I have no problem admitting my love for Alex Gordon.
Female sports fans in general are treated like a stock list of stereotypes: served up infantilizing Hello Kitty merchandise and given institutionalized opportunities to “better understand” the game, invited to wine-soaked MLB-sponsored ladies’ nights, or dressed up in Victoria’s Secret gear that invites kisses on the kiss cam.
Further, it seems that sports culture can’t reconcile female desire with knowledge, so if you’re admiring the finer points of Josh Donaldson’s unstoppable swagger—his “liquid hot sexual gold,” as certain aficionados have been known to call it—you can’t possibly understand the mechanics of his MVP-worthy work at third base. Logic would dictate that I can find him stunning and still understand how the game works, and even be an expert on it. Yet, for whatever reason, acknowledging that I notice how pretty he is somehow becomes a shameful admission. I am forever a guest in a man’s house, and am expected to watch what I say and police what I feel accordingly.
Quite frankly, I’ve grown real tired of pretending that Bryce Harper isn’t a scorchingly beautiful specimen of masculinity. I’ve become exhausted denying that Buster Posey has the most adorable, angelic boy-band face I’ve seen since perusing Tiger Beat as a teenage girl. I’m weary from saying that Justin Verlander’s pants look “uncomfortable,” or that Matt Kemp looks “like an athlete.” I’ve actually come to think that every time I deny my inevitable attraction to players—I’m only human, and you know what Matt Kemp looks like—I’m supporting that terrible notion that real fans don’t have crushes, or that crushes hysterically cancel out all other considerations, and finally that women should simply shut up about how they feel if they want to watch a game with everyone else. A more cynical observer might even wonder if this gag rule has more to do with a threat to the general fan base’s masculinity than any real “respect for the game.”
some blog tried to determine the ‘best fans in baseball’ in the form an of index
from the article:
We have taken data from various sources including ticket sales, social data, attendance, and team revenue, and used it to compile a ranking of MLB fan bases.
Here’s how we did it:
Average attendance for 2014 as a percentage of stadium capacity
Average ticket price on the secondary market (driven by demand) for the 2014 regular season
Annual team revenue for 2014 as provided by Forbes
Total number of Twitter followers as a percentage of the metro area population
Total number of Facebook fans as a percentage of the metro area population
Recently, Miguel Cabrera hit the 15-day DL for the first time in his HOF-worthy career, and I felt bad. The Tigers (the favorite team of all my Michigan-bred blood relatives) have been the team I rooted for in every October since the 2011 season. I don’t want, at any point, one of the best players in the game to have to take unwanted time off and sit on the bench, recovering, while his teammates are forced to pick up the slack around him.
But I had a different reaction when I heard the Alex Gordon news.
My gut reaction was, “Oh, damn. Wow, that really sucks for the Royals fans.” My immediate response to that was, “This could really help the Twins. The Royals might be without one of their best players and we need to capitalize on that. This could be really good for the standings.”
My reaction to that thought was, “Wait, what am I saying?”....
So while simultaneously feeling bad for one of the game’s most talented, and feeling good about the prospects the Twins have in light of this news, I find myself very largely conflicted about just how I SHOULD be reacting. How much, as a rival fan, am I entitled to the “silver lining” for the Twins? How much, as a fan of baseball as a whole, should I putting any and all “positive” reaction out of my mind?
Now, McCain is pretty famous, and not just in the Washington sense. He was, after all, the Republican nominee for president in 2008. That generally puts your face and biography in front of a lot of the nation.
But apparently 2008 was a really long time ago, or perhaps parts of that bio didn’t quite stick. Like, you know, the fact his plane was shot down over North Vietnam in 1967 and he was taken prisoner. Or the fact that he was captured with fractures in both arms, neither of which received much care from his captors. Or, the fact that because of those injuries and the lack of care he received during his five-plus years of captivity, he can’t raise his arms above a certain point. All of these facts would seem to be important to include when you choose to mock the Arizona senator for his inability to catch a foul ball…right?
Mickey Callaway was ejected from the game for less. Go figure.
Never one to shy away from engaging with fans of the visiting team, Cabrera’s generous gift came after a playful back-and-forth conversation with a young fan, who cleanly fielded a foul ball down the first-base line with his baseball cap.
The play was entertaining. But the exchange that took place afterwards between Cabrera and the fan, Dom, was the real magic.
“I just told Miggy, ‘I got your back. You need to be fired up,’” Dom told FOX Sports Detroit. “He looked bored out there.”
Cabrera played along and exchanged a broad smile with the fan. When the inning ended, Cabrera told Dom, wearing an Indians cap and T-shirt, to stay seated.
“At first, I thought he was just telling me to back away and stop talking,” Dom told FOX Sports Detroit.
Instead, Cabrera gathered a gift basket of sorts from the dugout, which included batting gloves and a bat, and tossed them to the energetic fan in between innings.
The study (via the Wall Street Journal) is highly unscientific and for entertainment purposes only, but oh how entertaining it is. The company proofread 150 comments from articles on each of the 30 teams’ official websites, all at least 50 words long, and counted up the spelling and grammar mistakes per 100 words. And while baseball fans as a whole are stronger than their football counterparts, things still get pretty rough, especially in the Northeast.
He’s been on the receiving end of several notable milestones over the years, including Mike Trout’s first major league home run on July 24, 2011 at Camden Yards. He also caught Barry Bonds’ 724th career home run at Petco Park in 2006, and over the years has caught several balls at the Home Run Derby in numerous locations.
Now he adds Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit, which should prove to be the most valuable of them all.
Of course, no one knows that better than Hample, and before all’s said and done we’re guessing A-Rod will wish he’d hit it any place other than directly into Hample’s glove. ...
And no, Hample’s not going to back off his stance now that he’s actually somehow managed to wrangle that “one-in-a-million souvenir.” If anything, it will be even more difficult to pry it from his hands.
“My intention all along, I’ve been imagining this scenario as a 1-in-a-million, was not to give it back,” Hample said. “You know, just because the guy who got Jeter’s 3,000th hit, a lot of people called him an idiot. A lot of people said that he was a wonderful person and extremely generous. And I really think that, whatever you want to do with it is your choice.”
He added, “I think that someone like Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez, who has made half a billion dollars in his career, doesn’t really need a favor from a normal civilian and a fan like me. I don’t know right now if I’m going to sell it. I mean, depending on what the Yankees could offer, I would consider giving it back. I’m not giving it back for — I don’t plan to give it back for a chance to meet him and full autographed bats because I don’t collect bats, I collect baseballs. Just having this ball is so meaningful to me. I can’t believe that I got it.”
Pittsburgh was ranked the second-best city in the United States for baseball fans, according to a recent study by WalletHub, a web-based personal finance company.
The study rated 272 cities based upon 11 metrics split into two categories — “teams and performance” and “costs and fan engagement.” The study took into account MLB and college teams. The Pirates and the Pitt baseball team represented Pittsburgh in the study.
“There’s been rumblings for a couple years now if whether or not baseball is still the American pastime,” said WalletHub spokesperson Jill Gonzalez. “We just wanted to see where that is still true and really key in on the cities in which baseball is still alive and well.”
Pittsburgh placed second in the study, trailing only St. Louis. Cincinnati, Atlanta and Cleveland rounded out the top five.
In addition to keeping quiet about a long list of trade possibilities involving veterans, Amaro also remains adamant about not rushing prospects who could replace those veterans.
“I think we’re going to be conservative,” he said (via CSNPhilly.com).
Moreover, he doesn’t care that that won’t sit well with fans who are enduring a 19-28 start after last season’s 73-89 disappointment.
“They don’t understand the game,” Amaro said. “They don’t understand the process. There’s a process. And then they ##### and complain because we don’t have a plan. There’s a plan in place and we’re sticking with the plan.”
None of this matters much, to be sure, except as an unexpected reminder of the massive and relentless add-ons and distractions of modern-day ball. The Kiss Camera, the racing mascots, the T-shirt cannonades, the God Bless, the deafening rock, the home-team anthem, the infield sweepers’ dance, the well-plaqued Hall of Heroes, the retired numbers, the gymnasium-sized souvenir shops, the Texas steak restaurant in right (with its roped-off waiting areas thoughtfully supplied with overhead screens), the pizzeria in left, the bleacher kiddie pool, and so on. Fans love this and eat it up, but today’s silent anomaly in Baltimore is a mirror reminder that what’s been taken away from the pastime isn’t the crowd but the game: what we came for and what we partake of now in passing fractions, often seen in a held-up smartphone.
The decline of African-American players in Major League Baseball has been a hot-button topic for a few years.
In 2014, just 8.3 percent of big league players were African-American.
Comedian Chris Rock took on this matter in a hilarious, yet poignant seven-minute monologue for the latest edition of HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.”
Rock managed to explain his concerns while also dropping gems like this:
“Baseball isn’t 20 percent black anymore. It’s eight percent and falling fast. That’s an average of two guys per team and those two probably listen to Blake Shelton to keep from getting their ass kicked by their teammates.”
The Pirates-Cubs game Monday night was delayed in the top of the second inning for 23 minutes after a fan walking behind the home plate netting was struck by a foul tip off the bat of Starlin Castro. This one is very rough to watch and, fingers crossed, the fan is okay. The ball did not go through the netting, per reports. ...
UPDATE: The Pirates updated the fan’s status and said she was conscious and thanking the caregivers when taken to the hospital:
Over at SI Richard Dietsch has a piece in which he asked several broadcasters and media members about changes they’d make to sports broadcasts and reporting. Fox’s lead play-by-play guy said this:
Specifically to baseball, I would make players more accessible. There is no way networks can be able to talk to NASCAR drivers before they stuff themselves into the driver’s seat of a race car to go over 200 miles per hour while we are all forbidden to talk to the starting pitcher of that night’s game. Old rules die. Someone is “in the well” before they climb on deck? They can be asked what they are trying to do in their next at bat. Cameras in the batting cage during a game would then let us see how a DH is getting ready for a big at bat. Bringing fans into the experience is paramount.
Apparenty, the Wilpons don’t want to be late on the next round of bank payments.
“Secondary considerations” was how Mets GM Sandy Alderson last month characterized the team’s decision to have Matt Harvey start the third game of this season at Washington, and subsequently, the second home game at Citi Field, instead of Opening Day at either stadium.
Well, that second home game was Tuesday night. And Harvey didn’t disappoint, allowing three earned runs on five hits in six innings while striking out eight.
Did the much discussed and speculated reasoning—selling more tickets for the second game when a home-opening sellout already was expected—pan out?
The Mets drew 39,849 fans on Tuesday night for a 6-5 win against the Phillies. That 9.3 percent drop from Game 1 to Game 2 is much less compared with recent years.