What If …


I know this is bad timing, given the results of last night’s game, but yesterday was the 22nd anniversary of “the incident.” You know, that time that the Yankees used a kid to steal the game 1 and the entire 1996 ALCS from the Orioles? This one:

It still makes me cry.

But what if that had never happened? Let your imagination run wild here:

  • Perhaps Rocky Coppinger, losing pitcher of game 4, would have instead gone on to have a long and successful MLB career, instead of being shuttled between the Orioles and their minor league affiliates for three and half more years, then being traded to Milwaukee in July 1999, where, after not playing at all in 2000 due to injuries, he made history by giving up the final home run of Mark McGwire’s ignominious career.
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  • Mussina with the Yankees – not the O’s – in 2007 (photo by Keith Allison, via Wikipedia)
  • Maybe Mike Mussina, El Traidor, wouldn’t have ended up signing with the Yankees 5 years later. (And maybe he’d have gotten into the Hall of Fame after a fabulous career with the Orioles.)
  • Maybe Todd Zeile would have stayed with the Orioles instead of bouncing around for eight more years with eight more teams before becoming an actor. (Where IS he now?)
  • Perhaps Manny Alexander wouldn’t have been traded before the start of the next season, ultimately ending up with the Boston Red Sox in 2000 where he loaned the bat boy his Mercedes who was then arrested for possession of steroid (found in the glove compartment of said Mercedes), thus destroying the bat boy’s baseball career. (The charges were later dropped, but the damage was done.)
  • Maybe, just maybe, the Orioles would have have gone on to the World Series, defeating the Atlanta Braves, and continuing to have winning season for the next 22 years, thus, not having the worst season in Orioles history this year.

Guess we’ll never know.

~ baseballrebecca

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Who to Root for this Postseason


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Jonathan Schoop, 2013 (photo by Keith Allison, via Wikipedia)

So, the National League Division Series (NLDS) begins today. And the American League Division Series (ALDS) begins tomorrow. Even though my favorite teams might not be playing this postseason, I can always pretend.

For starters, if you’re an O’s fan looking for an excuse to root for the Brewers (and former Oriole Jonathan Schoop), the two teams share a common lineage. The Orioles were, in fact, “born” in Milwaukee. The 1901 Milwaukee Brewers, who finished eighth in the American League that year, moved to St. Louis in 1902 and became the St. Louis Browns. Five decades later the team moved again, this time to Baltimore, where they became the Baltimore Orioles. (Of course, the current Brewers team started out as the Seattle Pilots before moving to Milwaukee after the Milwaukee Braves departed in 1965 for Atlanta (after first moving from Boston to Milwaukee in 1953).

If that’s too complicated, just think about all of the former Orioles who will be playing in the NLDS. The series features the Dodgers v. the Braves and the Brewers v. Rockies. How many former Orioles will be playing? Quite a few, actually:

  1. 13 - Machado 2Matt Albers, P, Brewers
  2. Wade Miley, P, Brewers
  3. Jonathan Schoop, IF, Brewers
  4. Manny Machado, IF, Dodgers
  5. Justin Turner, IF, Dodgers
  6. Brad Brach, P, Braves
  7. Kevin Gausman, P, Braves
  8. Ryan Flaherty, IF, Braves
  9. Nick Markakis, OF, Braves

And let’s not forget about my other favorite team, the Washington Nationals. The Brewers have two former Nats, including one of my all-time favorite pitchers, Gio Gonzalez (the other being Matt Albers, who also is listed above as a former Oriole). In addition, the Dodgers have Ryan Madson, the Braves have Kurt Suzuki, and the Rockies have Ian Desmond.

For the ALDS it will be the Indians v. the Astros and the Red Sox v. the Yankees. A handful of former Orioles will be playing (Eduardo Rodriguez, former Orioles minor leaguer; Steve Pearce; Andrew Miller; and Zach Britton), as well as a few former Nats (Sandy Leon, former Nats minor leaguer; Oliver Perez; and A.J. Cole).

Even if you aren’t an O’s or Nats fan, you can use the same logic to determine which teams to root for this postseason if your favorite isn’t in the running. If that doesn’t work, you can always fall on classic reasons like rooting for a city you like, the team with the best uniform colors, the underdog, or even the team with the best players, best record, etc.

So, if your favorite teams aren’t playing this postseason, you have options for finding another team to root for.

Happy postseason!

~ baseballrebecca

NASA and the All-Star Game


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Astronaut Terry Virts, April 15, 2015 (photo courtesy of NASA.gov)

Even NASA got in on the fun at the All-Star Game yesterday. Check out NASA’s tweet below and the video from the NASA Administrator.

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

Films on Friday: All-Star Game Preparations


img_2209On Tuesday, the DC  government held a press conference regarding the influx of fans and media into the city for the 2018 All-Star Week, including the All-Star Game, which will be held at Nationals Park. Things will be happening all around the city, especially at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center where the All-Star Fan Fest will take place today through Tuesday.

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Traffic sign above a major Washington, DC, thoroughfare

At the press conference, the Mayor noted that planning for All-Star week began as early as 2014. The City Manager stated the city has invested $5 million in this endeavor, but expects a return of about $70 million. That may be of little consolation to city residents and those of us who still need to navigate the city on a daily basis. Although DC has been warning us about road closures for just about a week now (it finally dawned on me the other days that these signs referred to the All-Star festivities), only today did I see the official list of road closures. So far, Federal agencies and OPM have remained silent about cutting Federal employees a break next week. They were permitted to take take time off or to telework during the Caps’ victory parade; some would argue baseball is even more important.

The Mayor’s press conference is posted below – all 21 minutes of it. They really should have just done something shorter and sweeter to warn us about traffic problems. Like the Washington State Department of Transportation did with the Mariner Moose a few weeks ago:

 

Happy Friday!

~ baseballrebecca

 

Washington, DC, Mayor’s VERY Long Press Conference/Excuse to hang out at Nats Park:

 

Getting Ready for the All-Star Game


The All-Star game is coming and Washington, DC, is beginning to get ready! I saw this on the way home one night last week. I don’t know if there were any other banners with any other players. All I saw was my favorite: Manny Machado.

~ baseballrebecca

Stanley v. the No-Hitter


Sure, there may have been some sort of hockey game last night, but let’s not overlook the no-hitter that Paul Balestrieri threw last night for the Peoria Chiefs.

Even more impressive is the fact that Balestrieri’s no-hitter was 12th in the minor leagues this season, and the third no-hitter thrown by a single pitcher this year. Shane Bieber and Adam Plutko did the same thing earlier this season for the same team. Both pitchers play for the Columbus Clippers. Now that’s pretty cool.

So, yeah, congrats to Balestrieri and the Chiefs and, ok, congrats to the Washington Capitals, too.

~ baseballrebecca

Baseball and the Queen


Since the royal wedding is taking place this week it seems rather appropriate that today marks the 27th anniversary of the time that Queen Elizabeth took in a baseball game at my favorite stadium:

~ baseballrebecca