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It happens every spring. As the MLB.com screen says: “Welcome Back!”
Baseball sprang into full fast-forward on Monday, Feb. — FEB? — 28 as teams played from here to there and back. Or at least at Casa Fan-tastic, the fan cave with all TV’s and computers blasting like it’s hot, as in July.
Washington 9 New York 3 in the top of the 9th Inning and Mike Morse is shining bright. coming off a power-laden, if platooning year, the man behind the code blasted Igarashi late of Yakult, now of the new Bowery Bums.
We say Bowery Bums since Mets ownership got Madoffed and reportedly took a last-gasp $25 million MLB loan that outraged former commissioner Fay Vincent this weekend.
And let us not forget the beloved Bums, as in the Duke, Brooklyn legend and Fallbrook, Calif. resident, who passed this weekend. Mr. Snider, we presume, is shagging flies today somewhere around Field of Dreams, Dyersville, Iowa. Condolences and memories collide.
Now, the new breed, baseball’s always promising future comes into play. Enter Bryce Harper who looks good. Looks great, less filling, a good-looking guy destined for destiny and Double-A. Hey, it’s spring, can you say majors in September.
Speaking of being a little rusty, hello Dioner Navarro. Little leaguers, YO, don’t try what he did at home…plate.
An artful Dodger, Navarro got away with it once, though, going all Pudge behind the dish, throwing from his knees and nailing the fleet attempted thiefster Juan Pierre — I always rinse, repeat, rinse that name in giant letters — JUAN PIERRE JUAN PIERRE, just ’cause it sounds cool. Out at second base and with EXTREME prejudice the first stolen base try of the spring.
But Dioner, bless his spring heart, got greedy. Attempting the same feat as Pierre tried to steal third base later in the game, Navarro squat, cocked, and threw the ball far north of the infield, wide and to the left fielder. Can you say…Embarrassing.
Thanks goodness for spring training though, for fans as well as playas. Breaking open our many MLB interfaces for the first time in 2011, sticking our faces into the ever-emerging baseball portal; games are on TV, games are on the computer, games, games, games everywhere and not a moment to re-consider.
Keith Hernandez is to the left computer screen. speaking wisely of Carlos Beltran’s move from the center square. Tommy Lasorda is to the right TV, reminding us the Duke never showboat dove for a ball. That’s right. It’s back, back, back, baby. Hallelujah!
I’m rusty, yes, but willing. MLB.Com has Mets-Nationals, obviously. MLB Channel has Dodgers-White Sox, obviously, and the radio feeds buzz with a dozen, or so, preliminary skirmished contests.
It will take a few days to get back up to speed for me, and you, but we’ll be going good as gold gloves by next week, plenty of time to be there and be squarely in the baseball mood.
And with that said, film at whenever, I’ll be back online in a few…
For more good stuff, visit http://escondidograpevine.com.
Reports circulating say Major League Baseball may play a few regular season games in Europe in the near future.
Several knowledgable MLB sources said Bud Selig, MLB commissioner, was poised to announce games played in Europe as his last great initiative before he retired from his post in January. Among other accomplishments, Selig has been at the baseball helm for expansion of league efforts throughout the world.
Regular season games have been played in Japan and Australia at the beginning of the season for several years now. Games that count also have ben played in Mexico and Puerto Rico. Furthermore, the World Baseball Classic, played every three years, has generated increased international interest in the game. Baseball programs and leagues have sprouted in many locations from Russia and Israel to the Far East and beyond.
Several sources were tweeting the news. Eric Fisher of Sports Business Journal said Selig was hopeful that an announcement would be made soon with London and the Netherlands viewed as potential landing spots for regular season games. Jon Morosi of Fox News said Amsterdam was viewed as being the best prepared to host games next year.
While England hasn’t fielded teams in the WBC, London has been the scene for several successful regular season and exhibition Nation Football League games. The Dutch are viewed as having better baseball infrastructure. The Dutch team has done well in the WBC even reaching the semifinal round in previous years.
The New York Times has reported that a $15 million ballpark expansion at Hoofddorp, Netherlands could expand that stadium to 30,000 seats. Hoofddorp is an Amsterdam suburb, about 15 miles from downtown near the airport that is home to more than 70,000 people.
Hoofddorp stadium officials have said they were renovating the stadium to meet MLB standards up to and including locker rooms of more than 4,000-square-feet. They also have installed a gravel, silt and clay field similar to those at MLB ballparks.
Most recently, MLB opened the 2014 regular season with games between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers. The 2012 regular season kicked off in March with games at Tokyo between the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners.