Home Run Derby, Bat Dog

Earlier this week, the baseball world paid tribute to Home Run Derby, the Bat Dog of the Trenton Thunder who died after a bout with cancer. In memoriam, Ben Hill of milb.com wrote a great piece today on baseball’s bat dogs. The Trenton Thunder announced that they will celebrate Derby Day on January 26th, Derby’s birthday.


Just to cheer us up a little, here is some adorable footage of Gleyber Torres playing with Derby and his son, Rookie:


Thanks for the memories, Derby! May you now get all the dog treats you want!

~ baseballrebecca


Baseball Begins Today in Puerto Rico

unitedforpuertoricoMonths after the original schedule, and months after Hurricane Maria, the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League – La Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clementewill once again take the field. Since September, nearly 300,000 people, including more than 20,000 children, have left the island. No one knows when or if they will return.

Yet, baseball returns today.

Although the men’s volleyball and women’s basketball leagues will not be playing this year, a one-month baseball season will be held featuring four teams: Cangrejeros de Santurce, Criollas de Caguas, Gigantes de Carolina, and Indios de Mayaguez (which will include players from Tiburones de Aguadilla which will not field a separate team this year). The league will play in only two stadiums: Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan and Isidoro “Cholo” García Stadium in Mayaguez. No admission will be charged for the games, which will be played mostly on the weekends and mostly during daylight hours. But the games will provide much needed entertainment – and jobs – for the members of the community.

Schedules for the teams’ games can be found on MLB.com. Information on donating to relief efforts for Puerto Rico can be found at United for Puerto Rico, or at one of the many other charity websites identified by PBS News Hour.

Play ball!

~ baseballrebecca


Baseball teams all over the country are joining together to help the people in Houston affected by Hurricane Harvey. Here’s a message from MLB:

An Emotional Fan’s Guide to the Trade Deadline

It’s looming.

It’s less than 10 hours away.

Every year, MLB’s trade deadline occurs on July 31st – tormenting us up until the final moment at 4 pm, Eastern time. MLB instituted the trade deadline in 1923, in response to moves made by the New York Yankees and Giants during several previous years that put other teams at a competitive disadvantage. Thus, both the American and National Leagues implemented a uniform rule on non-waiver trades prior to the 1923 season. (Its always the Yankees, isn’t it?)

On Friday, the Orioles traded away Hyun Soo Kim, one of my favorite players. I was bummed. It’s hard when your favorite players are traded away. (It’s even harder when they go to a team you don’t really much care for.) In order to survive, however, maybe we need to start reinterpreting what a trade is.

Old definition: A trade is a heartbreaking disruption of the perfect balance achieved by the personalities on your favorite team, presumably to improve the post-season chances of one of the teams involved, but generally resulting only in heartbreak and not always a World Series championship.

New definition: A trade is a new opportunity for your favorite players, who clearly were not appreciated by the heartless owners of your favorite team. You still are not likely to win the World Series, but at least now you don’t have to hear rude MLB analysts saying mean things about a guy who was not given a fair shake on your team or watch the players’ stats dwindle along with their playing time.

Or something along those lines. (Never mind the fact that that doesn’t seem to be the case with Kim.)

You see, don’t look as a trade simply as a removal of one of your favorite players to another team, obviously without your permission. Let’s face it, often, your favorite team has pretty much mistreated said favorite player by not giving him enough playing time, not paying him what he deserves, not saying nice enough things (in your opinion) about him, etc. Favorite Player, now that he has been traded, will likely be better appreciated and have more playing time in his new city. Even if it is a city you despise. It’s not his fault. It’s the fault of the evil ownership of your favorite team.

Of course, the trades may not be over by the end of the day – meaning there will be more opportunities for our hearts to break. Teams may still negotiate trades until midnight (Eastern time) on August 31. (Any player added to a team’s roster after August 31 will not be eligible for the postseason.) After today, however, players have to clear waivers before a trade becomes final. In other words, other teams (in reverse order of the standings) will have the opportunity to claim the player first. If a player is claimed during the waiver period, the original team can choose to keep the player on its roster or send the player to the team that claimed it.

No matter how we convince ourselves that trades can be a good thing, however, we can’t help feeling like this:

Don't Go Lucas!!!!! Gonna miss you buddy!!!

A post shared by Lucas Duda (@wefollowlucasduda) on


Who Am I Watching?

How are we really expected to know who these two teams are at first glance?
It’s hard to be out of town and not be able to watch your favorite teams. It’s even harder when you turn on the hotel TV to watch baseball – any baseball, because you’re desperate for baseball – only to have your mind wander and forget what you’re watching. This recently happened to me as I was watching the Rangers and Angels this past weekend.

Of course, these aren’t my favorite teams, so I wasn’t watching as closely as I usually do when it comes to baseball. And, granted, I’m used to watching the Orioles and the Nationals on a regular basis, so these weren’t players I am completely familiar with. So, its only natural, I suppose, that at one point I looked up on the screen an had no idea who I was watching.

Excuses noted above, aside, I blame this thoroughly on the two teams themselves and the uniforms they were wearing. Although they were wearing the traditional home-white and away-gray uniforms, they were wearing essentially the same colors. Shouldn’t there be a rule about both teams wearing the same color hats? Whatever happened to the Rangers’ blue uniforms? Why did they need to add that splash of red to their wardrobe?

These aren’t the only teams I have difficulties watching. Being a Nats fan, this can be particularly problematic. There’s nothing worse than when the Nats are playing the Cardinals or the Reds and everyone decides to wear red. This really isn’t as much a problem with the Orioles, although I was thoroughly confused at times last year when they played the Giants.

With all the alternate and specialty uniforms they have these days, you’d think they could find a way to avoid this. After all, haven’t they ever had to worry about showing up to a party wearing the same outfit as someone else?

As for that Rangers-Angels game, I could only tell who was who when I really paid attention. And when Darvish turned around so I could read his jersey.

~ baseballrebecca