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Monday, December 3, 2012

Zach Duke

Congrats to Zach Duke, who signed a major league deal with the Nationals.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Congrats to Bryce Harper, this year's MLB Rookie of the Year.

Well played, Bryce, well played.

Bryce Harper's first hit at Alliance Bank Stadium,
Opening Day, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Call Me Mollyanna

It's a good thing neither the Yankees nor the Nationals made it to the World Series this year: Frankenstorm would have played havoc with the schedule.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Game Goes On

It appears I missed the annual "Garage Sale" at Alliance Bank Stadium. Never received my e-mail notice about it. Hmmm.

The Chiefs still have ties to the post season, even though Washington is out of it.

How, you ask?

Gregor Blanco on Breast Cancer Awareness Night
July 21, 2011 Alliance Bank Stadium

Former Syracuse Chief (2011 season) Gregor Blanco plays for the San Francisco Giants. In fact, he plays very well for the Giants.

In other news, several 2012 Chiefs are already playing winter ball in South America:

  • Carlos Rivero & Tanner Roark are in Venezuela
  • Zech Zinicola & Hassan Pena are in Mexico
  • Manny Mayorson & Atahualpa Severino are in the Dominican Republic

The game goes on.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Post Season

As I'm sure you know, the Nats are out of the post-season. Ah well, there's always next year.

Now I can root for the Yankees with a clear conscious. Too bad about Jeter, though.

And I still have my St. Louis jersey (I am a bit of a Cardinals, fan, too).

Don't you love the post season?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fan Hands

Back in April, the chiefs started selling something called Fan Hands. Sandee bought a pair of black ones, while I opted for red.

The white part is a hard resin of some sort, so when you clap your hands while wearing these gloves, you make lots of noise. YAY!

Pretty clever idea, eh? (And warm during those cool April games!)

Well, it seems the inventor of Fan Hands, Marc Jones, is a native Central New Yorker, and charities are now jumping on board selling these. The Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund had pink ones made. The Chiefs were among the first organizations to sell these novelties.

You can learn more about it here (Reith/Marc Jones and Mark Soderstrom).

Friday, September 21, 2012

Go Nats!

Let the Post Season begin!

Okay, not yet. But soon.

The Washington Nationals have clinched a playoff spot in the post season. YAY!

That means that many former Syracuse Chiefs -- our boys of summer -- will be playing baseball in the fall.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Affiliation Changes at the Triple A Level

Holy cow!

Buffalo will no longer be the Triple A affiliate of the NY Mets. Toronto is moving there. The NY Mets Triple A team will be in the Pacific Coast League . . . the Las Vegas 51s.

Here's the link .

Oh. My.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

All Corey, All the Time

Corey Brown's hit resulted in a walk-off win earlier this week.

Now this.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

In Town With Corey Brown

As predicted -- no, expected -- Cory Brown was called up to Washington on Tuesday.

The Nats played the Cubs this week, and in one game, there were two bench-clearing incidents.

Guess who showed up in one of the photos?

Monday, September 3, 2012

I Love Baseball

Just for fun listen to "I Love Baseball" by Steve Vozzolo and the Rookies.  It's a cute and catchy song that you will probably find yourself singing or humming without realizing it.  The cutest thing is to hear Kendra singing it - talk about singing from your heart.

So today was my last ball game of the season :(  Anthony and I went to Rochester and it was a beautiful day for a ball game.  Sadly, Carlos didn't catch today, seemed the coach was letting some of the guys play that haven't been in the game much lately.  I did get to see Carlos though :)  Chiefs gave it a run, but couldn't pull it out - final score Rochester 6, Syracuse 4.

Molly posted a picture of an avid Rochester fan on the blog wearing happy shorts.  That was three days ago...yesterday he wore flag shorts to Syracuse and when I saw him in Rochester today, he was wearing the flag shorts again.  No further comment.

We had some trouble figuring out if we were in the right section because the signs are a little confusing and the usher was REAL busy talking with someone.  So we went to where we thought we were supposed to be and a woman turned around and told us we were in the wrong section.  She assured us that "everyone does that."  Funny thing, it was happy shorts's daughter - the one that always accompanies him to the Syracuse games and sits one seat away from him to his left (ALWAYS!).
I suspect she knows everyone in her section rather well and we must have stood out like sore thumbs.  I was, however, so grateful for her help.

We find the fans to be quite friendly in Rochester.  Maybe that's because we are not obnoxious Syracuse fans, though I can be quite obnoxious...let's just say we used our "company manners."  I really was quite low key until Corey Brown hit a home run - just couldn't keep quiet anymore.  Then it seems, everyone in our section was interested in talking to us.

The guy behind us on the right asked if we remembered Kenny Robinson who pitched for the Chiefs in 1995 and 1997.  He says Kenny was his roommate in college.  He also said he was a great baseball player and a great guy.

Kenny played for the Kansas City Royals in 1996 and unfortunately only had a three season career.  Sadly, Kenny died in a traffic accident at age 29.  In tribute to Kenny, I would like to share what was written about him...

"A package of inspiration, leadership and dynamite since his outstanding youth days with championship Manchester A's teams,  he was an aggressive player for any spot on the field and eventually excelled as a right handed pitcher and a spark plug catcher.  At Hogan High he became a two-time Beacon Journal Player of the year for great defensive catching, clutch hitting and superb pitching.  After a stint at Cleveland State U, Kenny moved to Florida State primarily as a pitcher where he did very well.  He played for the Tallmadge Stars, C+P Sales and Crockers during early college years and was drafted out of Florida State by Toronto Blue Jays and had brief stints with the Jays and and KC Royals and although only 5'7" (but 185 lbs), put up some fine numbers as a reliever.   In the spring of 1999 Kenny was in Arizona on the Diamondbacks roster when he died in a traffic accident."

Kenny's career statistics:  Record  2-2;  Earned run average  3.91; Stikeouts  40

Behind us on the left were three fans who had a lot of questions for me about the stadium in Syracuse.  It's one of the few they haven't been to (Buffalo too).  I bragged about the turf and the new scoreboard.

Kinda cool:  Wilkin Ramirez was shown on the jumbotron singing a song - I think it was "his" song that he uses when coming up to bat.  He was pretty good too.

Sound effects:  "woo hoo" then pause, "woo hoo" then pause.  It happened about 6 times and during the pause, the audience copied the woo hoo.  It was kinda funny and I might have tried it once or twice myself ;)

Seating arrangements:  Woman #1 (speaking to 2 little girls) "go ahead and sit here girls"  Woman #2 "those seats are taken"  Woman #1 "all of these? is anyone sitting in them?"  Woman #2 "yes, they've gone to get food"  Woman #1 "well we have seats down there, but we usually just sit anywhere in here"  Okay!  We were sitting in the 5th row from the field and woman #1 was referring to seats in the 2nd row...why would you want to seat in the 4th row?  I have a couple other things I could say about that whole sit wherever you want when you go to a ballgame situation,  happens everywhere it seems (except in Louisville!!)

Very sad the Chiefs lost today, even sadder that it's the last game and now we have to wait a LONG, LONG time until baseball season starts up again.  But happy to have had an opportunity to see them one more time.  It was a nice day for a road trip and like I said earlier, a beautiful day for a ball game.

I Love Baseball

Call Up

Zach Duke (who was scheduled to pitch in Syracuse yesterday) and Christian Garcia (who did pitch in Syracuse yesterday -- top of the 9th) have both been called to Washington.

The next couple of days are going to be interesting.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Final home game of the season on a sunny, warm September Sunday. So different from last year's rainy conclusion.

Today was the season ticket holders annual picnic. Things were a bit different this year. Instead of being under the tent outside of the stadium before the game, the concession stand at the far end of the third base side of the stadium provided all-you-could-eat hot dogs, sausage, burgers, fries and peanuts. We had to eat it there, so we arrived before the game. Sandee & Anthony snagged a great table for us. We overlooked the home bull pen and warm up area.

Maldonado warming up the pitcher

Birdseye View from Left Field

The Chiefs warming up

Shortly after we sat to eat, Carlos Maldonado came out to warm up. We called out to him, he saw us, and his smile lit up the stadium. We stayed there until after starting line ups were announced, cheering for Carlos when his name was called. Again, he acknowledged us.

The game didn't start out well. The Redwings scored 6 runs before there was ever an out. The Chiefs responded with two homers in the bottom of the first. They scored another run in the bottom of the second on a Brett Carroll double. Two more runs scored in the bottom of the third before Carlos Maldonado came to bat. (Chris Marrero & Zach Walters with the RBIs). Carlos hit a "seeing eye" base hit, which scored the tying run.

The game remained tied until the bottom of the seventh when the Chiefs scored the go-ahead run and an insurance run. Jesus Valdez and Chris Marrero had the RBIs on those.

In between: Jason Michaels still not around, so the 1B coach was either James Skelton or Manny Mayorson. We finally got James to wave to us, but he seemed baffled, like, "Why are those people calling my name?" Kevin said, "He's probably thinking they must be friends of my mom."

A bunch of kids walked by and wedged a foul ball between the bottom of the rail and the concrete.
Candid Camera?
It stayed there for quite a while. When one kid tried to take it, his mom told him to leave it alone. A little while later another kid unwedged it, the mom started to correct the child, but TV Stevie told her he could have the ball. She thanked us. There are still people with manners in the world.

Play of the game was in the 6th inning. Brett Carroll fielded a ball in right and threw to Carlos, who made a spectacular play at the plate. We're not the only ones who thought it was the play of the game. 

Corey Brown was hit in the knee by a pitch in the 8th inning. It took several minutes for him to walk off the pain enough to take his base. Not good He'll probably be called up to Washington on Tuesday.

Trainer walking Corey Brown to 1B
Rochester hit a HR in the top of the 8th, but that's all folks. The Chiefs win, 8-7.

Carlos turned and waved goodbye to us twice after the team's Walk of Winning. 

A woman sitting behind us noticed and asked how we know Carlos. She thought is was very cool that he has a fan club.

Then the sadness came. The Chiefs home season is over -- one more game tomorrow in Rochester, then that's it. 

Spent a lot of time with Maven after the game, talking about how sad it is. He observed that the next three weeks will be perfect baseball weather, unlike all those early April games we endured. He stays busy in the fall with SU football (which will be shown on the big screen at ABS on select dates), but after the holidays -- it's rough. January and February go on forever. He likes hockey, but it's no substitute for baseball.

Anthony said something about maybe getting Section 207 Row 1 together in the off-season. That's not a bad plan. Not a bad plan at all. 

You what would be really cool? Watching the Nats in the playoffs/World Series on the Big Screen at ABS, weather permitting. Extend our season just a little more.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

One More Time

The first of the final two home games of the season . . . bittersweet. Full house -- stadium and Section 207 Row 1.

Eury Perez, John Lannan, and Sandy Leon all called up to the Mothership. The good news in this? Carlos Maldonado is the primary catcher.

 My guess is that Carlos Rivero and Corey Brown will be called up after Monday (the Chiefs' final game).

I don't see Chris Marrero being called up. Last season, when he played 1B for the Chiefs, I thought he was a natural for the Major Leagues, but I have since revised my opinion. He's one of those players who seems injury prone.

Corey Brown was named the Gold Star Player of the Year.

One of the Rochester fans who comes to almost every Rochester game in Syracuse wore some interesting shorts tonight.

Those are smiley faces on the
hem of his shorts
Jason Michaels wasn't coaching 1B tonight. Mostly Manny Mayorson, although Jarrett Hoffpauir put in at least one inning there.

We noticed new grass in spots and wondered what happened while the team was on the road.

Right field new grass

New turf around the pitchers mound
In front of home plate
This season, the interns toss out bags of Cracker Jack after the 7th Inning Stretch. It was a nice touch. Tonight, the intern gave a bag to one of the ushers instead of the fans in the stands. 
Usher stash of Cracker Jack meant for fans

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

L'il bits

The Chiefs are on their longest road trip of the year. Tonight's game has been rained out.

Here are a couple of bits of news:

John Lannan named IL pitcher of the week.

Corey Brown and Carlos Rivero have been named to the 2012 International League Post Season All-Star Team.

Davey Johnson says one of the first positions they'll be calling up when expanding the roster is catcher. My money is on Sandy Leon, altho' I think Carlos Maldonado deserves the opportunity.

A former co-worker went to a Reds/Nats game this weekend and said that the Reds scoreboard tells the players' walk-up music and their Twitter account.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Foul Balls

I missed four games -- Friday thru Monday -- because I was out of town. But TV Stevie was there, as were Sandee & Anthony and others. Lots of folks stopped by to say "hi" to me last night. Sandee tells me she took lots of notes and will get them up when she has two minutes to breathe.

The team goes on the road again today and won't be back until September 1, when they'll play two games against Rochester. That will be it from ABS this season. The final game will be in Rochester. Sandee & Anthony plan to go.

Last night was "Italian" night at the stadium. There were a lot of people. The players photos were on an "Italian" background on the Big Board.

Corey Brown doesn't look any happier in Italy
than he does in Syracuse
I had to ask people to move out of my seats when I arrived. I don't get it. The ushers know we're season ticket holders. The ushers know it's unlikely we won't be at the game. Even when I was out of town, TV Stevie brought guests to the games. Yet I have to ask people to move from my seats at least once a week.

I tracked down a foul ball. It was pretty funny because it bounced all over the place. XGman and his wife were certain it was under their seats and kept looking for it. I picked it up as it rolled under TV Stevie's seat and very nonchalantly held it up. In the meantime, the ushers, the XGmen, and lots of others were still looking for the ball. 

A child behind me wanted the ball, and when he didn't get it, he started crying. So the ushers converged on me. Yes, the same people who allow strangers to sit in my paid-for seats decided that not only must I ask interlopers to move from my seats myself, but I also have to give up my foul ball to a little kid who's crying. They were pretty insistent. I believe Sandee used the word "browbeat."

Okay, lest you think I'm a big mean adult, I didn't realize the kid was going for the ball, nor did I realize he was that upset. He was behind me, and in spite of the myth, Mommies really do not have eyes in the back of their heads. We just tell our children that when they're young.

So I gave the kid the ball. No biggie. I gave one to Sugarpie a few weeks ago. I have one fouled off by Carlos Rivero on Mother's Day (some kid tried to sweet talk that one away from me, but I wasn't giving it up. TV Stevie chased it down for me.) Last night's kid was very nice, said thank you a couple of times,and even posed for me. I'm not an ogre. And now maybe the kid will grow up to be a baseball fan.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Never Dare A Duke

I stole the title of this blog from a novel written by my good friend Gayle Callen.

Why? Because Zach Duke pitched for the Chiefs tonight, and he pitched an awesome game. It looked as if he'd go the full game, but he gave up a two-run home run in the top of the ninth. He left the game to a standing ovation. Sandee and I voted for him as Gold Star Player of the Game. It was a beautiful game.

The Chiefs won 8-4. It had been 8-0 until that 2-run homer. Gotta love comfortable lead like that.

The bottom of the 1st and the bottom of the 8th were the best two innings of the game. It was beautiful to watch.

Lots of people at the stadium. We saw people we know as we approached the gate to enter and the parade never ended. I leaned over to say something to Sandee and saw former co-worker Rich Isome sitting behind me. Always nice to see Rich.
Rich Isome
A little while later, Danny-the-Usher came up to us and asked TV Stevie if he remembered Bob Boone, "19 years a catcher!" Steve definitely remembered Bob from his years with the Phillies. Then Danny told us that Bob Boone is now Nationals Assistant GM/VP of Player Development. And guess where he was tonight?
Section 105, Alliance Bank Stadium, checking out the farm.

Bob Boone
Tough to realize there are only seven more home games.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun

Double header tonight, to make up for last night's rain out.

TV Stevie & I arrived between games. The first game was fast -- I listened to it on the computer. 1-0 Chiefs on a Sandy Leon HR. Unfortunately, the Chiefs lost the 2nd game.

Once again, we overheard the ushers telling people with General Admission tickets they could sit anywhere in the 200 sections.  There is something seriously wrong with that scenario.

When TV Stevie went to purchase our dinner -- quesadilla -- he learned they were phasing out the two tortilla quesadilla for a one tortilla quesadilla. Really? With only eight home games left?

Carlos Maldonado changed his batting music. It was  'Rompe' by Daddy Yankee. Need to find out the new one. It would be nice to see the players' batting music titles/artists on the Big Board.

Still no Jason Michaels coaching first base, so we've returned to last years habit of saying hi to whatever player happens to be coaching. Tonight, Chris Marrero and Jesus Valdez acknowledged us.

Kayla Garcia, fan of this blog, stopped by Section 207 to say hi. It was nice catching up with her since she graduated from college.

New on the Big Board tonight: Chiefsville Citizen of the Game. Sandee & I were devastated that we were bypassed for this honor. We're there almost every night. There are eight home games remaining. Perhaps our day (or night) will come.

Noticed two other things on the Big Board tonight. The time has moved to the left of the inning numbers, and pitchers warming up in the bullpen are "announced" during play, along with their stats. In the past, when the pitcher came in from the bullpen his stats were flashed. I like this much better. We don't have to guess who's up tossing the ball (altho' we're pretty good at recognizing the players from a distance).

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday, Monday

Arrived late at the ballpark.

There were a lot of people. Maybe too many people!

Fortunately, no one desecrated our row tonight.

Roster/Player update:

  • Austin Bibbens-Dirkx released
  • Atahualpa Severino outrighted to Syracuse 
  • Chris Marrero back in Syracuse (saw him coaching 1B tonight)
  • Jason Michaels has disappeared (he usually coaches 1B. Past two evenings, players have been coaching)
  • Manny Mayorson and Mitch Atkins on 7-Day DL
  • former Chief Lee Hyde is now with the Traveling Wilkes-Barres. He faced one batter tonight, walked him, and was pulled from game.
The Big Board:
I like the KKKK tracker.
And putting the pitcher's name next to the number of pitches is extremely helpful, especially when playing a team like the Traveling Wilkes-Barres that does not have player surnames on the backs of the jerseys.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Who Let the Dogs In?

Fabulous night at Alliance Bank Stadium.

Carlos Maldonado was catching for Yunesky Maya. The Chiefs won, and it was a great game. Mark Teahen (who was in pajama pants tonight, instead of the traditional show-the-sox uniform) hit a triple with 2 RBI to put us on the board.

Teahen in Pajama pants
Carlos Maldonado hit a home run, his sixth, which turned out to be the winning run. YOU GO CARLOS!

It was Bring your Dog to the Game night, so we saw a lot of pooches on the Big Board.

But the funniest thing we saw happened to walk past us, heading toward the sections where the dogs were.
I was able to take an interesting photo.

In other news:

Learned at the ballpark last night:

Atahualpa Severino has been designated for assignment.

Seth Bynum has been sent to AA Harrisburg.

Other items of note from last night's game:

The Chiefs won game 1 of the double-header, lost the second. We left early. Had I stayed, perhaps I could have worked with Sandee and cheered in that tying run in the top of the 7th (The Chiefs were the visitors)

It was also Noche de Beisball Latino, with several messages from the Spanish-speaking players on the Big Board. The team wore the same uniforms as last year. We are not fond of these uniforms.

The clock has been moved off the Big Board and onto the old Pitch Speed  display, along with the temperature. That was kind of cool. The spot on the Big Board formerly occupied by the time is now an advertisement, but is still used for pitch speed, error announcements, wild pitch, etc.

I really like that if an inning is going kind of long, the Big Board will periodically remind the fans who's on what base.

When Carlos Maldonado came to bat, we noticed all of his stats were zeroed out. Was his history of this season wiped out when he was designated for assignment? If so, that stinks.

Between games, the Big Board played Teammates in a Glove with Greg Booker (pitching coach). Unfortunately, the audio was so low, we couldn't understand 80% of what was said. Suggestion: put an identifying super (that's my old TV talk coming) over the subject's photo. But I digress. Booker says 'Los is one of the top 5 players he's ever coached, and 'Los can play for him anytime. 'Los, of course, being Carlos Maldonado.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Happiness Happens . . .

Imagine my delight when I arrived at the ballpark tonight (4th inning, 1st game of double-header) and there was Carlos Maldonado, warming up the pitcher!

He caught the second game.

His fan club is deliriously happy.

According to the International League Transaction page, he's been outrighted to Syracuse. Which is the best news I've had all day.

More on the games later.