GO DODGERS! - Preseason HEAT UP!!

It was a cool breezy Thursday afternoon that started it. Finally it was happening, my first ever Dodger game. The only ball parks I have been to were for the Angels and other minor league teams. Being in LA I can feel the heat of all the amped fans. It's a week from opening weekend and the excitement fills everyone's faces. 

Getting to our seats was the longest journey ever, but that might've been my excitement in being their. A lot of stairs were climbed though! If only I knew the stadium better. 

Luckily I had a guide with me that loved the Dodgers. He even wore a dodger jersey. I felt safe in case something happened. I only say this because my favorite team was playing the Dodgers. My team is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. It's always a good match up when the neighboring teams play against each other. 

I was told by this wonderful guy that in order to fully enjoy the baseball game you had to have a Dodger Dog and beer. Two things that I don't normally like at games. BUT I witnessed them and it was good enough for me. The Dodger dog was mildly disappointing though. It was the longest, skinniest hot dog that barely stayed on the bun. And it was somewhere around 5$ to eat. Baseball prices are funny. They are worse than the movie theaters. 

The game started out great for the Dodgers. Every time an Angel did something good the whole entire stadium that was pretty full would boo. like this "BOOOOO BOOOO BOOOO BOOOO ANGELS" It was a bit terrifying to say the least. Over in Anaheim people just cheer for their Angels and nothing else. Fans over their don't care about the booing. Actually, correction it's "frowned" upon to boo. I remember this because once I went to a game there when they played the Oakland A's and I was told not to boo because the guy might hear me. I was pretty close to the wall of the outfield. I really just wanted to lean over and boo the guy for fun, but fear I might get kicked out of my seat was definitely an option. 

Anyway I kept telling my friend that the Angels will come back, you just got to give them time to get warmed up. It's no use trying to expect them to immediately start winning. It's not their style. By around inning 4-5 is when a run will get scored, which happened! And by inning 8 four runs got in under the Dodger's noses. I had no idea how that happened but it was an awesome win for the Angels. 

The stadium was so hot and fury by then, even though it was freezing outside! To save the craziness we left an inning early because we were confident that game was over. The Dodgers, bless their souls did try to come back but only managed one more run before loosing to their hometown rivals. 

Anger Management: How the new MLB replay system has singlehandedly eliminated one of the thrills of baseball

Tommy, you will always be my favorite.

Tommy, you will always be my favorite.

Tommy Lasorda. Bobby Cox. Lou Pinella. Legendary coaches. Legendary temper tantrum throwers. If you have never seen any of these men in the heights of rage, do yourself a favor, click on some of these gems I have provided you of some of my all time favorite baseball managers flipping the fuck out on the men we simply call "Blue". (Blue is the nickname for baseball umpires for the sports-deficient reader)

 

Fast forward to the 2014 Major League baseball season. With the new age of official replays and managerial challenges, these three Pitbulls would essentially have been reduced to muzzled mutts.

The last of the 3 major US sports to adopt replay technology to assist officiating, baseball now has in place a new video system that allows umpires and coaches to review and change controversial calls. Umpires can now convene on questionable home run/foul ball calls, out/safe calls, and through a centralized video review center in NYC, uphold or overturn a call. In addition, managers get one challenge per game to use, similar to how the NFL does their system. While it is true that getting the call correct is of the most importance, what the system has unintentionally done is removed the ancient art of arguing a call.

Case and point: I was watching a Minnesota Twins-Oakland A’s game this afternoon (yes, I am a big baseball fan to watch THAT matchup), and a ball was hit down the right field line. On first glace, it looked like the ball may have hit the line for a fair ball, but it was called foul by the umpire. At this point, the always hot headed Ron Gardenhire ran out to talk to the umpire about the potential missed call. Usually, the result of this would be veins popping out of Ron’s balding head, his skin turned to a strawberry hue, and maybe an ejection with expletives and physical gestures of displeasure. Instead, he walked out calmly, had a time wasting chit chat with the umpire while bench coach Paul Molitor looked at replays of their own, confirmed the ball was, indeed foul, and gave Ron the “no go” signal. While it may be beneficial to have coaches not get ejected from games, some of the best parts of attending a game live were the flamboyant displays by coaches upset with calls, and fans cheering as a visiting teams coach was thrown out of the game. Now, we will see neutered versions of Ron Gardenhime, Buck Showalter and Donny Baseball.

They say there are certain records that will never be broken. DiMaggio’s 56 game hit streak. Cal Ripken’s 2632 consecutive games played. Now, we can add one more that, because of the newe replay system, will be damned near impossible to do: Bobby Cox record 158 ejections. At this point, the only way you can get ejected is if you disagree with technology and try to break the replay monitors.

This Week in Pod: Sports

This Week in Pod: Sports

If you are a true sports fan like myself, there is a pretty good chance you know who Bill Simmons is. A Los Angeles transplant via Boston, the ESPN column writer turned podcaster turned website owner turned Television analyst has been a constant force in the way I ingest sports news and opinions since joining ESPN in 2001.