A Week Without Baseball, Part 2


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Malaga, Spain (photo courtesy of my husband and BBFF (best baseball friend forever))

Spain is one of my most favorite places in the entire world. It just has one drawback: they don’t play baseball there. (Sure, that building in the picture looks like a baseball stadium – but it most definitely is not!)

In the beginning of May, I was on vacation in Europe, really missing baseball. We’d just spent two days in London, and I was already experiencing symptoms of baseball withdrawal. Not only were we several hours ahead of the U.S. east coast, time-wise, I also only could check scores and otherwise use my cellphone if I was on WiFi. Not every little Spanish town in southern Spain has good WiFi.

We spent the weekend in Spain, checking out the many lovely towns along the Costa del Sol. Our first stop was Malaga, then Torremolinos, then Benalmadena, and finally Fuengirola – all non-baseball towns. Our friends from Spain showed us all the great places and local hangouts. We ate at a chiringuito on the beach, visited the Pablo Picasso museum in Malaga, and even experienced the Butterfly Park in Benalmadena. But, alas, no baseball.

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Benalmadena, Spain (photo courtesy of me)

Benalmadena was perhaps the most beautiful of all of the locations, with its coastal tourist area and hillside village, despite the absence of baseball. As we strolled along the marina there, we encountered several restaurants and tourist shops. As I should have expected, at least one store was selling – you guessed it – Yankees caps.

Obviously, there is no escape from the Yankees. Not even in Europe.

~ baseballrebecca

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A Week Without Baseball, Part 1


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Westminster Abbey (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Everyone loves a good vacation. But vacations during baseball season can be difficult – especially if you go to a place where they don’t play baseball, much less understand it. This was the case when I went on vacation to Europe a few weeks ago. Some people miss their kids when on vacation. I miss my teams.

Our first stop was London, England. London was in the midst of preparing for the Royal Wedding and some sort of football playoffs. At least I think. There seems to be many teams and leagues there, so I never was quite sure what was going on. There was this team called “Liverpool Football Club” that people seemed pretty excited about. (In England they play this thing called “football” – which, for some weird reason, is called “soccer” in the U.S. Regardless of who calls it what and where they call it that, it’s not baseball.)

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London Stadium in 2012 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

One of the places I’d hoped to get to while there was London Stadium. Sure, most people want to see Big Ben, Kensington Palace, or Buckingham Palace, but they don’t play baseball there. The stadium, originally known as Olympic Stadium, was built for the 2012 Olympics. The stadium has a capacity of about 57,000 fans and is currently the home of West Ham United – which is another one of those football clubs. (They are in the Premier League along with Liverpool, if that means anything to anyone.) As expected, on May 8, MLB formally announced that the Yankees and Red Sox will play a series at London Stadium June 29-30, 2019.  (I’m already on the waiting list for information about opportunities to possibly be in the running to maybe get tickets.)

There was little else baseball-related in London. Nonetheless, we saw many wonderful things, including Westminster Abbey, London Bridge (several of them, actually), and even the David Bowie mural in Brixton (which, weirdly, has nothing to do with the Bowie Baysox). It was a whirlwind tour of London before we set on our next leg of the trip: Malaga, Spain.

Of course, before we got to the airport to take our flight to Spain, we caught a glimpse of a guy wearing a Yankees cap. Because you apparently can’t go anywhere in the world without stumbling across someone wearing a Yankees cap.

~ baseballrebecca

Remembering the 1998 Brawl


Tino Martinez in 1999 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Saturday marked the 20th anniversary of the epic on-field brawl between the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees. It all began when Orioles’ pitcher Armando Benitez hit Tino Martinez in the back after giving up a 3-run home run to Bernie Williams. Check out the video below.

ESPN recently published a piece about the 1998 season, noting parallels to this year. According to the article, one result of this and other on-field brawls in the 1990s was a tougher stance by MLB and greater discipline of those involved in such incidents. For his part in the Os-Yankees brawl, Benitez got an 8-game suspension. Darryl Strawberry and Graeme Lloyd were suspended for 3 games each, and Jeff Nelson and Alan Mills were each suspended for two games.

Have things changed much in the last two decades? Just last month benches cleared during a Yankees-Red Sox game. Retaliation pitches and bench-clearing incidents seem to be a part of baseball culture. As frustrations boil over and tempers flare, the possibility of aggression emerges. Is this simply part of the game, or a social issue that needs to be addressed?

~ baseballrebecca

 

Best of the Week, 5/13/18 – 5/19/18


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Colon with the Mets in 2016 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

The Best of the Week? Bartolo Colon.

On Wednesday, Colon went 7 2/3 innings against the Mariners allowing only 4 hits and striking out 3. This is not the first time he’s done this. On April 15, Colon pitched 7 2/3 innings in Houston, allowing one hit, one run, and one walk while striking out 7. He had a perfect game through 7 innings. I can’t wait to see what he does next month.

And did I mention he turns 45 on Wednesday?

Happy early birthday, Bartolo!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

Stat-urday, 5/19/2018


Brooks_Robinson_1955In honor of Brooks Robinson‘s birthday yesterday, here are a few stats and facts about Baltimore’s “Human Vacuum Cleaner:”

  • Robinson spent 23 years in the Major Leagues – all with the Baltimore Orioles!
  • Games played: 2,896
  • Hits: 2,848
  • Home runs: 268
  • Batting average: .267

Robinson was an 18-time All-Star, 16-time Gold Glove winner, AL MVP in 1964, World Series MVP in 1970, and Robert Clemente Award winner in 1972. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983.

For more stats, check out his Baseball Reference page.

Happy Stat-urday!

~ baseballrebecca

 

Cool Papa Bell


Today marks Cool Papa Bell’s 115th birthday. James Thomas Bell was born on May 18, 1903, in Starkville, Mississippi. He spent most of his 24 year baseball career in the Negro Leagues, although he spent some time playing in the Dominican Republic and Mexico.

Satchel Paige, a teammate of Bell’s, once famously said, “Cool was so fast, he could turn out the light and jump in bed before it got dark.” (This is sometimes attributed to Josh Gibson.)

~ baseballrebecca

The 1936 Negro Leagues East-West Game featured Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson, and Satchel Paige,  among other Negro League greats