So June is finally here.
I love this time of the baseball season.
It isn’t about the sun and the nice weather. I live in southern California, I have that year round. And it isnt that special feeling you get on Opening Day. Or the excitment you get on the last day because your team is in the playoffs. For most teams the race hasn’t really even begun. The Red Sox could lose their billion game lead, and miss the playoffs. No one knows.
And thats what I love about June. All of the players are warmed up. And every hit counts, but not for all of your batting average. I hate that about the first few weeks of the season, one strike out and your numbers are shot. But now in June every at bat counts just enough. Later in the season a plate appearance doesn’t really matter unless you are going for a record. Well, everything matters, but it won’t make the difference between batting .200 and .400.
The same thing applies to the division. Now losing a game is bad, but it isn’t going to drop you to the cellar (in most divisions anyways). But if your team is no good you won’t be leading either. But better still there is time for your team to get good.
That and it makes more sense to wear jerseys, skirts and knee highs during summer. This is going to be a great June.
OH MLB, how could you do this to me?
Firstly, as I noted before, here at UCSD we get 2 ESPNs (ESPN 1 and ESPN 2), as well as one FSN (FSN West). However we do not get "channel 4" which is the local channel that carries Padres’ games. Additionally, the walls here don’t allow for radio reception.
So after much debate over how to get baseball access I was more than ready to pay the twenty dollars a month for MLB.TV premium. However I recalled a conversation with a friend from the floor above me about how his roommate had subscribed the year before, and the games had been blacked out. BUT SURELY MLB WOULDN’T BLACK OUT ANGELS’ GAMES FROM ANAHEIM IN LA JOLLA!! But I checked. And the zip code here gets blacked out.
Great going MLB. Way to punish me for trying to get an education. I understand you have certain restrictions because of tv agreements, but you should really consider the fan’s interest here. It is by NO MEANS my fault that I can’t watch Angels’ games. I have done more than my fair research as to how to access these, and for some reason I can’t.
I woke up early this morning to buy Angels’ season opener tickets. I’m a bleacher creecher, and proud of it. But since we can no longer buy tickets at the stadium when tickets go onsale we have to do it online. Buying tickets online means ticket master service charges. It means I can’t use my parents triple A discount. And it means that I can’t pick exactly where I want to sit. I had the exact tickets I want, and then lost them because of a time restriction. I had everything typed in right, I triple checked, but then I lost my tickets. It took an hour to find decent tickets for opening day. AN HOUR. With how much extra these tickets cost I could have taken the train from UCSD to Angels’ stadium, and picked EXACTLY where I wanted to sit. But they have even taken that luxury away from me.
So instead of buying the MLB.TV package, I bought gameday audio, which means no actually watching baseball. Just listening.
I write this because I think it is unfair that I am willing to pay to watch these games, games that if I lived anywhere else in the area I would be able to access, but even still I can’t watch them. I think it is unfair that a college student, who is thousands of dollars in debt because of tuition, who spends most of her extra money on baseball merchandise and tickets can’t even see her home team while she is away. Training to and from Angels’ games is going to cost more than actual game tickets. But I’m ok with that. I’ll spend the money. It isn’t about that. Its about how greed is getting in the way of the fans enjoying baseball, and it is completely unfair.
I’m all for capitalism. I’m all for not having a salary cap. I know that the post office donates money every year to the Yankees. Fine. I just want to watch baseball. I’ll pay for it. I pay to write about baseball here. Maybe this is why there are so few baseball fans here. MLB makes it impossible to become one. Thanks again for that.
Here is a conversation I had with a boy wearing a Huston Street shirt in one of the dining commons last night:
"Have you ever met Huston Street?"
"No, but he’s so awesome."
"Yeah, amazing 2005 Rookie of the year. How bummed are you about Zito leaving?"
"Well, I’m actually a Giants’ fan too, so not too upset."
Now logically this should have been my clue that he did not know what he was talking about, but in the spirit of baseball I continued on with the conversation…..
"What? Well, they have Bonds so no one can REALLY like them."
"I love Bonds, best player of all time!"
"Wait, what?! Steriods? That would actually be Joe DiMaggio."
"You are just saying that because he was a switch hitter."
"DiMaggio wasn’t a switch hitter, that was Mantle."
"OH RIGHT, DiMaggio was the last guy to bat .400!"
"No, that was Williams. DiMaggio hit in 56 games straight in the summer of 1941." "Oh yeah"
"Not to mention 361 Home Runs to 369 Strike Outs, thats a 1:1 ratio, best all time for players with over 300 Home Runs."
"Well Bonds has 7 Gold Gloves, most ever."
I didn’t even waste my time telling him that he meant MVPs.
OH SAN DIEGO…
That the guy wearing a Red Sox hat actually be a Red Sox fan, or maybe know something about them?
Are New Era hats sold at Lids fashionable. Yes, I suppose so but don’t wear one if you can’t name at least one starting pitcher of that teams rotation.
Do I have a Red Sox hat? Yes. Am I a fan, no. But I am a fan of baseball. And I can talk to you about their starting rotation, their starting line up, and those guys’ stats. Therein I have a right to wear the hat.
But people who wear hats and don’t even like baseball, thats a little misleading. And by a little I mean a lot.
The same thing applies to my NASCAR weekend. So many of the people in the infield weren’t fans of the sport. I’m all for partying, to quote a bumper sticker I read once "Forget the race, I’m here for the party." But thats not really true. I sat on the roof of a motorhome and watched the race even after both of my drivers were out. Why? Because I’m a loyal fan. Most of the people went inside and watched it on their TVs. Why spend 100 dollars on a tickets, and 1000 dollars on an infield spot when you could just go to a bar and get drunk while watching the race if you want to do it on TV.
Real sports fans will rough it out. Sleep in a camper instead of a motor home. Or even a tent instead of a camper. Real fans sit out in the cold. Real fans sit through the rain. **** I went to see team Japan play team Korea in the WBC a day before I left for Russia while I was sick in 40 degree weather in the very top of the View section at Angel Stadium last year because it meant seeing a few extra innings of baseball.
And mostly real sports fans hate when people are misleading about their sports interest for fashions sake.
Many of you may be familiar with the popular online social network called "facebook". As a college student I use facebook to keep in touch with many of my friends from high school. Facebook is easier than email, and more private than myspace, making it ideal. Facebook also allows members to create forums called groups where members can join and talk about common interests. My qualm is with one group inparticular intitled "YANKEES ****!"
I stumbled upon this wonderful group in an attempt to find people interested in discussing Joe Dimaggio (I don’t believe that he *****, but this group came up when his name was searched). In their description they list "50 reasons why the Yankees ****," which for some reason included Joe Dimaggio. In their opinion the number four reason why the Yankees **** is "Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak in 1941 is considered the record in baseball. Why is excellence over two months better than excellence over a season? (DiMaggio had 193 hits that season, sixty-four short of George Sisler’s major league record.)".
This outraged me for many reasons. Firstly claiming that Joe Dimaggio recieving credit for an outstanding performance is a reason to claim that an entire franchise ***** is ridiculous. Think about it, his individual effort in the 1941 season has never been matched at the major league level. 56 games straight is an amazing feat, especially considering that Kellers 44 was the previous mark, with Sislers 41 being the next closest. But perhaps it is the comparison to Sisler’s former major league record that is most absurd.
Dimaggio and Sisler played at different times. Sisler’s last season was 1930, where Dimaggio didn’t even move up from the PCL until 1936. Yes Sisler did manage to get 257 hits in a single season, and yes that record did stand for 84 years, but it also happened in 1920. Dimaggio’s hit streak didn’t come until 1941, 21 years later. This list implies that Sisler was robbed by Dimaggio, that Dimaggio was unrightfully named the American League MVP that year, because Sisler deserved it. However Sisler had been retired for 11 years by the time Dimaggio won the award. Therefore making their argument invalid.
Perhaps they meant to discuss Williams mark of .406. Yes, that mark is impressive, and hasn’t been matched since. Not to mention Williams heroics of playing in the second game of the double header on the last day of the season when he could have been benched. I’m not going to argue that Williams feat is not to be admired, but claiming that Dimaggio was only excellent "over two months is asinine. Let us not forget that Dimaggio hit in 56 games straight, missed a hit in the 57th game, and then posted another 16 game hit streak. Not to claim Dimaggio wasn’t slumping early in the 1941 season, but he was definately "excellent" for more than 2 months. Additionally to claim that Sisler was robbed by Dimaggio 11 years later, but to vote for Williams would also do Sisler an injustice according to the find folks at "YANKEES ****". Sisler batted over .400 twice in his career, both times with averages higher than Williams (.407 in 1920, the same year as his 257 hits, and .420 in 1922 when he won the MVP). But that was a different era, so how can you compare.
I’ll admit that Williams was responsible for more runs in the 1941 season, but the Yankees won the pennant, and the World Series that year. While many people argue that shouldn’t be a factor in MVP voting it often is. Joe Dimaggio was the rightful MVP of the 1941 season, and "fans" that claim players of another era were deprived of their right to a crown because of it clearly don’t know what they are talking about.