Category Archives: Foul Balls

The BBWAA has lost its credibility

Yesterday, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell were voted into the HOF. For the first time, a steroid user has been voted into the Walhalla of baseball. I had to let that sink in. You can only wonder why a bunch of cheaters has been voted into the HOF. 

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor BBWAAIt all started with the induction of a commissioner who used to turn a blind eye to the steroid use during the homerun race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in the late nineties. Baseball had lost ground due to the player strike in 1994 and fans had turned away from the game. This homerun race between McGwire and Sosa was heaven sent as it helped to get the fans back to the stadiums.
Only around 2004, Selig stepped up against steroid use so he would be remembered as the commissioner that fought steroid use….

More….

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The Asahi baseball team: A tragic story

Many of you probably will never have heard of the Asahi baseball team. It was a team created by Canadian citizens of Japanese origin in 1914. The team had its home base in Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver’s little Tokyo. The team was the pride and joy of Vancouver’s Japanese community.

As stated above, the Asahi team was established in 1914 by Japanese immigrants in Vancouver. They came to Canada, then still British territory, around the turn of the Vancouver Asahi 1941 Home century to try their luck. Most Canadians thought the Japanese would not stay long. Many tried their luck in the fishing business. As they became successful, the Canadian government revoked a third of their fishing licenses. “Industrious intruders” was the most polite of the many names that were given to them.

Read more here.

Fan Stories: 10 Questions for Baseball Washington Nationals Uber-Fan Bruno Caretti (a.k.a. The Rally Mullet)

For the next few weeks, FoulBallz.com will include a series of short interviews with ballhawks and uber-fans of baseball. These fans all agreed to answer 10 simple questions, no pressure, and very little editing. It’s been a wonderful experience for me to get to know these individuals in some capacity through Twitter. I hope you enjoy reading the answers as much as I have.

Next up is Bruno Caretti. He’s best known at “The Rally Mullet-super fan of Anthony Rendon of the Washington Nationals.” You can follow him on Twitter at @TheRallyMullet or visit his blog at therallymulletblog.wordpress.com.

  1. When did you snag your first ball?

I have gotten a couple batting practice balls but that’s wasn’t my goal. getting a live ball during a game by a batter was my goal. and it was June 18, 2014. Nats vs Astros. I was sitting first row 3rd base line, and low and behold Anthony Rendon was up. He hit a ground ball down the 3rd base foul territory line at Nats Park and I scooped it up off the ground with my glove. It felt he did it on purpose.

  1. What do you think about the extended netting issue?

As much as I think this happens way to often [fans getting hit by foul balls] because fans aren’t paying attention, I do think having extra netting in the ball park is a good idea. Honestly though, if you aren’t paying attention and a ball hits you square in the face then I don’t know what to tell you. Don’t go to games I guess?

 

READ THE REST AT FoulBallz.com

 

Ed Comber (VP Of The BBBA/Owner – foulballz.com)  

Fan Stories: 10 Questions for Baseball Uber-Fan Mike Dies (President, West Akron Baseball & Softball League)

For the next few weeks, FoulBallz.com will include a series of short interviews with ballhawks and uber-fans of baseball. These fans all agreed to answer 10 simple questions, no pressure, and very little editing. It’s been a wonderful experience for me to get to know these individuals in some capacity through Twitter. I hope you enjoy reading the answers as much as I have.

First up is Mike Dies, President, West Akron Baseball & Softball League (www.wabl.org and www.facebook.com/westakronbaseball).

1) When did you snag your first ball? 

After going to many games at an empty Cleveland Municipal Stadium as a kid, and lots of games at Jacobs Field when the Old Stadium closed, my first foul ball came in 1997 at Canal Park in Akron. I was walking in the concourse and caught it on one bounce.

2) What do you think about the extended netting issue?

I am all for it. I would like to see the netting extended to the end of each dugout. I would like MLB to be proactive in protecting the fans before someone is killed by a foul ball at a game. I understand that paying attention is 99.9% of it for the fans but it is not realistic to think that fans will sit and watch baseball for 3+ hours and not let their eyes wander from the action … especially with all of the distractions that the MLB clubs have created in the stadium. Attending baseball games today is nothing like attending games 10-15 years ago.

READ THE REST AT FoulBallz.com

Ed Comber (VP Of The BBBA/Owner – foulballz.com)  

Trimming the Fat: Major League Baseball Can Fix Pace-of-Play, Ineffective Bullpens and Revenue Issues with One Simple Change

We hear a lot about length of game and payrolls, and the need for fixing MLB pace-of-game. To the point John Lackey in August states baseball’s getting “soft”. I can’t argue with that. It is; snd part of the issue is the widespread use of the bullpen. 30 years ago, starters were throwing 120 or more pitches during a game. The logic was simple: They are the start, so the onus is on them. This logic, this mentality, gave us great hurlers like Nolan Ryan and Jack Morris, guys who often went beyond 120 pitches and lead Major League Baseball in pitches, complete games and a slew of other records. They were hard and gritty. But the game is getting “soft” as Lackey points out.

20160617_191520 - CopyWe now get to see the arbitrary pitch count grow. Every network showing Major League Baseball games has a pitch count somewhere. Every stadium advertises the pitch count. It’s become a staple for predicting when a pitching change will occur. We’d see a softening of the game on pitchers. Baseball has created an arbitrary number, the century mark, as the delineating point between continuing to pitch and stopping.

I still recall Jim Leyland and Brad Ausmus taking out starters who were into the 8th inning, even the 9th inning, because they hit 100-110 pitches. Then seeing the bullpen choke up the game.  Tigers fans are still smarting from the 2013 ALCS Game 2 debacle caused by Jim Leyland. Ironman Max Scherzer had 108 pitches through the 7th inning. He had a lead of 5-1 over the Red Sox. Jim removed Max, much to the astonishment of fans. Had it been Verlander, he’d have kept him in. The result was catastrophic. The Tigers bullpen choked up five runs in only two innings, and wound up losing 6-5. Ausmus pulled the same stunt on Scherzer in 2014 during the ALDS Game 1 against teh Baltimore Orioles. With Max at 98 pitches after 7.1 innings Ausmus yanked him. Granted, Max was credited with giving up five runs, but he wasn’t given the opportunity to redeem himself as he’s so great at doing. He’s a clutch pitcher. The result of being pulled? The Orioles buried the bullpen, scoring seven runs beyond the five Scherzer gave up. Essentially, by pulling Max at 98 pitches, Ausmus guaranteed the loss, relying on three relievers over 2-2/3rds innings. Instead of a two-run game, it became a blowout.

Stories like these are common throughout baseball. Coaches are so stuck on 100 pitches they no longer thing in terms of the big picture.  

BULLPEN PITCHERS OVERPAID AND INEFFECTIVE

 

READ THE REST AT FoulBallz.com

Ed Comber (VP Of The BBBA/Owner – foulballz.com)  

Major League Baseball Fan Foul Ball Fatalities in Context: Soccer, Tour de France and Racing FAR More Dangerous to Fans than Foul Balls

a foulballzAfter Andy Zlotnick commented on my Twitter feed and compared baseball to the X-Games and “Reality TV”, as he did in the HBO Real Sports episode I discussed in an earlier two posts (PART I and PART II), I started to wonder if baseball really is as dangerous to spectators and players as people keep claiming. The counterargument is predicated on the idea that 1750 fans are injured every year at Major League Baseball games. That’s the number Bryant Gumbel indicated in Real Sports and it’s the number a lot of others also misrepresent. They assume that is the number of fans hit by balls and bats each season. It’s actually the number of fans injured in relation to a ball or bat. That is, fans often injure themselves going for a ball or ducking out of the way of an errant bat.

All this got me to wondering. As it turns out baseball is one of the safest for spectators and participants. With a rounded up number of 2000 fans injured in relation to a foul ball or bat, and considering one fan in 100+ years has died, I started looking at other fan fatalities in other sports.

THE DEADLIEST SPORTS

Soccer is by far the most deadly professional sport. It has riots. Over 800 people have died over the last 20 years as a result of hatred between fans who’ve gone on to pummel one another to death after a match. Baseball fans tend to riot only when their team wins the World Series, and while a few fans have died as a result of riots, we don’t come close to 800 deaths.

READ MORE AT FOULBALLZ.com

Ed Comber (VP Of The BBBA/Owner – foulballz.com)  

From Royals to Monarchs: Kansas City and Baseball Majestry

Last season I visited Kauffman in Kansas City while at a “real life” work event. During that trip, there were a number of issues I ran into with fans and the park itself. I also revisited the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum for the third or fourth time.

Kauffman and the Royal (Pain) Fans 2015 to Now

20160617_191523 - CopyIn 2015, Royals fans were horribly rude to me. Arrogant, in fact. I assumed this arrogance was due to the team doing so well. But that doesn’t excuse rudeness.

I sat in the right field seats near the foul pole. The section numbering can be a bit confusing, and I ended up in the wrong seats. The last time that happened to me, the people were very nice, and laughed saying it wasn’t any big deal.

But last season in KC I was literally told I was an idiot as they pointed out my seat—which wasn’t as good as the “View from the Seats” feature led me to believe.

I had enjoyed the Royals HoF museum that season, but that’s about all I enjoyed.

This season, being back in the city again for work, I went to another game. I figured I owed the stadium another look.

This time, I enjoyed it again, getting to see the World Series trophy. The museum was crowded and very warm, but the air of excitement and awe was nice to feel.

At the June 2016 game I bought my Royals tickets and sat in the middle decks. I was under an overhang and in the middle of a row. And I had a great view of the diamond. And the horrible extended netting obstruction.

 

READ MORE AT FoulBallz.com

 

Ed Comber (VP Of The BBBA/Owner – foulballz.com)  

Toronto Blue Jays: Fans Like No Other

20160707_190732
Toronto is a beautiful large city, and their team, the Toronto Blue Jays play in a great park. The city has its fair share of pollution, a haze hovering over the city, but it’s an eclectic mix of pretty much everything and every type of person.

There are unique neighborhoods and great shopping—like along “The Path” in downtown Toronto.

20160707_175918It’s also home, as every Major League Baseball fan knows, to the Blue Jays who play in Rogers Centre.

I love visiting new parks. It gives me a nice idea of the true layout of the park and how likely foul balls are to go into certain sections. A seating chart only shows you where sections are. It doesn’t give you a clear indication of how much foul territory there is or distance from home the dugouts are (the areas to which most foul balls fly).

This trip offered me a first-hand understanding of where fouls go the most, at least in this one game.

Parking and Entering

If you go to Rogers Centre, note there is no central parking of any kind. You’ll need to locate a municipal parking area near the park. There are plenty. The one we parked in was $25 CAN (roughly $20 USD based on current exchange rates) and was about half a block from Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant and Walburgers. It was about a three block walk.

 

READ MORE AT FOULBALLZ.COM

Ed Comber (VP Of The BBBA/Owner – foulballz.com)  

Dodgers aren’t giving Jansen the credit that he deserves

Will the Dodgers extend the contract of their star closer Kenley Jansen? With the extension talks stalled and the interest in Aroldis Chapman that they had, it is questionable if Jansen will be with the Dodgers next year. 

Even though I still think that the part of a closer is vastly overrated, he is part of the game for decades now. I still think that with a couple of relievers platooning for that spot, you can have the same result. But okay, the closer role is a part of baseball; even I cannot deny that.

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Foul Call: Jim Joyce Ruling Exposes Flaw in Major League Baseball Umpire Judgment Calls

I am not at all a fan of  many Major League Baseball umpires. I especially dislike Jim Joyce and would love to see him leave the game. I’m a lifelong Tigers fan and the image of him blowing a call that cost Tigers starter Armando Galarraga his perfect game is still very fresh in my memory. So when he makes a foul call, I tend to jump all over him.

September 2016 gave me another reason to dislike Joyce. I fell for a “foul ball” call by Joyce. Joyce, behind the dish during a Houston Astros – Cleveland Indians game was brutally maligned on Twitter for a wild pitch call during a Lonnie Chisenhall at-bat. People, including well-respected reporters all jumped on the “Bash Joyce” bandwagon. I am embarrassed to admit my own distaste for the man colored my response too…until I went to the official Major League Baseball rule book. Then I changed my mind. Kind of.

It was on September 7, 2016.

This is the play that awaken the disdain:

 

Houston Astros hurler David Paulino threw a pitch into the dirt. The ball hit about a foot in front of the plate and bounced up. Chisenhall, the Indians’ batter, checked his swing and the ball caromed off to the left of the catcher.

 

READ THE REST AT FoulBallz.com.

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