Written by Joe Kleinsasser Tuesday, 08 July 2008 15:19Back in the day when baseball really was America’s pastime, you went to a game to see a game. Nowadays, the game almost is a sideshow to all of the marketing gimmicks and promotions used to draw fans to the ballpark.
Americans love free stuff and they love fireworks. In fact, there are more than 140 fireworks displays across Major League Baseball this season. The Royals have one after every home game played on Friday. The good news is it’s a pretty good show. The bad news is it’s usually better than the game.
Not easily deterred, the White Sox tried a seat-cushion promotion. My cousin attended the game in which a home run wasn’t a home run in old Comiskey Park. In that case the fans put the issue to a vote, casting their...
Written by Joe Kleinsasser Tuesday, 24 June 2008 15:25With all due respect to former pro baseball player and broadcaster Joe Garagiola, baseball isn’t just a funny game. It’s also an unusual game.
Name another sport where the dimensions vary from stadium to stadium. Football fields, soccer fields, basketball courts all use standard dimensions. Not so baseball.
Some dimensions are consistent, i.e., the distance between bases and the distance from the home plate to the pitching rubber. But ballparks are not created equal.
For instance, there’s Fenway Park, with its short left-field fence and famous Green Monster, and Wrigley Field, with all of its nooks and crannies along an outfield wall covered with ivy. Baseballs have been known to get lost in that ivy.
And what used to be easy...
Written by Joe Kleinsasser Wednesday, 11 June 2008 08:26Two recent sports-related stories naturally caught my attention, which started a lively discussion with my agent, I.M. Slick.
One story said the NBA will fine players next season for clear cases of flopping. The other involved the likelihood of Major League Baseball using replay in some situations.
Joe: Considering the NFL, NBA, NHL, some NCAA sports and major tennis tournaments all employ a form of instant replay, it’s only a matter of time until Major League Baseball does the same.
Slick: That makes no sense. I’m totally against the use of replays.
Joe: Huh? I thought sure you’d favor the use of replays. I didn’t realize you have so much confidence in officiating.
Slick: Oh, I’m confident all right—confident that umps...
Written by Joe Kleinsasser Wednesday, 28 May 2008 06:19If you were Mallory Holtman, what would you do? Holtman, a four-year starter on the softball team, owns just about every major offensive record there is to claim in Central Washington’s record book. Now, with her own opportunity for a first postseason appearance very much hinging on the outcome of her final game at home, something most unusual transpired.
Western Oregon senior Sara Tucholsky had a homerless college career while Holtman was her school’s career home run leader.
The odds of Tucholsky hitting a home run were less than miniscule. Her own coach, Pam Knox, said, “Sara is small—she’s like 5-2, really tiny, so you would never think that she would hit a home run.”
But hit a home run is exactly what Tucholsky did...
Written by Joe Kleinsasser Wednesday, 14 May 2008 14:02Maybe it’s not all about the money, but when it comes to sports, the almighty dollar still has plenty of clout.
Perhaps there’s some consolation, albeit miniscule, that rising gas and food prices won’t render major professional athletes or coaches among the working poor anytime in the near future.
Consider that New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez makes more this year than his entire hometown Florida Marlins team.
A-Rod tops the major league baseball salary list at $28 million, according to a study of contract terms by The Associated Press. The 33 players on the Marlins’ opening-day roster and disabled list total $21.8 million.
For the first time in baseball history, the average salary tops the $3 million mark. The Marlins’...
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