Seth Bynum foul ball went through the protective net behind home plate.

Best line of the night: The Bison Center Fielder struck out, and someone called out: "Thanks for the breeze, Perez!"

At one point, Sandee and I were up on the "Diamondvision" during a commerical break (the Bisons games are usually televised on Time Warner Cable Sports). We waved like crazy. We've heard that the cameras for any televised game frequently find us. One of these days I'll have to record a game and check out that rumor.
So that's it. A recap of most of what went on at Alliance Bank Stadium on WCNY Night at the Game. Better late than never, eh?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rumor Has It . . .

Stephen Strasburg, May 29, 2010
Stephen Strasburg may pitch for Syracuse at the end of this season.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Ups & Downs of Being A Fan

"What this chick digs is familiar faces, players I know and love. Statistically, women are the most loyal fans of anything." Alyssa Milano, Safe at Home.
Reading the league transactions is disheartening, especially at this point in the season, when we've come to depend on knowing the various line-ups.

Jason Botts is now on Buffalo's 7-day disabled list. Okay, he plays for Buffalo now, not Syracuse, but we still like our J-Botts. I hope he's back by the time Buffalo returns to Syracuse next week.

J Botts playing 1st for the 2010 Chiefs

As previously mentioned, Roger Bernadina has been optioned to Syracuse from Washington (and was activated today), but there have been plenty of other things happening. 
  • Yunesky Maya and Brian Bixler have both been recalled to the Nats.
  • Michael Aubrey and Tom Milone have both been placed on the 7-day DL
  • Brad Meyers has been activated from the 7-day DL
  • Evan Bronson (LHP) is coming up from Potomac
The great thing about Triple A Baseball is seeing the Major Leaguers of tomorrow. I was watching the Yankees the other night, when Brandon Laird had his first big league at bat, his first big league hit, his first big league RBI, and scored his first big league run. It was very cool, because we saw him play a few weeks ago when Scranton Wilkes-Barre was in town. And during the same game, I saw Scott Sizemore playing for Oakland. I have a foul ball Scott hit into Section 207 early in the season, when Toledo was in town.

The bad thing is, you never know what your team will look like game-to-game.