Astros

30 Stadiums in 30 Days: It Can Be Done

Posted by Paul Caputo on May 28, 2013
Baseball, Fandom / 5 Comments

road_trip

It’s every baseball fan’s dream: the ultimate baseball road trip—30 Major League Baseball games in 30 days in 30 different stadiums—plus one extra minor league game we’ll squeeze in one evening in Brooklyn after we take in an afternoon Yankees game. I should be clear here that this road trip is hypothetical. It is physically possible to do, but if I actually tried to do it, I would end up divorced, broke, and unemployed. But make no mistake: It could be done, and it could be done this season.

Here’s how it breaks down: There are hypothetically four of us in a hypothetical 1999 Oldsmobile Bravada, so we can hypothetically rotate drivers and sleep in the car on the road in shifts as needed. Hypothetically. We are counting on four-hour games, and basing driving times and distances on information from Google Maps. On most nights, we’ll stay in hotels, but there are occasions when we’ll have to drive through the night, in some cases with very little margin for error. Let me be clear: WE WILL DO THIS FOR THE CAUSE.

If everything goes to plan, from August 12 to September 10, we will see one game per day (plus that one Brooklyn Cyclones game), we will drive 13,575 miles in 208 hours, and we won’t miss a single pitch. Here’s how it will go (driving distances and times to each stadium are in parentheses):

August 12 - Indians at Twins, 7:10
We start in Minneapolis, clean shaven and everyone smiling and laughing. The car does not yet smell like Tony Siragusa’s laundry hamper. Everything is good.

August 13 – Pirates at Cardinals, 7:15
(561 miles, 8:41)
We stay in a hotel and leave mid-morning to get to St. Louis in time for first pitch. Still fired up. A 30-day diet of encased meat and helmet sundaes still seems awesome.

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2013 MLB Division Predictions: AL West

Posted by Paul Caputo on March 26, 2013
Baseball / No Comments

We’ll be previewing all six Major League Baseball divisions over the next three days, even the one with the Astros in it. Let’s start with the American League West.

angels_logoLast year, the upstart Athletics overtook the opposite-of-upstart Texas Rangers to claim the AL West title in the final days of the season. This is because the Rangers are still in the early stages of what I predicted back in 2011 will be a decade-long hangover from the way they let the 2011 World Series slip out of their grasp.

The AL West features one more team this year than it has in the past, but that team is the Astros, so never mind. This year, the official BTBNL prediction is that the AL West will go to the Angels (“LA’s Other Team!”). Here’s the full prediction for the division.

Angels
Albert Pujols is the new A-Rod, and not in a good way, but the rest of the division is fatally flawed, so the Angels will win the division title they’ve been trying to buy for the last few years. Their win total is up from last year because they get to play the Astros 19 times.

2013 Prediction: 97-65
Last Year: 89-73

Rangers
The curse of Nelson Cruz missing that fly ball in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series continues. They’ll have a 10-game lead in September and choke it away. Their win total is up from last year because they get to play the Astros 19 times.

2013 Prediction: 95-67
Last Year: 93-69

A’s
The dream is over. Back to reality. Brad Pitt will star in the movie about last season’s dramatic division win, but the movie about this year’s team is going to be all Louis CK and Danny Devito. Their win total is down from last year in spite of getting to play the Astros 19 times.

2013 Prediction: 85-77
Last Year: 94-68

Mariners
Honestly, we thought the Mariners had moved to Oklahoma. Was that their basketball team? I dunno. Anyway, their win total is up from last year because they get to play the Astros 19 times.

2013 Prediction: 81-81
Last Year: 75-87

Astros
Bad news for the Astros: They don’t get to play any games against the Astros. They’ll win three games, all in a series sweep against the Cubs. Otherwise, it will not be a fun season in Houston.

2013 Prediction: 3-159
Last Year: 55-107

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Major League Baseball should start the 2014 season in Australia

Posted by Paul Caputo on March 18, 2013
Baseball / 4 Comments

For the second season in a row, Major League Baseball this year will start its season in a foreign land in an attempt to broaden the appeal of the league. Last year, the A’s and Mariners played a weird opening series in Japan a week before the rest of the league started regular season play, and this year, the season opens March 31 in Texas* with a game between the Astros and the Rangers.

25858_1390355872560_4850581_nNext year, I believe that MLB should open its season in Australia. This is not an original idea on my part. It’s something that was floating around at the end of last season, and that I haven’t seen brought up since. I don’t think we should let the idea die, because it’s a good one.

The report last year suggested that the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks might play a series at the Sydney Cricket Ground to open the 2014 season. The Dodgers are involved because Magic Johnson’s high-profile ownership group has a stake in promoting the international popularity of the game, and the Diamondbacks are the likely opponent because their mascot is a venomous pit viper and would fit right in in Australia, where everything is venemous, including the schnauzers.

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Wait! Did I miss Opening Day?

Posted by Paul Caputo on March 29, 2012
Athletics, Baseball, Mariners / 3 Comments

For roughly 28 out of every 30 Major League Baseball fans, the season opens next week! Can you feel the buzz in the air? No? This is because for two teams the season opened while your team was still playing Spring Training games. This is also because the first games on the schedule took place in the wee hours of the morning more than 5,000 miles away from the home team’s actual home.

The Mariners and the Athletics played a two-game series this week in Tokyo—actual games that count in the actual standings (and your fantasy league)—while the rest of baseball continued with Spring Training. Then after these actual regular-season games in Japan, Seattle and Oakland will play more Spring Training games.

On April 4, a full week after the A’s and Mariners opened the season, two of the remaining 28 teams (Marlins and Cardinals) will open their seasons with a one-game series in Miami. The Red Sox, Tigers, Braves, Mets, Phillies, Pirates, Nationals, Cubs, Blue Jays, Indians, Reds, Dodgers, and Padres open their season the next day. And if you’re a fan of the White Sox, Rangers, Twins, Orioles, Yankees, Rays, Brewers, Rockies, Astros, Giants, D-backs, Royals, or Angels, your opening day is nine days after the season officially opened.

This begs the question, What the hell is going on here?

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