Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher

Syndicate

Fans Newsbeat

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The part of fan-free baseball nobody is talking about

Welcome to a very subtle alteration that would seem to be coming in the new world of fan-free big league baseball. (Note: There still may be some teams who host fans at some point during the 2020 season, but the vast majority of clubs will be playing front of empty ballparks to begin with.)

“I think stolen bases in Major League Baseball will be down because guys can hear,” the pitcher explained.

“When I was playing Little League or Pony Ball and it’s just your parents in the stands, literally the first baseman was like, ‘Hey, he’s about to steal.’ And you step off. But in the big leagues you have to be screaming it and the first baseman is the one looking like an idiot yelling, ‘His lead is big! His lead is big!’ Now it’s going to be like, ‘It’s big. It’s bigger. Are you going step off?’ It will be great. Growing up, communication in baseball …You don’t think people communicate. You watch a soccer game and you don’t know anything. Now you watch a soccer game without fans and you can hear guys talking. ‘One on you!’ ‘Left, left, left.’ Like pickup basketball. … You can’t hear in the NBA when music is playing and crowds are going. Now that part of the game is going to be so much smoother, so much easier. Communication in baseball is actually going to matter. Before it didn’t matter. It was more hand gestures and stuff. Now you can talk.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2020 at 02:04 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: fans

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Empty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird

So, with the very likely possibility that baseball and basketball — at minimum — will be played to empty stadiums, it begs the question: Will it be as fun?

And before you answer, think about it for a second. No crowd noise. No intensity that builds for the home team or against the away team. Yes, the scoreboard will tell the tale, but the pressure is cranked up when you have a building full of crazy fans screaming their lungs out.

Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 28, 2020 at 10:17 AM | 6471 comment(s)
  Beats: business, fans, stadiums

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Pirates fans really aren’t happy with owner Bob Nutting

The Pirates finished 69-93 last year, capping off another disappointing season. It marked their third sub-.500 season in four years and their third consecutive season finishing fourth or worse in the NL Central. Things were once bright in Pittsburgh as the Pirates reached the playoffs in 2013, but were nudged out of the NLDS by the Cardinals in five games. They reached the NL Wild Card game in the ensuing two years but lost both times. They haven’t come close since.

After the 2019 season, the Pirates went on to fire team president Frank Coonelly, GM Neal Huntington, manager Clint Hurdle, and pitching coach Ray Searage. They would go on to be replaced, respectively, by Travis Williams, Ben Cherington, Derek Shelton, and Oscar Marin. The Pirates were attempting to start a new chapter for the 2020 season.

The Atheltic’s Stephen J. Nesbitt polled 1,117 Pirates fans about a wide range of topics, including their enthusiasm for the 2020 season (if and when it begins) and their approval of the job owner Bob Nutting has done with the team. Most of the prompts called respondents to assign a numerical value to the question. For example, for the question, “What is your excitement level for the Pirates in 2020?” fans responded with a 1 for “I don’t care” all the way up to a 5 for “I’m extremely excited.” 22.7 percent of respondents put down a 1 and another 32.5 percent felt they were a 2. Together, ones and twos accounted for over half of the respondents.

Mind you, it’s not like we can blame them in the slightest…...

 

QLE Posted: April 16, 2020 at 02:24 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: bob nutting, fans, pirates

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Baseball Question of the Day: Have you ever permanently changed your rooting interests?

Oscar Wilde once wrote, on the subject of loyalty, “My dear boy, the people who only love once in their lives are really the shallow people. What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity, I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination.”

He was talking about young love, but I think the concept applies to broader conceptions of loyalty. A concept that, while noble and respectable, is often mistakenly considered irrevocable. There’s this notion out there that loyalty must be blind and never-ending. Which, frankly, is bullcrap.

Loyalty is earned — or at least it should be — and loyalty that is taken for granted or even abused is misguided in the extreme. When the facts and circumstances which gave rise to that loyalty change, it’s entirely reasonable to question the very basis for that loyalty.

I won’t get into matters of love, but I will apply it to sports.

I’ve been following the same team for over a quarter of a century now, and my loyalties are pretty set- how are they for the rest of you?

 

QLE Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:08 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, loyalty, questions

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

When the Game Cannot Go On

It’s becoming clear that leaving your jacket behind was a mistake.

The sun has been giving this mid-March day a Fourth of July tint all afternoon, and you’ve been waiting all winter to brave the outdoors free from layers. That sun was still out when you got to the ballpark just before 5 pm, and the air felt mild, so you left your jacket in the car. You should have known better. The high school baseball game you’re watching probably wasn’t going to end until 7:30, when the sun was nearly gone — along with whatever lies it promised you about warmth.

Now, that 7:30 final out is beginning to feel wildly optimistic. One of the starting pitchers had trouble throwing strikes in the first inning, needing 33 pitches to get through it, according to your count. The second inning is shaping up to be even worse. The same pitcher hit the first batter, and has walked three more to force home a run.

Really, it isn’t his fault. He isn’t going to pitch in the majors, or even in college. He isn’t a baseball player at all, really. He’s just playing the part, like so many other kids you’ve seen, happy for any chance to be outside with his friends.

 

 

QLE Posted: April 01, 2020 at 01:31 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, high school baseball

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Coronavirus could prevent Hanshin Tigers from breaking the Curse of the Colonel

The coronavirus pandemic has had all sorts of unfortunate effects on the world of sports, both in America and around the world. Just as Major League Baseball is on indefinite hold, so too is Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. Commissioner Atsushi Saito has said that he hopes to pick things up sometime in April, but it’s unclear whether or not that’ll happen. Calls to postpone July’s Tokyo Olympics have already begun.

That’s bad news for everyone involved in NPB, including the Hanshin Tigers. The Tigers haven’t won a title since 1985, and some attribute it to a curse involving not Babe Ruth, but Kentucky Fried Chicken. No baseball in 2020 would mean Hanshin won’t get a chance to break the Curse of the Colonel.

The finger-lickin’ curse was placed on the team following their triumph in the 1985 Japan Series over the Seibu Lions. Revelers took to the streets of Osaka in celebration of their favorite team’s first championship, and many of them gathered on Ebisu Bridge for a familiar ritual.

Japanese baseball fans are like soccer fans. They don’t stoically sit in the grandstand and only make noise when prompted to by organ players or jumbotrons. They have chants and songs for all sorts of occasions and for every player, with brass instrumental accompaniments. Japanese baseball, you see, actually encourages fun.

The story of a curse- goofy, yes, but we’ve all seen goofier…..

QLE Posted: March 22, 2020 at 12:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: curse of the colonel, fans, hanshin tigers, japanese baseball

Friday, March 20, 2020

Mets player Pete Alonso surprises terminal cancer patient with video call

NEW YORK (WABC)—Pete Alonso of the New York Mets made a video call to an 82-year-old lifelong fan recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.

New Mets skipper Luis Rojas also called to send some happy thoughts to Kathleen Selig.

Selig was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer.

 

QLE Posted: March 20, 2020 at 12:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cancer, fans, luis rojas, pete alonso

Friday, March 06, 2020

Longtime Giant Pablo Sandoval still feeling fans’ love

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Pablo Sandoval endeared himself to San Francisco fans while helping the Giants win World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

He continues to give to the team.

Sandoval, who at 33 is heading into his 13th major league season, still seems very much like the 22-year-old kid who debuted with the Giants in 2008. His smile is omnipresent, he pops in on interviews teammates are doing in the clubhouse and, out of nowhere during Thursday’s pregame workout, embraced manager Gabe Kapler. Just because.

But energy and experience isn’t all the man lovingly called the Kung Fu Panda since his rookie year provides the Giants. He has embraced the role of mentor to the many young Giants who are part of the team’s rebuilding process.

A sign of the natural aging process at work: baseball players younger than you being described as mentors and elder statesmen.

 

QLE Posted: March 06, 2020 at 01:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, pablo sandoval

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Johnny Antonelli and Me

Johnny Antonelli, a star pitcher for the New York Giants in the 1950s and my boyhood hero, died at age 89 on Friday.

Some people who get to meet their childhood idols are disappointed to discover they are not very nice people. I was fortunate to meet my boyhood hero and discover he was a warm, gregarious, generous, and humble person.

It happened two summers ago. I was scheduled to give a talk at a symposium at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. A few weeks before my visit to Cooperstown, I wrote a letter to Johnny, who grew up and still lived in Rochester (three hours from Cooperstown), and asked if I could take him lunch. I explained that in 1954 – when I was six years old — my uncle Augie, the day after going to a game at the Polo Grounds, brought me an 8-by 11-inch glossy photo of Johnny in his New York Giants uniform, posing as though he had just completed his follow-through. In the upper right-hand corner, in dark black ink, it said: “To Peter Dreier (a future major leaguer) Your friend, Johnny Antonelli.”

It was my first baseball autograph, and I have treasured it ever since, making sure whenever I moved, it came with me. Sixty-four years later, I still had the photo. The ink had faded, but it was still legible. My wife had the good sense to put it in a frame as a birthday present. I included a copy of that photo in my letter to Johnny, hoping it might entice him to allow me to visit him.

Some thoughts on loyalties, between both people and communities.

 

QLE Posted: March 04, 2020 at 01:38 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, johnny antonelli

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Fans heckling Astros spring opener get signs stolen

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Fans hoping to heckle the sign-stealing Houston Astros at their spring opener were met with quite the coincidence.

They got their signs stolen.

In the Astros’ first spring training game since their sign-stealing scandal rocked baseball, some fans brought signs jeering Houston, and ballpark personnel confiscated them before the exhibition opener against the World Series champion Washington Nationals on Saturday night.

In a Series rematch, the Nats got hearty cheers, while everyone in an Astros jersey — including the mascot, Orbit — was booed. Houston did not use any players implicated in MLB’s probe.

The sort of story for which drum riffs seem to be the only appropriate comment…..

 

QLE Posted: February 23, 2020 at 01:05 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, fans, hecklers, sign-stealing

Friday, January 31, 2020

Late Cubs fan has one last wish: Donate to ‘impoverished’ Ricketts family

Joanne DeVrieze lived to the ripe age of 95, raised five children, enjoyed the company of nine grandkids and was a great-grandmother of 16. She passed away Jan. 19, and the Cubs fan had one final request — aid the pockets of her team’s owners.

“Donations in Joanne’s memory may be directed toward the impoverished Ricketts family of Chicago, Illinois, for purposes of assembling a near-Major League-caliber bullpen,” her obituary reads, “or to be dispersed per family wishes.”

Talk about shots fired from beyond the grave.

Someone after our hearts, it appears.

 

QLE Posted: January 31, 2020 at 12:35 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, fans, obituaries, ricketts

Monday, January 27, 2020

Dodgers’ fan group ready to vent at Astros for sign stealing

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A group of Los Angeles Dodgers fans is making plans to vent its frustration at the Houston Astros about baseball’s sign-stealing scandal.

Houston and the Dodgers don’t play each other during the upcoming regular season, so Pantone 294 is snapping up tickets to the Los Angeles Angels’ home opener against the Astros on April 3 in Anaheim, the Los Angeles Times reported. The group regularly organizes trips to support the Dodgers on the road.

“Spirits are great, man,” utilityman Kike Hernandez said Saturday about the fans. “Positive vibes.”

They aren’t about to become a firm, are they?

 

QLE Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, dirty rotten cheaters, dodgers, fans, pantone 294

Monday, January 20, 2020

Astros superfan ‘Mattress Mack’ loses $2 million betting against Chiefs

It hasn’t been a great year for a certain Houston gambling enthusiast’s bank account.

Houston-area furniture chain owner Jim McIngvale, better known as “Mattress Mack,” lost nearly $12 million last year betting on the Astros to win the World Series, ostensibly as a way to hedge against a refund promotion for his stores. He had done the same thing in 2017, but it obviously worked out much worse last year.

McIngvale kicked off a new year of sports betting by turning his attention to a new sport, according to The Action Network. His bets: $1 million on the Houston Texans to beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC divisional round, then $1 million on the Tennessee Titans to beat those same Chiefs in the AFC championship game.

Yeah, that didn’t work out.

Turns out it’s been a bad last few days for even people only tangentially tied to the Astros…..

 

QLE Posted: January 20, 2020 at 12:29 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, fans, gambling, winners and losers

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Cubs Fans Boo Chairman Tom Ricketts at Team Convention

Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts heard his share of boos at the Cubs Convention on Friday while the team remains quiet in free agency.

Coming off a season in which the Cubs fell short of the playoffs, Chicago has yet to add significant pieces or sign its core players to extensions. Former NL MVP Kris Bryant has been on the trade market throughout the offseason, beloved former manager Joe Maddon is gone and the team is no longer the favorite in the NL Central. There’s uncertainty in Wrigleyville for the first time since the Cubs returned to prominence in 2015, and the Convention’s usually positive atmosphere has soured.

“I’m sorry we don’t have a prize free agent or something sexier to talk about right now,” Ricketts said in an interview with WSCR-AM 670 on Day 2 of the Cubs Convention.

To add to the tension, fans also brought heavy boos when Ricketts mentioned the “Marquee Sports Network,” the Cubs’ new television outlet set to launch in February. With the new season approaching, the network has yet to make a deal with Comcast’s Xfinity—the area’s largest carrier—keeping some fans without a method to watch the team.

On the bright side, at least Tom Ricketts didn’t buy the Phillies…..

 

QLE Posted: January 19, 2020 at 12:36 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fans, tom ricketts

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Brian Dawkins schools Phillies prospects on how to handle boos

A group of Phillies prospects was in town this week for the organization’s annual prospects education seminar.

One of those lessons came from a legend.

Brian Dawkins, the most motivational athlete this city has ever seen, shared with the group his thoughts on playing in Philadelphia and responding to the passionate fan base.

“Playing in Philadelphia is different,” Dawkins said. “If you get on the field, there is a 99.99 percent chance you will be booed. The thing I always knew though was that you may boo me that one time but I’m not gonna make the same mistake again.”

Sometimes, the jokes write themselves…..

 

QLE Posted: January 18, 2020 at 01:21 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: brian dawkins, fans, phillies

 

 

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
JPWF13
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogEmpty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird
(6471 - 7:00am, Jul 04)
Last: PreservedFish

Newsblog31 MLB players, 7 staff test positive for COVID-19, or 1.2%
(5 - 5:24am, Jul 04)
Last: Hank Gillette

NewsblogWith baby on the way, Trout unsure if he'll play
(3 - 5:20am, Jul 04)
Last: Hank Gillette

NewsblogOT – NBA Revival Thread 2020
(460 - 11:55pm, Jul 03)
Last: If on a winter's night a traveling violation

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - Spring 2020
(353 - 11:39pm, Jul 03)
Last: Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert

NewsblogAthletics To Trade Jorge Mateo To Padres
(8 - 11:23pm, Jul 03)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogAubrey Huff Says He Would Rather Die From Coronavirus Than Wear a Mask
(155 - 10:42pm, Jul 03)
Last: Mayor Blomberg

NewsblogBill James: Why We Need Runs Saved Against Zero
(175 - 9:30pm, Jul 03)
Last: TJ

NewsblogMLB teams can't identify players who test positive for coronavirus
(24 - 9:27pm, Jul 03)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

Newsblog'I got crushed': Chicago Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy details harrowing COVID-19 battle
(21 - 8:56pm, Jul 03)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogBillionaire Mike Repole joins A-Rod and J-Lo’s bid for the Mets
(30 - 8:48pm, Jul 03)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogRob Manfred admits MLB never intended to play more than 60 games
(19 - 8:26pm, Jul 03)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogCubs' Jose Quintana hurt washing dishes, has surgery
(22 - 7:41pm, Jul 03)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogTigers sign Spencer Torkelson to record-setting bonus
(30 - 6:43pm, Jul 03)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogTigers are first MLB team with official gaming partner
(8 - 6:10pm, Jul 03)
Last: manchestermets

Page rendered in 1.2693 seconds
114 querie(s) executed