Braves

Fun in a Transient Baseball Town: Baseball Team Bingo!

Posted by Paul Caputo on September 14, 2013
Ballpark Visits, Baseball, Fandom / 2 Comments

I grew up going to baseball games at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, where you just did not see people wearing logo gear for teams other than the Phillies. This is because those people were beaten with crow bars and left in the “Fans of Other Teams” dumpster outside the stadium’s main gate. I live in Colorado now. Denver is a transient city, and let’s be honest, perhaps a little more tolerant of opposing points of view at sporting events than Philadelphia (at least at baseball games—Broncos fans are a little nuts).

I see so many people wearing third-party teams’ gear to Coors Field that I decided to take a camera to the game Monday and document every Major League team I could find. I found 17 of the 30 MLB teams represented, and thus was born Bloggers To Be Named Later Transient Baseball Town Team Logo Bingo (BTBNLTBTTLB).

Team-Bingo

BTBNL-Team-Bingo-thumbHere are the rules (camera not required): Take a printout of that day’s standings to the ballpark or print out this PDF of the teams arranged alphabetically. Every time you see a team’s cap or shirt, check them off your list. (I actually took photos of people, but I write a blog and that’s the sort of thing I do.) If you live in a market with lots of transplants, like Washington DC or Los Angeles, you’ll probably do pretty well. This game is harder in places like Boston or Philadelphia. If you complete a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal row, you win! My card is pictured above (you can click on it to blow it up). You’ll see that I won by completing a diagonal line from the Tigers (1st place, AL Central) to the Giants) last place, NL West.

If you’re taking photos of people wearing different gear, you can also consider it a win if you get out of the stadium without getting beaten up and/or arrested.

If you do win, send your card to MLB and demand a prize. I’m sure they’ll send you something special.

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How to determine home field advantage in the World Series: Dumb, dumber, dumberest

Posted by Paul Caputo on July 16, 2013
Baseball / 2 Comments

sEvery year at this time, we laugh derisively at the fact that the All Star Game determines the league that will have the home field advantage in the World Series. We laugh derisively because it is incredibly dumb to do this. In fact, the only thing dumber than the current system is the old system (and also Bryce Harper’s haircut). Here are the five ways baseball has or might in the future determine World Series home field advantage, in decreasing order of dumbness.

Alternating Leagues Each Year

Pros: They stopped doing it.

Cons: It’s the dumbest thing ever, and has no redeeming qualities.

The League the Wins the All Star Game

Pros: It replaced a worse system.

Cons: It assigns significance to an exhibition that should not be there, and bases World Series home field advantage on a single, strategy-free game that could be determined by a fluke or a bad call. Also, it puts me, as a Phillies fan, in the position of rooting for Cliff Lee and Dom Brown to do well for the benefit (almost certainly) of another team (like the Braves).

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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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One Smarmy Moment: Joe Buck is the Worst Announcer in Sports

Posted by Bloggers To Be Named Later on April 02, 2013
Worst Announcer in Sports / 1 Comment

bracket-announcers-final-thumb
Click the image to enlarge.

Joe_BuckIt’s official. We have proven through science that Joe Buck is the worst announcer in sports. The fact of Joe Buck’s awfulness as a broadcaster has pretty much been a given since 2003, when he called the end of a Cubs-Braves playoff game that clinched the NLDS for the Cubs by saying this about Cubs’ pitcher Kerry Wood’s wife: “Sarah Wood will be celebrating with her husband tonight!” But we made it official with our Worst Announcer in Sports March Madness bracket.

The disdain for Joe Buck is so widespread that he not only cakewalked his way through a very strong field of bad announcers, shattering BTBNL bracket records along the way, but also, there’s a Facebook page dedicated to the sole act of disliking Joe Buck. And they have almost 20,000 fans. (The photo here is lifted from that page.)

The only thing that would have made this championship match-up competitive would have been if we had put Joe Buck in the football bracket as well as the baseball bracket, but then Joe Buck would have had to lose the championship match-up as well as win, and that would have caused a metaphysical conundrum and sent eddies rippling through the space-time continuum. And we don’t need that on our conscience.

Anyway, congratulations to Joe Buck, the BTBNL Worst Announcer in Sports Champion.

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Thank God, baseball finally has hats just for interviews (and other essential hat news)

Posted by Paul Caputo on January 14, 2013
Baseball, Logos / 1 Comment

Suppose you own a baseball cap for your favorite team, and you wear it pretty regularly to show support for that team. If that’s the case, we ask you, Are you some kind of freeloader?! You just have the one hat with the one logo?! WHY DON”T YOU DO YOUR PART TO SUPPORT THE TEAM?!

play_e_mets11_600You need to go right now to the nearest internet and purchase your team’s alternate home hat for day games. Then you need the road hat, the alternate road hat, the retro hat, the alternate retro hat, the batting practice hat, the road batting practice hat, the hat that you can’t quite tell what it is until you realize they’ve jammed the American flag into your team’s logo hat, the green St. Patrick’s Day spring training hat, the pink hat (mandatory for female Red Sox fans), and the commemorative Wild Card “Champion” hat from that season when your team actually played a playoff game. Then, we have news for you: You’re not done yet. Because according to an article on UniWatch by Paul Lukas, MLB is issuing an “interview hat” for each team. That’s right, you can wear what the players wear when they’re not playing! (Paul Lukas credits the Mets Bro blog with posting the leaked image of the Mets interview cap here.)

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