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Monday, August 12, 2019

A look at fan rage from 1994 MLB strike, and those who never really came back

I don’t remember the year that there was no World Series. At age 4, I was old enough to profess that I loved baseball but young enough to not actually notice when it went away. I probably didn’t know what the postseason was and you couldn’t have explained labor strife to me if you tried.

The whole thing entered my consciousness as a fully contextualized historical anecdote sometime later. In retrospect, the story is complex. On the 25th anniversary, we look back at it with renewed resonance and wary relevance. None of which can quite capture what it feels like for there to suddenly be no baseball where baseball had just been, where you expect it to be. Even if the looming work stoppage that threatens from beyond the end of the current collective-bargaining agreement comes to pass, the experience of living through it sentiently will probably be dominated by the particularities — we’re likely looking at a preseason lockout if anything — and my professional responsibility to follow along with all the prognostication.

The 1994 Major League Baseball strike was about a bunch of things — like a salary cap and a strong union, Bud Selig and rising television revenue. Its impact on those factors, on the factions within the game that have continued to jockey with one another for power and money, is the strike’s legacy.

It was never about the fans, but still I want to understand what it felt like for those who served as leverage in that fight — because in some cases, the impact was long-lasting for them, too. How they felt, it seems, was angry.

Another perspective on the 1994-1995 strike, to go with the recent article concerning the last day of the season.

QLE Posted: August 12, 2019 at 08:18 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: 1994 strike, fans

Friday, August 02, 2019

A pitcher’s dazzling show at a stadium speed pitch challenge earned him a deal with the A’s

Never give up on your dreams. Yes, I know that’s a cliche, a trope, something we’ve all heard forever. But it’s true.

Two weeks ago, a pair of brothers tried their luck at the speed pitch challenge at Coors Field, as part of a night out at a Rockies game. One of them, Nathan Patterson, lit up the radar gun with some eye-popping fastballs:

This feat of arm strength came a few months after Patterson turned heads on social media with another showcase of his pitching repertoire ... while his left arm was in a cast.

This is all, uh, rather impressive. 94+ mph? On a fan speed pitch radar booth? That’s what we all think we can do, only to feel the crushing disappointment when the gun flashes up a number we’d rather not tell our friends about.

But this story gets better than that.

Here’s 23-year-old Nathan Patterson, he of the golden arm seen above, signing a contract with the A’s. Yes, really.

John DiFool2 Posted: August 02, 2019 at 07:40 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: fans

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Giants fans pull off epic McCovey Cove hangout with inflatable swan

There was a stunning performance on Wednesday during the Cubs-Giants game at Oracle Park, and it wasn’t necessarily by someone on the field.

This was a portrayal of Swan Lake. Well, sorta ...

A group of enthusiastic Giants fans took to McCovey Cove with an inflatable, royal swan:

SWAN!!!!

 

QLE Posted: July 25, 2019 at 05:01 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: china basin, fans, mccovey cove, swan

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Give foul balls to kids, you monsters

If you weren’t on the internet over the holiday weekend — and you shouldn’t have been, it was a freaking holiday weekend — you probably missed the latest in a string of ugly ballpark incidents that are staining the fine name of baseball.

Yep, another grownup stole a foul ball from a kid.

In this case, the event was an Ohio State-Minnesota game at the Big Ten championships, and the adult and the kid were both headed the same empty row to chase the ball. The adult got there first, and snapped up the ball like a pelican spearing a fish. Here’s the video

The things people do for souvenirs….

QLE Posted: May 29, 2019 at 05:35 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, foul balls, greed

Friday, May 17, 2019

Fan runs onto field in Atlanta and gets destroyed

This has turned into a lively little discussion on Twitter, so let’s share it here. Bonus: it involves one of what I am well aware is one of my more unpopular opinions, so it gives a good many of you a chance to yell at me about it. Yell all ya want.

Last night, at the Cardinals-Braves game in Atlanta a fan who, I’m gonna guess anyway, was either over-served or under-brained, decided to run out onto the field like a moron. It happens.

As also happens, especially these days, he was utterly creamed by the SunTrust Park security team. Watch as he’s slammed into the wall and then dog-piled. Bonus: I am about 85% sure that the guard who did the slamming is the one who fell down just before, which shows that he has some serious recovery skills and closing speed:

Not gonna lie: there’s humor in this sort of thing, at least assuming the fan rushing onto the field has no more than mischief on his mind and assuming everyone is OK in the end, which seems to be the case here.

A consideration of folk who invade the field, and the levels of force used against them.

QLE Posted: May 17, 2019 at 03:49 AM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, fans, pitch invasions

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Bruce Willis did not live up to his die-hard fans’ expectations in his Phillies first pitch

The Phillies had quite the guest star on the field with them at Citizens Bank Park prior to their Wednesday night game against the Brewers: Bruce Willis. The movie star spent a lot of time growing up in southern New Jersey in the shadow of Philadelphia, so it was familiar territory.

Willis got to meet with some of the Phillies and Brewers ...

... and even take some batting practice.

You know, it isn’t often that Phillies fans boo someone who feels like he very much deserves it….

 

QLE Posted: May 16, 2019 at 03:28 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, first pitch, phillies

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Angels’ Mike Trout goes deep after young fan requests a homer

On a rainy Friday night in Baltimore, the Orioles and Angels opened a three-game series at Camden Yards. The Halos hammered Dan Straily (LAA 8, BAL 3) and won for the seventh time in their last 10 games.

If the Angels scored eight runs, there’s a pretty good chance Mike Trout had something to do with it, and sure enough he clocked a two-run home run in the third inning Friday night. He also doubled in a run in the fifth. Here’s the home run, which was very nearly robbed by O’s center fielder Stevie Wilkerson

...

Trout’s home run Friday was not an ordinary home run. It was a request home run. As David Ginsburg of the Associated Press writes, Trout met a young fan before the game who requested he go deep.

Feels like the sort of thing that would have made a legend decades ago, doesn’t it?

QLE Posted: May 11, 2019 at 04:28 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, mike trout

Friday, May 10, 2019

Cubs 2B Russell on boos at Wrigley: ‘That’s on them’

Chicago Cubs second baseman Addison Russell returned from a 40-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic-violence policy on Wednesday and heard a chorus of boos from the home crowd at Wrigley Field.

“I’m a baseball player for the Chicago Cubs,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I’m one of the dudes in this clubhouse. I’m one of the guys who goes out there and puts his (body) on the line. We do it because we love it. We want to win, and we want to bring another championship to Chicago. And if hometown fans want to boo someone that’s trying to help bring the team a World Series again, then that’s on them.”


Saturday, May 04, 2019

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler has no issue with fans booing Bryce Harper

Philadelphia sports fans are certainly no strangers to booing, as they’re passionate about their teams, during both wins and losses.

Sometimes it translates to to cheering, but other times it translates to boos. Eagles fans even once booed Santa Claus.

And even with all that, it’s been a bit surprising to see fans booing $330 million man Bryce Harper. He will, after all, be playing for the team for the next 13 seasons.

Alternatively, one could argue that that would encourage the fans to boo all the more….

 

QLE Posted: May 04, 2019 at 04:17 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, fans, gabe kapler, philadephia

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Slumping Bryce Harper hears boos as Phillies end April with 4 hits and a loss

Bryce Harper almost made it through the month of April without getting booed.

Almost.

Harper heard the salty sounds of disappointment as he walked back to the dugout after striking out in the bottom of the eighth inning in the Phillies’ 3-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night.

The strikeout, Harper’s second of the night, capped a tough inning for the Phillies’ $330-million man. He dropped a ball in right field in the top half of the frame.

Given certain aspects of Harper’s character combined with certain aspects of his play over his career, how long before he winds up deeply regretting signing a long-term contract with Philadelphia?

 

QLE Posted: May 01, 2019 at 05:48 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, fans, phillies

Friday, April 26, 2019

Twins backup Astudillo’s cult hero status keeps growing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The most popular player on the Minnesota Twins is the third-string catcher and play-him-almost-anywhere everyman Willians Astudillo, whose all-in, all-out style has endeared him to players and fans alike since he made his major league debut last season.

Astudillo’s cult hero status will hit a new high on Friday, when the Twins take on the Orioles. The event is called “An Evening With La Tortuga at Target Field ,” with T-shirts bearing Astudillo’s nickname — meaning the turtle, in Spanish — distributed to fans who pre-purchased a special ticket package. All 3,000 seats designated for the promotion sold out.

“You know, I’m grateful for it. It’s very satisfying to know the fans welcome me here. I just keep playing hard,” Astudillo said recently through team interpreter Elvis Martinez. “It makes me proud, the popularity, but it’s something that I wasn’t expecting. But it’s happening, so I welcome it.”

There’s something to be said about random cult heroes still existing in Major League Baseball, especially given current issues involving player recognition.

 

QLE Posted: April 26, 2019 at 05:57 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, heroes, willians astudillo

Angry Mets fan threatens family, drops his pants

There are some Philly fans out there who claim that the national media has it in for Philly sports fans. They say we unfairly stereotype Philly fans because of a couple of historical outlier situations that misrepresent an entire city and a fan base. They say we only highlight crazy and/or illegal and/or violent and/or obnoxious fan behavior when it happens in Philly and ignore it elsewhere.

That’s not true! We’re committed to highlighting crazy and/or illegal and/or violent and/or obnoxious fan behavior wherever it occurs! That is our promise to you.

For example, this happened during the Mets game at Citi Field on Tuesday night. Via the Daily News:

An unruly fan at Citi Field ruined a night out at the ballpark for a young family when he threatened the father and then exposed himself in front of the man’s kids, police said Thursday . . . “I will f–k up your entire family!” he allegedly yelled, then dropped his pants, exposing his genitals.

A joy of living in a city with a minor-league baseball team: no one gets invested enough to feel like they could get away with this nonsense.

 

QLE Posted: April 26, 2019 at 05:46 AM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, mets

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Bill James says MLB can improve fan safety by punishing bat tosses, broken bats

Noted baseball historian, sabermetrics creator and Boston Red Sox consultant Bill James has an idea to improve fan safety, and it includes punishing batters for throwing and breaking their bats.

In a tweet sent Friday afternoon, James says bat tosses and broken bats can put fans and players at risk, and in most cases should lead to the batter being ruled out.

That’s… interesting.

While James doesn’t specifically mention celebratory bat flips in his original tweet or his responses to baffled fans, one has to wonder if he might includes those under guidelines.

After this statement, Bill James went outside, where he yelled at several passing clouds…..

 

QLE Posted: April 06, 2019 at 07:59 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: bat flips, bill james, fans, safety

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Diamondbacks’ Adam Jones has Petco Park fan ejected for vulgar language

SAN DIEGO — Diamondbacks right fielder Adam Jones said a fan in right field at Petco Park was berating him with profane language on Wednesday, and he spoke with ballpark security to have the fan removed from the game.

Jones has had past incidents with fans spewing racial insults – notably at Fenway Park in 2017 – but he said this did not rise to that level.

“These fans in sports, man, they’re starting to get a little more brazen,” Jones said. “I’ve said it many times, and obviously I’ve had altercations with fans. My biggest thing is, keep the banter polite – we suck, I struck out, the team’s not good. Keep it light, keep it smart. There’s kids in the stadium. But the second you start cussing me out like I’m a little kid, that’s a no-no.

We know the real crisis has begun when the fans start making up new lyrics to “Tessie” again.

 

QLE Posted: April 04, 2019 at 05:12 AM | 80 comment(s)
  Beats: adam jones, diamondbacks, ejection, fans, petco park

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Braves rookie calls fan in hospice care to let him know he made the team (video)

Big things are expected from Atlanta Braves rookie Kyle Wright. After being drafted in the first round of the 2017 Major League Baseball draft, the 23-year-old Wright quickly rose through the minors to make his major league debut last season.

Despite that, his inclusion on the team’s opening day roster in 2019 was no guarantee. With the Braves relying on a bevy of young pitchers, Wright had to earn his spot in the rotation.

He did just that, and upon hearing the news, Wright decided to let one of his biggest fans know he was going to take the mound for “Sunday Night Baseball.”

 

QLE Posted: March 31, 2019 at 04:51 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, fans, kyle wright

Friday, March 29, 2019

Bryce Harper gets first taste of Philly passion in the form of boos after quiet debut

PHILADELPHIA — In the fourth inning of his first regular season game as a Philadelphia Phillie, Bryce Harper came up to bat with Jean Segura, another offseason acquisition, on third base. Segura was 90 feet away from giving 44,469 fans something to cheer about. Then Harper struck out, the stadium groaned, and down on the concourse, along the third base line, someone said “Geeze, it’s just the same old Bryce.”

You can dress him up in red pinstripes, but the guy who slashed .249/.393/.496 in 2018 will have to do a little better to deliver on the frenzied expectations of a city practically planning a parade route already despite six straight sub-.500 seasons.

PECOTA has the Philadelphia Phillies just barely winning the NL East with 89 wins this season. The morning of opening day, a butcher at the Reading Terminal Market said they were the “best team in baseball.”

Given that Harper seems to have skin so thin it’s transparent, it’s going to be interesting to see how his relations with the fans go…..

 

QLE Posted: March 29, 2019 at 08:52 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, fans, phillies

Monday, March 25, 2019

Phillies fans are planning a takeover of Nationals Park for Bryce Harper’s return

Washington, this is your warning. On April 2, the fans of the Philadelphia Phillies are planning a takeover.

While Citizens Bank Park is going to be packed with Phillies fans all season, busloads of Phillies fans are taking the trip down I-95 to Nationals Park for the first road game of the season. That is, according to a report from the Washington Post.

Joe DiBiaggio, founder of Phans of Philly, which organizes trips and tailgates for Philadelphia sports fans, took a chance even before Bryce Harper signed and purchased a block of 500 tickets for the April 2 game in Washington, Harper’s return to the city he spent his first seven seasons. The tickets will likely be sold out.

Site members who live in and around the District- I would recommend being as far away as possible on that day, ideally in a location in the Central Time Zone or further west.

 

QLE Posted: March 25, 2019 at 10:26 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, fans, nationals, phillies

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Phillies fans threaten Trent Thornton on Twitter after he hits Bryce Harper with pitch

Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Trent Thornton is the newly crowned least popular man in Philadelphia after he plunked Bryce Harper in the ankle with a 96 mph heater in Friday’s spring training game.

The pitch was seemingly not intentional, and Harper is only day-to-day after undergoing X-rays, but that hasn’t stopped bringing the worst out of Philadelphia Phillies fans.

From a video of a fan confusing Javy Guerra for Thornton and calling him a coward as he walked toward the team bus to fans threatening Thornton on Twitter, it was not the best day for the many good fans of Philadelphia.

The sporting fans of Philadelphia get angry when people comment on their general reputation- then they act like this….

 

 

QLE Posted: March 17, 2019 at 07:23 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, fans, phillies, trent thornton, twitter

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

2019 Baltimore Orioles Season Preview: Little hope for fans or fantasy players

Let’s just be real from the jump here. If you’re a Baltimore sports fan, you’re better off spending the next few months daydreaming of Lamar Jackson and the Ravens than concerning yourself too much with the Baltimore Orioles.

Baseball in Baltimore last season was bad. Real bad. We’re talking 115-loss, worst-record-in-the-league bad. And there’s not too much reason to believe 2019 will be much better.

This year’s Orioles are playing a full season without Manny Machado instead of half of one. They’ve got a new manager and a new GM, but many of the same problems: Not enough starting pitching, not enough production from Chris Davis and no real hope coming up from the farm system.

Don’t hold back- tell us how you really feel!

QLE Posted: February 26, 2019 at 05:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, fantasy sports, hopeless, orioles

 

 

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