Celebrate Pride at the Ballpark

White and Multicolored Love Is Love BannerHappy LGBTQ+ Pride Month! I’m psyched to be going to the 15th annual Night OUT at the Washington Nationals tonight. And this year nearly every team will host a Pride Night – with the exception of the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros. And while the Yankees are not having a Pride Night per se, they will mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots on June 25 (more on that later).

MLB still has work to do on inclusion, which I’ll post about later this month. But for now, I’ve published the schedule below.  (I’ll post the Minor League events soon!) Note that several of these events are filed under “Theme Nights” on the various team websites, and special events and giveaways generally require a special ticket.

~ baseballrebecca

Date Team Details
19-Apr Padres Out at the Park
31-May Dodgers LGBT Night
1-Jun A’s Pride Night
1-Jun Reds Pride Community Night
4-Jun Nationals Night OUT
5-Jun Brewers Pride Night
6-Jun Blue Jays Pride Night
11-Jun Red Sox Pride Night
12-Jun Orioles LGBT Pride Night
12-Jun Giants LGBTQ Night
14-Jun Rays Pride Night
14-Jun Braves Pride Night
14-Jun Rockies Pride Night
21-Jun D’backs Pride Night
23-Jun Cubs Pride Night
25-Jun Angels Pride Night
26-Jun Tigers Pride Night
26-Jun Phillies Pride Night
27-Jun Marlins Pride at the Park
5-Jul Mariners Pride Night
7-Jul Pirates Pride Day
23-Jul White Sox Pride Night
23-Jul Twins Pride Night
26-Jul Cardinals Pride Night
10-Aug Mets Pride Night
25-Aug Indians Pride Night
25-Aug Cubs Out at Wrigley
4-Sep Royals Pride Night

Getting Closer . . .

Are you ready for the Annual Bobble List? Which player do you need a bobblehead of this year? Last year, I really wanted this one of Estevan Florial:

After seeing him in the Arizona Fall League, I had to get one. Finally, I had a coupon for eBay and am now the proud owner of an Estevan Florial bobblehead!

Don’t forget – the Annual Bobble List will be here soon!

~ baseballrebecca









Four . . .


Gio Gonzalez with the Washington Nationals in 2012 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Four days until Opening Day! And the best of this week? Gio Gonzalez, another of my favorite players, signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees. If Gonzalez makes it up to the Yankees, the contract will be worth $3 million, and the Yankees would become the fourth major league team Gonzalez has played for in addition to Oakland (2008-11), Washington (2012-18), and Milwaukee (2018).

Gonzalez, however, also has been with the Chicago White Sox and Philadephia Phillies organizations.  He was drafted by the White Sox in 2004 and played in their minor league system in 2004 and 2005 (for the Bristol White Sox, Kannapolis Intimidators, and  Winston-Salem Warthogs). In December 2005, he was the “player to be named later” in a deal that sent him and two other players to the Phillies for Jim Thome and cash. Gonzalez subsequently spent 2006 with the Class AA Reading Phillies. In December 2006, the Phillies traded him back to the White Sox along with another player in exchange for Freddy Garcia.

Gonzalez then spent another year in double-A, this time with the Birmingham Barons. Prior to the 2008 season, Gonzalez was traded again when the White Sox sent him and two other players to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Nick Swisher. Gonzalez spent most of the year with the triple-A Sacramento River Cats, though he pitched in 10 games for Oakland. He split 2009 between Sacramento and Oakland before reaching Oakland for good in 2010.

In December 2011, Gonzalez was traded to the Washington Nationals, where he played for almost seven seasons before being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers on August 31, 2018. He was granted free agency in October.

Hopefully, the Yankees will keep him around awhile.

~ baseballrebecca




Cousin v. Cousin

Twenty years ago, on October 21, 1998, infielder Ruben Rivera got a hit off of his cousin, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in the 1998 World Series. The hit mattered not, as the Yankees went on to sweep the Padres when the next batter hit into a double play and the next Padres batter became the final out of the series.

That World Series game was the only time Rivera faced Rivera. Ruben, the younger cousin, had been signed by the Yankees in 1990, making his major league debut in pinstripes on September 3, 1995. He played 46 games with the Yankees in 1995 and 1996.

Ruben was traded to the Padres in 1997. He would later play for the Reds, Rangers, and Giants. His final MLB appearance was in 2003 for the Giants.

However, that was not the end of Ruben Rivera’s baseball career. Rivera continued to play in the minors for both the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox from 2003-2006. In 2007, he made bed on to the Mexican League where he played for several teams before being traded to the Acereros de Monclova – where he still plays today.

Not a bad career. I’ll be keeping an eye on Ruben and his continued career in the Mexican League. I wonder if Mariano ever goes to see him play.

~ baseballrebecca

Casey Stengel and Mangers Over 65


Casey Stengel in 1953

On this date in 1960, the Yankees fired manager Casey Stengel. The 70-year old Stengel had managed the Yankees since 1949, and had managed the Brooklyn Dodgers (1934-36) and Boston Braves (1938-43) prior to that. With Stengel as manager, the Yankees had amassed a 1,149-696 record (.623) and won 10 AL pennants and 7 World Championships.

Nonetheless, after the Yankees lost the 1960 World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team informed Stengel that his contract would not be renewed. At a press conference announcing the decision, that Stengel had demanded, Yankees management evaded the question of why Stengel was being let go, to which Stengel responded, “Resigned, fired, quit, discharged, use whatever you damn please. I’ll never make the mistake of being seventy again.” The Yankees later stated that Stengel was terminated due to his age, which they would have done even if they had won the World Series. (Of course, it has been argued that the Yankees really wanted to hire Ralph Houk.)

Too late for Casey, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act was passed on December 15, 1967 (effective on June 12, 1968). The law protects workers from discrimination on the basis of age in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or terms, conditions or privileges of employment. As originally written, it covered employees between the ages of 40 and 65. The age range was extended to age 70 with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act Amendments of 1978. The upper-age limit was eliminated with the 1986 amendments to the act.

Good thing, too, because according to NPR a few years ago, MLB had the oldest managers of all professional sports. During the 2018 season, the average age of MLB managers was 54 years. Ten managers were over the age of 60; Jim Riggleman was the oldest at age 65 (the youngest was Kevin Cash, age 40). The oldest manager ever to manage an MLB team was Connie Mack, who lead the Philadelphia A’s for 30 years, from 1901 to 1950, before retiring at age 87.

Maybe in MLB, at least for managers, age really doesn’t matter. Casey himself continued to manage until age 75. He was hired to manage the expansion New York Mets in 1962, where he remained through much of the 1965 season – he only retired after breaking his hip that July. He officially retired from the Mets on August 30, 1965.

~ baseballrebecca



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.
  • 800px-Mike_Mussina_on_September_28,_2007
  • 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