Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fenway now even more FAN FRIENDLY

Big news for Fenway Faithful, moves are being made to provide fans with an even more memorable fan experience.  Some of the proposed ideas such as kids running the bases and senior strolls may seem tried and old to Met fans who can take advantage of these events at least once a month.  But how about photo ops with current players?
The biggest change will probably be the addition of Wally's World at Fenway located on Yawkey way from the 2nd inning through the 7th.  Wally's World will be dedicated to Fenway's younger fans and even provide them with the opportunity to meet their beloved mascot Wally the Green Monster during the third and fourth innings of the game.  Similarly to Citi Field's Fan Fest Wally's World, will be filled with kid-friendly games and concessions.

The first chance for kids to run the bases will be on Aug. 25 after the Mariners game.
Player photo ops are as of now scheduled for Aug. 3, Aug. 24 and Sept. 7 from 5:30-6 p.m. ET across from Gate D by the NESN pregame stage.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Remembering idols

On Friday night among a sell out crowd, the NY Yankees paid tribute to both Bob Sheppard and The Boss George Steinbrenner.  The evening began with the infamous recording by Sheppard,"The Shortstop ... number 2 ...Derek Jeter ... number 2."  Jeter then asked for a moment of silence for the two fallen idols, and fans stood as "Taps" echoed through the ballpark.
  "Simply put, Mr. Steinbrenner and Mr. Sheppard both left this organization in a much better place than when they first arrived. They've set the example for all employees of the NY Yankees to strive to follow." 

The ceremony then continued with Mariano Rivera laying two long-stemmed roses wrapped in white and blue ribbon on home plate.  The game was then played without a public address announcer.  The Yankees in their winning fashion took the game in a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Bob Sheppard was laid to rest on Thursday.  Services were held at his local Parish in Baldwin, Long Island, where more than 800 mourners attended, however no current Yankee players attended.

George Steinbrenner surprisingly had a much more intimate funeral service, attended by about 40 guests. The Boss was laid to rest in a  cemetery near his Tampa home on Saturday.

Celebrations and continued through Saturday as the Yankees hosted their 64th annual Old Timers Game.  Players from the 1950 team were being honored in their 60th anniversary, joined by other players from every decade of Yankee history who all came to play two innings at Yankee Stadium before the current Yankees took the field against the Rays.  Yogi Berra missed the event after falling at his home and suffering some bruising.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Wait is OVER

After 13 long years the National League defeats the American league in a 3-1 win with a big assist from Atlanta Brave Brian McCann in the seventh inning of the game.  McCann was also named MVP of the game.

This win hands World Series home field advantage over to the National League (we all have seen how great Home Field Advantage can be, esp to teams like the NY METS).  The win also ends a 7 All Star winning streak for the American League.

Last night's All Star Game took a somber turn following the sudden loss of Yankee's owner and Chairperson George M Steinbrenner, who passed away early Tuesday morning of a massive heart attack.  Steinbrenner was 80 years old.  Also remembered at the game was long time Public Address Announcer for the NY Yankees Bob Sheppard who passed away at the age of 99.

Courtesy of MLB.COM
Facts and Figures from the 81st All-Star Game

78,000 Pounds of ice used in concessions
800 Gallons of ketchup
10 Roster changes since original announcement
33 First-time All-Stars
6 Number of pitches needed by Cliff Lee to retire the side in order in the fourth
45,408 Attendance for the game
85 Game-time temperature in sunny Southern California
5 All-Star hitting streak for David Wright. He is 6-for-13
8 Number of times the All-Star Game has been scoreless through four innings
.435 Derek Jeter's All-Star BA (10-for-23) after going 1-for-2 with a walk
0 Number of home runs hit for the second consecutive year
6 Number hits by the American League, their lowest since six in 1999
11 Number of All-Star Games in California, the most for any state
9 Number of years since Andy Pettitte's last All-Star appearance.
2:59 Time of game

MLB Mourns Loss of the Boss

On what should have been a slow news day until AFTER the conclusion of the 81st All Star Game, MLB fans around the country woke up to the news that the 80 yr old Boss had passed away of a massive heart attack in Tampa.  The news hit none harder than Yankee Universe who was already mourning the loss of "the Voice" Bob Sheppard.  
George Steinbrenner was celebrating his 37th anniversary as Principal Owner of the New York Yankees.  In January of 1973 Steinbrenner bought the Yankees from CBS for $8.7 million.  A price that today wouldn't even cover a single player's salary.  During his time as Yankee's owner and chairperson, Steinbrenner saw the team win 11 American League pennants and seven World Championships, the most in the MLB.

George Steinbrenner who is famous for fueling the infamous rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox was able to put rivalries aside for the sake of charity.  He was generous donor to many charitable causes throughout the nation and his communities and even donated annually to Red Sox charity the Jimmy Fund.

Various teams throughout the MLB have expressed their condolences for the Boss who is survived by his wife and kids; the Red Sox even held a moment of silence for Steinbrenner at the start of Thursday's game against the Texas Rangers.   

Rest In Peace Bob Sheppard

Long time Yankee Public Address Announcer Bob Sheppard passed away Sunday July 11th at the age of 99. Sheppard's legacy began with Joe DiMaggio and will be carried on for as long as Derek Jeter plays for the Yankees.

Sheppard began his tenure with the Yankees in 1951 and continued with the team until his retirement in 2007 after becoming ill of a bronchial infection. Sheppard's voice also nicknamed "the voice of G-D" can still be heard before each of Derek Jeter's home game at-bats. Jeter plans to continue using the recorded introduction. As an honor to Sheppard Major League Baseball allowed Jeter to use the recording during Tuesday's 81st All Star Game.

The media dining room at the new Yankee Stadium is named after Sheppard who was also an athlete during his youth having played both football and baseball for St. John's University. Sheppard is survived by his wife, sons Paul and Christopher, daughters Barbara and Mary, four grandchildren and at least nine great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be held on Thursday in Baldwin.

Big Papi Wins Home Run Derby

This one goes out to my friends over in Red Sox Nation... how great was it to see David Ortiz win the 2010 Home Run Derby? We all cringed as we saw Papi struggle in April barely securing a spot in the rotation, and now he is the FIRST RED SOX player to win a Home Run Derby.

This was Ortiz 4th attempt at a Derby title. He won the title by besting Hamely Ramirez and hitting 32 home runs during the competition (eight homers in Round 1 and 13 more in Round 2 and 11 in the final round).

During the final round you could seem how calm and collected Papi was; smiling as he swung the bat and knocked ball after ball out of the park. Aside from having a good time batting Ortiz also sat by and cheered on his good friend and competitor Hanley Ramirez. During Ramirez's last at-bat Big Papi even brought Ramirez a drink and wiped off his sweat with a towel.

State Farm donated $573,000 to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America at the end of the night.  A total of 12 gold balls each worth $17,000 left the ball park during the event.  A gold ball is thrown when a competitor is  down to his final out.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

HRs Fights and Pyrotechnics

What a home stand and it's only day 2!!!
Last night was Pyrotechnics night.  As a tribute to our Vets and many Troops overseas and through the country the Mets provided the many families with free tickets to the game, and recorded video messages from each troop.  At the end of a well fought (literally) game, the Mets closed off the night with quite the Fireworks display.  Courtesy of my Fan Photo boss I got to watch the show from the Pepsi Porch, which was arguably the best place in the house to view!

Now I mentioned a fight... Manager Jerry Manuel was ejected after an exchange in the 5th inning of Monday's game.  The incident began surrounding a pitch that hat been called a foul tip strike.  Reds batter Scott Rolen, however claimed the ball had hit him.  This led to some dialogue between him and the home plate ump followed by a meeting of all 4 umps, which resulted in the call being reversed.
During this time the Mets field had all gathered on the mound awaiting the decision.  After the call got made all hell broke loose; Rod Barajas and David Wright both had to be restrained by their team mates (after seeing the replay both players said they felt the right call was made).  I personally was hoping to see fists fly (although I'm grateful that it didn't happen).  After everyone pulled back, Manuel got thrown out of the game arguing in defense of his team.

Today met fans got yet another treat...  Johan Santana hit his first career HOMERUN!  A dinger just of the right field foul pole.  Fans watched on bated breath as the ball sailed into the outfield, unsure if the release of that breath would be a defeated sign or a celebratory yell.  Lucky for us and Santana it went in our favor!  Johan went on to finish the game him self.  It's good to see that when the Mets can't provide the run support early in the game, Johan can take care of business himself!

Can't wait to see how the Mets close the series... Rubber game tomorrow at 7.  This Met fan is especially looking forward to host the Braves this weekend.  Will we be a first place team come Sunday?