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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Everlasting Bond Between Baseball Fans and Broadcasters

Some time between a fly ball whizzing over my head and another trudge back to the bench after striking out, I knew I wouldn’t grow up to be a Major League Baseball player.

That was OK. After all, other aspects of the game intrigued me more. Maybe I’d be an umpire. Managing seemed like a good gig, too. But growing up in the Bay Area, I could never shake the wonder of what it would be like to be Kruk & Kuip.

The San Francisco Giants television broadcasters, Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow are not mentioned individually. They’re a package deal. And for more than 25 years the duo has exemplified the unmatched bond baseball fans can have with their team’s announcers. I’ll unapologetically romanticize this relationship because it’s my favorite part about the sport.

Local broadcasters become extended family, their voices filling living rooms and kitchens, cars and garages, ear buds and ballparks for months on end. They bridge the perspective gap between fans and whatever fans think it’s like to be a player. Your team’s broadcaster feels like someone who is in the trenches with you, the fan, through the epic walk-offs and sluggish blowouts. Better said: They’re one of us. Perhaps the best part about local broadcasters is that they, like baseball from April to October, are always there. Death, taxes and Kuiper belting OUTTA HERE, as the saying goes.

Some thoughts on announcers, and what they mean to our understanding of the game.

 

QLE Posted: November 27, 2019 at 10:06 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasters, fans

Friday, November 08, 2019

Nats World Series Win Affirmed Their Once-Questioned Existence in D.C.

From our own(?) Chris Needham:

D.C. baseball fans are told that their baseball history is actually Montreal’s. Hipster baseball fans who’ve never set foot in Quebec and can’t name any Expos other than Tim Raines and Pedro Martinez push for a version of history that prefers a corporate lineage to the over 100 years of baseball history in Washington: of Walter Johnson and Goose Goslin; of Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard.

Bote Man Posted: November 08, 2019 at 08:20 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, nationals, world series

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

MLB bans two women after they flashed Gerrit Cole at World Series

Major League Baseball has banned two women from games indefinitely after they flashed Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole during Game 5 of the World Series. Julia Rose and Lauren Summer performed the act during the seventh inning of the contest. It was captured on camera.

MLB must have quickly reviewed that footage, because Summer received a letter from the league Sunday night. USA Today was able to confirm MLB sent the letter.

Rose and Summer were banned for “violating the fan code,” according to the note.

The two women claim they flashed Cole “for breast cancer.” They also did it in order to promote their business, a digital magazine called Shagmag.

QLE Posted: October 29, 2019 at 12:02 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: banishment, cancer, fans, gerrit cole

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Astros fan pelted with beer at Yankee Stadium gets free tickets, celebrity treatment at World Series

HOUSTON — Cruz Arcia Jr. took a sip of his beer and was mid-sentence when another Astros fan came his way.

He looked at Arcia like many people already had before Game 1 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park.

“Are you the guy?” he asked Arcia.

He was the guy — the guy who got pelted with beer and food at Yankee Stadium in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, the guy who police had to escort out of his seats, the guy who then taunted the Yankees fans with a 3-1 hand gesture, the guy who immediately became a Houston legend in that moment.

 

 

QLE Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, world series

Friday, October 18, 2019

Report: Yankees fans taunted Zack Greinke about his mother, battles with anxiety and depression

This postseason hasn’t been the best look for the Yankees or their fans. Astros outfielder Josh Reddick was upset after Yankees fans hurled bottles and souvenir baseballs onto the field following a replay review that didn’t go in the Yankees’ favor. Astros skipper A.J. Hinch warned that if that behavior was repeated, he would pull his players from the field until order is restored. The Yankees even had to remind fans, via a message and a video featuring manger Aaron Boone, not to throw objects on the field.

Despite the warnings, Yankees fans continued to act crudely. NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty reports that at least one Yankees fan was ejected from the stadium on Thursday night as fans hurled insults towards Game 4 starter Zack Greinke while he warmed up in the bullpen. Fans, Kuty notes, insulted Greinke’s mother was well as his well-publicized battles with social anxiety and depression. The behavior was not limited to those at the stadium as Yankees fans on Twitter were also encouraging others to use Greinke’s mental illness against him.

You don’t think it’s the baseball gods responding to this that caused the Yankees to lose tonight, do you?

 

QLE Posted: October 18, 2019 at 12:32 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: anxiety, fans, zack greinke

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Giancarlo Stanton did nothing to deserve being booed by Yankees fans

I pitched this column to my editor (literally, the exact verbiage has been copy-and-pasted here because all communication is typed out in the modern newsroom) by saying, “Is ‘don’t boo your own players’ too obvious?”

It’s not, apparently. As evidenced by the fact that I’m writing this, you’re reading it, and Giancarlo Stanton was met with a smattering of boos at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

Stanton, who missed all but 18 games in the regular season due to injuries ranging from his biceps to his knee, strained his right quad in the first game of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros. He stayed in the game, homered, and then was out of the starting lineup for Game 2. New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that Stanton would stay on the roster for the ALCS and that they hoped he’d be back imminently.

After a day off, the team came home on Tuesday and the 2017 NL MVP was out of the lineup again. The initial prognosis had been overly optimistic. The Yankees, who had won 103 games despite months at a time with key players like Stanton on the IL, would try to win one more without him. I have to assume he was at least as disappointed about this fact as the people who booed him during the pregame introductions.

You know, I don’t mind Yankees fans suddenly turning into Phillies fans- if this means that the Yankees henceforth will have the record that the Phillies traditionally have had…..

 

QLE Posted: October 17, 2019 at 12:22 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, giancarlo stanton, yankee stadium

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Reddick: Yankees fans ‘disrespectful’ for throwing debris

NEW YORK (AP) — Houston Astros right fielder Josh Reddick called out Yankees fans for tossing water bottles, baseballs and other objects on the field during New York’s 4-1 loss in the AL Championship Series on Tuesday night.

“You throw a baseball hard enough and hit somebody in the head when they’re not looking, it could do some damage to the player, so it’s definitely disrespectful and at the same time very unsafe,” Reddick said.

Fans erupted after a replay review changed Edwin Encarnación’s infield hit leading off the eighth to a groundout. Houston went on to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Ducky Medwick has known worse….

 

QLE Posted: October 16, 2019 at 12:57 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, josh reddick, projectiles, yankees

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Why Carlos Correa’s walk-off homer was even more special for a Houston teen battling cancer

Carlos Correa’s walk-off homer in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series meant the Houston Astros’ World Series dreams were still in good shape. It meant fans in Houston had every reason to go nuts Sunday night. And it meant something even more special to a 16-year-old fan battling cancer.

Last week, Correa and his fiancée Daniella Rodriguez visited Jalen Garcia in a Houston hospital. He’s from nearby Laredo and batting osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. Rodriguez is also from Laredo and went to the same high school Jalen does.

Before he left, Correa told Jalen: “The next home run that I hit is going to be for you. When you see me pointing up, I want you to know that I’m pointing at you.”

For those of us who like the appeal of Johnny Sylvester stories.

 

QLE Posted: October 15, 2019 at 12:10 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos correa, fans

Friday, October 11, 2019

Angry Dodgers fans run over Clayton Kershaw jersey after NLDS loss

Los Angeles Dodgers fans did not handle their shocking National League Division Series loss well. Following the game, some fans thought it would be appropriate to run over a Clayton Kershaw jersey in the parking lot.

The moment was captured on video by LZ Granderson of the Los Angeles Times, who decided to run over the jersey.

Kershaw was one of many Dodgers scapegoats from Wednesday’s game. The 31-year-old Kershaw came on in relief with the Dodgers up 3-1 late in the game and gave up back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning that tied the game. The Dodgers went on to lose 7-3 in the 10th inning.

Kershaw wasn’t the only person responsible for the loss. Reliever Joe Kelly gave up a grand slam to Howie Kendrick in the 10th that gave the Washington Nationals the win. Manager Dave Roberts was responsible for leaving both Kershaw and Kelly in the game.

This sort of thing feels like something that will backfire on the fandom sooner or later, doesn’t it?

 

 

QLE Posted: October 11, 2019 at 12:19 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, fans, jerseys

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

There was one heck of a brawl in the stands in Cleveland on Saturday

This past weekend the Indians dropped two of three to the Twins in a series they had to have. They still have a couple of weeks to make up the four and a half games by which they trail Minnesota — and they still have a shot at passing either the Rays and/or the A’s and snagging the Wild Card — but they have an uphill climb compared to their competitors.

Perhaps that stressful state of affairs explains what happened in the stands during the second game of Saturday night’s doubleheader. Perhaps that is why the gentlemen in question engaged in fisticuffs, with one man literally dropping the damn People’s Elbow from one row down onto his opponent in the row below. Perhaps that is why the same man, moments later, made the ill-advised decision to continue to engage his larger and apparently more physically formidable adversary rather than remove himself from the situation despite having ceded the high ground.

Just be glad they weren’t offering ten-cent beer again…..

 

QLE Posted: September 17, 2019 at 12:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brawls, cleveland, fans

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Baseball Brit’s Cross-Country Trek Is No Walk in the Park

Joey Mellows, a 34-year-old from England, set out six months ago with a straightforward but daunting goal: to traverse the United States from spring until fall, watching 162 baseball games along the way.

Mellows, who has chronicled his travels on Twitter under the handle @Baseball_Brit, quit his job as a teacher in South Korea, spent a few days back home in England and flew to Tokyo for the season-opening series between the Mariners and A’s. He followed the clubs across the Pacific to Seattle and started his North American journey there. He’s been on the road ever since.

The son of a former professional soccer player, Mellows was introduced to baseball when he went to a game in Japan with his parents. The experience inspired him to start following the local team while he taught in Korea. Five years later, he decided to quit his job and spend all the money he had saved (thanks to the Korean school providing room and board for its teachers) and embark on a trip most baseball fans can only dream of.

We spoke with Mellows as his trip winds down to get his impressions of the game, the country and life on the road.

A firsthand account of an adventure- as one with a similar sense of wanderlust (but, sadly, almost never the money for it), I find this fascinating.

 

QLE Posted: September 12, 2019 at 04:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, living the dream, travel

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Sean Rodríguez calls Phillies fans ‘entitled’

Phillies utilityman Sean Rodríguez wasn’t performing so well for the Phillies entering Monday night’s series opener at home against the Pirates. He had a meager .659 OPS for the season and was 1-for-19 in August. However, he played the hero, belting a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 11th inning.

While it was a feel-good moment for Rodríguez, he couldn’t let go of the criticism he and slumping first baseman Rhys Hoskins in particular were hearing from Phillies fans. Many wondered why the team was letting him occupy a roster spot. Hoskins, batting just .164 with a .336 slugging percentage since the All-Star break, was regularly getting booed, especially after popping up with the bases loaded in the ninth inning.

For his own struggles, Rodríguez explained that players like him tend to face the opposing team’s best relievers, and said it’s tough to stay sharp with limited at-bats. He said, via Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, “I’m just defending that position, not me as a player, per se. I think that’s the misconception a lot of people make. ‘Well, you can’t struggle. You can’t go that bad.’ Every hitter does it. The only difference is when someone is playing every day, there’s a chance that they’re going to sneak a hit here and there.”

Regarding the fans, Rodríguez said, “Who’s looking bad and feeling entitled when you hear stuff like that? I’m not the one booing. I’m not the one screaming. I’m not the one saying pretty disgusting things at times. That seems pretty entitled. You’re just making yourself look pretty bad as an individual, as a person, as a fan. That’s tough.” He added, “There’s still a lot of good fans, though. Those are the ones I hear and pay attention to. The few that might be behind home plate and say, ‘Hey Sean, keep doing your thing. Don’t worry about it. Things will come around.’”

“Entitled” isn’t the word to use involving Philadelphia sports fans- “Psychotic”, on the other hand….

QLE Posted: August 28, 2019 at 04:16 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, phillies, sean rodriguez

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

 

 

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