A Long Time Coming

It has been over a year since I attended my last Major League games. This past Saturday I took care of that in style. I attended the rare doubleheader in Chicago. The Cubs played the noon game, and the White Sox played a six o’clock game. This has been something that I have wanted to do for a while now, and Saturday I got my chance. We had good seats for the Cubs game that gave me a good vantage point to try out my new lens that I have been renting. For the first game of the year it was a good one. The Cubs and Rockies traded the lead until the Rockies finally prevailed. On a hot day it was a nice quick game that let us get on the ‘L’ for stop two on the day. During the Sox game the heat started getting to me so I moved up from our seats in row one for a while. When I got back so did the Sox offense, and they completed the perfect day by coming back to beat the Mariners. Fireworks closed out a great sports day. I have seen more than 18 innings in one game. I saw the 19 inning game in 2006 between the White Sox and Red Sox. In 2003 in a doubleheader at Wrigley we watched 24 innings. I have seen more in one day, but never at two parks. That was a great experience that I would like to try again.

I have not been posting much on here as I have shifted my interest a bit. I have a blog called csd’s Daily Photo where I have to take a picture a day for a year. You can find that blog here. Some of that content is sports related, but of a high school variety that I didn’t think needed to be repeated here. Purdue cranks up the football season Saturday, and the blog will be back then. I think that I will go back to the original format at that time. I will just talk about my experience, and leave the analysis to the pros.

Here are a few pictures from both games Saturday that I liked.

This was my first time seeing the Ron Santo statue outside of Wrigley

Former Cub Tyler Colvin shares a laugh prior to the game

Tyler Colvin just misses getting hit in the helmet early in the game

Starlin Castro tries to turn a double play

The fractured bat of Anthony Rizzo rests in the outfield grass

Another tight play at second base

The last time I was at the Cell they were unveiling this statue of Frank Thomas


I finally got to see Kevin Youkilis in his other Sox

My man Paulie making contact

Newly acquired Pitcher Brett Myers just after release

Alexei turning the double play

Eric Thames having some fun with the crowd

Kyle Seager blasts the second of his two home runs on the night

Kevin Youkilis makes the final out near the Sox dugout

High fives all around for a job well done














My 25 Goals For the 2010 Baseball Season

This year marks the 25th year that I have been attending Major League Baseball games. At first my attendance was sparse. I went when my father got free tickets from his company. We all know now that I will go whenever I can get a chance. I love lists. Lists are how you can look at things. So as this season progresses I will have a few lists on here. The first of those will be my goal sheet for this 25th anniversary season. Here are the things that I would like to accomplish during the 2010 season. Some of them have already been checked off. Some of them might take some work to get done. I will have to look at this at the end of the year to see how I fared. Here is the list:

  1. See the Arizona Diamondbacks play (5/1/2010) – Arizona is one of the two Major League teams that I have not seen play coming into 2010.
  2. See the Colorado Rockies play (5/17) – The other team that I have yet to see in person.
  3. Attend the White Sox game against the Orioles on 8/25/2010 – This is the day 25 years later that I attended my first baseball game. The stadium may have changed, but I still get chills when I walk inside.
  4. See the Toronto Blue Jays play – (5/7) The Blue Jays were the first opponent that I saw the Sox play.
  5. See Brian Bannister pitch (5/5/2010) – Brian is the son of former Sox hurler Floyd Bannister who pitched in the first game that I saw.
  6. See a game at U.S. Cellular Field (4/5/2010) – I checked off a few goals on Opening Day. This was one of them.
  7. See a game at Wrigley Field (5/1/2010) – This may be the territory of the enemy, but it is a landmark park in my own backyard. I also have some great memories inside this stadium.
  8. Attend Opening Day (4/5/2010) – This should be a goal every season.
  9. Attend a game on my birthday – I also try to do this every season. This year the Sox are in town, and they are playing the Yankees.
  10. Attend Frank Thomas day at the Cell – The day after my birthday (8/29/2010) they will be honoring the Big Hurt. I guess I will have to make it two in a row at the Cell.
  11. Attend a Red Sox game – I always enjoy games between the two Sox clubs. I would love to make this the first time for Fenway, but I will probably have to settle for the September matchup at the Cell.
  12. Attend a game at Miller Park – This stadium just north of us on 94 is a great one to watch baseball in.
  13. Attend a game at Comerica Park – I was here in 2003, but did not take my camera. Last season I visited all the parks that I did not take pictures at besides this one. We cross it off in 2010.
  14. Visit a new Minor League stadium – While MLB baseball is fun, MiLB baseball can be just as much fun. I need to find a new stadium to enjoy the action in this year.
  15. See Lyle Overbay play (5/7) – While I was in college I attended many South Bend Silverhawk games. Lyle was a star on those teams. He now plays for the Blue Jays.
  16. Attend the Midwest League All Star game – This year it is just down the road in Fort Wayne. What better way to see some of the young talent in the game?
  17. See an Angels game (5/20) – With the World Series year being five years ago I would love to see them play their ALCS opponent.
  18. See an Astros game – After visiting their stadium this season I wanted to see the team play in person. They were also the team we beat in 2005 to win it all.
  19. Attend at least nine games at the Cell this season – If I can accomplish this I will have attended 50 games at the Cell. It took a while for the first 50, but I bet the next 50 comes much easier.
  20. Road trip to a new MLB stadium – I have knocked out most of the stadiums near me. Although my brother does get married this season in Colorado when the Rockies are in town.
  21. See a game on 5/22/2010 – For some reason I seem to see a game every two years on this date. So this being an even numbered year it is time to see a game. I really have a problem huh?
  22. See a game against the Tigers, Royals (5/5/2010), Twins (4/11/2010), and the Indians (4/5/2010) – This one involves seeing all the AL Central teams.
  23. Snag a ball during a game (5/4/2010) – I have plenty of balls that I acquired during batting practice. This year I want to get one during a game. Update: I snagged a foul ball in the 4th inning of a game between Northwestern and Valpo. With less than 100 fans at the game it increased my odds a bit.
  24. Ballhawk at Wrigley Field – I have always wanted to just take the train up to Wrigley with no ticket and ballhawk. I guess this will have to be the year. No ticket required.
  25. Get a ball autographed by both Rich Dotson and Carlton Fisk – I met both of these guys at my first game in 1985. The both autographed my program. I would love to get a ball autographed by both players for my collection.

If I can do all of this I would have to say that I will have had a great year. We will see what happens over the course of the season

Who To Root For in the Playoffs (2009 Edition)

Last season I tried to find a team to root for in the playoffs once the White Sox were eliminated. This year I can try this from the start. Here are the eight teams that have made the postseason this season.

American League
New York Yankees
Minnesota Twins
Boston Red Sox
Los Angeles Angels

National League
St. Louis Cardinals
Philadelphia Phillies
Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Dodgers

I will start my process by picking the teams that I have seen play this season in person. This eliminates the Bronx Bombers, the Phillies (who were my 2009 pick), and the Rockies. The other five teams I was able to watch live this season. It is a lot easier to root for a team that you have seen play. Now comes the hard part. How do I get these five teams down to one that I can root for? Well, I root for the White Sox so I can just check the 40 man rosters of each of these teams to find players that once played for the palehose. The team with the most former Sox players wins.

Minnesota Twins (3)
Jon Rauch
Joe Crede
Orlando Cabrera

Los Angeles Angels (0)
None. But I feel as though Chone Figgins is a former player the way his name is batted around each offseason.

St. Louis Cardinals (0)
I still may root for them a little.

Los Angeles Dodgers (3)
Jon Garland
Charlie Haeger
Jim Thome

Boston Red Sox (1)
Brian Anderson

So here is where we stand right now. The Cardinals and Angels have zero former Sox players on their team. What are they thinking? The Red Sox have one, and it is even a member of the White Sox this season in Brian Anderson. The Dodgers have three which ties them for first, and they have a player that was a member of the Sox this season in Jim Thome. They also have one of my favorites in Jon Garland. That just leaves the Twins. They have three former Sox players as well. Orlando Cabrera did not make many friends in Chicago last season, but he is a winner. Joe Crede will always be one of my favorite Sox players of all-time. He was clutch. How do I break this tie for my loyalty? They are in separate leagues so I guess I am rooting for a Twins/Dodgers series. If that does happen I have one way to break the tie. I have seen the Twins three times this season including once in their stadium. I saw the Dodgers a couple of days after that trip in Milwaukee. That is a 3-1 vote for the Twins. Also the Twins have a former Irish pitcher (Jeff Manship), and one of the coolest MLB bloggers out there (Pat Neshek). I think we have a winner. The team that I will root to win it all is the Twins? Can a White Sox fan do this? I guess we will see. It is easy to root for them now as they are facing the Yankees. Nobody wants them to win. Well maybe a few. When it comes down to it though can I be a Twins fan for a couple weeks? Stay tuned.

Thome Has a New Home

Last night Kenny Williams waved the white flag after the Sox started this road trip 1-7. He traded Jose Contreras to the Rockies for another player! They received Brandon Hynick for the struggling pitcher. In a move that shocked me they also traded away slugger Jim Thome. They received prospect Justin Fuller for him. Fuller is a 25 year old that is still in A ball. Gentleman Jim gets traded in the twilight of his career for a nobody. I loved watching Jim crush the ball during his time with the Sox. He hit some of the longest homers I have ever seen hit in The Cell. He also seemed to be a genuinely good guy. He will be missed. This move opens up the door for Scotty Pods at the DH spot. So long Jim, we will miss you. The only question I have about the trade is where will Jim play in Los Angeles? He has not played first base in a couple of years. Do they just use him as a pinch hitter until they make the World Series? He did not do well in that role during interleague play this season. He does give them a good bat off the bench that could change the game with one swing. I will have more on this trade later I am sure. It is just starting to sink in.

Jose Contreras on the other hand needed to go. When I met him while he was playing for the Charlotte Knights this season he made me a fan of his. His pitching over the course of his Sox career has made it hard for me to like him. He was one game under .500 during his time with the Sox. He won some big games for us, but he was not the ace of the staff by far.

The White Sox are now four games under .500 with two more games in Minnesota left, and then four with the Red Sox at home after that. In between those series is the game that was supposed to have playoff implications, but now is just a measure of which team has fallen farther. This team could easily be 10 games under .500 in the next week.