And The Ballgame Is Over!*

The Boston Red Sox have just won the 2013 World Series. While I’m slightly disappointed that the Cardinals (and Beltran) couldn’t get it done to push this to a Game 7, I’m most disappointed that the 2013 MLB season is now officially over. I sink into a strange depression-like state between November and late February that is only remedied by the start of spring training. 

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From 1918 to 2013 RED SOX WIN!

fenway 1918By Paul Mahaney

The Boston Red Sox of 2013 did what no other Red Sox team had done since 1918…win it all at home. Boston strong is reality.

From the mess to best, from worst to first the Red Sox and the resiliency of the city of Boston and their beloved team is apparent to all.

The Boston marathon bombing re-united a city which may never have been divided. All the bombing actually did was demonstrate just how passionate the people of Boston are about each other.

The team showed that they were rallied by a city so passionate that the two—team and fans—are one. This city will party, no doubt.

The St Louis Cardinals are a great baseball organization with a very fine manager and marvelous fans, but it became obvious from game three on that they were not going to overcome Boston.

There was an urgency to jettison the Bobby Valentine era once and forever by a determined Red Sox team anxious to win its third title in ten years.

Under the calming influence of new manager John Farrell the Red Sox dominated game six and erased some very painful memories from the last couple of years.

David Ortiz came alive at the right time and the rest as they say is history. Now all that remains is to say, wait till next year.

Have a great off-season everyone and congratulations Boston!

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What a Wonderfully Strange Game

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The game of baseball is universal, and possesses a broad appeal. It is enjoyed and followed by the masses for a variety of reasons. The current World Series has reminded me of yet another reason to enjoy this great game. The fact that literally anything can happen at any given moment, most likely when you least expect it, creates palpable excitement. Also, when watching or attending a ballgame, there is always the possibility of seeing something that has never happened before. This possibility, more than any other sport, contributes to the mysticism of baseball. Read the rest of this entry

“Get Your Program, Get Your Program Here!”

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By Paul Mahaney

The 2013 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and St Louis Cardinals is knotted up at one apiece and resuming in St Louis tonight.

Going to the series should be a memorable experience and as history demands you may want something to remind you of the trip. That is where a World Series Program makes a great gift.

In years gone by it was even more significant, because video tape or DVD remembrances’ of the series were not as readily available.

Keepsakes and mementos of baseball’s biggest event have become something of a treasure of its glorious past, and no doubt this year’s program will be no different.

However with the proliferation of DVD collections of recent World Series contest making the experience more relivable, the World Series Program has become more of an antique for baseball enthusiast.

Some of the covers of these collectables of the past were gems well worth squirreling away for posterity, and thank goodness baseball and their fans did just that.

Although we won’t be able to view every program some merit attention for a variety of reasons.1903_cover_small
Our trip down memory lane begins with the very first World Series Program proclaiming the battle between the Boston Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1903. Read the rest of this entry

Beltran Stuns Fans, Players, and the Bullpen Cop

When Jerry Seinfeld joined Gary, Keith and Ron in the SNY broadcast booth in mid-September he made a wonderful point – “I do not understand why outfield walls are not padded in such a way that we don’t risk a guy’s entire career for the sake of a couch cushion. I mean, what is the point? We know they’re  gonna hit these walls. We’re paying these guys zillions of dollars, maybe it would be in our best interest to make sure they hit the wall and continue their careers.”

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Really, St. Louis? Really?

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Audible sigh.

So, the Cardinals are back in the World Series. Again.

By my count, that makes four World Series appearances in the past 10 seasons. The Cardinals were swept by the Red Sox in 2004, and then beat Detroit in 2006. This was after winning the N.L. Central with a record of 83-78. Really? In 2011, St. Louis took down the Rangers in seven games, and now, two years later, they are back again.

Since the 2000 season, the Cardinals have made 10 playoff appearances. Yes, that is correct. St. Louis has only stayed home for the playoffs four times in the past 14 seasons. Read the rest of this entry

Survivor 2013

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By Paul Mahaney

In this game your torches represent life. When they are put out you will be asked to leave the game.

Gee that means that the Houston Astros never made it to the island for the 2013 season of “Survivor- Major League Baseball”, maybe they didn’t even get a torch? Read the rest of this entry

Don’t Ruffle My Cardinal Feathers, LA

As most of you probably know, I live in Los Angeles. If you didn’t know that, I live in Los Angeles. At different times during the year I’m surrounded by Lakers and/or Clippers fans, Kings fans, Angels fans, and Dodgers fans. Even though the Kings season has begun it seems like people have forgotten about hockey all together so that they can support the Dodgers.

Dodgers fans are great. Some fans followed them to LA from their days in Brooklyn, others have just become involved this season. Regardless of how long you’ve been a fan, it’s fun to be in LA right now. Well, it would be a lot more fun if I were a Dodgers fan.

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One Swing of the Bat

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Well, there is some drama for you.

Game 2 of the American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers was essentially over. The Tigers had already taken Game 1, and were enjoying a 5-1 lead in the eighth inning of Game 2, about to go up 2-0 in the best of seven series. They would also be returning home with Justin Verlander on the mound for Game 3. Detroit was in a very enviable position, to put it mildly. However, this scenario did not play out, and the series is now tied one game apiece and is very much in doubt. Read the rest of this entry

I Spent a Year in Oakland One Week: Scenes from another Early October Exit

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The A’s and their loud and loyal fans couldn’t match Justin Verlander or break the Curse of Game 5

This time last week I was a ball of energy and nerves. I was unable to sleep, excited, anxious, sending wild text messages to A’s friends around the country asking how they felt and then reassured that my condition that day wasn’t unique. I had looked forward to October 4,2013 for so long and had already planned the day out so precisely in my mind that I feel into a slight anxiety attack when my fiancé and I arrived slightly late to the game and my imaginary plans went south. When the series itself began my concerns over parking and metal detectors took a back seat to a hopeful, joyous, exciting, confusing and ultimately heartbreaking week of baseball. Read the rest of this entry

Postseason and Dodger Blues

One of my favorite things about the post season is watching as a team celebrate a series win.  I love that the TV network has a camera on each player and each dugout, and after the initial pile-on on the field, we are able to watch every reaction of celebration (and of demise). But as the Dodgers clinched an NLCS spot on Monday and the Red Sox clinched an ALCS spot on Tuesday, I found myself a bit angry.

Don’t get me wrong – I was pulling for both of those teams, but I live for Game 5 (in the division series). The players might live for October, but I live for the overwhelming panic in a do-or-die game for both teams. (I thought I might feel differently if either the Mets or Orioles were in it, but remembered that the Mets last postseason went to a game 7 [2006 NLCS] and the Orioles last postseason went to a game 5 [2012 ALDS].) More so, I start to get a little depressed as the end looms. What will I do for the next months? Football doesn’t take up nearly as much time.

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A Cubbie Postmortem

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Expectations were tempered for the 2013 Chicago Cubs. Of course, expectations are frequently lowered on the North Side as a defense mechanism and coping device. There was good reason for this lack of confidence, and many losses were predicted. However, once these losses begin to occur and you become exposed to the reality of the final tally, it is a bit sobering.

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Subliminal Playoff Musings

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By Paul Mahaney

Clarity and the baseball playoffs seldom (never) have anything in common. On the other hand, most experts (other non-psychics) like us predicted (guessed) correctly that the Cleveland Indians would not win the World Series this year. Read the rest of this entry

Oaktober

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So here we go.

I had a dream last night that Eric Sogard hit an RBI single in the bottom of the 6th that broke a 0-0 tie and ultimately gave the A’s a 1-0 win in game one of the 2013 ALDS vs. the Motor City Kitties. In the dream this was a day game instead of night and the third deck at The House of Thrills (the name I’m now applying to the O.Co Coliseum) still had the tarps on but those are just small subconscious details. The larger point is that I’m dreaming about the A’s playing in October and the dream of the A’s making it to the postseason is now a reality for a city and it’s fan base that really needs some good news and something to believe in. Read the rest of this entry