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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Deleting FB, Twitter by the Team?

I follow many of the Washington Nationals players on Twitter and Facebook. Just found a message on one players fan club page:

Hey all, just letting you know that XYZ has had to delete his facebook and twitter accounts per instructions of the Nationals. It was a decision across the organization.

Wow. That's pretty extreme.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Lots going on at the stadium tonight. I didn't get to see much of the game -- guessing by the score, I didn't miss much.

Here are tonight's two biggest baseball stories from ABS:

Chad Tracy's first at-bat in Syracuse.

Jayson Werth's first at-bat in Syracuse.
More to come -- later this week:
*The Carlos Maldonado Fan Club
*WCNY Night, featuring Clifford The Big Red Dog
*Denny McLain
*The Famous Eric Cohen
*Kevin Barry, Baron of the Scoreboard
*Foul Ball for Sugar Pie

Sunday, July 22, 2012


What a difference a day can make! Tonight's 11-4 win over the Norfolk Tides was a great game to watch.

Arrived at stadium during bottom of 1st, when Pinch Hitter Jim Negrych was announced. Pinch hitting for Corey Brown, who must have been called up to the Nats at the last minute.

We voted for Yunesky Maya as Player of the Game. Some people might think Jesus Valdez deserves that title for his 3 RBIs, but Yuneski pitched 6 innings, and the Tides scored only 2 runs in those 6, each one a single shot home run. Pitchers never seem to get their due, at least not at ABS in the Player of the Game voting.

Carlos Maldonado walked twice. The first time, Josh Johnson hit him home.

Carlos at third, waiting to come home

 Carlos coming home

Greeting Manny Mayorson as he follows him home.
Then Carlos hit a home run in the 6th. Single shot, but beautiful none the less.
Brett Carroll hit a home run right before Carlos did, for 3 RBIs.
A better shot of "Captain America".

The Chiefs ended with 11 hits and 11 runs. Looked kind of funky on the scoreboard.

Play of the game was 1-4-6-3 triple play in the 9th inning. Tides batter hit to pitcher Eric Arneson who threw to 2B Seth Bynum, who threw to SS Josh Johnson, who threw to 1B Carlos Rivero. Very cool moment.

Couple of awkward moments: in the 7th inning, there were several defensive moves on the part of the Chiefs, which weren't announced until a third of the way through the inning -- after we'd already figured it out. Seth Bynum replaced Jim Negrych. Seth batted. Then it was time for Mark Teahen to bat, but his graphic never came up on the scoreboard. It remained on Seth. Perhaps this was in honor of Seth's old game worn jersey being auctioned.

Annoyance of the game:
Several times, people came to sit in Maven's seats. Danny-the-Usher asked them to leave each time. The last time, the guy started arguing with Danny. Danny asked to see the ticket, and the man clearly didn't have a ticket for that seat . . . and argued about it. What's to argue about? It's not the seat you bought!

I did see Maven on my way out of the stadium. He's sitting out of the sun for the time being. We miss him. Intensely. I miss discussing the game and players with him.  Next time I see him behind the net, I may go over and sit with him for an inning or two.

Slow Night In Chiefsville

It was a slow night last night. The Tides scored, the Chiefs tried to catch up, but it just didn't happen for them.

I forgot to mention that Josh Johnson is back with the team, along with a "new guy," Eury Perez.  Jeff Howell is on the 7-day DL.

Items of note:

Seth Bynum in tall sox
Seth Bynum wore tall sox. I really like the look. Mark Teahen does it all the time. Seth only seems to do it in Weekend Red.

The song Centerfield seems to be getting more play now. I like that.

Sandee and I keep trying to catch the lyrics of Carlos Rivero's at-bat music, but we can't, and we really want to know what it is. I want a copy of it. (With lyrics, we can Google!).

There was a really great Brett Carroll graphic last night, naming him Captain America. (Brett had the Chiefs' only RBI.) Unfortunately, I had to scramble for my camera and didn't get a clear shot. Sandee got a better shot. Maybe she'll post it.

Brett Carroll as Captain America
I also like the red strip where the innings are numbered, and the white numbers on black background. Very easy to read.

And when the bases were loaded in the 6th, the following graphic was on the board, which was great, because I wasn't scoring last nights game and had forgotten who was where.
Who's On First?
We also noticed that instead of "Instant Replay," the graphic now reads "Second Look," which is a much more accurate label. 

Toward the end of the game, there was a great video that started out showing the backs of the players jerseys (Marrero hasn't played enough games this season to be included, but he was), then went to action shot. Nice little promo.

When I arrived at the stadium, there were a bunch of people sitting in the second row of 207. They were doing the vulture eat thing: eating while leaning over the backs of the seats in front of them. They were mostly okay, otherwise (even if they were Oriole/Tides fans) except for a couple of things. Eventually they allowed their small boys to sit in Maven's seats. Okay. Except they threw their garbage all over the place. (We always pick up ours and throw it away on our way out of the stadium each evening). And instead of using the stairs, adults and children alike stepped on the seats to get to the first row, then climbed over the railing. There were a couple of times I was really worried that the boys would fall backwards and crack their heads on the concrete. And that railing isn't all that sturdy.

Finally, after the fireworks, I said, "They put stairs in the stadium for a reason."
One of the adults replied, "We're Canadian. We don't use them."
To which I thought, "The Canadians I know have far better manners than you."

Next time I see this, I'm calling security (talking to the ushers is completely pointless and a waste of breath).
I am a taxpayer. The facility is owned by the county. I don't want a lawsuit because of someone else's stupid rudeness.

There were fireworks after the game, rescheduled from the night the power went out. During the fireworks, Sandee noticed a player with his family sitting in the dugout watching the show. Then they came out of the dugout for a closer look. Judging by the player's build we think it was Eric Arneson. After the fireworks were over, father and child went onto the field. Dad stood at home plate and beckoned for the child to run home. It was so cute! Sandee and I cheered, especially when the child finally made it!

As we were leaving the stadium, we noticed flames in the area from which the fireworks were launched. It's been a very hot, dry summer. We may even be in a drought situation. I tried to get a photo without the net, but when I moved further down the 1st base side, the flames were blocked by the advertising.

Grounds crew watching the fire

One of the security guards hustled us out, saying, "We have to empty the stadium because there's a fire." He told us this as the firetrucks arrived. 

It was time to leave anyway.

Maybe today's game (Sunday, 7/21) will be better.

Friday, July 20, 2012

An Evening to Remember

The Chiefs were back in town tonight. I miss going to games when there's a long stretch off. TV Stevie and I were in Cooperstown during the final two games of the last home stand, so it's been over a week for me. We did go to Auburn last night to see the Doubledays, but that's a story for the off season.

The Chiefs haven't been doing so well lately, so tonight's win was exciting.

I saw Corey Brown actually signing autographs for a fan before the game.

Heard a rumor that Lannan was called up to pitch in a double-header for the Nats.

Liars and thieves, stealing someone else's paid-for seats
Two guys came in and plopped down in Maven's seats. I asked how they knew him and they said, "Sure, yeah, where is he?" They were full of crap. A while later, an usher asked where Maven was and I said I wished he'd hurry back so other people wouldn't sit in seats they didn't pay for. That went right over the usher's head. Figures.

Billy Baldwin was there, as was Carol Baldwin (Mother of All Baldwins) for Breast Cancer Awareness Night. Carol threw out the first pitch.
Carol M. Baldwin and Billy Baldwin with L-Train
Then Billy threw out another ceremonial first pitch from the mound.
It took 3 attempts, but he threw a strike
The team wore their breast cancer shirts from last season, a very nice black with pink.

The players also wore pink wrist bands.

We didn't see any pink bats in use, nor did anyone wear pink cleats (as Gregor Blanco did last year).

Sandee and I were talking, when all of a sudden there was a huge commotion. We saw two players tussling on home plate. On the ground. Both benches cleared. I scrambled for my camera.

It was ugly. It took a couple of minutes to sort out. Chiefs catcher Koyie Hill and the Tides catcher were the original combatants. Once Hill was pulled off the other catcher, Carlos Maldonado was very protective of him.

Hill and the other catcher were ejected. Carlos came in to pinch hit for Hill, then remained in the game as catcher, so we got to wave our fan club signs.

Of course, while all of this was happening, Suspect brought Billy Baldwin over so I could take their picture together, which is why I don't have good shots of the melee.

Billy Baldwin and Suspect
We heard many stories of why there was a brawl, but the one that made the most sense (and came from the most reliable source) was that there is history between the two catchers. There was some trash talk, a little more trash talk -- then fists. Sandee and I are both pretty sure we saw a headlock.

It was certainly an evening to remember.

Friday, July 13, 2012


First of all, Josh Johnson has been assigned to the Auburn Doubledays. He must be coming off his 50-day suspension.

Now for the sadness. I went to to stadium tonight. So did a lot of other people.

But there was a power outage, so we couldn't get into the stadium. A firetruck was on the scene helping rescue people caught in the elevator.

Fortunately, the Renaissance Faire people were there and worked the crowd.

I called Sandee to let her know the game was delayed. Then I saw my friend Nicki Greenwood and her family.

Oops. Didn't mean to post this one!
Nicki and I caught up. I had a lovely chat with her husband and her cutie-boy.

Chiefs Management thought the power would be back by 7:15pm. No such luck. So they postponed the game. Fireworks have been rescheduled for next Saturday (thank you, Jason Benetti, for that update.)

In the meantime, I ran into the Eisenson family and spent several minutes catching up with them, too.

When I got home (traffic lights were out, too, making driving a challenge), it started to rain.

So much for a beautiful night at the ballpark.

No Luck on Everything Irish Night

Thursday was Everything Irish Night at Alliance Bank Stadium. Big crowd.

We arrived during the final innings of the finish of the suspended game from April 10. I took my seat just in time to see Carlos Maldonado at bat. He walked. Some jerk in Section 205 started calling Carlos "Fat Boy." A lot. I was outraged.

Room to talk? I think not.
 Carlos finally shut him up when he hit a double in the bottom of the ninth. Unfortunately, the rest of the team couldn't help him out. The Chiefs lost that game.

The Everything Irish Scoreboard was very cool. The numbers were easy to read on the kelly green background. It's helped a lot since they've started outlining the numbers in black.

Other items of note:

  • Last season, Uber Usher told me the ushers are not allowed to touch foul balls. I guess the rules are different this year. He picked up one and handed it to a child further up in Section 207.
  • Maven is still sitting out of the sun. We miss him.
  • The scoreboard no longer has the Taco Bell logo on the K-Man's picture when he comes to bat. I thought that was very cool when I saw it back when the scoreboard debuted. Perhaps it's a licensing thing. 
  • I hate that one of the scoreboard sponsors has usurped the song Centerfield for their game.
  • Irish music replaced at-bat music for an innng or two. In some cases, it was an improvement.
  • Manny Mayorson made some awesome catches. We voted for him as Player of the Game.
  • Four Chiefs were in the Triple A All-Star Game. There was a neat graphic bragging about that.
  • The team wasn't wearing their Throwback Thursday Jerseys, which I happen to like very much.
  • Some out-of-town visitors came late to the second game and sat behind us, not realizing they were in reserved seating. The peanut shells were annoying, but the people turned out to be okay. They were in town for a high school baseball tournament. We chatted quite a bit. 
  • Suspect brought his daughter to the game. I took a photo of them. 
Suspect's daughter has grown a lot since last year.
  • Koyie Hill's at-bat "music" sounds like a pinball arcade on steroids. Sheesh!
  • We held up our Carlos Maldonado signs every time Carlos came out to warm up the pitcher during the second game. He acknowledged us. Even TV Stevie noticed it. 
  • Someone behind us with a Hispanic Accent started shouted out things just like Suspect. The two of them finally got together. It was hysterically funny (if a tad annoying).
Suspect and Spanish Suspect. 
TV Stevie and I left the game at the bottom of the 10th inning. There was no score. We listened to the end on the radio. Chiefs lost in the 14th inning on a controversial play.

If it was Everything Irish Night, where was the Luck?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Traveling Wilkes-Barres

This past weekend the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees played two "home" games at Alliance Bank Stadium. They now have three days off for the All Star Break, then are back in Syracuse for 4 games -- two as the visiting team, two more as the home team.

TV Stevie and I wondered what it must be like for those players who have no home field and no homes this year. Former Chief and now former SWB Yankee Matt Antonelli (he was released by the Yanks in early July) discussed this state of homelessness with Jason Benetti during the last SWB/Syracuse series. Very enlightening insight to a summer on the road.

Mike Waters from the Syracuse Newspapers wrote an article about it on Monday, July 9. In the article, Mike listed the things the players miss about not having a home stadium. One of the items was "batting music," something I'd written here in my recap of the weekend games.

The SWB Yanks used the Chiefs batting music on Saturday: Corban Joseph used Jarrett Hoffpauir's tune; Pena used Rivero's; Cole Garner used Corey Brown's crap. Some of that changed on Sunday -- I heard Good Vibrations and Hotel California in the mix.

If I were Boss of Baseball, I would make a CD for the SWB Yankees and send it to each ballpark in which the team plays "home" games so the players could have their own music. How difficult would that be? No, I don't know the logistics of how the music is played back in the stadiums, so maybe I'm just whistling through my baseball cap about a simple CD. But if a little thing like music means so much to the players, why not do what can be done to make a trying situation even a little more tolerable?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Yankees vs. Mets, Triple A Style

The Chiefs were on the road this weekend, but the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees played two "home" games at Alliance Bank Stadium against the Buffalo Bison, who happen to be the NY Mets Triple A team. So we had a Yankee-Mets match up in Syracuse.

It was fun digging out our Yankee gear to wear to the stadium. John Simone saw me come in on Saturday night and commented that I wasn't in my usual Chiefs/Nats gear.

I didn't take my camera to the stadium for either game. I was just there to hang out and make observations.

On Saturday:
-A Strasburgh "game-worn" jersey was raffled
-TV Stevie's observation immediately following the national anthem: the field looked like a classic old timers day at Yankee Stadium, with #1, #8 etc.
-Corban Joseph still looks like Ellen DeGeneris    (Kevin observed that you never see Ellen and Corban in the same place at the same time)
-The Yankees used the same music as the Chiefs, which was amusing.
-There was organ music instead of the usual music. Shades of old time Yankee Stadium!

It was a lovely night for a ball game. Too bad there were only 100-200 people there.

On Sunday:

A lovely afternoon for a ball game. Even fewer people showed up.

 We were talking to someone in security who made the following observations:
-fans hated the astroturf, so the turf was replaced with grass
-fans hated the scoreboard, the scoreboard was replaced
-fans wanted the Yankees back as the home team
-fans wanted the Mets as the home team
-so where were the fans this weekend?

Other observations:
-new pattern mown into grass
-I misspoke about the pitch speed being missing from the scoreboard. It's there.

TV Stevie and I had our photos taken in our Yankee gear.

Mejia (a Bison pitcher) was hurt and had to be helped off the field. TV Stevie captured it on his Super Phone.

Mejia being helped off the field.

The best part of Sunday's game? The Mouse Delay. TV Stevie took photos. The "action" was also on the big screen.  A mouse ran onto the field. The Yankee SS & 2B (Pena and Joseph) had a heck of a time trying to catch the wee beastie.

Later on, the whole incident was replayed on the scoreboard, complete with "Who Let the Dogs Out."
It was hysterical.

Here's a link to the video, without the music.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


The Chiefs lost to the Buffalo Bison again Friday night.

TV Stevie & I arrived at the stadium very early. So early, in fact, that the Player of the Game had not been changed from Jim Negrych to Jesus Valdez, the person for whom Sandee & I voted Thursday night: his grand slam in the 4th inning got the Chiefs back into the game.

Other items of note left over from Thursday's game:

  • It was the longest game of the season -- not sure if that's innings-wise or time-wise.
  • The Throwback Thursday raffle jersey was Chase Lambin's from two years ago. We didn't win it. 

Before Friday's game:

Carlos Maldonado signed some autographs for some fans. When he turned back to return to the dugout, he waved to me.

Carlos Maldonado returning to dugout after signing for fans.

It was Lions Club night at the stadium. The Lions consider their involvement with the Chiefs their "civic duty."
Whatever happened to delight? Privilege? Joy?

Carlos Maldonado caught the ceremonial first pitch from the Lions Club speaker's grandchildren.

Lions Club Ceremonial First Pitch
He also caught the ceremonial first pitch from some boy band called Kicking Daisy.

Kicking Daisy Ceremonial First Pitch
I find that name (Kicking Daisy) offensive. Daisies are my favorite flower. Why would one kick them?

The Throwback Thursday jersey was for Shairon Martis. We didn't win that one, either.

Before the game started, there was a full-screen graphic on the board: Whose Bats Are Hot (maybe since being back with the Chiefs.) Carlos Maldonado and Jesus Valdez. So if Carlos has a hot bat (and he was awesome on Thursday night -- 5 at-bats, 5 times to 1B), why didn't he play last night? Makes no sense to me.

As I said, the Chiefs lost. It was ugly. Mark Teahen had the only Chief RBI of the game.

Lack of ballpark etiquette: 

Why would you come to the stadium and discuss the sexual practices of Islamic clerics (including Mohammed himself) in great detail -- especially when you are neither Islamic nor a cleric -- and in great detail and at the top of your lungs? The people sitting around you do not want to hear you expound. The admonition used in daycare centers applies also to baseball stadiums: "Use your indoor voice." If you must discuss this in public. Which we'd rather you didn't.

Why would a county employee say (after Bison Rob Johnson's name was announced in the starting lineup) "Finally, an American name!" at the top of his lungs so that people sitting several sections away could hear this racism? If you actually feel this racist sentiment, see above comment about "indoor voices." Those of us who are at the stadium because we love baseball care only about the team for which the player plays, not his country of origin. 

Now for a couple of fun questions:

  • What is Carlos Rivero's at-bat music and where can I get a copy?
  • What is Jarrett Hoffpauir's at-bat music and where can I get a copy?