Baseball in Long Beach

First of all, here’s a link to a baseball piece from Sunday’s Los Angeles Times magazine: the writer and his son go to a Dodgers game with Arnold Hano, author of “A Day in the Bleachers.” Among other things, he doesn’t like the visual and audible cues to get the fans to make noise.

On Sunday, Jason and I went to the second-to-last game of the Golden Baseball League’s short season, this one the Long Beach Armada versus the San Diego Surf Dawgs.

The Armada play at city-owned Blair Field, which has an analog clock on top of the scoreboard…

And there’s a ship in the outfield — unfortunately, it’s just a cutout…

Even though the mascot should be a Spanish conquistador or maybe a pirate, the mascot is actually a bird named Arby I. Here he is “helping” with a between-innings water balloon toss for kids…

And here he is sitting two rows in front of us…

Meanwhile, Rik Currier was on the mound for the Armada, pitching what would be a complete game one-hit shutout…

In some places, they have metal rails for the “K” cards to fit into, but Long Beach is a Velcro kind of town…

The final line…

Yes, “Armada” does look a lot like “Ramada,” especially at the lower left. A missed marketing opportunity!

Gary Bennett, the gods have chosen to smile on thee

After Gary Bennett‘s out-of-nowhere performance against the Cubs this weekend (.700/.750/.833, with a homer and a game-winning single Saturday and a game-winning grand slam Sunday night), I hope each player on the Cardinals roster–including the guys on the DL–bought him a stiff drink last night.

And then I hope he staggered around the bar, drunk as a lord, shouting, “Don’t you mess with me–I’m freaking Mike Piazza!”

Non-baseball, but still a ball (well, more of an ovoid)

I just wanted to make sure the readership had seen Gene Weingarten’s review of Tony Kornheiser on “Monday Night Football” (may require registration). The L.A. Times quoted the “five thousand degrees” paragraph out of context.

While I’m at it, I also commend last Sunday’s “Lio” strip to you (and today’s is along similar lines).

Mickey me? Mickey you

At the Sherman Oaks post office yesterday in need of stamps and with only $20 bills in the way of cash (so I didn’t want to use the machine and get 12 dollar coins in change), I spent my time in line trying to decide between the baseball stamps (featuring Hank Greenberg, Mel Ott, Roy Campanella, and Mickey Mantle) and the superheroes stamps (featuring Green Arrow and Hawkman). Since I’m posting about it here, I think you can tell what my ultimate choice was. I highly recommend them, unless you’re like Levi and live near a horrible post office where the counter clerk would probably spit on the stamps before handing them to you as retribution for making them dig around in their drawer.

(Actually, the superhero stamps are pretty cool, too, but perhaps whoever runs Superhero-Related Program Activities can be the one to buy them.)

Fun at the old ballpark

Seconds ago, as I was sitting in my kitchen editing a post for my other blog, listening to the Cubs play the Rockies, I heard the following exchange between Pat Hughes, Ron Santo, and a surprise mystery guest:

Pat Hughes: Colorado has eight runs on twelve hits and one error, though I think the scorer might change that one.

Ron Santo: Yeah, I think he might.

Official Scorer (in background): I’m not gonna change it.

That’s why I listen to the Cubs even when they’re 48-67.

The end of Zombiecam?

Jim, with whom I failed to see a baseball game last week while I was staying with him in Los Angeles, alerted me to a USA Today story about those hip graphics Fox uses for their football coverage.

Fox, known as the NFL’s most flamboyant carrier, is even cutting back on its glitz.

The network surveyed viewers, Fox senior vice president Gary Hartley says, and found that Fox’s many sound effects, blinking lights and animated graphics were seen as “pointless and annoying.”

So they’ll be reduced. However, he says, Fox is bringing back the
on-screen robots that pop up on its coverage: “We found we’ve lost some
of the attitude we’ve projected in the past. Robots are sacred ground
for that.”

Did they really need to survey more than one person to come up with “pointless and annoying?” Could baseball be next? I can think of a certain talking baseball that I would describe with just those words–if I you limited me to family-friendly language.

And what the hell do they mean by “robots are sacred ground for [attitude]?” These people are very, very strange.