XM MLB Chat

Friday, May 22, 2015

Frank Deford on Gaylord Perry

5/22/15, "Frank Deford and Jim Kelly on Brady," Rush Limbaugh

RUSH: "Earlier this week, I think it was actually Wednesday on NPR's Morning Edition, there was a report from Frank Deford, who is the sports commentator there. He may still be at SI, I don't know...He did a report on New England quarterback Tom Brady and his suspension.

DEFORD:  In hindsight, all of us made a terrible mistake in looking upon someone like Gaylord Perry, he the pitcher infamous for loading up his deliveries with what we quaintly call foreign substances, as a sort of a sassy picturesque figure who was merely tilting at the windmills of authority. Nonsense. Perry and his ilk didn't abuse baseballs. They abused baseball.

RUSH: Okay, now, need to put this in some kind of context. For those of you who are too young, Gaylord Perry, who I actually met, Gaylord Perry was a famous pitcher. His brother was Jim Perry.  He pitched for every team in the league, it seems like, and he closed his career out with the Kansas City Royals when I happened to be there. He was traded to the Royals by somebody, maybe Texas, I forget who, and the first day he shows up he's got, honest to God, two lion cubs with him, in cages, and he bought 'em for security on his North Carolina farm.

I said, "What do you need lions for?"

He said, "I gotta protect, there's all kinds of bad people down there and these lions will keep 'em away.

They were cute little lion cubs, and he let 'em out of cage. They were running the locker room.

They're not harmful at that age. They were tiny....But he was known for loading the ball up. Spitballs, they were called. Vaseline, anyplace you could hide the substance on your uniform. If you know what you're doing, it doesn't take much. You put it on the right spot on the baseball, if you can throw the baseball hard enough, what will happen is the bottom will drop out of it. At home plate the illusion is it's dropping straight down. It's obvious when somebody can throw a spitball and has done one well because you can't make a ball do that other than with a foreign substance.

Joe Niekro was a guy who did this. He had a knuckleball, but he also had foreign substance on the ball. I'll never forget, he got caught. He got caught and the home plate umpire charges out to the mound and Niekro says, "I didn't do anything!" and he starts emptying his pocket and all this stuff comes out. (laughing) A fingernail file, he was scuffing up the baseball. All kinds of stuff that he was putting on 'em just came out of his pocket and he tried to act like no, I wasn't, it was just there. It was it is funniest thing....

Anyway, as you can tell, Gaylord Perry back in his day was treated as an artist. I mean, the media marveled at his ability to cheat just like they marveled at Bill Clinton's ability to lie. But, now, Deford is coming here and telling us he now feels guilty about that. In his advanced experienced age, looking back on things, he now realizes it was improper to think it cute or clever and harmless.  We thought that this guy was, you know, a sassy, picturesque player, larger than life, could do things with a baseball. We all knew it but we all looked the other way because it's just what we did, but now we know he was abusing baseball.

So Frank Deford is saying for all sportswriters that we have realized our error. And what made us realize our error was watching Tom Brady do the same thing, by deflating the footballs. He's not abusing the footballs. He's abusing football....

So that is the context, Deford admitting latter career guilt over not taking seriously the damage to the game that guys like Gaylord Perry were causing. And then he continues now with what it all means with what Tom Brady is doing."...image above of Gaylord Perry from Rush Limbaugh

5/20/15, NPR: The Other Sacred Thing Tom Brady Squashed: Sportsmanship - Frank Deford

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Fine dining at Washington Nationals stadium


















5/20/15, "Dinner Date!" Washington Nationals twitter. Yankees at Nationals

I'm not sure exactly where the above tables are at the stadium. Commenters discuss how you might get seated at one of them. More on Nationals stadium dining options:

9/13/13, "High-End Dining At D.C.’s Nationals Park Is A Hit," Forbes Travel Guide, Mary Beth Albright

"The food scene at the park has consistently been a hit. People buy standing-room tickets at the stadium just to take in the diverse and delicious dining options. “We look at our business as a restaurant business,” says Catherine Silver, executive director of guest services for the Nationals. “We create a memorable gourmet meal, and you’ll be shocked to find that you’re in a ballpark. Our partner, Levy Restaurants, works with the Kentucky Derby and the U.S. Tennis Association, but Levy started in the restaurant business, not concessions, and they still run restaurants.”

The food is paramount at Nats Park, from the Taste of the Majors concession stand that offers food inspired by the opposing team (think fish tacos for the San Diego Padres) to the Red Porch Restaurant, where any ticket holder can dine on oven-made flatbread pizza and house-smoked meats from a table overlooking center field....

Located directly behind home plate, President’s Club seats are actually closer to the batter than the pitcher is. Tickets come with a view of the batting cage and in-seat beer, wine and food service. And there’s serious foodie action happening inside the dining room, too. The executive chef’s buffet rivals D.C.’s best; the four themed tables include a farm-to-fork spread with dishes spotlighting local cheese, meat and produce.

“Both the stadium and Levy are LEED Certified, so sustainability is key for us,” Silver says. The other three tables focus on a revolving theme, from Asian night to a blue crab concept. “The chef switches up the menu for season ticket holders who might eat at the Diamond Club several nights in a row during a series. The servers get to know season pass holders and will prepare custom food for their dietary issues or children. Whatever they want, we will find a way to prepare it.”

In its cherry-walled, chandeliered dining room, the President’s Club also boasts an antipasto bar, housemade gelato and a standalone sweet shop (all included in the $300 or so ticket price, depending on the game). In the mood for concession fare? Hot snack tables with favorites such as nachos and tempura shrimp are set up throughout the game, as is a bar with all-inclusive beer and wine. Not bad for a night at the park watching the Nationals take on division rivals the Atlanta Braves (September 16 through 18) and Miami Marlins (September 19 through 22).

A more casual but still exclusive option, the PNC Diamond Club is only for Diamond seat (sections 119 to 126) season ticket holders. It includes all-inclusive food and beverage and a patio with behind-the-plate views. For individual ticket holders in the Diamond sections, the Diamond Lounge is a step back from the Club, with the same all-inclusive dining plan but a separate tented lounge and patio overlooking the Navy Yard. Both levels come with in-seat service.

Keeping the Nattitude going after the season’s end, the stadium can cater events for all sizes. In addition to weddings in center field and bar mitzvahs in the bullpen, Nats Stadium recently hosted a retreat for all of the Democratic senators and President Obama.

“We served them all three meals here that day, and no one could believe they could get this gourmet food at the ballpark,” Silver adds. “We even did different tables with regional cuisines, a table with Southern food, food from California… The senators were all joking and debating that their home state’s food was the best.”"


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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Yankees last in 2015 road attendance through May 15. SF Giants are first, Cubs second, Colorado Rockies third-NY Times

5/16/15, "Yankees’ Road Show Isn’t Pulling in Fans the Way It Has in the Past," NY Times, Billy Witz (5/17 print ed., pg. SP5, NY edition), Kansas City, Mo.

"Michael Pineda seemed on the verge of wiggling out of a jam Friday night, when the Royals’ Omar Infante belted a 1-2 pitch into the left-center gap in the sixth inning. His race to third base was accompanied by an unusual road soundtrack for the Yankees this season — an energetic roar from a near-capacity crowd.

The Yankees may be baseball’s marquee franchise, with their record 27 World Series championships, a rich history and a fan base that has tentacles reaching every pocket of the country.

But this season, the Yankees have been baseball’s least popular attraction. Entering Saturday, the Yankees were last in road attendance, averaging 22,820 fans.

It may be unlikely that the Yankees will remain at the bottom for a variety of reasons, but the drop-off is jarring, given that they have led the major leagues in road attendance in four of the last five seasons. Their road attendance since 2001 has not been below 33,000, or fifth over all.

There seem to be several contributing factors for the drop. With the retirements of Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera in the last two seasons, the Yankees lost two widely popular and respected figures who were the last links to their dynastic years. Jeter’s jersey was highest-selling jersey in baseball over the second half of last season.

“People would come just to see them,” Yankees pitcher C. C. Sabathia said.

They have also missed the playoffs the last two seasons, and despite their despite their strong start, they were widely viewed as a team in transition, one with too many veterans past their prime serving as placeholders until prospects were ready.

Alex Rodriguez’s return from a yearlong suspension might have provided the Yankees with a villainous character on the road. But unlike Barry Bonds in the early 2000s, Rodriguez is no longer such a dominant player that he is an attraction unto himself.

Still, the decline is jarring.

“It would surprise anyone,” Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain said. “They still have a really good team, regardless of Jeter being gone. They’ve got some guys that can definitely play baseball, and that’s all you can ask as a fan.”

Attendance figures can be somewhat tricky, since they generally reflect tickets sold or distributed, not the actual numbers of fans in the seats. The Yankees have seen a negligible dip in their early-season home attendance, fewer than 1,000 total fans through the same number of games (17) from last year. 

Road attendance reflect the vagaries of the schedule. While it is not surprising that the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants are leading baseball in road attendance, or that the Chicago Cubs, with their prospects bright and their diaspora of fans, are second, it would seem surprising that the Colorado Rockies are third.

Through Friday, the Rockies had the fewest wins in baseball, but of their 19 games away from home, they had played five games against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who led baseball in home attendance, and three against the Giants, who were third.

The schedule has not helped the Yankees. They have played a heavy dose of night games in cold-weather cities — Boston, Baltimore and Detroit, where one game was played during a brief outbreak of snow flurries. They have also played two series in Tampa Bay and another in Toronto, cities that are generally lukewarm to baseball.

The atmosphere for the most recent series at Tampa Bay was particularly abysmal. The Yankees, because there are so many transplanted New Yorkers in the area, which is also their spring training site, have enjoyed solid support there. But the four-game series drew 44,937 fans in all — fewer than the Yankees played before at home on opening day.

Pitcher Adam Warren said he prefers to pitch at night, when the crowds are typically bigger and more boisterous. But most Yankees said it did not matter. And with so many recent newcomers from places like Arizona (Didi Gregorius), Miami (Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Jones) and San Diego (Chase Headley), some players are not accustomed to regularly playing before large audiences.

“We try to concentrate on the things we can control,” outfielder Carlos Beltran said. “All those things we don’t think about.”

At the moment, that would include getting their offense going and winning games. The Yankees lost their fourth game in a row Friday night, a season high, before winning Saturday, 5-1.

If there was a consolation on Friday, at least they lost in an engaging environment. The fans in Kansas City have taken to their team, which came close to winning the World Series. The Royals’ home attendance is up more than 10,000 per game since last season, by far the biggest jump in baseball.

“Friday night. Baseball season. Fireworks,” Sabathia said Friday night. “That’s what it’s about. If we start playing well, if we start winning, people will come.”"

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Friday, May 08, 2015

John Sterling call of Alex Rodriguez home run #661 and Newsday back page, 5/8/15, Watch out, Babe

5/7/15, Following is John Sterling's call of home run #661 by Alex Rodriguez. Orioles at Yankees, Thursday, May 7, 2015, bottom of the third, score tied 2-2. Final score, 4-3 Yankees. During the broadcast John and Suzyn talked about it being #661, but the record wasn't mentioned within the call which I recorded as it was played back on Yankee radio post game:

"The one-one, swung on and hit in the air to deep left center field, away back goes Jones, in deep left center, that ball is....gone! Alex Rodriguez hit one into the loading dock, just to the left of Monument Park, a long home run. In fact, it's an A-bomb from A-rod! Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez homers and the Yankees take a 3-2 lead."
















Image caption: "New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez takes a curtain call after hitting his 661st home run and surpassing Willie Mays on the all-time home runs list in the third inning of a baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, Thursday, May 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)"
























Fri., May 8, 2015, Newsday back page after Arod #661
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Arod also has 13 post season home runs.




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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer tosses first pitch in Kansas City, Cleveland Indians v Kansas City Royals








5/6/15, " 1h1 hour ago

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Friday, May 01, 2015

John Sterling's call of Alex Rodriguez' 660th regular season home run, May 1, 2015 in Fenway Park. Newsday back page, Say Hey-Rod

5/1/15, John Sterling's call of Alex Rodriguez 660th regular season home run, 8th inning, score tied 2-2 v Red Sox in Boston:

"And the 3-0, swung on, driven to deep left, it is high, it is far, it is gone! Alex Rodriguez pinch hits a home run, his 660th home run, to tie Willie Mays for 4th place on the all time home run list. What an ultra dramatic moment! An A-bomb from A-rod! And the Yankees take a 3-2 lead."







5/1/15, "New York Yankees pinch hitter Alex Rodriguez hits a solo homer in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, May 1, 2015. Rodriguez has now tied slugger Willie Mays with 660 career home runs. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)," Final 3-2 Yankees over Red Sox in Boston. It was the first pinch hit home run of Arod's career. Arod has 13 post season home runs.








5/1/15, "New York Yankees pinch hitter Alex Rodriguez is congratulated by teammates at the dugout after he hit a solo homer in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, May 1, 2015. Rodriguez has now tied slugger Willie Mays with 660 career home runs. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)" Final 3-2 Yankees over Red Sox in Boston. It was the first pinch hit home run of Arod's career. Arod has 13 post season home runs.
























Sat., May 2, 2015, Newsday back page, "Say Hey-Rod"

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From Boston Globe:

"Tazawa made his major league debut at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 7, 2009, and allowed a walkoff home run by Rodriguez in the 15th inning."...

5/2/15, "Alex Rodriguez’s homer in eighth topples Red Sox," Boston Globe, Peter Abraham

































Two above photos from Boston Globe, 5/1/15

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5/2/15, Arod takes BP in Boston: "Alex Rodriguez taking batting practice hoping to hit 661 this afternoon," Baseball Tonight twitter

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Yankee fans ask Tampa Bay Rays De Jesus for third inning foul ball he caught











4/28/15, "New York Yankees fans ask Tampa Bay Rays David DeJesus (7) for the ball after he made a catch in foul territory on a ball hit by New York Yankees Brian McCann in the third inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in New York," AP. final 4-2, Yankees over Tampa Bay Rays

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Wednesday, April 29 game between Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles will begin at 2:05pm and will be closed to the public









4/28/15, "Tomorrow’s game between the Orioles and the Chicago White Sox will begin at 2:05 p.m. ET and will be closed to the public." Baltimore Orioles Twitter. Baltimore Orioles Press Release


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Monday, April 27, 2015

Governor of Maryland declares State of Emergency at request of Baltimore's Mayor. White Sox-Orioles game postponed

4/27/15, At the request of Baltimore's Mayor, the Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, has declared a State of Emergency in the State of Maryland
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4/27/15, "Orioles postpone game against White Sox amid violent protests in Baltimore," Washington Post, Kelyn Soong

"Amid the violent protests that erupted Monday afternoon in Baltimore, the Orioles announced that Monday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox has been postponed.

The decision, made after consultation with the Baltimore City Police Department, came less than an hour before the game was slated to be played. Fans arriving at the game were met with extra security and could only enter through Gate H and Home Plate Plaza.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who was at Camden Yards for a planned visit, said “it’s possible these games could be played elsewhere.”...

[Live updates: Riots in Baltimore]

Tensions arose after the funeral of Freddie Gray at a Baltimore church Monday afternoon, where thousands had gathered to pay their respects. Gray, 25, died in police custody on April 19 and his death has become the latest flashpoint in the debate over police treatment of racial minorities.

The initial violence began about four miles from the stadium in Northwest Baltimore and the team has been consulting with Baltimore Police throughout the day, according to the Baltimore Sun. As a precaution, all gates except Gate H and Home Plate Plaza have been locked."


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4/27/15, "Son of Orioles owner Peter Angelos tweets perspective on Freddie Gray protests," Washington Post, Cindy Boren

"The son of Peter Angelos, the Baltimore Orioles’ owner, expressed frustration that the message sent by protests over the death of Freddie Gray was overwhelmed by the temporary lockdown of Camden Yards during the Orioles’ game Saturday night.

John Angelos, the Orioles’ executive vice president and second-highest ranking official, pleaded for a bit of perspective in a series of tweets that revealed compassion and an awareness of the community in which he lives. (The tweets, in response to a fan named Brett, are combined here.)
Brett, speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept. Further, it is critical that in any democracy, investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.
That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.
The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.
One of the main entry points into the ballpark was closed because of protests shortly before the game and after the game fans were not permitted to leave Camden Yards for about 30 minutes because of “an ongoing public safety issue.”"




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Yankees 31-21 all time v Mets in the Bronx













4/26/15, "#Yankees are 31-21 all-time vs. the Mets in the Bronx," Yankees twitter. Final 6-4 Yankees over Mets.

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fans in Camden Yards asked to remain in the stadium briefly after Red Sox-Orioles game for their protection against Baltimore violence. UPDATED: Red Sox fan who went to the game in Baltimore reports police did nothng to stop violent rioters from hurting people























4/25/15, "Officials asking fans to stay inside Baltimore ballpark due to violent protests outside @EddieInTheYard," News on the Min Twitter, 6:48pm. [This time stamp appears to be Pacific time since the Baltimore, Md. game was a night game. ed]  Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles, 5-4 Orioles in 10 innings

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4/25/15, "Cheers as the gates at Camden yards open," Regan Page twitter, 7pm [This time stamp appears to be Pacific time since the Baltimore, Md. game was a night game. ed]

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4/25/15, "War Zone: Baltimore Erupts Into Violence, Chaos as #BlackLivesMatter Riots Rage," Matthew Boyle, Breitbart News, Baltimore, Md.

"Personally, I wasn’t supposed to be on the job tonight as a reporter. After a long news week and as several of my contemporaries lived high on the hog down in D.C. at the so-called “Nerd Prom,” me and my brother left D.C. to go see our Boston Red Sox play the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards I hate the White House Correspondents’ Dinner—it represents everything I think is wrong with Washington, making celebrities out of news media and politicians—and given the fact I grew up just outside Boston I figured seeing the Red Sox play in Baltimore would be a great reprieve from the political culture. Boy was I wrong.

My brother and I arrived in Baltimore just outside Camden Yards about an hour before the game, and went into Bullpen Bar—one of three iconic all-brick building bars right outside the stadium—for a beer before the Sox took on the O’s. I usually make it up here for a game or two every year, and have always found Orioles fans to be pleasant. We’re united in our hatred of the Yankees.

Bullpen Bar sits between Pickles Pub and Sliders Bar & Grill. Outside each of the brick-faced bars, on the days of Orioles Games, each bar puts out barricades about 20 feet from their front doors. Shoulder-to-shoulder crowds of fans from each team—the Orioles, and in the case of Saturday night, the Red Sox—pack into three bars and the barricaded-off space in front before each game. Inside and outside of each, bartenders serve “cheap beer”—or so the $6-per-tall-boy-cans are advertised on big signs—while hotdogs, sausages and other pastime favorites are sold by each and by vendors who set up tents across the street. The blue collar culture—and really friendly people—are what make Baltimore baseball games so much fun, and there’s no better place to kick off an adventure into Camden Yards than here.

But on Saturday night, after my brother and I finished off our beers at Bullpen and began walking across the street to the stadium, planning to make our way to our seats after getting inside, chaos broke out.

Several people across the street from these bars—between there and the stadium, which is less than 100 yards away—were holding signs that said #BlackLivesMatter. They were protesting the death of Freddie Gray, who Agence France Press newswire wrote “died last Sunday from spinal injuries, a week after his arrest in the city’s impoverished west side.”

“In a press conference Friday, officials acknowledged Gray should have received medical help at the moment of his arrest, when he was seen by bystanders — and caught on video — howling in apparent pain,” AFP wrote, providing the background of the simmering tensions in the mid-Atlantic port town.

“They also revealed that Gray, contrary to police department policy, was not buckled into his seat in the van, which made at least three unexplained stops on its way to the Western District police station. Gray died Sunday with 80 percent of his spine severed at the neck, lawyers for his family have said. His funeral is scheduled for Monday. Six officers have been suspended with pay as the police investigation inches closer to a May 1 deadline to submit findings to a Maryland state prosecutor, who could decide to press charges.”

All of a sudden—literally as my brother and I walked out of Bullpen—everything went haywire. What were peaceful marchers holding up signs turned into violent rioters. Innocent fans standing by were confronted by the rioters, who physically and verbally threateningly engaged many of them—and then the protesters got even more violent.

All of a sudden, beer bottles and cans, and other projectiles were lobbed by the protesters into the crowds of fans. To get those projectiles, the protesters stole them forcibly from the bartenders and vendors set up outside each of those three bars. One beer can whizzed by my brother’s face, missing him by about six inches, and more flew all over the crowded area.

The crowd of protesters then stopped a blue station wagon carrying a white family as they tried to drive past Pickles, Bullpen and Sliders along a narrow one-way stretch between the bars and the main road. As a horde of them smashed their open and closed fists on the hood of the car—while impeding them by standing in front of them—the driver backed up on the one way pass in a desperate attempt to get out of dodge. Then, stopped on the other side with nowhere to go, protesters ripped open the passenger door of the car and began reaching around inside the vehicle. As hundreds of people looked on, including several police officers who didn’t engage the violent protesters, the white woman in the front seat—middle-aged and a little heavyset with dark hair—was visibly terrified. The group of black men who ripped open the car door suddenly realized they were separated from the larger group of protesters and abandoned their quest to seemingly either carjack the station wagon or rob the people inside in front of hundreds, driving out of the one-way street back onto the main road and presumably out of dodge.

As projectiles continued flying everywhere from each part of the crowd—like a war-zone—another black man then charged into the crowd of Red Sox and Orioles fans standing outside Pickles Pub and tore the metal barricades apart throwing them into the now-crowded one-way pass where the assaulted station wagon was a moment ago.

My brother, at this point, was screaming at the group of five or so police officers. “Why aren’t you doing anything? They’re hurting people! They’re hurting people! They’re violent!” he yelled at them as they continued ignoring him and not engaging or attempting to stop the violence.

I had been trying—unsuccessfully, as I never use my phone for this—to capture some useful videos and photos of what was going on. My reporter gear, including an iPad I specifically use for the purpose of covering this kind of thing, was back in my apartment just outside D.C. and I really never take photos or video with my phone. After I went back through them later, in the middle of the chaos, they all came out blurry and unusable.

Nonetheless, fearing for my safety and for my brother’s safety, at this point I grabbed him and pulled him aside—and said “we need to go, we need to go into the stadium.”

We moved along as fast as we could around Camden Yards to get inside—Orioles officials had closed down several gates that are normally open so we had to go almost halfway around the place to get in—and got through the gate as I Tweeted updates of what I saw and what went down so hopefully other media would pull through and cover the violence that was going on. Well, I’d find out later, of course they wouldn’t—they were too busy praising themselves at Nerd Prom. But my brother and I made it to our seats and hoped it all would be over soon, and the game would go on as planned.

The game started without a hitch, and while fans buzzed and hissed back and forth in discussion about the insanity going on outside, it all seemed to be fine—and mostly under control—so my brother and I went back to enjoying the Sox face off against the Orioles.

As the game progressed, however, the situation outside throughout Baltimore clearly got worse. All of a sudden, several police helicopters took to the skies and fans sitting around us talked about how they got text messages from friends watching the news at home throughout the Baltimore area warning them to get out of the stadium while they still could.

The game was close, and at about 9:45 p.m.—2 hours and 45 minutes into the game—an announcement came over the loudspeaker in the stadium: The mayor of Baltimore, due to a public safety emergency outside, had “asked” everyone inside to stay in the stadium
and not try to leave.

The Red Sox had just tied what was a 3-2 Baltimore lead in the top of the ninth inning. It was headed to at least the bottom of the ninth, and perhaps extra innings, so we went to run to the bathroom together real fast and then found the gate right there—E-1—was locked and several Orioles staffers were standing in front of it. I asked one of them if we were allowed to leave, and they said no. We were, along with the 15,000 or so still in the stadium, being forcibly kept there by the Baltimore mayor’s authority. Several people around us lamented that the Orioles should open the bars back up—they stop serving alcohol after the seventh inning stretch—and give out free beer due to the chaos.

My brother and I got back to our seats in time to see the Orioles blow it in the bottom of the ninth and got ready for extra innings. In the top of the tenth, the Red Sox took the lead 4-3 and the Baltimore mayor’s decision to keep everyone in the stadium remained in effect. If the Orioles didn’t exactly tie in the bottom of the tenth—and the mayor’s decision remained in effect—there would be 15,000 people trying to leave who couldn’t. All of a sudden, then, another announcement came over the loudspeaker and on the big screen at the park: the mayor lifted the ban on people leaving the stadium. 

Thank God, because the Orioles won it in the bottom of the tenth inning with a walk off home run—and right after they hit it, my brother and I bolted out of the stadium and hopped in a Baltimore city cab, which we took all the way back to our apartment just outside D.C. The cabbie told us the protests that were going on all night were “crazy.” After everything that went down, the Red Sox loss hurt much less than seeing a great city–Baltimore–turn into madness."

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4/25/15, "Violence erupts at Baltimore police death protest," AFP, Jim Watson, via Yahoo News

"But the mood shifted dramatically when scores of protesters moved to the vicinity of the Camden Yards baseball stadium, scene of an evening Baltimore Orioles-Boston Red Sox game....

Fans at the baseball game, which went beyond the standard nine innings due to a tie, were told to remain in the stadium, "due to an ongoing public safety issue."

One police spokesman blamed the trouble on "isolated pockets" of individuals who were believed to have come from out of town.

Later in the evening, dozens of police formed a cordon around the Western District police station, scene of nightly protests since Gray died. NBC affiliate WBAL reported two arrests, witnessed from its news helicopter."...

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Mets fans pack upper deck at Yankee Stadium in Game 1 of 2015 Subway Series












 












4/24/15, "Hundreds of Mets fans from the Seven Line Army pack the upper deck at Yankee Stadium in the first inning of game 1 of the 2015 Subway Series at Yankee Stadium. 4/24/15 (Andrew Mills | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)," Mets at Yankees



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Empire State Building will shine Mets and Yankees colors in honor of Subway Series













4/24/15, "In honor of the #SubwaySeries, @EmpireStateBldg will be shining in @Yankees and @Mets colors this weekend," MLB. Mets at Yankees














4/25/15, "The @EmpireStateBldg looked real good last night in #Yankees pinstripes," Yankee twitter. Game one, 6-1 Yankees over Mets

  

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Snow falls on Yankee-Tiger game in Detroit on April 22




















4/22/15, "Despite the snowfall in Detroit, New York already has 10 runs. It's just the 2nd time this season the Yankees have reached double digits in scoring," AP, ESPN. NY Yankees at Detroit Tigers. (Obviously, the snow was caused by excess CO2 that only exists in China). GIF from MLB.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rainbow in the second in Detroit








4/21/15, "A rainbow appears behind Comerica Park as New York Yankees' Gregorio Petit prepares to bat during the second inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Detroit," AP, Osorio. Final 5-2, Yankees over Detroit Tigers

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

'Sanitation is something that is very real,' said Earth Day celebrant in Washington, DC, April 18, 2015

"Sanitation is something that is very real," he said. "I understand and cannot turn a blind eye to what's going on."

 





















Above, 4/18/15, "Scenes from the Earth Day concert on the Mall," CRouselle Twitter


















Above, 4/18/15, "Crowds here in DC to fight #ClimateChange! (They're just bahind the piles of trash.)-mao #EarthDay #EcoWarrior, The Quotus Twitter












 





Above, 4/18/15, "Trash left over from #EarthDay2015 celebrations and concert at National Mall #ironyatitsfinest," TomHebert96 Twitter

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4/18/15, "Usher, Gwen Stefani, Mary J. Blige headline Earth Day rally, drawing crowd on National Mall," AP, Brett Zongler, via US News

"A daylong Earth Day concert had R&B star Usher dancing on crutches Saturday on the National Mall to rally thousands for political action to confront climate change and poverty.

Usher, Mary J. Blige, Gwen Stefani, Common, Fall Out Boy and Train all performed during the free Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day rally hosted by will.i.am and Soledad O'Brien....

"To end poverty, it starts, in my opinion, with an education about it," Usher told the crowd. "I want you to go and investigate for yourself so that you can really understand what's going on."

The rally was a joint initiative of the Global Poverty Project and Earth Day Network. It coincides with meetings at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Usher joined the poverty project at the White House on Friday for a meeting with officials.

"I felt really good that the issues we are addressing here are on the table," he told The Associated Press. After his performance, Usher said his passion is expanding education to help end poverty. But the impacts of climate change also have severe impacts on the world's poor, he said.

"Global warming is something that obviously will affect all of us. Clean water and sanitation is something that is very real," he said. "I understand and cannot turn a blind eye to what's going on."

For his part, will.i.am played host and said the huge turnout shows people are concerned.... 

The rally also touched on global health and development needs. The U.S. Agency for International Development announced from the stage that it will commit $126 million [US taxpayer dollars] to rebuild West African health care systems that were broken by the Ebola outbreak. The U.S. government already has spent $1.4 billion [US taxpayer dollars] on the crisis to support 10,000 humanitarian responders and to provide equipment, laboratories and training.

While Earth Day is officially on April 22, the Saturday rally asked participants to commit to making environmentally friendly "acts of green." Organizers also asked attendees to sign petitions for a U.N. conference on climate change planned for Paris in December." 

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Alex Rodriguez hits home run in Baltimore, final 7-5 Orioles













4/15/15, Arod hits home run in the 4th in Baltimore, final 7-5, Orioles over Yankees. mlb video

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

630 foot ferris wheel being constructed in NY City scheduled for 2017 opening





4/14/15, "Stunning views of Manhattan, a restaurant in the sky and even four bars: New York to build world's tallest Ferris wheel... unless Dubai finishes theirs first," UK Daily Mail, Chris Kitching
"Set near the St George Ferry terminal the giant observation wheel will cost an estimated $25 to $30 for a 38-minute ride."

"New York is set to officially break ground this week on a Ferris wheel that could become the tallest in the world once it is completed in early 2017....

The humongous attraction on Staten Island promises stunning panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, in addition to other New York City boroughs and the neighbouring state of New Jersey."...

Images from NY Wheel LLC

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Monday, April 13, 2015

2015 Opening Day in Pittsburgh





4/13/15, "What a view," MLB twitter. Opening day in Pittsburgh, PNC Park. final 5-4, Pirates over Tigers

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Who determines which legacies are “ruined” and which are not? NY Times William C. Rhoden on Arod

4/12/15, "In the Yankees’ Reality Show, It’s Alex Rodriguez, Flaws and All," NY Times, William C. Rhoden

"Yankees fans had the first glimpse last week of life without Derek Jeter and life with Alex Rodriguez.

Hometown fans generally greeted Rodriguez warmly. He had spent a year away from the game after being suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs. Baseball wanted a longer suspension, but Rodriguez fought and got the ban reduced. His return gave fans a reason to be hopeful.

While it would be a stretch to say Rodriguez has roared back, he has been more than credible. Even as the Yankees lost four of six games to open the season, Rodriguez offered a ray of hope. He had six hits, including a home run, and was batting .300. He even played first base, where he committed an error, but otherwise turned in an encouraging performance.

On Sunday, his bases-clearing double in the first inning set the tone for an offensive explosion that culminated in a 14-4 rout of the Boston Red Sox. "I’ve been working hard and I’ve been feeling better each day,” Rodriguez said after Sunday’s game. “But I have to remain patient and not expect too much." 

Rodriguez is not the Yankees’ problem this season, and he may even be the team’s salvation.

The larger issue is a pitching staff led by Masahiro Tanaka, who was drilled in the season opener but earned a victory Sunday, and C. C. Sabathia, who lost his first start as well.

Tanaka was better on Sunday, pitching five innings and allowing four runs in a 14-4 Yankees win.

The Yankees know what they have in Rodriguez: a baseball prodigy who, at age 39, is better than many players 10 years younger. The reality is that only Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra had more home runs as a Yankee than Rodriguez.

I’m fascinated by critics who write that Rodriguez has “ruined” his legacy. In whose eyes?

Clearly not among the thousands who have applauded Rodriguez for the last few days.

Who writes the history? Who determines which legacies are “ruined” and which are not? An overwhelmingly white, male baseball establishment that sits in judgment, that’s who.

If it were my vote, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens would be in the Hall of Fame effective immediately. In the stats-driven, nostalgia-laced business of baseball, statistics speak for themselves.

We keep reading that Alex Rodriguez played us.

He didn’t play us. We — fans, the news media — played ourselves. Deluded ourselves as baseball continued to lie to itself.

Baseball tells us that the wicked witch of performance-enhancing drugs is dead. Right.

On Saturday we learned that the Mets’ Jenrry Mejia had tested positive for the steroid stanozolol and would be suspended for 80 games.

Earlier this month, we learned that three other players had tested positive for stanozolol. Clearly, they don’t have access to the latest science on performance-enhancing drugs.

Yankees Manager Joe Girardi made a sensible and fair-minded point last week when asked about Rodriguez. “We live in a society that gives people second and third chances — fourth, fifth,” Girardi said. “Look, as humans we’re going to make mistakes. That’s the bottom line; we’ve all made mistakes.”

Except that Major League Baseball has never paid for its transgressions. Owners, team presidents, general managers, athletic trainers have never been held accountable for their roles in the so-called steroid era.

I had this conversation in the commissioner’s suite with Bud Selig during the World Series. My argument is that baseball will never have closure on this issue until former baseball commissioners, the current commissioner, team presidents and officials, as well as team owners past and present, testify under oath about who knew what and when.

The players have simply been fall guys for a sport that knew exactly what was transpiring and for fans who largely did not care. Let these Yankees begin winning and you will not have enough seats to accommodate the crowd.

Asked if he felt vindicated by his strong spring training and good start in the Yankees’ first six games, Rodriguez stuck to the script: It’s not about me; it’s about the team.

In terms of Rodriguez’s legacy, he was on the way to becoming one of the greatest shortstops to play the game until he reached the Yankees and, out of deference to Derek Jeter, switched to third base. Rodriguez became one of the best third basemen in the game, and I have little doubt that with time and reps, he could become an All-Star-caliber first baseman and could become an outstanding designated hitter.

Rodriguez knows how to play the game — on and off the field. So far this season, he is saying all the right things.

“I love our fans,” he said after the Yankees’ opening-day loss. “We have a long history here. I think about 2009 and some of the things we accomplished together. I think this is an opportunity to help the team win.”

And then added:

“The fans don’t owe me anything. I’ve said all along, since spring training, part of feeling like a rookie is that I have to earn their cheers and their respect.”

The reality is that Rodriguez is the only true star the Yankees have. This season, he will pass the great Willie Mays on the career home run list. Will the baseball establishment celebrate or will it treat Rodriguez’s feat as the tree that falls in the forest?

I love the idea of Mays as much as everyone else. But Mays played in an era when many misdeeds went undetected and unreported, when players faced little accountability for their actions. Athletes in that bygone era were given a wide berth because of their celebrity.

Now we look for celebrity deeds and misdeeds to fill an insatiable, eternal news cycle.

The Jeter era is over, and fans are right to lament its passing. Jeter was the consummate professional, giving crisp, no-frills interviews that revealed only what he wanted to reveal.

Jeter was the image of the clean-cut, unflawed Yankee.

Rodriguez is flawed. That, for me, is what makes him one of the most compelling figures in contemporary sports.

We learned, among other things, that he liked cigars and played a game of poker now and then. We know that he used steroids and lied about it.

He gave the people what they wanted, and baseball what it wanted. Now he is back.

“This is such an incredibly special year for me,” Rodriguez said on Sunday. “So different for me, I don't have anything to gauge it against. I’m really just trying to do the best I can every at-bat.” Next stop: Willie Mays." via John Sterling mention on Yankee radio




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At NY Mets home opener NYC Mayor de Blasio was booed louder than Phillies star pitcher Cole Hamels-ESPN




4/13/15, "The mayor -- New York's mayor -- just got booed louder than Cole Hamels." Adam Rubin, ESPN. final 2-0 in NY Mets home opener over Phillies. Phillies star Cole Hamels didn't pitch today.

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Bats more like it, Arod on NY Post back page, Mon., April 13, 2015







Monday, 4/13/15, "Bats more like it," Arod on NY Post back page. Final, Sunday 4/12/15, 14-4 Yankees over Red Sox

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Arod bases clearing double v Red Sox






Sunday, 4/12/15, First inning, Red Sox at Yankees, Alex Rodriguez hitting 3 run double, MLB video screen shot

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Young Chicago White Sox fan cheers 5-4 White Sox win




White Sox 5, Twins 4,
Save #1 for David Robertson 

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