Ballpark Quirks

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Minute Maid Park

Image via Wikipedia

Even if you’re not really a baseball fan, you can still get caught up in the fever every time the sport is in season. Once you decide to join the diehard fans in their enthusiasm over the sport of baseball, there is no turning back. The sport itself is exciting, but its traditions and endearing quirks will get you hooked. For instance, did you know that the ground rules in Major League Baseball differ from ballpark to ballpark, thanks to their different unique features and varying dimensions? Even the best ballparks in baseball have their peculiarities.

Nevertheless, these so-called ballpark quirks make watching the game live at the venue even more fun. Some of the most interesting places are listed below:

  • Before Miller Park, there was the old Milwaukee County Stadium. In the old venue, Bernie Brewer, the mascot, would go down a long slide into a gigantic mug. The Miller Park variation has Bernie sliding down into a platform which Kalahari Resorts has in recent years turned into a splash zone. Fans sitting nearby get sprayed with water as soon as Bernie hits the platform.
  • Tropicana Field, or “The Trop”, has those infamous catwalks (they support the ballpark dome) that are such a nuisance that they had to make some very specific rules to accommodate their possible influence on the game.
  • The old Metrodome had a white ceiling where many baseballs were lost as it would blend in with the Teflon roof.
  • Shea Stadium used to have a huge apple pop up after every homerun. The homerun apple was replaced by a sleeker new version at their new ballpark Citi Field.
  • Other unique ballpark quirks are: the Chase Field swimming pool, the Minute Maid Park hillock, Fenway Park’s Pesky’s Pole and AT&T’s McCovey Cove. One thing is clear: going to the ballpark has much more to offer than the game being played on the field.
  • Author:
  • Published: May 11th, 2011
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Wednesday on the radio version of News, Notes and Rumors

Wednesday on the radio version of News, Notes and Rumors

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SBurtonAt 6:20PM EDT Samantha Burton Indians Beat writer Bleacher Rept joins me to talk about the amazing Indians and MLB in general.At 7:20 Dave Kay waterfootball.com NBA writer joins me to talk about the playoffs and NBA draft updates.Please join us at 6PM and be a part of the show by calling us on the Herbalife hotline 216-539-0607.Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels onand a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. He edits . Also listen to the best Sports Talk anywhere on the Internet and hear his sports show Monday-Friday 6-8 PM EST on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ or http://mooheadradio.com/2.0/.

Wednesday on the radio version of News, Notes and Rumors

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

nflDraft

Tonight at 6:20 PM EDT Samantha Burten who covers the Indians on BleacherReport.com joins me to discuss the great start of the Indians and what else is going on in MLB. She will be on every Wednesday at 6:20 to update us on the Indians progress throughout the season.

At 7:20 Paul Banks of the SportsBank.net joins us to discuss the latest on the NFL draft. Paul will also be my co-host for our complete NFL Draft coverage for Day 1 on April 28. Draft coverage Thursday and Friday begins at 6 PM EDT.

On Day 2 of the NFL Draft, Kevin Arnold AKA “Ziffels” will be my co-host for rounds 2 and 3 of the draft. Again draft coverage will start at 6:00 right after Mr. Moohead’s show and continue until the conclusion of the draft that day. Regular listeners know that Kevin is outstanding in his analysis of the draft and I thank him very much for his assistance.

On Saturday we will cover the draft starting at 11AM and Ken Becks of 1stdownscouting.com is my co-host. We will cover the last 4 rounds of the draft and have a roundup of the draft including winners and losers and the analysis of how the Browns did.

Please join us for the most Cleveland centered complete draft coverage available anywhere. During the draft or anytime we are on the air, you can be part of the show by calling us at 216-539-0607.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. He edits . Also listen to the best Sports Talk anywhere on the Internet and hear his sports show Monday-Friday 6-8 PM EDT on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ or http://mooheadradio.com/2.0/.

The Top Five most Ludicrously Overpaid Sportspeople

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

David Beckham

Image via Wikipedia

There’s crazy money in sport ––– we all know it. And it’s never been fresher on the mind: January’s football transfer window saw £136 million spent in transfer fees on just four players, Chelsea’s Fernando Torres, Liverpool’s Andy Carroll, Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko and Aston Villa’s Darren Bent.

But as stunning as those transfer fees are, the real crazy money is in the salaries top sportspeople get paid.
After all, the first big news story of the football season came from the transfer that wasn’t. Having threatened to leave Manchester United, Wayne Rooney’s new contract sees him pocketing £26,000 – the nation’s average annual salary – every day.

Outrageous? Of course. But even those massive earnings pale into insignificance when you compare him to some of sport’s most extravagantly compensated individuals. Rooney might be rich but at least he’s helping to win championships – which is by no means the case for all the stars below. Without further ado, here’s our list of the most ludicrously overpaid sports stars on the global scene.

Fernando Alonso (Motorsport)

Formula 1’s highest earning driver is pocketing an annual £23million retainer from Ferrari – and that’s just his fee for driving. He can (and doubtless does) earn a lot more in top in the form of personal sponsors and team bonuses. Is this fair reward for a driver who risks his life at the highest speeds at the very pinnacle of his sport? Well, first you might weigh up that it’s almost double the fee of the second highest earner, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton. But then consider who actually raced to the title this year: Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, whose pay packet is a relatively paltry £2million. Does Alonso look a touch overpaid in comparison?

David Beckham (Football)

East London’s most famous footballing son walked into an astonishing £162million contract when he moved to LA Galaxy in 2007. He might have been approaching the twilight of his career in 2007, but that didn’t stop the Americans using a colossal amount of cash to lure him away from arguably Europe’s most prestigious (and wealthy) club, Real Madrid. Sure, Galaxy have enjoyed modest successes with Beckham in midfield, but he doesn’t even play for them all year round – signing, for example, to play for AC Milan during the mid-season break last year. It’s a ludicrously high salary even if you are an international ‘sex symbol’!

Maria Sharapova (Tennis)

Speaking of which…why is Maria Sharapova (current world ranking: 13) getting paid so much more than the current world number 1, Caroline Wozniacki? Ah, yes: that familiar factor in the world of female sports stars: marketability based on looks. Sharapova made history in 2010 by signing the most lucrative sporting contract ever by a female: she will take home around £45 million for wearing Nike apparel. That’s just one of her endorsements; she also has deals with Tropicana and Gatorade. Oh, and doesn’t she earn some money from tennis as well? Yes… although that’s an interesting point: all this reward overlooks the fact that she hasn’t won a Grand Slam title since 2008. Maybe we should compare her earnings to other models rather than sports stars?

Tiger Woods (Golf)

Despite the recent turmoil in his personal life, Tiger Woods remains one of the most overpaid sports stars. The first athlete to earn over one billion dollars in his career, Tiger has ruthlessly exploited more than just his sporting ability: like many of the other players in this list, the real key to Woods’ wealth is that he’s a marketing machine. From the moment he turned professional, Woods was signing big money endorsements, starting with £40million contracts from Nike and Titleist before he’d won anything at all. Nowadays Nike alone pay him more than £21million a year – handsomely recouped at golf shop tills, no doubt – and that’s before you mention PepsiCo (he launched Gatorade’s ‘Tiger’ drink), Tag Heuer, Buick, Gillette, and at least half a dozen others. However, the picture gets a little murkier following Woods’ recent sordid escapades in the tabloids. Some sponsors have publicly dropped him, others are prevaricating, which means that Woods might have to go back to earning good old fashioned prize money instead.

Alex Rodriguez (Baseball)

Finally, if you thought soccer money was crazy, consider American sport. As characterised in Jerry Maguire, the US sport scene still throws up stories of wild excesses and relentless money-grabbing.

First, take a look at baseball. 8 of the top 10 most lucrative sporting deals in history have been between baseball players and their clubs. Top dog in this league table of notorious money magnets is Alex Rodríguez: A-Rod to his fans, and ‘Darling’, we presume, to girlfriend Cameron Diaz. His 10 year contract with the New York Yankees is worth £180million, not including bonuses and off-field endorsements. Wait, who was the second highest paid player in baseball? Rodríguez again: this time the mere £162million contract with Texas Rangers that preceded his current deal.

Still, at least baseball guys play up to 160 games a season. To really put things into context we should look at what players earn per competitive encounter – and for this we ought to glance at American football. With only 16 games in the regular season, the per-game figures for these guys are staggering. How about Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback for the (recently defeated in Superbowl 40) Pittsburgh Steelers? His £66 million, 7-year contract will see him earn close to £500,000 every game.

So how does all this make you feel, when you consider the effort you put yourself through every day to earn a living?

A little… undervalued, perhaps?

Garry Hudson writes about all things debt and financial related and currently works for Baines and Ernst

  • Author:
  • Published: May 27th, 2009
  • Category: MLB Baseball
  • Comments: Comments Off on Baseball is the one reality show that is losing TV viewership.

Baseball is the one reality show that is losing TV viewership.

Tags: ,

MLB

As the ship sinks slowly in the west and the sun pulls away from the shore, we say goodbye to the beautiful islands. Viewership for baseball, the sport formerly known as America’s game, is down 9 percent from last year which was a disaster. Fox executives will visit Commissioner Selig high atop a 2 story Shell Station in beautiful downtown Milwaukee in an attempt to figure out what the problem might be.

Logic tells us that when the economy is in the dumper, more people should be saying home watching the games from their couches. The people are staying home. They’re just not watching baseball. The problem is that those that have the responsibility for marketing the game couldn’t sell you a fire extinguisher if the cuffs of your pants were blazing.

The game is what it is. It by nature is a slow game played over a 20 year season, or so it seems. The future of any sports league is the young. Baseball and hockey have all but abandoned marketing to those under 30.

When I was a kid, Ben Franklin, George Washington and I used to go out with our friends and play baseball everyday during the summer. Kids today don’t do that. They play video games. MLB has ignored the technology that other leagues have used to widen their popularity particularly with the young. So what can the MLB do to improve the marketing of their product?

Get serious about steroids. Too many fans feel cheated by the fact that so many players have been found to have used drugs. Get a handle on the problem and stop the death by a thousand cuts that the sport has been suffering.

Do more on the Internet. The key to getting the attention of anyone under 30 is the Internet.

Push the stars particularly young stars. The success of the NBA to gather young fans has been the promotion of Kobe, Lebron, and others. Baseball has never really pushed their younger stars. The only time we hear about their stars is when another one has tested positive for steroids.

Do things for the kids. Moving the World Series games to an earlier start time will help. But play some afternoon games on the weekends. Make families feel wanted by having free kids day with a paid adult. Many teams are not selling out anyway. Fill the stands with kids on the weekends and special days during the season. If you get them wanting to come, you will get the parents. It has worked for McDonalds and it will work for baseball as well.

With the mindset of baseball, we will probably find out that Fox has decided to use their puck on fire technology for the baseball.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: mlb,major league baseball,Fox network,steroids,internet,all stars

Fantasy Baseball Fans—Beware of the WBC players in your drafts.

Tags: , , ,

Fryingpan Sports

Fantasy Baseball Fans—Beware of the WBC players in your drafts.

BB

By Bill Smith

Note to readers: Niblets will return next Saturday.

There are two reasons that you should shy away from drafting WBC participants. We have seen the list of injuries that key players have sustained. As bad as those injuries are, they may represent just the sales tax on the costs to teams that allowed their players to participate.

First, there is a much higher chance of injury than a given player would have had he not played in the WBC. The level of competition was way too high way too soon. They did not have the usual slow process of most springs working into game shape. That lack of warm up time and intensity of competition against national teams that were ready for the games will show up in mid season injuries.

Be particularly careful drafting pitchers that were in the WBC. The usual spring pitch count limit in the first 2 or 3 appearances for starters is 30-50. Some WBC starters went 100 to 120 pitches in game conditions not in the laid back or laid out games of spring training. That is a prescription for injury later in the season.

The second risk is reduced production. Success in the WBC should not be used as an indication of a great season or even an average year. In most cases the pitching of WBC teams is far below MLB regular season levels. The hitters are also not facing MLB quality pitching either. WBC stats should be ignored. They are less reliable than spring training stats which are useless in projecting regular season performance.

So, for players in the WBC, it is Buyer Beware! The team you save will be your own along with a good measure of sanity.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: wbc,World Baseball Classic,Fantasy Baseball,Major League Baseball,MLB,injuries,pitchers,pitch count,spring training

© 2011 FryingPanSports. All Rights Reserved.

This blog is powered by the Wordpress platform and beach rentals.