Thanks for the memory, P.T.I!

As I usually do, this morning I watched yesterday’s P.T.I. (Pardon The Interruption) while getting ready for work. Yes America, we get to see it the next morning, our time, which does mean it loses some effect when talking about that nights sport, but its the best we can do, seeing it goes out at 10.30 in the evening, our time, in its late afternoon (East coast)/early afternoon (West Coast) slot over there. We also get Around The Horn, on the same delay, but sorry, Tony Reali, this isnt about you!

What they reminded me, on their anniversary segment, was that 1 year ago yesterday (27th), was the first game of the World Series between the Royals, and the Mets, and I watched it live. It started at 5 in the afternoon, LA time, and it was gone 10 before it finished, 14 innings later! Yes, the Royals won, went on to win the World Series, and make me very happy.

After that, very soon, I went to bed, because I had an early start the next morning, to fly back to England. Hopefully some day I will add to my live WS games, maybe in the stadium, but I doubt that, given the prices of tickets!

That, my friends, was the last time I flew anywhere, and on this night, I crossed the Atlantic, for what, in all likelihood, until May at least, will be the last time. Funnily enough, if things go to plan, then, I will be flying back to LA with a new name! In a sense, it was my name then, but I couldnt change the paperwork until I got back, so…One lovely friend insisted on calling me Harlean, even then. Looking forward to meeting her again in May too!

Today, an event that wont make PTI, I finished my training course at work. Yes, I start on my official hours on Monday, which means I can be slightly later up of a morning, which will be nice. Well, apart from Saturday’s, but 4 days of the week… 🙂 Scheduling of blogs will change, to Tuesday, and Sunday in future, I guess?

So thanks, Tony Kornheiser, and Mike Wilbon, for reminding me about a special event that happened a year, and a day ago! Oh, I’ve tweeted, asking for a shout out today, but doubt it will happen! If it does, let me know, as we only have 1 showing tomorrow, and as thats following a live college football game, it might not be shown! 😦

The video, which I suspect may have been filmed in LA (Fallon normally films there), seems apt for what I was doing this time last year.

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Just call us Dodgers, of the evening

Alright, fine, its like buses, you go a long time with none turning up, then two turn up together. Yes, blogs that mention Los Angeles a lot. I know, but when I saw the baseball schedules for the first half of this week…

Firstly though, lets sidetrack you. The last time I got to a baseball game, with good company, was in Kansas City, with my good friend Kate, playing the Boston Red Sox, on a glorious Sunday afternoon. In fact, in truth, at present, the only other person I have been to a baseball game with, is Kate! Fine, there were thirty, to forty thousand other people there, and at Fenway Park, which we had done previously, but you get my drift.

To say that day that the staff at the Stadium did us proud, would be an understatement. Kate has a health issue, and couldnt get terribly comfortable in the seats we were sat in. Me, I was fine, but I’m pretty skinny, so…Anyway, on hearing of her issues, we got moved to different seats, and all was fine for the rest of the afternoon. A young man looked after us wonderfully, with food and drink, and we had a great time.

Yes, you’ve guessed it, tonight sees the start of a series between Boston, and Kansas City, in Kansas City! Sadly, neither I, or Kate will be there, but it would be wonderful to think that someone at the stadium might see this, and at least think of us tonight. No, I cant remember who won the match we were at, lol!

Oh, right, fine, Los Angeles. Yes, tonight sees the start of the ‘Freeway Series’, between the 2 LA teams. Well, I’m one of those who calls them the Anaheim Angels, but anyway, its the local rivalry. And yes, tonight, and again tomorrow, the games are in Dodgers Stadium. Which of course, as all shrewdies, and long term followers of this blog will know, is the last baseball stadium that I have visited, at time of writing. Oh, and did you know, between 1962, and 1965, the Angels played at Dodger Stadium, before moving to their own place.

I guess that given my main sport in my early years was cricket, and counties, beyond Yorkshire, and Lancashire, didnt have much in the way of rivalries, as such. Not even a London series between Surrey, and Middlesex, in fact. So no, I’m not big on local rivalries, to be honest, and have no idea what they are like in baseball. I think in all honesty, the Dodgers have a bigger rivalry with the San Francisco giants, than their Anaheim neighbors. But yes, you’re right, I’ll be rooting for the boys in blue! Hey, they’re from Hollywood, so what were you expecting? 😉

So, four teams I’ve seen before (I saw the Angels once in Oakland), and 3 I support, to varying degrees, in special matches tonight. Me, I’ll sleep through them both, sadly, as both are overnight, my time. But in my dreams…

Fine, the video. The one team of the four that I dont support in any way, shape, or form. Yes, the Angels. Though this is of the morning, not the evening.

Baseball fans, dont stop believing

Well, not for another month at least, until the regular season gets under way, at least. Yes, baseball is back, officially the big boys start meeting up with each other in pre season tomorrow, though before then, 4 games against college teams will have taken place, yesterday, and today.

In truth, for fans of 5 teams supposedly in rebuilding mode, you probably neednt start to believe, but anyway… Yes, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Cincinnati and Colorado, I’m looking at you. In truth, you could easily add San Diego, and Miami to that list, but just maybe? Yes, thats right, I’m writing off 7 National League teams before the season even starts! Awful, isnt it? The closest to an American League write off I could get, is a maybe, on Oakland, but I’d have more doubts on that being the case.

Yes, alright, I’ll get in my moment of pleasure, given no team has retained the title since 2000, and mention that the Kansas City Royals are the current champions. I know, sounds good, for me at least, doesnt it? Could they do it again? The team is probably strong enough, but whether, like so many before them, they fail under the badge of returning champions, who knows? One thing is for sure, and is nothing to do with baseball logic, its an even numbered year, so you have to mention the San Francisco Giants. Yes, they won in 2010, 2012, and 2014, so…

The hype team this year, seems to be the Chicago Cubs, who havent actually won it, since 1908! Yes, they’ve been spending madly, and like the Red Sox earlier this century, that streak has to go at some point. But favorites, seriously?

So, if KC cant do it again, who do I think are a decent price to go all the way? I said it as a joke, but seriously, its hard to ignore San Francisco. Not only have they got the ‘even streak’ to continue, they look a good team, and you can get 16/1 here in the UK, with one firm, too big to ignore. You have to respect the New York Mets (also 16/1) after last year, as I wouldnt be surprised to see Washington implode again. On the American League side, I wouldnt be surprised to see Houston (16/1) go further up, and with their team (and playing logic), Boston (14/1) are either going to finish bottom of their division, or go a long way. I have 2 loves who could do well, one obviously is Kansas City (14/1), and the other are Hollywood’s team, the LA Dodgers (16/1).

Whats that, you want an outsider to root for? Well, most of those I’ve said rude things about already, but if you must…the ‘under the radar’ team for me, could just be Minnesota, quietly ignored, despite not missing the play offs by a lot last year, and you can get them at 50/1

As I say, Vegas fans, these are UK prices, I’ve not really got a way to look at whats on offer in the US, so this is the best I can do.

Interesting stat, team song. 3 times in the last 4 years, and 4 times in the last 6 (thanks, San Francisco), this song has been the team song for the Champions. Yes, thats right, KC use it too, which only made it all the more amusing in 2014, as it meant Journey were going to win the World Series regardless! So yes, thats tonights video, shock horror.

Jean Harlow really was a Royals fan!

With many thanks to my friend, Kris, for these two marvellous, err, photographs of Jean, clearly a big Royals fan

JeanHarlow-RoyalsCap

JeanHarlow-RoyalsShirt

The video, well, what can I say. Both teams seem to adore this song, so wonderfully apt, for what should be a great series.

Yes, I want the Royals to win, but the Giants are probably my favourite NL side, so…I’d live lol!

World Series 2014: Kansas City and San Francisco, a personal look

Yes, tomorrow night, in Kansas City, the culmination of the baseball season begins. Given that the game will actually start at 1.00 am in the UK, on Wednesday morning, I wont be watching. But in spirit, albeit a sleeping spirit, I will be there.

Its a rare treat, in that I have actually been to both stadiums where the games will take place, and actually enjoyed visiting both of them. The last time there was a World Series when that happened, 1993 when Toronto took on Philadelphia. The Toronto stadium at that time, was the once I visited, but the Philadelphia one wasnt, having being demolished in 2004, and replaced by a very modern stadium that well, I didnt fall in love with!
The last Series between 2 teams I have seen play is far more recent, just 2 years ago, when San Francisco played Detroit. I saw Detroit play, in the now demolished Metrodome in Minneapolis.

But these two…

So lets start with where people leave their heart, San Francisco. AT&T Park is probably one of my all time favourites, probably helped by the fact that the first time I went there (have been twice), I went to an evening game, and not only did I get to watch the baseball, in a wonderful setting, I got to see the sunset over San Francisco Bay, and that was worth the money in itself.
But all in all, its a wonderful setting to see baseball played, though sadly, no one hit a home run into the water while I was there. Have seen it on TV a couple of times, but…

So yes, ironically, under any other circumstances, I would happily support them against most teams, but not this time around.

Because they are playing Kansas City!

So far, I’ve only had the one visit to Kaufman Stadium, about a month ago, when they lost to Boston. As was mentioned in the blog at the time, the service that Kate and I got from the staff, was truly amazing. And seeing those famous fountains, at the other end of the stadium…really good!

I must admit, there are 2 ladies who are the reason I follow Kansas City, Brooks and Harlow. One came from the city, one came from the state of Kansas, so all in all…a big soft spot for me. Neither of course saw the Royals play, they only started playing in 1969. Lets face it, pre war, travel made it impossible for teams to play that far west. And when teams started moving west, California became the big target, so…

And before you ask, I have absolutely no evidence that either lady ever saw a baseball match anywhere!

Given that San Francisco have won it all twice in the last 4 years, Kansas hadnt even made the play offs since 1985, when they actually won the World Series themselves, I might have supported KC anyway. But now, probably the first time I’ve really rooted against SF in all honesty.

Hopefully KC will win, as that would be perfect for me. But at the same time, if a National League team has to win it, well, San Francisco might be my call. But even so, I have to say it, go Royals!

The video, well its about KC, and produced in Cherryvale, surely the perfect combination? I have to thank my friend, Tina for posting it on Facebook in the first place.

Oh, and if any manip/photoshop experts out there want to send me a picture of Jean Harlow, in either a Royals top, or cap, I would so love it, and would post it up. I know, wherever she is watching it from, she’ll be rooting for her home town team

The last couple of days, plus baseball!

So fine, lets fill you in on the last couple of days, they’ve been something, to say the least.

Started off with the interview yesterday, which had a pair of firsts, the first time I’ve worn a dress to work (top and slacks/top and skirt, like always!) due to the interview. Definitely the first time I’ve worn high heels at work, but they only lasted about an hour (around, and during the interview), as I changed back into my more comfortable shoes straight after, and due to events (early call to interview), I only put them on just before it started.

Yes, it went well, or seemed so to me. The result, I wont know until the later stages of next week, but we will see…fingers crossed.

Then. after work, just after 3.00 (short shift), I headed off to see the results of the photo shoot. I was told the pictures were good, and they were right, they were good, or even better! I only wish I could show you some, but until the email versions of a few arrive, you’ll just have to believe me. But as soon as I get them…you’ll see them. Hey, I want you to see them, they’re that good!

Today, I had my MOT, and I passed. No, not a real MOT, a medical check over, and beyond the known arthritic joints (right shoulder, back, knees), all was fine. So yes, I’ll carry on travelling for a while yet! 🙂

The video, well, you might be saying this of me, after the photo shoot

Oh, and lastly, as promised, the baseball.

Lets just say that Jean Harlow was asked how she felt about the Kansas City Royals performance so far in the play offs, and this was her reaction

Happy to see you

Go Royals!

Five hours of baseball, pure heaven?

And before you ask, no, I didnt stay up all night on Tuesday to watch the Royals and A’s play each other in the Baseball play offs, some of us have to go to work, you know! It started at 1 in the morning my time, for heaven’s sake!

But on Wednesday morning, I had to be up before 5 in the morning, for an early shift at work. The TV was switched on (I need something to keep me awake that early in the morning), and it was previously set to ESPN (UK version), so thats the first channel that appeared. Hey, baseball, must be the round up programme, but hang on, they’re in the 10th innings, and it says live, so…

For the next hour (just under), I sat and watched, engrossed. Then in the top of the 12th innings, Oakland scored, I groaned, and feared the worst. Until the bottom of the 12th, where Kansas first tied things up, and then hit the winner! Lets just say that ‘Jean’ went off to work that morning, even at 6.20, with a bounce in her stride!

I managed to see the ‘as live’ version last night, and it wasnt just the last hour that was quite something, the whole game was!

Oh, and of course, the perfect result, for Jean Harlow’s home town team.

Irony is, like Jean, they have moved on to Los Angeles, if in name only, given the Angels actually play in Anaheim! Hopefully they will be as much of a success there as she was!

Thanks, Royals, as has previously been said on here, the service you gave Kate and I on our visit, was very special, and we appreciated it. Hopefully, you can go a long way in this, possibly all the way.

One interesting note, since 2006, when I started visiting North America twice a year, every year but one, I’ve seen a play off team in action live. This year was no exception. The bad news for Kansas, only once, have I seen a team that won the World Series. Ah well, hopefully time for the second one this year.

The video, this was played at Kauffman Stadium, and sums up how they felt about this incredible game. Besides which, I like Journey, so…