May 2011

The End of Top Players Update?

It’s extremely difficult to keep up with my player updates when I’m as busy as I am right now. I’m thinking about quiting my player updates for good. Reason being (a) I don’t think that many people read them and (b) it’s hard to keep up with everything that goes on.

I’m still going to be bloging, I’m just thinking about not doing a player update every week or two.

If anyone out there REALLY enjoys them, then leave a comment and I might decide to keep it going. But if no one leaves a comment saying they like them, I’m just going to stop them all together.

UPDATE:

No comments= No more favorite players entries

Greensboro Grasshoppers Vs. Hagerstown Suns

My dad, grandpa, and I left for Greensboro, NC at 1:00pm. It’s an hour and a half drive to Greensboro from where I live, and we wanted to be there near the time the gates opened. They were set to open at 3:00 and we wanted to be one of the first inside to see the main attraction. AKA, Bryce Harper.

Bryce Harper is only 18 years old, and was the first round pick by the Nationals. There is a SLIGHT chance that he might be called up to the majors towards the end of the season. But it’s more likely that he’ll have to wait until next season.

I sort of felt bad for the other teamates of Bryce. He was the only person on the Suns that people cared about. Everyone had their cameras packed away until Bryce moved into the on deck circle. They would then whip them out until the end of his at bat. But hey, when you have a person as good at baseball as Bryce is, he’s bound to be the highlight of the game.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First thing after entering the gates we did a little exploring of the ballpark. (Something we always do at a park we’ve never been to before.) It was quite interesting. There was a baseball bat that was about 15 feet tall. An old cannon. And a six dollar hot dog. Oh wait. The expensive hotdogs are at every ballpark. (I didn’t take any pictures of that stuff, so you have to take my word for it.)

We moved down into our seats–Section 110-Row B-Seats 7,8,9–just before the starting lineups were announced. It was actually pretty cool what they did as each player of the Grasshoppers was announced. There was a line of kids in Marlins uniforms (the Grasshoppers are the Marlins Class A affiliate) on the third base side:

When each player was announced, they grabbed a kid (not literally) and took them out with them to wherever their position was. The kids then recieved an autograph from that player. I’ve seen this done before in the Major League, but it’s still cool to see.

As interesting as the pre-game was, the crowd had some interesting sites as well. There was a girl with green hair. And a few people wearing Yankees gear. What? I saw some other people wearing Marlin and Nationals gear, but that made sense, considering the Grasshoppers and Suns are those teams affiliates. But Yankees gear? I don’t get it.

Just before game time, the man of the hour appeared from within the dugout:

And all you could hear around me was the clicking of cameras. (Mine included.)

Bryce Harper didn’t have a lot of luck in the game, going 0-4 before all was said and done. But the worst thing that happened to him all day was when he fouled a ball off of his knee and fell to the ground in pain:

But he walked it off, and was able to step back into  the batters box and finish his at bat:

But as I said earlier, he went 0-4, so nothing happened except an out.

But this wan’t ENTIRELY a Bryce Harper show. There was still a baseball game going on. So let’s get to the game.

First of all, there were two free giveaways that would happen if certain things took place during the game. The first thing seemed nearly impossible. If any player from either team hit a home run that hit the Wrangler sign in center field, everyone in attendance got a FREE pair of Jeans:

Needless to say I’m not the proud owner of a new pair of jeans. Oh, and did you notice the temperature below the Wrangler sign? 86 degrees. I think the hottest it got was 90. And when you add a TON of humidity, and the sun beating DIRECTLY down onto you….yeah. It was almost unbearable. (It was so hot that I thought the Rapture had happened and I was one of the unlucky ones left here to suffer.)

The second chance at winning something free seemed more likely. All that had to happen was that #19, I don’t know his name, on the Suns needed to strike out just once, and every one would win a free Biscuitville biscuit. Here he is in one of his at bats:

All we needed was ONE  little strikeout, but although he didn’t get a single hit in the game he always managed to make contact for the groundout. Ughh.

There was only one home run in the game, and it came from the bat of a Suns player. (The only person who’s name I knew throughout the entire game was Bryce Harper. I was clueless to the others.) And that home run barely cleared the left field wall.

There was always something going on whenever there was a break in the action. One such case is of a bat “dog”, that would bring the umpire baseballs……

…….and would retrieve the ocassional bat every now and then.

The game was fun to watch for everyone. And when I say everyone, I mean it. Even the team mascot, Guilford the Grasshopper, enjoyed the action:

When all was said and done, the Grasshoppers won 5-2. I still had a great time even though the team I was cheering for lost.

Here are three final pictures that I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate into this entry, but I wanted to show anyway:

Here’s some random pitcher (I said I didn’t know the names) for the Grasshoppers:

It wasn’t a milestone pitch or anything like that. I just thought it looked cool.

And here are two last pictures I took of Bryce Harper. The first picture is just before his last at bat of the game:

And here he is jogging in from center field for the last time during the game:

I tried for Bryce Harper’s autograph after the game at the tunnel where the players exit, but he just walked past without even looking up. I guess I’ll have to buy an autographed rookie of his off of ebay for $700.00 if I want to get it. (Yeah right.)

Bryce Harper And The Hagerstown Suns

I’m sure you’ve all heard of Bryce Harper. He was the number one pick by the Nationals and is currently a member of the Hagerstown Suns:

The guy is amazing. He’s the team leader in Batting Average, Home Runs, RBI’s, On Base Percentage, and Slugging Percentage. So….EVERYTHING!!

He’s the only reason I’m traveling over 100 miles to Greensboro tomorrow to see the Grasshoppers take on the Suns. A chance to see a potential future superstar, is enough for me to go.

Derek Jeter is one of the many great names that has played for the Grasshopers. So see, GREAT players do come from Single A baseball.

I’ll post an entry on Monday or Tuesday, with pictures of the game recaps and of Bryce Harper. So stay tuned……..

I’ve also got to write up a Top 5 Favorite Players Update. But it may have to wait until Monday as well.

American Idol At A Baseball Game

The day started out with my Dad, Grandpa, and I heading toward downtown Raleigh, NC:

Our destination…….Doak Field. Home of the North Carolina State College baseball team.

I realize that College baseball can seem like little league compared to Major League baseball, but the game wasn’t the real reason over 2,500 people were planned to attend today. The real reason was that Garner, NC’s own Scotty McCreery was going to be there throwing out the first pitch as part of his hometown visit video for American Idol. (If you watch American Idol, you know who and what I’m talking about.) But more on that a little later. First there had to be a game. And well. It wasn’t looking too promising. Take a look below:

In case you couldn’t tell, that’s rain on the windshield. (And that’s my dad’s arm, in case you were wondering.) The rain quickly stopped, however, by the time we found a place to park. But then the sky got dark and it started to pour:

And pour. And pour. And pour some more. The rain was so heavy it caused a rain delay:

By the time it was all said and done we had been sitting in the car for an hour and a half. Once the rain let up at around 6:30 we decided to get out and go take our seats in the ballpark. 

But just down from the gate we were going to enter there was a HUGE limo. So with time to kill we decided to go down to see what was going on. We knew the limo was for Scotty McCreery. And the American Idol symbol on the side was a giveaway:

But if Scotty was still set to throw out the first pitch, then why were there so many people outside waiting for him? Hmmm.

It turns out the game was canceled and Scotty was in the process of changing clothes and was then going to come out and greet his fans. I hated that the game was canceled, but I’ll take the chance to be on T.V. over seeing a COLLEGE baseball game any day. Sure enough about ten minutes later Scotty came out with a camera crew. Watch my video below to see how it all went down:

Sorry about the lady’s hair half way through the video. People were bumping into me. But anyway, it was cool to see Scotty McCreery up close. Watch American Idol tomorrow night(May 18th) to see Scotty McCreery. Even if you’ve never watched Idol before, watch it tomorrow so you can see him.

I’ll leave you with two final pictures of Scotty/Limo pictures:

I told you a lot of people showed up to see Scotty.

In other news, I’m still planning on posting a two week long version of my top 5 player updates. WordPress is VERY different than Movable type pro, and I’m just now starting to understand how it works. So bare with me if the blog looks messed up right now. I’m going to rearrange things and add things, so hopefully it will ALL be back to normal soon…….

Last Entry Until Next Week………

This is the last entry I’m going to be writing until next week. Reason being, is that MLBlogs is going to be converting from movable type pro to WordPress. The conversion will start on Friday and end on Monday. The conversion is suposed to make blogging more enjoyable and an easier experience. We’ll see……..

I’ll leave you with the two main points of interest:

  • Heath Bell’s next save will be the 100th of his career.

  • As of this second, Derek Jeter has 2,961 career hits. (39 away from 3,000.)

    That’s all until Monday……….

Top 5 Favorite Players-2011 Update # 6

There’s a lot to talk about this week. It has been a very productive one for my favorite players. So let’s get started:

HEATH BELL
Heath Bell has had three save opportunities since my last entry. He however only converted two out of the three of those opportunities into saves. And last night was a big one for his career. Getting one more save meant passing Trevor Hoffman for the all time Padres consecutive saves leader. But it wasn’t meant to be. With two out in the top of the ninth, Heath got a ground ball to third base. Easy play right? Wrong. The ball was bounced and the first baseman couldn’t snag it. The streak of 41 consecutive saves, was over. But Heath Bell has another milestone coming up that is also exciting. His 100th save. He is currently at 98 saves. So it won’t take him long to reach triple digits. (The Padres are currently 13-19.)

DEREK JETER
Since last Saturday’s entry, Derek has gotten five more hits. This brings his career total to 2,954 hits. Only 46 away from 3,000. (See my milestone tracker on the right side.) Jeter has been a little more consistent lately in his hitting. He has gotten a hit in his last four games played. Maybe he will finally get into a groove, and help to speed along the process of getting him to 3,000 hits. It’s one of those milestones that when you’re in a slump can seem so far away. But when you start to see the ball better, and get hits, can approach fast. (The Yankees are currently 18-12.)

TIM LINCECUM
Tim has had only one start since my last entry. In that one start he accomplished a great deal of things. First of all, he got the win. That’s always important. Second of all he got TWELVE strikeouts, putting him past Christy Mathewson for the most double digit strikeout games in Giants history. His career strikeouts is also very impressive. Tim currently has 964 career strikeouts. So look out in his next few starts for Tim to hit 1,000 strikeouts for his career. (The Giants are currently 16-16.)

ALBERT PUJOLS
Although still not the slugger so far that he was last year, Albert Pujols is starting to increase his batting average. His current average is .264 for the season. His hits have come mostly off of singles, and have been rather consistent lately. Around one every game. Although Albert did have three hits against the Marlins Thursday night. Pujols has a milestone as well that is approaching. 2,000 career hits. He currently has 1,926 career hits. So he’s only 74 hits away. I know that sounds like a lot, but if he starts to hit like the old Albert, it will be here in no time. (The Cardinals are currently 19-14.)

MARIANO RIVERA
Mariano currently has 571 saves for his career. (See my milestone tracker to the right.) This brings him 31 away from passing Trevor Hoffman for the most saves ever. The way Mariano Rivera is pitching lately, it will take something drastic for him to not reach the record. He is just so dominating on the mound, and nine times out of ten, gets the job done. Last nights save was the twelfth of the season for Mo.

OTHER GENERAL BASEBALL NEWS

  • Since being arrested on DUI charges on Monday, Shin-Soo Choo has gone 0-11 in plate appearances.

  • Willie Mays turned 80 years old yesterday.

  • Andre Ethier has a current hit streak of thirty games.

I more than likely won’t be able to write an update next Saturday. Reason being, that MLBlogs is undergoing a conversion from Movable type pro to WordPress. During that time I won’t be able to access my blog. So I may have to do a two week entry the next Saturday, like I did last Saturday.

Reds Vs. Yankees– 45 days

Also, if you didn’t read about me winning tickets to a Padres game from Heath Bell, read about it HERE.

Heath Bell Twitter Ticket Contest

GOOD NEWS: I won two tickets to Saturday’s Padres game versus the Diamond backs courtesy of Heath Bell.

BAD NEWS: I can’t attend the game.

Before I get started let me point out that I thought I would be able to attend Saturday’s game. I wouldn’t of participated if I didn’t think I could make it. I thought I could. Okay. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, keep reading………

It all started at midnight on May 6th, when Heath Bell tweeted the following tweet:

Okay everybody. New ticket contest in five minutes…..for Friday and Saturdays games.

I figured, “what the heck.” It wasn’t like I was going to win. (HA!) So when Heath tweeted his next tweet……

Name my favorite Actor and Actress….Actor=2 tix for Fridays game and Actress=2 tix for Saturday. Get both, win both……..GO!

……I had no hesitation in trying to guess the answers.

I tried to guess actors that were well known. But alas, had only given two guesses when Heath tweeted again:

We have a winner for Actor….no one’s gotten Actress yet though.

Oh well. At least I tried. I was about to give up and let the other tweeps keep guessing but I decided to stay in and guess some actresses. My first guess:

Helen Hunt.

My second guess:

Ashley Judd.

Thirty seconds after I guessed Ashley Judd, the following tweet appeared on Heath’s twitter page:

We have a winner!

Hmmm……

Then the unthinkable happened. Heath tweeted one last time with the winners twitter names. (I’m @M_2012H by the way.) And the results were…….

Congrats to @NickLee51 and @M_2012H for being the first to guess Tom Hanks and Ashley Judd!

Yeah. I WON! WHOOOOOOOOO! But no. I checked my schedule and CRAAAP. There was absolutely NO way I could attend. It didn’t help my state when Heath sent me a DM. It read:

Hey dude…Congrats! I owe you 2 tix for tomorrow nights game. Shoot me a msg back with your full name as it appears on ur drivers lic.

Correction by Heath:

Actually your 2 tix are for Saturdays game.

I let Heath know that I probably wouldn’t be able to attend. His response:

Hope you can go. The tix will be there but you have to let me know what name to leave them under.

Then:

If you know you can’t go I’ll give them to the 2nd person to guess Ashley Judd….let me know.

I guess that’s fair. I mean, if I came in second and the first place winner couldn’t go I’d want the tickets to go straight to me. But it still doesn’t make me any less upset over the situation. Well, at least I’ll always be able to brag, “I once won a twitter contest from Padres closer Heath Bell.” How many people can say that? Sigh………

UPDATE!!!!

I let Heath know 100% for sure today that I wouldn’t be able to attend Saturday’s game. His response:

Thanks. Since you can’t go tomorrow let me know which game you want to go to and I’ll leave you 2 tix. Just give me at least a days notice.

That’s right! Heath will give me two free tickets to the home game of my choice. I probably won’t be able to get out to CA until the summer, but I’m definitely going now!

Beat The Streak–For 5.6 Million Dollars

Not much to say about this. The title says it all. If you can pick a player that beats Joe Dimaggio’s record of 56 straight games with a hit, you win 5.6 million dollars. Or, if you don’t like your chances with a single player, pick a new player everyday that you think will get at least one hit.

Here’s how to play:

  • First go to this website: CLICK HERE!!!

  • Next click either “Free: Sign Up Now” or “Already Playing? Log in>” depending on if you are a registered user of MLB.com.

And that’s pretty much it. Just follow these easy steps and make your picks each day.

GOOD LUCK!!!!!!

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