Results tagged ‘ alyssa.com ’
Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.
-Rainer Maria Rilke
Yes. Oh, yes. I love this time of year. The days are longer, the pollen is in the air and there are little buds of future flowers everywhere you look. For the past few years and every year at this time, we have a couple of ducks (I think they may be married but I don’t know for certain) that fly into my backyard daily and take a bath in my pool at around 4 p.m.
Spring has sprung! And with the promise of all these amazing gifts from nature, comes the reminder that Opening Day soon will be here.
Even the drama of the McCourts’ divorce can’t bring down my baseball spirits. Because even though I obviously want my team to do well, this is the one time of the year that it’s not about my team winning or losing. It’s about walking into my home stadium, after months of a cold winter, and relishing in the hope of a new season.
The buds will bloom. The gates will open.
The frogs will chirp. The bats will crack.
The birds will fly. The balls will soar.
And for this time, right now, before any loss or statistic is recorded, my team… is the best in the league.
P.S. My new show, “Romantically Challenged,” will premiere on April 19th on ABC at 9:30 p.m. ET (8:30 p.m. CT). I am both nervous and excited. I hope you love it and it makes you giggle.
This will be my fourth year attending the All-Star Game! Yeah, I’m pretty freaking lucky. It is always a surreal experience seeing all the greats sharing the same field. My eyes always wander not knowing exactly where to focus. Needless to say, I can’t wait!
Here are some cool All-Star Game facts I stumbled across, courtesy of The Sports Network:
Largest Attendance, Game – 72,086
Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, August 9, 1981.
Smallest Attendance, Game – 25,556
Braves Field, Boston, July 7, 1936.
Longest Game, by Innings – 15
Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim, July 11, 1967 (NL, 2-1).
Yankee Stadium, New York, July 15, 2008 (AL, 4-3).
Shortest Game, by Innings – 5
Shibe Park, Philadelphia, July 8, 1952 – rain (NL, 3-2).
Longest Nine-Inning Game, by Time
3 hours, 38 minutes – Coors Field,Denver, Colorado (AL, 13-8).
Shortest Nine-Inning Game, by Time
1 hour, 53 minutes – Sportsman’s Park, St. Louis, July 9, 1940 (NL, 4-0).
Longest Extra-Inning Game, by Time
4 hours, 50 minutes – Yankee Stadium, New York, July 15, 2008 (AL, 4-3), 15 innings.
Most Players, Nine-Inning Game, One Club – 29 – Accomplished three times:
NL, August 9, 1981
NL, July 10, 2001
AL, July 11, 2000
AL, July 10, 2001
Most Players, Nine-Inning Game, Both Clubs – 58
NL (29), AL (29), July 10, 2001
Most Players, Extra-Inning Game, One Club – 32
AL, July 15, 2008
Most Players, Extra-Inning Game, Both Clubs – 63
AL (32), NL (31), July 15, 2008, 15 innings.
Most Players Left on Base, Both Clubs – 28
July 15, 2008.
Fewest Players, Game, One Club – 11
AL, July 6, 1942.
Fewest Players, Game, Both Clubs – 27
AL (15), NL (12), July 6, 1938.
Earliest Date For All-Star Game Latest Date For All-Star Game
July 6, 1933 At Comiskey Park August 9, 1981 At Municipal Stadium
July 6, 1938 At Crosley Field
July 6, 1942 At Polo Grounds
July 6, 1983 At Comiskey Park
All-Star Games Won-Lost Most Consecutive Games Won
40 — National League 11 — National League (1972-1982)
36 — American League Longest Unbeaten Streak
(Two Ties) 12 — American League (1997-2008)
Most All-Star games managed
10 Casey Stengel, AL, 1950-1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959 (both), (won 4, lost 6)
Most consecutive All-Star games managed
5 Casey Stengel, AL, 1950-1954; also 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959 (both)
Most All-Star games won as manager
7 Walter Alston, NL, 1956, 1960 (both), 1964, 1966, 1967, 1975 (lost 2)
Most All-Star games won as undefeated manager
5 Joe Torre, AL, 1997, 1999 through 2001, 2004 (tie in 2003)
Most consecutive victories as All-Star manager
6 Walter Alston, NL, 1960 (both), 1964, 1966, 1967, 1975
Most consecutive years managing All-Star winners
3 Tony La Russa, AL, 1989-1991
Joe Torre, AL, 1999-2001 (tie in 2002)
Most All-Star games won as manager, one season
2 Walter Alston, NL, July 11, July 13, 1960
Most All-Star games lost as manager
6 Casey Stengel, AL, 1950-1953, 1956, 1959 (1st), (won 4)
Most All-Star games lost as winless manager
5 Al Lopez, AL, 1955, 1960 (both), 1964, 1965
Most consecutive defeats as All-Star manager
5 Al Lopez, AL, 1955, 1960 (both), 1964, 1965
Most consecutive years managing All-Star losers
4 Casey Stengel, AL, 1950-1953
Most All-Star games lost as manager, one season
2 Al Lopez, AL, July 11, July 13, 1960
Most games umpired
7 Bill Summers, AL, 1936, 1941, 1946, 1949, 1952, 1955, 1959 (2nd)
Al Barlick, NL, 1942, 1949, 1952, 1955, 1959 (1st), 1966, 1970
Most consecutive games umpired
2 – Many umpires
If you’re going to be in St. Louis, PLEASE come visit me! I will be doing two appearances during the All-Star Week festivities.
The first will be at the TOUCH Boutique at Busch Stadium on Sunday, July 12, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., in between the XM All-Star Futures Game and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game.
The second will be at the All-Star Fan Fest at America’s Center Convention Complex in the heart of downtown St. Louis, on Monday, July 13, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. I will be signing in the Minor League Baseball Attraction located in Hall 1.
Hope to see you there!
P.S. Dodgers fans, vote for Matt Kemp here. He is losing to a GIANT. Are you okay with that? LOL.
P.P.S. Follow me on Twitter as I update live from St. Louis starting on Saturday.
Hello! I’m sorry about my lack of entries as of late. I’ve been filming a movie in Utah and have had very little time to write, other than Tweets on Twitter. It seems 140 characters are about all I’ve been able to manage lately.
Thank goodness for the MLB At Bat app for the iPhone! I’ve been working a lot of nights and weird hours, with no Internet connection in sight, and have found solace in always knowing I can see highlights.
I’m starting to get excited for All-Star Game. I’ve been asked for whom I’ve voted numerous times on Twitter, so I thought I’d share my picks with you.
National League (Yeah. Mostly Dodgers. Back off.)
I could not vote for Manny, because it is a bad message to send to our kids.
How about the Dodgers? (I’m doing a ritualistic dance now to counterbalance any jinxing that might have taken hold just by writing that question.)
P.S. Tell me who you voted for! And if you haven’t voted yet you can do so here.
Interleague baseball was first proposed in the 1930s. It took some 60 years for the first game to be played.
What took so long? The answer lies in the traditionalist heart. The first Interleague game was in 1997, and was the brainchild of the owners to boost attendance and revenue. And although it gives us fans an opportunity to see players we wouldn’t normally get to see, I’m going to go on record as saying I don’t love Interleague games.
Maybe I’m not a fan because I’m bitter that the American League dominates. Last year, the AL enjoyed a combined 149-103 edge. Boo!
Or maybe I feel it takes away from the uniqueness of the All-Star Game or, more importantly, the drama of the World Series.
Or maybe it is just a combination of all of it.
I was reading Mark Newman’s article on MLB.com today and learned that Interleague attendance just keeps growing. Mark states, “Total Interleague attendance has risen every year from 2002-08, going from 7,741,496 over 249 dates in 2002 to a little shy of one full ballpark under 9 million in 2008.”
Also in this article, Bud Selig is quoted as saying, “As long as I’m here, we will have Interleague Play. I love it.” (Hmmm. My other least favorite thing in baseball — home field advantage in the World Series based on the All-Star Game winner — was introduced by Selig, too. Hmmm. But I digress.)
Baseball attendance is down four percent this year, in my opinion, due to the economy. Baseball officials disagree, claiming that attendance is down due to the fact that the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field each have 15,000 fewer seats. Whatever the reason, it will be interesting to see if the attendance for the scheduled Interleague games this season continues, on trend, to grow, or if Interleague attendance also declines.
If regular season Interleague baseball is here to stay, there is something that has been proposed numerous times before by players, sports journalists and fans that I really think would make Interleague games more interesting. Play by the visiting team’s league rules. For instance, if you are playing in a National League park against an American League team, use the designated hitter rule so that fans who don’t normally get to see the other league’s style of ball in their stadium get to see it first-hand.
Just an idea. What are your thoughts on Interleague Play?
Yesterday, May 6, 2009, I went to bed elated by the news that the Dodgers made history. Just 10 hours later, I woke up disheartened by the news that Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50 games due to testing positive for an MLB banned substance. I then proceeded to comfort eat. I ate two muffins with a side of frosted flakes. I now feel puffy.
ESPN is reporting that they have received information from two sources that the banned substance Manny tested positive for is human chorionic gonadotropin. HCG is a fertility drug typically used by steroid users coming off the juice that aids in replenishing testosterone levels in the testicles. As we’ve all learned by now, testosterone is depleted by steroid use, and low testosterone can cause erectile dysfunction. (Insert inappropriate Mannywood joke here). But it should be noted that HCG can also be used in lieu of steroids because of its testosterone boosting effect which can boost performance. Still bad.
In his statement, Ramirez said:
“I want to apologize to Mr. McCourt, Mrs. McCourt, Mr. Torre, my teammates, the Dodger organization, and to the Dodger fans. LA is a special place to me, and I know everybody is disappointed. So am I. I’m sorry about this whole situation.”
And if it isn’t bad enough for baseball, Tom Verducci from SI.com closed his article with this staggering fact:
“Ramirez ranks 17th on the all-time home-run list with 533. Eight of those top 17 home run hitters played in what is commonly referred to as the Steroid Era. And six of those eight modern-day sluggers have been associated with performance-enhancing drugs: Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Rodriguez and Ramirez. The only modern sluggers to have escaped such a connection are Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas and Jim Thome.”
Am I enraged? No. Cheating in baseball has been around for as long as the sport has been around. This latest form of cheating is a direct result of where we are socially. I’ve said it many times before but it is worth repeating here and now. We’re all looking for a quick fix to be stronger, to look younger, to perform better and to cure what ails us. Performance enhancing drugs are, unfortunately, the evolution of cheating that mirrors the evolution of the pharmaceutical society that we’ve become.
So, no, I am not enraged. I’m just sad and disappointed.
Below is an excerpt from my book Safe at Home: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic. This excerpt appears in the chapter entitled, “Cheating Through The Ages,” and I thought it was appropriate to post today. Please leave your comments. I always enjoy reading them.
“Okay, I’m just gonna lay this out here: Cheating in baseball has been around for a long time. Pretty much since the game began there have been stolen signs, spitballs, corked bats, greenies, and any number of other methods to get ahead. It was only after all that when the current era of swollen necks and bulging home run totals was ushered in. So much for baseball’s innocence.
The difference between the past and the present is that today’s cheating is happening off the field. It’s happening in locker rooms and bathroom stalls instead of on the basepaths and the pitcher’s mound. Personally, I can’t figure out how anyone can say that one form of cheating is “better” than another. Can’t we just say that they’re all bad rather than trying to find ways to show that the past was full of decency and the present is full of deception?
I’m a big believer in individual responsibility. Baseball cheaters should be punished. Punished, yes, but not destroyed. It was true when Shoeless Joe Jackson and the rest of the Black Sox disappointed a nation, and it’s true now, for the guys looking for an edge by using the needle. The real problem with steroids is that the baseball commissioner, Bud Selig, and the Major League Baseball Players Association didn’t nip it in the bud (no pun intended) early on. For years both sides opposed testing with little sense of the toll that this position would take on the game. Their negligence turned a problem into an epidemic, leaving an entire era of stats in question. Home runs, hits, and attendance were up, and that meant more money for teams and the league, which meant more money for players, which meant more money for the union. Take all those financial incentives together, and suddenly no one is in a hurry to regulate anything.
Yet even though there are a lot of people responsible for the steroid era there are very few who’ve actually stepped up and admitted their part in it. And that’s what I have a problem with. Barry Bonds is undoubtedly one of the greatest players ever. You know what? I didn’t have as much of a problem with the idea of him cheating as I did with the possibility that he lied about it.
In contrast, there are guys like Jason Giambi and Andy Pettitte, who simply came clean (inasmuch as Giambi could without violating the terms of his contract). And I totally respect their honesty. Yes, Giambi may have made some bad choices throughout his career, but I must admit, as a purist fan of baseball, I had a newfound respect for the man after he told the truth. I have compassion for anyone trying to do the right thing, anyone who may have had a slip of judgment and then recognized his or her mistakes.
Maybe my biggest frustration with this issue is that Major League Baseball and the players union have yet to own up to their role in all this. A grand jury, a congressional committee, a tell-all book, and they have yet to apologize for their complacency. Before MLB can solve this issue it needs to recognize the problem and apologize for it. If any employee of any major entertainment corporation were to act inappropriately and offend or alienate his or her audience, the CEO would apologize on behalf of the company. Why is it so hard for Bud Selig to say, “I apologize for the steroid era. We made a mistake with our complacency, and we are taking the appropriate measures to make sure the future game of baseball is played with dignity and integrity.”
The fans, the players, the coaches — everyone needs to close the book on this latest chapter, in the game’s cheating history. As the latest in a long history of cheating episodes, it’s our obligation to give it the attention it deserves and then move on. We owe it to ourselves and… we owe it to the game.”
P.S. Here’s a link to an entry I wrote about steroids and botox.
Dave Hollander interviewed Chris Young. The headline of the interview is: “Padres All-Star: Clean Players vs. Dirty Players Class Action Suit, Why Not?” Intrigued? The interview is quite compelling. It is refreshing to hear from one of the guys that didn’t get caught up in steroids. He is honest and frank about the topic. The article can be found here. If you have a moment, give it a read.
Also, if you are in New York, please come visit me at Citi Field on Saturday, where I will be celebrating the TOUCH flagship store ribbon cutting! I will be at the store from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. signing autographs and taking pictures. I’m very proud of the store and appreciative for this opportunity given to me by the Mets so… come join me! I’ll be the girl with misty eyes. (I get a little emotional when it comes to this stuff.)
“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me…All I ask is that you respect me as a human being” – Jackie Robinson
HAPPY JACKIE ROBINSON DAY!!!! Sixty-one years ago, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. It is hard to imagine that just 62 years ago, there was segregation in the sport we love. Having said that, I just read that only eight percent of big leaguers are African American and that’s the lowest level in at least 20 years. So I ask you this: Why do you think this is and what can we do to engage our African American youth in the sport? I would love to get your thoughts on this.
Who watched that game last night? I got home from work and turned it on during the third inning. I’m completely aware that your closer can’t save every game, but being aware of that fact didn’t make watching that home run any easier. Ouch. I was by myself (well, with the doggies) and when McLouth hit that bomb in the ninth, I let out an audible yelp that spooked the Chihuahuas. They then proceeded to look at me like I was out of my mind, which I very well may be.
I know it is early in the season and it is a marathon not a sprint, blah, blah, blah. BUT…anyone frustrated?
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t frustrated, but it’s weird, I also feel a tremendous amount of faith that things will turn around. I have this weird faith/hysteria combo going on (further proof that I may be out of my mind). And I think I feel the faith because of Joe Torre. There is something about having him at the helm that puts my mind at ease. I just feel like he has the brain capacity to make the appropriate changes and get things on track. More importantly, I think he will ask that some changes be made if he thinks he can’t win with this roster. Isn’t there something in his contract about player/roster consultation? Please say yes. Please say yes. Please say yes. Yes, I know that patience is a virtue but when we are in the basement of our division, patience eludes me.
Hence, the hysteria.
Going to the field in two hours and twenty minutes. GO BLUE.