Do you want tea with your baseball?

Major League Baseball has happened in more than a few countries beyond the obvious pair, of USA and Canada. Mexico, Puerto Rico, Japan, and Australia to name just a few. But tonight (I’m actually watching it as I talk), we can add a new one to that list, the United Kingdom, in London to be exact. No, I’m not there, even if I had a body, and brain that worked (and currently I don’t), its the opposite end of the country to me, its a sell out, and ticket prices were crazy. I did try entering a contest for seats tonight, but no shock, I didnt win! It included a hotel stay, so could have been done.

I have actually seen baseball live in 2 countries (Yes, Toronto is on my ‘done’ list), and have been to games at 10 of the 30 teams, though 1 stadium I went to (Minneapolis) has been replaced since then. When I get to add to that list, who knows? I have done the 3 senior stadiums (Boston, Chicago Cubs, LA Dodgers) which is something at least, and indeed 6 of the 7 oldest (LA Angels missing, its Anaheim, so hard to get to for a non driver, even when in LA) ones.

But did I ever imagine seeing baseball in the UK, and 2 sell outs at that, not in my dreams. But yes, its happening tonight, and again tomorrow. The fact that its those bitter rivals, the New York Yankees, and the Boston Red Sox amuses me more, especially the latter, given its Kate’s team! I dont know if its the shape of the stadium or something, but we’re only in the top of the 3rd innings (after nearly 90 minutes), and the score is currently 8-6!

OK, the video. I saw this live during the week, that crazy moment when Sesame Street hit Wrigley Field (home of Cubs, 105 years old, 2nd oldest stadium),and Cookie Monster sang ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’, seriously.

Derek Jeter, thanks for everything. Even if you are a New York Yankee

Yes, we’ve come to that time of year when summer sports come to an end. The last rites of the cricket season are being played out over here, and in the US, the last week of the regular baseball season is doing the same thing. And yes, this blog is more related to the latter, shall we say.

Tonight, for the last time in Yankees Stadium, Derek Jeter will play for the New York Yankees at home. Seriously, in these days of free agency, and transfers, he has played for the Yankees, his only team, since 1995, quite a record. Ironically, given the rivalry between the 2 teams, its ironic that his career will end with 3 games at Fenway Park, against the Boston Red Sox. Even more remarkably, given the history of the 2 teams, they are likely to be 3 meaningless games, unless the Yankees win both their last 2 games at home, and Kansas lose both of theirs!

Yes, to a degree myself (I follow Boston), and my friend Kate (passionate fan) hate the Yankees for all the obvious reasons. But one person, the thoroughly likeable Derek Jeter almost transcends all this.

My biggest Jeter memory, would be his 3,000th hit for the Yankees. I knew he’d been creeping up to the landmark, and by sheer luck, the magical moment occurred on a game being carried by ESPN over here. Within a few minutes of getting home from work, and switching on the TV, Jeter came to bat, and proceeded to hit the ball out of the park, and make a mark on history. Thats right, not just a hit, but a home run!

I’ve never seen him play live, only on TV, so I was denied that pleasure. But all in all, I’m delighted to have seen him play many times, and even more delighted when the Yankees lost, sorry, Derek. To say he’s a Hall of Fame certainty, is to put it mildly, the only talk seems to be whether he will get the highest percentage of votes ever, quite likely, I suspect. Lets just say that next season, it will be funny watching the Yankees play, and not seeing Jeter there, ever again.

Thanks for many memories, all the same

The video, a very late Monkees number

The woes of baseball

Sorry, if there are any Yankees fans reading this, you might want to leave now.

Yes, for my pains, the Mariners are my No 1 baseball team, and believe me, they provide me with plenty of pain. But second in my list, well, it might just be the Red Sox.

Have I ever mentioned before that Fenway Park is a wonderful old stadium, and other than perhaps Wrigley Field, I’ve never been anywhere like it. So yes, even without Kate’s influence, I sort of follow the Red Sox too. The last 2 seasons, horrible. First, the September collapse in 2011, and then the whole season collapse last year, it hasnt been good. And all the talk this year was of more of the same. So, take a look at the AL East table, and see who’s on top. Yes, thats right, the inhabitants of Fenway! 🙂 Fine, we could have yet another September collapse, but it seems a whole different team, and attitude this year.

Oh, sorry, did I mention the Yankees? Oh my, what a mess! And not just the A-Rod issues, though there seem to be plenty of them, they’re limping along in the division too. Whats that, hate the Yankees? Yes, I know, shock horror, a Red Sox fan who doesnt care for their biggest rivals. Alright, I dont hate all things Yankees, its impossible to dislike Derek Jeter at least. But otherwise…

I had to laugh last night, hearing the Fenway crowd booing A-Rod as he came out to bat. Funnily enough, when he joined the Yankees in 2004, the other big contender for his signature, was the Red Sox, werent they lucky to miss out! Yes, I know, he used to play for the Mariners, but that was a long time ago! A-Rod, boo…!

In case you dont know, steroids, trying to cover up the evidence of doing so, and everything else doesnt make him the most popular man in baseball at present.

Oh, the other delight this season, it looks like the Pittsburgh Pirates are finally going to have a winning year, its been over 20 years since they did so, just delighted for them. Funnily enough, guess who I’m watching while typing this? Yes, the Pirates.

The video, mentions a true baseball legend, and one who did it on natural talents.