Showing posts from August, 2010


The MANNYWOOD sign in Dodger Stadium is already down. Now, Manny Ramirez packs his baggage -- and dreadlocks -- for Chicago, where the White Sox hope he'll be the key to closing the gap on the first-place Twins. The sparks should fly once Ramirez and equally strong-willed Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen have their first disagreement. For a club that's already the subject of a weekly MLB Network reality series, Manny seems the ideal "special guest star" as the season heads into its final five weeks.

El Caballo's Big Day

August 26th should have belonged to the Phillies. But Carlos Lee of the Astros had other plans. The afternoon began with a pre-game ceremony honoring Roy Halladay for his May 29th perfect game. But once the action began, The Panamanian native nicknamed "El Caballo" took command. He doubled into the left field corner to get the Astros off to a 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning. Angel Sanchez scored the first Houston run. Two innings later, Lee connected again, with a home run into the left field stands. The Astros' Wandy Rodriguez might look a bit like a high school pitcher, but he dominated the Phillies, taking a no-hitter into the 5th inning. He pitched seven innings in Houston's 5 - 1 victory -- as they completed a shocking four-game sweep at Citizens Bank Park.

Inside Nationals Park

Friday, August 13th, it's my first visit to Nationals Park in Washington. Not as cozy as Camden Yards or Citizens Bank Park, the ballpark seats around 42,000. The rounded seating bowl creates a spacious feeling, but much like Citi Field in New York, those sitting behind the bases in the middle and upper decks feel too far from the action. Above: Here's one of the nicer features. You get a good view of the Nats bullpen from the right field seats, since it's cut into the grandstand. Starting pitcher John Lannan gets ready for his start with the help of a position player referencing the strike zone. From our seats in the 2nd tier behind home plate, it's a good look at Washington slugger Adam Dunn at bat. Above: the biggest cheer of the night came when Bruce Boudreau, coach of the local NHL team the Capitals, was projected on the big video board. Below: the D'backs Mark Reynolds scores on a 5th inning triple by Stephen Drew. Moving downstairs, I caught

A Well Deserved Promotion

Time to add another name to the above plaque: infielder Eduardo Nunez, who starred for the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees double-A farm club in 2009, was promoted to the majors today to fill in while Lance Berkman and Alex Rodriguez are sidelined. I hope you saved that autograph. Below, he's batting against New Britain (Twins) in last year's season finale. And home, in late July '09 at Waterfront Park in Trenton. Bob Levy and I first spotted Nunez during the Yankees Spring Training in 2009. With Jeter and Cano away at the World Baseball Classic, and A-Rod sidelined by hip surgery, Nunez and Ramiro Pena used their extra playing time to impress fans and the front office. Nice to see it pay off in today's promotion.

Nationals Park

Nationals Park in Washington offers one of the most novel and appealing welcome views in baseball. As you emerge from DC's subway the Metro, a quick glimpse to the left reveals the open expanse of its outfield concourse. Above: Tonight, the Teddy Roosevelt mascot was greeting fans entering the ballpark. Below: Walking clockwise around the stadium, you arrive at the first base gate, which rises above the street level. Walking clockwise around the stadium, you find (above) the first base gate, which rises above the street level. More impressive and narrative is our next stop: a walkway with years inlaid that correspond to key points in Washington baseball history. Paralleling the third baseline, a streetside view that works in Washington's Capitol building in the distance. Next time, we'll take you inside this impressive venue that is building DC's new baseball tradition.

The Official Greeter

Add Nationals Park in Washington to my list of "ballparks visited." I'll have a nice gallery or two soon... but had to get this one up as a preview.