Lets liven up the All Star Game events!

Before we get to the entertaining developments surrounding Baseball’s forthcoming All Star Game, which I had planned for tonight, lets get sadly serious first.

Over the weekend, very sadly, 50 brave people (at the last count) lost their lives in a club in Orlando. Well, actually, 1 of those dead was the lunatic who carried out the massacre, but anyway…Given he was a homophobic wife beater, maybe his death was for the best? The other 49 though, a very tragic loss. Just to say that all my thoughts, best wishes, and sympathies go out to the families, and friends of those whose lives were taken by this ghastly man.

I also briefly want to mention the thankful fact that before a white man, equally equipped with weapons was stopped, before he reached L.A Pride is only a blessing. Just proves, only too sadly, that the fight against homophobia is far from over.

Oh fine, now lets get to the, err, serious(?) stuff.

Given the baseball season is fast approaching halfway, it means that we are getting ever closer to the show, that is the All Star game. Like most of these games, its generally taken less than seriously, probably for the best, but its the only one that actually affects other events, in that the winning conference gets the extra home game in the World Series. But despite that, its not the most competitive game of the year, shall we say?

One of the side events at this, is the lunacy known as the Home Run Derby. This is where the best hitters of the conferences get fed soft pitches, and attempt to smash as many out of the park as possible. Well, thats what happens normally, this year might just give us something different. The AL pitchers only ever hit when they play in an NL park. So its fair to say that most of them have hitting skills, only slightly better than mine. Yes, that bad! In truth, most of the NL pitchers arent a lot better! But there are a few, who not only enjoy batting, they are quite decent at it too!

The best one, plays for the San Francisco Giants (the Dodgers fan in me turns away at this point), goes by the name of Madison Bumgarner, and this guy really can bat. Hey, he’s hit 2 home runs off my beloved Clayton Kershaw, and there’s not many that can say that! And, being a character, and a good bat, he wants to have a go at the Home Run Derby himself. The snag, it means one less top hitter from the NL having a go, but given events like this could always to with a shake up, it might not be that bad a thing? His team, understandably arent sure about the idea, mainly because of the injury issue, so whether it will happen?

The thing is, now a few other pitchers, who enjoy hitting the ball, also want to join in!

http://www.12up.com/posts/3325545-report-pitcher-home-run-derby-being-discussed-for-all-star-weekend?a_aid=40030

I must admit, if the clubs involved will agree to it, it would be fun. I admit it, adding another challenge to the Kershaw/Bumgarner/Greinke (among others) rivalry like this, would be a lot of fun. The snag of course, is that generally, its at least theoretically a contest between the 2 leagues, and the AL pitchers, well, they cant really play a part in this, because they dont bat. So I dont know, maybe the 3 divisions in the NL could do something?

I’m not sure if the new event could be fitted into the schedule this year, or not? I suspect if it was impossible, that MLB wouldnt discuss the matter, so I assume it can. Equally, I suspect Madison wants to go in the Home Run Derby proper, so we will see? Yes, I hope so!

Now all we need is to convince Vin Scully to commentate on the All Star Game festivities, and… 😀

Fine, video time. What a baseball might be saying to a pitcher, at the All Star Game, just maybe?

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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