Manny Machado in the on deck circle at Camden Yards, June 25, 2019
As I mentioned on Sunday, a week ago my favorite player, Manny Machado, was back in Baltimore playing against the Orioles with his new team, the San Diego Padres. Since I still haven’t forgiven the O’s for trading him, I wore my Manny Padres shirt and my Lake Elsinore Storm cap. I wasn’t the only Padres fan there.
I’ve been a Manny fan ever since the O’s signed him, and I watched him play single-A and double-A ball with the Frederick Keys and Bowie Baysox before he skipped triple-A and went up to the Orioles in 2012. I even went to one of his rehab games in Frederick in 2014. So I certainly wasn’t going to miss seeing him when the Padres came to town for an inter-league game this year.
As I knew they would, Orioles’ fans gave Manny a standing ovation when he came up for his first at bat. He gave a little wave to the fans in response. When he hit a home run in the 3rd inning, we cheered again. It was a bittersweet night. But at least we got to see our Manny again. And he looked like he enjoyed catching up with his old teammates. Check out the pics below.
Hugging Miguel Castro: this brought a tear to my eye.
A standing ovation for Manny.
Manny and Fernando Tatis, Jr.
Am I the only one, or did voting for the All-Star game get even harder? I mean, there’s even a voting guide on MLB.com to explain all the changes. We now have a Primary, then there’s “The Starters Election.” You mean I have to do this voting thing again?
Raise your hand (or post a comment) if you miss the old way of voting – going to a ballgame, getting your ballot from the usher, and pushing out all those little circles of paper next to your favorite players’ names. Sure, it was probably bad for the environment or dangerous for animals around the ballpark, but the new way gives me a headache.
All I want to do is check off the names of players, but, no, I have to click a million times and then fork over all my information – including my birth date – to submit my ballot. If I want to stuff the ballot box, I probably have to type in some code to prove I’m not a robot. (I don’t know, I didn’t want to have to go through that this year, so I voted once and that was it.) Last year, I could barely read those codes on my tiny phone screen. It’s voter suppression, I tell you!
Ok, yeah, I hear it now – I’ve become a grumpy Gen-X’er. (But still.)
Well, MLB keeps saying they need younger fans. Maybe this is a way to do it. Let the Millennials and Gen Z pick the All-Star teams – maybe that will motivate them to watch the game (instead of simply going to the ballpark to socialize). That’s ok with me.
As long as they vote for Trey Mancini.
One of my favorite Minor League Baseball bobbles: Trey Mancini with the Frederick Keys (and now with the O’s)
Since I’m on a bobblehead kick right now (my Annual List is coming!!!), I thought I’d see what kind of bobblehead statistics are out there. And I wasn’t disappointed. There were several great stats-related bobble articles, so I’ve posted their links here:
- In 2013, a writer for SB Nation did an analysis of how players performed on their bobblehead night. She has some great info on which players hit homeruns on their bobble nights and which ones weren’t even present for their bobble night.
- Last year for National Bobblehead Day, the website Decades posted some fun facts about bobbleheads, including the fact that the San Francisco Giants have given away more than 75 bobbleheads. I’m not sure if that’s ever or what they’re measuring here, but still a fun fact.
- Not baseball-related, but a website dedicated to hockey bobbleheads has some great stats on bobbleheds, including “Bobblettendance.” We need something similar for baseball!
- Two years ago, Crain’s Cleveland Business reported several stats regarding Cleveland Indians’ bobblehead nights. They found a whopping 25% increase in attendance on bobble nights.
- Towards Data Science published a detailed statistical analysis titled, “Applied multi-level model on panel data in MLB promotion marketing,” looking at several factors, including date of giveaway, day of the week, and other variables.
- Amazon has a list of “Best Sellers in Bobble Head Figures,” but (a) bobblehead is one generally one word, and (b) they are almost all Funko figures, so that doesn’t count. Nonetheless, Babe Ruth comes in at #61 and Aaron Judge is #93. (Interestingly, Fred Sanford from “Sanford & Son” is #50 – and it’s pretty cool.) (I will not get sucked into collecting new things. I will not get sucked into collecting new things.) By the way, the Los Angeles Times had a great article about Funko back in 2010.
A come-from-behind-win is great, but when your rookie outfielder both ties the game and then hits a walk-off homer, its downright AWESOME! Nice work, Trey Mancini!