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  #676 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 02, 2008, 11:01am
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Stephen Drew of the Diamondbacks and Adrian Beltre of the Mariners both hit for the cycle yesterday. That's only happened twice in the history of major league baseball. The other time was in 1920.

Nobody bothered to comment on Sabathia's near no-hitter?

Cliff Lee threw a shutout last night for his 20th win. Pretty amazing how good he's been while the rest of the team has played so far below expectations.
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  #677 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 02, 2008, 11:02am
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Chuck - what did you think of National's Park in DC?

PS - and for your once in a while bizarre occurrences - yesterday Phils made two consecutive outs 1-5 (pitcher to third). I can't recall ever seeing that one before (one ground out, next pick-off).
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Last edited by grunewar; Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 11:04am.
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  #678 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 02, 2008, 11:17am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckElias
Nobody bothered to comment on Sabathia's near no-hitter?
I didn't see the play in question to have an opinion as to whether it should've been ruled a hit or error. But I hope they don't change the ruling, for a couple of reasons. First, I can't see MLB setting the precedent of reversing a judgement call (whether it's an umpire's call or an official scorer's call), and C.C. didn't have the pressure of pitching in the late innings with a potential no-hitter. I think there's something to going through the late innings with the crowd buzzing, your teammates ignoring you, etc., and he did not have any of that going on. A retroactive no-hitter just wouldn't be the same.
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  #679 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 02, 2008, 11:29am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M&M Guy
I didn't see the play in question to have an opinion as to whether it should've been ruled a hit or error. But I hope they don't change the ruling, for a couple of reasons. First, I can't see MLB setting the precedent of reversing a judgement call (whether it's an umpire's call or an official scorer's call), and C.C. didn't have the pressure of pitching in the late innings with a potential no-hitter. I think there's something to going through the late innings with the crowd buzzing, your teammates ignoring you, etc., and he did not have any of that going on. A retroactive no-hitter just wouldn't be the same.
I thought it should have been an error, but I don't have a lot of experience judging these things.
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  #680 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 02, 2008, 11:43am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M&M Guy
I didn't see the play in question to have an opinion as to whether it should've been ruled a hit or error. But I hope they don't change the ruling, for a couple of reasons. First, I can't see MLB setting the precedent of reversing a judgement call (whether it's an umpire's call or an official scorer's call), and C.C. didn't have the pressure of pitching in the late innings with a potential no-hitter. I think there's something to going through the late innings with the crowd buzzing, your teammates ignoring you, etc., and he did not have any of that going on. A retroactive no-hitter just wouldn't be the same.
I too thought it was an error, but absolutely concur with your thought process on NOT over-turning the scorer's decision.

Last year I was at a Cards vs Nats game at RFK in DC. Nats pitcher had a no-no going through 8 1/3. As described here - electric atmosphere and very exciting! Then a Cards player hit a clean single - the air went out of the stadium. Next batter up was Albert Pujols who proceeded to hit a ball almost as far as humanly possible (without juice I presume)! A tremendous shot to almost dead center! (next to a blast by Johnny Bench at the Old Veterans Stadium in Phila, I have never seen a ball go so far). The pitcher had the ole "let-down" and loss of concentration for one pitch after losing his no-no bid. It was the last pitch he threw.....he was relieved to a tremendous ovation. Great stuff though!
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  #681 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 02, 2008, 12:03pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevadaref
That's what you think.
Very true. I was disappointed that Beckett couldn't go on Friday, and even more worried when they posted an announcement in the ballpark that he was going on the 15-day DL.

But we were treated instead to a great game. Dice-K pitched 8 shutout innings and gave up only 2 hits and 2 walks. He was stellar. I wish he could keep his walks down like that every outing. It seemed like the only trouble he had was on the very first pitch when Orlando Cabrera (who apparently is not feeling the afterglow of the '04 World Series from the fans anymore) sent a deep liner to the right-centerfield gap. But Ellsbury made an amazing diving catch to save extra bases. Pedroia went 4-for-4 with two steals on the night, scoring 3 times. Big Papi was 3-for-4 and Youk was 2-for-4; so it was a great night to be at Fenway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grunewar
Chuck - what did you think of National's Park in DC?
Why, thank you so much for asking! If this doesn't get Dan to come out of hiding, nothing will. For those of you who don't know, my buddy John and I are about halfway through visiting all the MLB ballparks. We take a weekend trip each year, and this year we visited Boston and Washington, D.C.

Here are my descriptions of our previous visits if you're interested.

Chuck's Baseball Rankings -- First Installment
Chuck's Baseball Rankings -- 2006 Update
Chuck's Baseball Rankings -- 2007 Update

The Sox have made a lot of improvements to Fenway since I started going to games in the mid-'80s. But it's still a 96-year-old building in a 200-year-old section of the city. It's easy to get to by subway, but we drove in. And while parking is very difficult (and expensive -- $40/game) at the ballpark, the Sox have an arrangement with one of the city parking garages, so it's only $9 if you don't mind a 10-minute walk.

We sat in the right field outfield boxes, just beyond Pesky Pole. The seating is cramped, but our view was great. There was no way we were moving to find better seats, though. The Sox have sold out every game for about 4 years (they're 3 games away from breaking the record for consecutive sellouts), so the place was packed and we had to stay where we were. Additionally, the ticket prices are very high. The face value of our tickets was $50 each -- for outfield seats.

The food is pretty good at Fenway. They have the normal stuff (hot dogs, sausages), but they also have chicken meals, cheesesteaks and a Legal Seafood menu. Not as good a selection overall as Tropicana Field, but pretty varied.

The atmosphere is great, and it was helped by Dice-K's great performance. They have the music pumping, of course, but it wasn't overkill. (Unless you have a real aversion to Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline".) Plus the unusual dimensions and the Green Monster make it a unique experience.

Nationals Park had all the things that you expect in the new generation of ballparks. Great views from every seat, a cool video scoreboard, open walkways so that you can still see the field while you walk around the park. It also had little quirks in the outfield dimensions, but in the new parks, you know that they're for effect; not because they need them. The park was very easy to get to on the Metro system (Navy Yard stop) and our tickets were fairly reasonably priced.

And although we had decent seats (3rd level, directly behind home plate), we never even saw them. We walked down to field level behind the visitors' dugout to watch batting practice -- and never left. We watched the whole game from the 5th row, directly behind the dugout. So it was pretty easy to improve our seats!

The selection of food was very good, I thought. Pizza, hot dogs, chicken fingers, chili-cheese fries; although John was very disappointed with the pulled pork sandwich.

It was a nice park, but it didn't seem to have anything that made it stand out a whole lot for me, personally. It's like Turner Field -- nice but nothing spectacular. The biggest thing that Nationals Park has going for it, and what makes it better overall than Turner Field or Tropicana Field, is that it's in Washington and close to all the fantastic museums and memorials on and around the National Mall.

So here's my updated personal rankings of the ballparks that we've been to so far:

1. Camden Yard (Baltimore, 2001)
2. PNC (Pittsburgh, 2003)
3. Citizens' Bank Park (Philly, 2004)
4. Fenway Park (Boston, 2008)
5. Yankee Stadium (NY, 2004)
6. Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati, 2005)
7. SkyDome (Toronto, 2006)
8. Nationals Park (Washington, D.C., 2008)
9. Jacobs' Field (Cleveland, 2005)
10. Comerica Park (Detroit, 2006)
11. Tropicana Field (Tampa/St. Pete, 2007)
12. Turner Field (Atlanta, 2007)
13. Olympic Stadium (Montreal, 2002)
14. Dolphins Stadium (Miami, 2007)
15. Shea Stadium (NY, 2003)

I've created a Google map, showing our trips and some of the things that we've done along the way. If you're interested, please feel free to check it out:

Chuck and John's Baseball Trips

Most of the placemarks have pictures attached, but there are no pictures for Baltimore, Montreal, NY (Mets) or Pittsburgh. We only have video of those, and I don't know how to load that stuff.
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Last edited by ChuckElias; Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 12:09pm.
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  #682 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 02, 2008, 12:19pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grunewar
PS - and for your once in a while bizarre occurrences - yesterday Phils made two consecutive outs 1-5 (pitcher to third). I can't recall ever seeing that one before (one ground out, next pick-off).
Here's yet another one. When we were in Washington, the Nats won the game when the Braves pitcher walked in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning. The same night, the Mets lost by walking in the winning run (although it was the 9th) in Miami.

How many times have there been 2 walk-off walks on the same night?!?!
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  #683 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 02, 2008, 12:30pm
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Chuck - thanks for the review!

I've been to a great many parks myself (not as many as you and John though) and concur with: A) your opinion of the Nats Stadium (GREAT HUGE scoreboard, wide concourse, good site lines, friggin ex$pen$ive food like they all have, etc.), and B) your ranking of Camden Yards - one of the first New Generation of Old Time Parks which really does stand the test of time well.

I am increasingly dissappointed at the DC crowds though (obvioulsy the same reason you could get your nice seat). Only 29K for a Labor Day game against the Phils yesterday on a beautiful summer day - and 10K of those were Philly Fans!? Bright side of course is, I can always get tickets and "improve" my seats!

Hope you have more happy travels and please continue to report in!
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  #684 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 02, 2008, 12:32pm
9/11 - Never Forget
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckElias
How many times have there been 2 walk-off walks on the same night?!?!
I was at a Nats game earlier this year when the Nats won the game on a "walk-off wild pitch!" Great memories!
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  #685 (permalink)  
Old Wed Sep 03, 2008, 07:58pm
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Sox stole a game today that they had no business winning. Tie game, bottom 9 with runners on 1st and 2nd, and Ellsbury puts down a sac bunt. The pitcher tries to get the lead runner and throws it away, allowing the runner to score and end the game.

And now I'm rooting for the Yankees?!?!?! What's the weather like where you are JR? Frozen over yet?
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  #686 (permalink)  
Old Wed Sep 03, 2008, 08:19pm
9/11 - Never Forget
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckElias
Sox stole a game today that they had no business winning.
C'mon, they were playing the O's!?
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  #687 (permalink)  
Old Wed Sep 03, 2008, 10:00pm
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Chuck,

What's the next stadium you are going to knock off your list?
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  #688 (permalink)  
Old Thu Sep 04, 2008, 08:57am
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Well, it's history.

MLB's first use of Instant Replay confirmed the on-field call of a home run for A Rod.

It's about time!
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  #689 (permalink)  
Old Thu Sep 04, 2008, 04:43pm
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Since the Sox aren't playing tonight (NFL Opening Night is almost as good!), I thought I'd share this little tidbit that I found online.

On this date in 1913:

Quote:
In his major league debut at Sportsman Park in St. Louis, southpaw Hal Schwenk pitches 11 innings giving up 12 hits, but earns a complete-game victory beating the White Sox, 5-4. The Browns rookie will never again appear in a big league game.
Guy goes 11 innings for a complete game win and never pitches again in the bigs. Ouch. I couldn't find a reason; either an injury or a really stacked pitching staff.
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  #690 (permalink)  
Old Thu Sep 04, 2008, 05:00pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckElias
On this date in 1913:

Guy goes 11 innings for a complete game win and never pitches again in the bigs. Ouch. I couldn't find a reason; either an injury or a really stacked pitching staff.
Was he related to Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, or (now) Carlos Zambrano?

Oh, never mind. I'm sure Snaqs will be along shortly to help me out with any statistics.
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