Ramblings, Rants, and Raves, Oh My!

 


               
                Verbamatedrinker@Flickr.com
             

Since Monday was the Rays first off day since their “fly-out” day on April 20th, I decided to just cruise the Internet looking for some great news to bring up for everyone to enjoy. But there are also over 22 teams that got to rest,relax and recharge last night so they can bring the heat tonight as everyone again hit the dirt. So with last night’s absence of baseball, I sat back and watched ” The Shawshank Redemption” for the first time from beginning to end until last night. I loved it, then of course I popped in “For the Love of the Game” as a sweet dessert. So here we go with some tidbits and morsels I found dancing in my mind like sugarplums and juicy bits on the www’s of the Internet. 

Cowbell  Gone Wild

I have to get this off my chest. I have seen this “member” of the Rays fan base go from being an obnoxious, arrogant mis-representation of the Rays fans to becoming someone who was more laid-back and might have finally considered that his heckling sprinkled with the art of  smart heckling might be the way to promote himself and the Rays. But when I saw a recent Twitter message with an attached video from the Cowbell Kid, I began to fear the worse. He was at the Phillies game and heckling that night’s starter Brett Myers from the grandstands. I seriously thought the guy might be just toying with Myers and just wanted to see if he could get his goat a bit. But what I heard on the video , well I will let you form your own opinions on the subject here.

( I  want to state here that the written text added to this video might be offensive to some people. If vulgar language, or the  written presentation of vulgar language offends you, please do not click this video.  The author of this blog does not condone such behavior).

 

I have heckled players for their on-the-field performance, but I have never used a personal  family event as fodder for demeaning a player in front of his home fans. That is right, The Cowbell Kid was situated in the  outfield seats of Citizen Bank Park in Philadelphia before the Phillies versus Braves game. I did however notice he was wearing a Rays cap and warm-up, but no big Marge Simpson wig at that game. What is even more surprising is I did not hear a single comment to him from the tough Phillies fans about his rants to Myers.
 

I am not on board with going after a player in his home stadium where you are considered a guest and not a regular. I do not know what might have happened after the video camera was turned off, but I know what I would have said or done at the moment. But maybe I am the naive one in that people do it all the time during the games. But if you want to be a “face” in the stands, and want to have any type of  regional or national recognition shouldn’t you do it with class.

         
          Blog.new-record.com


Umpires Boot 4-legged Team Employee

It seems that during a recent Southern Atlantic League game, the Greensboro Grasshoppers had a bit of a situation on their hands. No, the two team  Grasshopper mascots were not thrown out for antics during the game, but one of their four-legged friends did suffer from the wrath of the umpires. It has been the custom with the team to send a black Labrador named Master Yogi Berra into  centerfield to retrieve balls from the players warming up between innings.

But on April 23rd, the night did not go as planned for the great one. Berra did his unusual motion of going out into the outfield, but on his way back to the dugout with the ball, he decided to stop and re-water the pitchers mound area.  And for his action that were deemed detrimental to the game, he was rung up by Home Plate Umpire Jason Hutchings and exiled to the locker room for the rest of the game.  After the game the team put Berra on their team injury reports as suffering from a stomach virus and was day-to-day.

The game was delayed a few minutes as Grounds Crew put some soil down to retain the liquids and to be sure no more surprises might have been left by Berra before his exit. But that was not the only delay in this game as Umpire Koyu Inoue was also sent to the hospital after he was hit by a foul ball during the contest. The game was delayed for 47 minutes while Inoue was attended to. When it resumed, base umpire Jason Hutchings moved behind the plate. Following protocol, each team selected one player – pitcher Brandon Todd for Greensboro and pitcher Adam Jorgenson for Asheville – to make the calls on the bases the remainder of the game



www.bowlinggreenhotrods.com


Hot Rod have a Bear-able Mascot

Most people might not aware of the fact that the Tampa Bay Rays have now gained the Bowling Green Hot Rods as their minor league squad in the Southern Atlantic League’s Southern division. The team is currently 16-15 , and are only 2 games out of the division lead. But with the new team is the aspect of finding the perfect mascot. With an auto theme, you might think a personable mechanic or a grease monkey might be the perfect fit. But the Hot Rods went another direction and searched the surrounding mountains and caves until they found Axle.

Axle is a baseball lovin’ bear and hot rod enthusiast who is equally at home on the ball field or under the hood of a car. He brings a high level of energy designed to get Hot Rods fans and players pumped up during Hot Rods home games. When he’s not leading cheers from the top of the dugouts, Axle enjoys making kids smile and working on his classic car collection. He also enjoys fishing in the Barren River and spending time at his home in one of South Central Kentucky’s numerous caves, the identity of which must be kept a secret due to his large paparazzi following.

                   
                    www.yahoo.sports.com


Is this mimicking Stuff Getting out of Hand?

I made a comment in my blog yesterday about the fact that I was glad that Orioles hitter Aubrey Huff gave Yankee pitcher Joba Chamberlain a dose of his own medicine back when he hit his 3-run shot against him on Sunday. I mean people are varied opinions on the on-the-mound antics of MLB relievers this season. We all know the history of Chamberlain showing outward emotion on saves and great strikeouts to end tense innings. But is it all starting to get to be more of an act than a true form of emotion.

I mean since October I have seen Phillies closer Brad Lidge try and re-produce the famous Tug McGraw “W” sit-down in front of the mound after winning the World Series. Then the Rays Grant Balfour get into the head of former White Sox batter Orlando Caberra so much that when Balfour complained and yelled on the mound he thought it was directed to him. Has the art of outward expression maybe gotten a bit to animated on the mounds,or am I just imagining it all.

Then we get word of a recent San Francisco Giants/ L A Dodger brouhaha where usual cool calm and collected Casey Blake is seen on the bench making a mock mimic of Giants closer Brian Wilson’s usual save celebration. What is so upsetting about this one is that Blake has seen this motion by Wilson before and has not deemed it necessary to mimic or play with Wilson’s head.  After Blake hit a 12th inning homer off Wilson during his teams 7-5 loss to the Giants, he is caught on camera on the bench making a reference to Wilson’s personal tribute to his faith and late father that he exhibits after every save.

Made even worse was the fact that Wilson did not even know about the event until he got off the field and went to his locker. there he found a photo on his cellphone of the Blake mimic and it sent the closer into an outrage.  It was said that the closer got so infuriated with the display by Blake that team mates had to calm him down immediately before the situation got out of hand. You know this one episode is going to play out again sometime in 2009. I hope that before these two meet again during a gem either Blake or Wilson can get some closure to the event before someone gets knocked on their butt by a high inside pitch or two.

People complain that most of these antics on the mound are done for the media and not for the team unity. I understand getting the perfect picture of Jonathan Papelbon after a great save against the Rays on Sunday night, but does he have to do it in two-different directions to make sure they get the frontal view of the action. Most people might not have saw that since the usual thing is for people to either change the channel or do other things right after that, but I saw it and it did tick me off for a few minutes.


Michael Dwyer / AP

But I also know that baseball is not only about playing the game right now, it is about a packaged set of entertainment for the fans and viewing audience. Did Papelbon or even Chamberlain change their post-game celebrations to promote the team, or themselves. I am not asking that emotional displays get tossed, or even shielded. I am just wondering if most of that outward display can be used to better good than to give a last minute whammy or punch in the gut to another team.


I know we have not seen the last of these displays, but can both batters and pitchers please be sure to get the right message out before some 11-year old thinks it is right to yell at the opposing team after striking out the side in a Little League game. Sometimes the big guys on the mound forget about the smaller eyes that idolize and want to duplicate their hero’s actions and reactions. I am not asking for a change of their collective personalities or antics. Just make sure it is something you can be proud of, and would not mind seeing your own kids do sometimes in the future.

10 Comments

Wow Rays, it would take me a couple of hours to break down this excellent entry today. There’s a lot of good points so I’l try to breeze over them. Shawshank-excellent movie one of my favs of all time. Most people don’t know it was adapated from a Stephen King short story. Fans heckling. Sorry but the guys an idiot with no class. Yell “you got nothing” or “you’re a bum” is fine with me. It’s nothing derogatory and most players take it in stride. Making it personal is classless and sad on so many levels. I’d be embarrased if that was a Rockies fan and I would apologize on behalf of the fandom whenever I could for people like that. Axle- well the Rockies have the Modesto Nuts and a big peanut for their mascot, so I can’t really say anything other than I love my nuts : ) Finally, leave the individual celebrations at home. The greatest ballplayers of all-time never are remembered for their celebrations, just the classy hard working way they played the game. I understand competition very well and a fist pump running the bases that is subdued or a well placed hi five after a homerun no problem. THe guy I have the most respect for is the one who does his job and plays with complete respect for the game and the opponent. Whew. You gotta break up the great blogging topics for more than one blog to avoid long answers like this!
Tom
http://rockymountainway.mlblogs.com

Well Tommy,
Thank you for thinking my little rants today have some merit first off.
Secondly, I had to clean my monitor screen after the “nuts” comment.
But seriously, I am just a guy who tends to speak his mind before he speaks most days. I decided today to just write off the top of my skull and see if anything sticks.
I am all about celebrations. But even when I intercepted anymore or took someone down with an open field tackle, I got excited heading to my bench, not laying over them or taunting them.
Some things today just get the benefit of the doubt too fast, but that is just my opinion.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I’m going to have to agree with Tom – why anyone would think that a comment about a woman being beaten is funny probably doesn’t deserve to be out in public. There are way to many idiots out there Rays. And I hope after the camera went off, someone told that young man to shut up! Trust me – if I ever heard my boys saying something like that they would hear about it from me! The celebrating – I don’t have issues with fist-pumps; I do have issues with the mimicing. These athletes play with such intensity and emotion that they need to have a release at some point. I know football has the same issue and has tried to limit the taunting – but please, Wes Welker of the Patriots gets fined for taunting because he made a snow angel in the snow after a great touchdown? Sometimes I think it swings too far both ways and it can be a case of “in the eye of the beholder”. I don’t know the answer.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Julia,
I hate to say it but the PC police do a great job most day, but you are right sometimes the handle is too tight in their grasp and they miss simple childish endeavors that are meant to be funny and not taunts in the NFL.
But then again, if we did anything like that in the Late 80′s we would be getting wood splinters in our butts.
I hated to post this because someone is going to think it is a statement that I agree with his actions.
I went back on after I posted and added a disclaimer just so some young blogger will not subject themselves to it. But, as we all know, people gravitate to that sort of heckling at times.
As I stated, I like Keri, but sometimes the Cowbell Kidd in him gets too wild for his won good.
The persona is only as good as the guy who plays it……….And he is an okay guy most of the time.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

That was a terrible thing for him to say. I don’t know why he or anyone else would think that was funny. And for the record I would never think you condoned that kind of behavior. You’re too nice!
I think it’s fine for players to have their individual celebrations as long as it’s nothing over the top. Imitating them is a bit much though. I was very disappointed in Casey Blake for his imitation but I am willing to believe that he didn’t know what it meant and didn’t mean that much disrespect. I really hope that was the case; he was one of my favorite Indians when he was with us and I would lose a lot of respect for him if he knew the significance.
Melissa
http://clemsongirlbaseball.mlblogs.com

Melissa,
I am with you on the Casey Blake incident totally.
I do think he did not know what it was all about, and in time they will sort it out themselves.
I have always had him on my fantasy teams, but this year someone got him before I could draft him…….
I added that only because I felt it was so out of left field for me I needed to state it. I do condone heckling to the fullest, but you also have to take into consideration if you could handle the same heckle at you.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Amazing entry. As far as the Blake issue, it was a wrong move on his part, but I don’t think he knew what it was all about. I’m sure if he did, he wouldn’t have done it. And nice picture of Papelbon doing his famous pump. As for the other comments about throwing out players, that’s a good idea, if it is a probable cause. Other than that, it’s all good.
http://irishsoxkid19.mlblogs.com

Thanks Irish,
I really do not want the MLB to entertain the option of a taunting clause or rule, but maybe set some guidelines like maybe making the motions and action away from the visiting/home team dugout.
Or maybe something as simple as teams police yourselves or we will kind of mentality.
That would give more power to each teams Kangaroo Court, or even their Union Reps.
Winning a game with a strikeout in the bottom of the ninth with a 1-run lead, or winning a championship can be a defining moment for a team and player.
I just want that moment to resonate positive vibes and actions. I too think Blake might have not know the true original of Brian Wilsons hand jive, or he would not have doe it either.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Rays,
love the movies Shawshank Redemption and what is not to love about “For the Love of the Game”! Vin’s voice in there!
.
About that fan, I usually speak up and tell them to watch their language. I know I should not sometimes.
.
I am sure Casey did not know the significance of Wilson’s display on the mound.
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/

Emma,
Vin did an awesome job on the movie.
I almost believed he was a New York announcer……not.
I always have a voice in my section when the unruly want to be jerks.
Not only are there kids in my section who parents have season tickets, but some of us love the game and not the politics of the hecklers.
A well placed insult or timed response can either bring a smirk or a sly smile from the outfielders…………but we never try to anger them…………….We let the team do that at the plate.
I agree with Casey might have not gotten the memo, or known about the significance of it all.
I know he is a classy player, and by the time they play again, all will either be forgiven or talked about between them.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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