EY’s are Good Guys

4-21-13

D-Backs vs Rockies Game 3

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The first bobble head game of the season and it’s a good one. You’d be hard pressed to find a Rockies fan who doesn’t love Eric Young.

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EY has a place in Rockies franchise history that will last forever. Young hit the first Rockies home run at Mile High Stadium back in 1993.

What’s cool about that is EY wasn’t exactly known as a home run hitter.

Today was autograph Sunday as well. I was on the field and the only player to stop by my little area was Adam Ottavino. I didn’t have any pictures of Adam as of yet so he autographed a baseball for me.

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Nice guy!

This is my friend Marianne aka R-Luv. She’s an original Rantic and it’s been a while since I’ve run into her at game. Good to see you R-Luv!!

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The weather today was not too bad. Definitely not warm, but a long sleeve shirt or light jacket was plenty.

Eric Young was present on his bobble head day. His youngest son threw out the first pitch to his older brother Eric Young Jr. I think the world of both EY’s and for me this reunion was just fun to watch. Eric Young and Eric Young Jr. are both fan friendly and about as humble as they come.

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Nice pitch from the lil guy known as “The Mayor”.

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This was Game 3 of a series in which the Rockies won the first two.

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Juan Nicasio starting pitcher.

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I love following foul and home runs baseballs into the crowd. Peoples expressions are priceless.

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Didn’t run into the Rox Addict all game, but did find him doing his thing when I was cropping a picture.

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Ever wonder who the Jackass is who starts “The Wave” when the Rockies are batting? It’s this guy below, if you see him you have my permission to smack him in the head.

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My favorite alien!

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This is Dan’s friend Brian catching Tulo’s homer on the bounce.

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Congrats brotha, you’ve just experienced what I’ve yet to.

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D-Backs come from behind in the 9th, score two runs and the Rockies lose this one 5-4 but take the Series.

I’m “D” the Ranter…8 more bobble heads to go.

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Whole Lotta Luv for the Talking Glove

4-13-12

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Back in 2011 I was sitting in the pavilion with my friend Marianne and my boy Hunter watching a Rockies/Dodgers game. A few feet behind us was a drunk Rockies fan who was endlessly heckling Tony Gywnn Jr.

I shot some video and posted it because I was impressed with the way Tony handled himself plus I was laughing so hard I was almost crying. By the end of this game we had all had enough of the heckler (who sounded like Gilbert Godfried), screaming in our ears.

Here’s a link to the blog entry I wrote about it…Tony Takes the Abuse…Then Lets Loose.

Yesterday my YouTube account came to life with non-stop emails and comments on this video. This video has received over 314,000 hits so far.

Someone posted my video on Reddit

Go figure? Anyways, here’s the video:

Click HERE to read write-up of the game almost two years ago.

The article mentions how Tony made the game ending catch off of Charlie Blackmon. I remember that catch, it was impressive. What was even more impressive is after he caught the ball he turned around, smiled, tipped his cap to the heckler and strutted off the field. The write-up even mentions the heckler..Very cool!

It seems almost every sports blog and funny video website in the country has picked up this video. I saw the video on the MLB fan cave and in Yahoo Canada EH!

What kind of sucks is not one of them mentions the guy who filmed it or my blog the Rockpile Rant.

I’m “D” the Ranter…Stay away from me Yo!.. I’m Viral :)

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Padres Tank…Baby Bull Holds a Shank

I wasn’t going to blog about this game but the pictures were so good and the fact that we play the Padres tonight I figured Rockies fans could use some inspiration.

4-7-11

Padres vs Rockies Game 3…Opening Weekend, Coors Field

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It was Hunter and I today and I have to tell you, it’s pretty sweet walking into Coors Field for game 3 with the series won already. My goal today was to catch my first BP homer of the season and get David Nied to sign my poster of him I’ve had tucked away for years.

Here’s a shot of David in 1993.

Colorado Rockies 1993

Nied was the first pick for the expansion Colorado Rockies in the 1992 Major League Baseball expansion draft. Nied started in the first ever game for the Rockies, taking the loss against the New York Mets. He also pitched a number of other firsts for the Rockies, including first strikeout, first walk, first complete game, and first complete game shutout.

Nied compiled a 5-9 win-loss record in 1993 and went 9-7 in 1994 but won no more games in the next two years, playing sparingly. In 1996 he was granted free agency and joined the Cincinnati Reds organization. Nied retired from baseball at 28 after an arm injury. He now sells equipment for his father’s company. He is engaged to Heather Cranford, a former contestant on the TV show The Bachelor.

Batting Practice

For the second game in a row I was shut-out. However, Hunter’s learned if you can’t quite catch-em, positioning and being polite will win you the race. He snagged two baseballs today. Hunter probably could catch one, but his dad’s not ready to let him yet…Maybe next year.

Sorry, scares the shit out of me thinking about him just missing one and getting hit.

The Rockies had the elder Rockies from 1993 lined up along the first and third base lines signing autographs. By the time I figured out which line David Nied was in the line was almost up to the concourse. No matter, we made it in time and David signed my poster “Nied for Speed” when I asked him to.

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Thank you David!

This baseball game was just fun to watch. Within a few minutes of the start of the game I had my first broken bat picture from Baby Bull Rosario.

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 His bat still in hand, and the broken piece and ball in the picture…Perfect!

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Baby Bull is left holding a shank.

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Sorry Jon :(

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This is how not to catch a baseball.

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JP showing exactly how to catch a ball, with style and some vertical leap.

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JP just short of a bullseye.

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Chacin the Machine…Job well done!

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Baby Bull’s hits a homer scoring Fowler and Cargo.

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That ball’s history.

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Bull’s homer as it enters the pavilion crowd.

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This guy is special Yo!

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Rockie Luv!

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Rockies destroy the Padres..Final Score 9-1

I’m “D” the Ranter…Opening day weekend is a rap and a sweep.

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Alumni in Town…Rockies throw Down

4-5-13
Padres vs Rockies.

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Opening Day at Coors Field.

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Let’s just say it’s been a long winter and if you live in Colorado, …it ain’t over yet.

Colorado does Opening Day right. Right in the fact that you don’t need a ticket to the game to enjoy the festivities, just show up early ready to party. The weather was 70 degrees and perfect for April baseball.

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The day started out with Douglas’s breakfast at the 20th St Cafe as it has for the last few Opening Days. In attendance were, Jersey Geoff, Mike the Rox Addict…

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Fran and Robert.

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Our host Douglas, Hunter and yours truly. On an extremely cool note, I only eat at the 20th St. Cafe once or twice a year and the waitress remembered what my breakfast order was.

That’s impressive!

Once we were full it was time to wander. Although there were a lot of folks hang’n around Coors Field, this OD seemed a bit mellower than ones I’ve attended in the past. Still there was lots going on.

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Hunter and I stopped by and checked out my favorite local Artist Kyle Banister. Kyle had a primo spot for his art and was working on the Rockies 20th Anniversary logo in liquid chalk. :)

Here’s Kyle Banister, Laura Rector, Eric Matelski working hard.

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Here it is finished… WOW!!

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Kyle’s work always pops out at you. His link is on my sidebar.

Stilt Man out harassing some lady trying to read a book?

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Hunter and I met up with long time Rockies employee and Rant follower Missy. 15 years with the Rockies right Missy?

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As we walked by the 850 KOA booth I noticed Goose Gossage and David Nied getting interviewed by Mike Rosin.

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 I have Goose’s autograph already but I was carrying a poster I wanted the “Nied for Speed” David Nied to sign. We waited around for a bit, but I figured I’d have better luck inside on Sunday acquiring Nied’s autograph.

Batting practice was taking place and as Hunter and I entered the pavilion a hit baseball had just rolled up to the wall. Matt Belisle picked it up, looked up and saw Hunter standing there and tossed it to him. Within a minute of entering the stadium Hunter had the first BP ball of the regular season.

Hunter managed to snag one more and his old man came up empty for Opening Day.

Before BP ended I met up with my a friend and co-worker Kevin and his daughter Sam. This was their first Opening day at Coors and you could tell they were happy to be there just soaking everything in.

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Seemed like there were fewer balloons this year?

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Ceremonial first pitch.

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Gonna be a fun season seeing these guys around, it feels like old times.

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I like the fact that Dante has the boys hitt’n good so far.

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Props to Cargo for staying healthy last year…Another Gold Glove!

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Damn that thing is shiny!

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This set of conjoined twins is known as the Hellowitzki.

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First pitch of the game.

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WTF?

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Look far left in the front row you can see Jersey Geoff in the mix.

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This Canadian earned his bacon today.

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Dex seconds before a home run blast to right field.

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Dex’s home run ball just before it lands.

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Dex gett’n some luv from the dugout. You can see John Elway and Dick Monfort above the dugout.

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Wait a minute, the entire stadium is celebrating Dex’s home run and Elway is Texting?

Sorry John..I’m a huge fan but today you are the:

“Dude texting with TV seats” fan of the game.

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Props to your girl though, she knows what time it is :)

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Watch your back “Baby Bull”!

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Rockies beat the Padres in their Home Opener…5-2

Folks that’s three in row. The best the Rockies did last season was three in a row.

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I’m extremely impressed with the Rockies pitching and hitting so far.

This team is loaded with talent, the question is: Is this the year we stay healthy and a new set of “Blake Street Bad-Asses” is born?

I’m “D” the Bad Ass Ranter….We need some attitude to go along with this altitude.

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Taking a Look at a Little Book.

Peanuts, Popcorn & American Presidents

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I love reading anything baseball. A while back I received an email from a fellow named Nicholas asking if I would review this book about American Presidents and baseball. I agreed hoping it was a short book as I don’t have a whole lot of free time right now with the regular baseball season getting ready to start.

The book is 11 pages which is right up my alley.

DID YOU KNOW?

William Howard Taft was the first president to throw out a ceremonial first pitch. He did it on April 14th to usher in the 1910 baseball season.

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That President George Bush Sr. was a Boston Red Sox fan who later flipped and became a Houston Astros fan? The senior Bush was also the Captain of his Yale Baseball team.

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Here’s another one, did you know that when President Roosevelt threw an inaugural pitch, someone was always on hand to prevent him from toppling over.

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This little book is filled with  tid-bits of information like that.

About the book.

Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball,” wrote Jacques Barzun, the late French-born historian of American culture. Barzun might have added that any U.S. politician with his eye on the White House had better know the difference between a ball and a strike. Since baseball became the National Pastime it has enjoyed a favored relationship with the seats of power—in Congress and even in the Supreme Court, but certainly with the chief executive.

The venerable sportswriter Ray Robinson surveys the presidential attitude toward the “best game” since the early twentieth century, separating the enthusiasts from the pretenders.

A little bit about the Author Ray Robinson.

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Ray Robinson, a former magazine editor, is the author of the widely acclaimed biography Iron Horse: Lou Gehrig in His Time as
well as biographies of Knute Rockne, Christy Mathewson, Will Rogers, and Stan Musial. His writings appear frequently in the New York Times. He lives in New York City.

Where can I purchase this book?

http://www.nowandthenreader.com/

Also available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and I-Tunes.

I’m “D” the Ranter…Is it first pitch yet? :)

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A Happy Face in the Enemy’s Place

3-11-13

Rockies vs White Sox..Camelback Ranch

Last day in Arizona.

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This was my first time visiting the Ranch(home to the Dodgers and White Sox). As far as spring training facilities go this one is a real gem. It’s beautifully laid out with little ponds and walkways everywhere.

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We were there on a Monday and the back fields were almost deserted.

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I wandered around, enjoying the early morning sun, reflecting on the past few days and thinking about life in general. How many spring training facilities can you get enough peace and quiet to actually relax and ponder shit?

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While I was “Zone’n” I noticed some players gathering in the outfield of one of the practice fields. I watched as one of the coaches started hitting pop-flys right up against the outfield wall and players were jumping trying to catch them and keep ‘em from going over the fence. I hurried over to where the balls were going over the fence and I noticed it  was just me there. For a few short minutes it was yours truely catching the baseballs that the minor league players couldn’t snag. Eventually folks saw me having the time of my life and decided to join.

All in all probably 25 baseballs were hit out.

As soon as that drill was finished the minor leaguers started their batting practice. Sitt’n with seven baseballs already I was having a great day.  BP was a bit more crowded but I manged to catch one on the bounce and one on the fly preventing a bystander from getting hit in the face with a home run ball.

Dude didn’t even say thank you….Dick

Folks, this place is special even if it is enemy territory.

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Today wound up being not only a good day for baseballs but it was a great day for autographs.

I managed to get Todd Helton to sign my baseball, Eric Young Jr to sign a picture, and Skipper Walt Weiss signed my 1993 photo ball of him.

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Plus, Dante signed a baseball card the Rox Addict hooked me up with.

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Check out this motley autograph Crue..Left to Right, James, Eric, and Mike the Rox Addict.

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James is the guy who made the “Helmer is my Homeboy” T-Shirts. Maybe it’s time for some Ranter shirts?

Anyone interested?

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I don’t have many of these…Here’s Tulo smiling.

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The Rockies lose this one to the White Sox. Matter of fact, the Rockies lost every game we saw them play the week we were in Arizona except for when they played the USA WBC team.

I have no idea what we’re in for this season as far as the Rockies go.

I’m “D” the Ranter…I’d like to thank the Rox Addict for splitt’n the costs and being good company.

It was fun, but this year’s trip is done. 20 days till the first home game at Coors Field!

See you there…“D”

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Baseball and Booze…How Could They Lose?

3-8-11

 World Baseball Classic USA vs Mexico…Chase Field

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I don’t claim to know much about the World Baseball Classic.

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All I knew was this event was taking place during my yearly spring training trek and it was an opportunity to see something new, visit Chase Field for the first time and hopefully snag a World Baseball Classic game ball or BP ball. So being the open-minded baseball enthusiast I am I was like WTF, let’s see what it’s all about.

As per usual my week in Phoenix coincided with Arizona’s yearly two-day monsoon season, but this time I one-upped Mother Nature. The weather for Friday and Saturday called for rain and cold. My WBC games were Friday night and Saturday.

Inside Chase Field :)

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As we approached the Chase Field district there was definitely a crazy baseball vibe going on.

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I’d love to tell you it was a home country vibe but it was not. Team Mexico’s loyal supporters were out in full effect and the drinking and partying had started way before the game did.

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Once I get inside a ballpark my thinking is as follows…Catch a baseball or two or three, then wander over and see what the autograph situation is. The autograph wall was six rows of people deep and I’d have had better luck standing there in that mob than I did in left field. The left field bleachers were jam-packed with Team USA and Mexico fans desperately looking to bring home one of these.

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I believe I can relate.

Now when I say left field was full I mean full like it was the Home Run Derby full. A lot of these folks were willing to get a little bit scrappy in their quest for a ball.  I’ll fight to defend my lady, but there’s no way I’ll fight for a baseball.

 I’ve decided I like Chase Field for ballhawking. Chase Field’s left field bleachers are similar to the Pavilion bleachers at Coors Field and I feel like I can maneuver those shin busters with the best of ‘em.

I needed the baseball Gods to shine on me today but I guess they couldn’t penetrate the retractable roof on Chase Field. It became evident quick that this Ranter would not be taking any WBC baseballs back to his hotel. No WBC balls were caught during BP because they were using regular old MLB baseballs.

Pre-Game shots.

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Starting lineups.

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First pitch.

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Random game shots. To give you a play by-play I would have had to pay attention.

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Mex scores WBC

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I’ve been to some loud baseball games but this one by far was the loudest. If I learned one thing by watching and listening to this game I learned that Mexicans take their World Baseball serious as a heart attack. Mike and I kept commenting on the World Cup Soccer feel in this place.

I most definitely am not a fan of World Cup Soccer.

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The noise inside this covered stadium had my head ringing like those matracas that every other fan seemed to have. This thing is the wooden equivalent of nails on a chalk board.

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This overly festive game concluded with a Team Mexico win over Team USA 5-2.

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Post-game as I was trying to escape from Chase Field I couldn’t figure out if I was impressed or revolted with what I just experienced. I kept thinking…”It’s just baseball this is Nucking Futs”.

I’m “D” the Ranter, Gett’n my dings…Trying new things.

Cheers Yo!

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Kiss My Ass…Why Can’t I Play on the Grass?

3-7-13

My first and last trip to Hohokam Stadium.

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 (Rox Addict and his famous Running Man pose out front).

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This joint is the spring training/winter home of the Chicago Cubs. The main reason I won’t be back is because this is Hohukum’s last year housing the Cubs. The Cubs move into a brand new facility next year. This stadium is a lot like other stadiums in the Phoenix area only older and for some strange reason..More expensive?

The Cubs suck because they stick it to their fans during spring training as well as the regular season. The going price here is 20 bucks for a berm ticket…OUCH!

Here’s the other reason I won’t be back.

Mike and I did our usual thing and showed up early for BP. I was stoked because I found out BP would be taking place inside the stadium and this place has a beautiful berm. Well I was stoked until I went inside and actually tried to access the berm. I was told it was off-limits during batting practice. The Usher was kind enough to let me know that as soon as the players were done I could walk anywhere on the berm. Thanks buddy.

WTF?? So I asked the Usher why? He informed me that the cleaning crew were still cleaning the berm. I found this totally unacceptable and walked away pissed that I wasted my time and showed up early. I paid 25 bucks for a crappy grandstand seat and then to be denied access to the berm during BP.

That’s retarded.

So as I was standing along the first base line hoping for a foul ball I observed this.

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Lined up like ballhawking soldiers are the employees who are supposed to be cleaning the berm. The spent the entire batting practice chasing home run balls. I was jealous and pissed at the same time. Getting paid to snag baseballs that’s my f’kn dream job.

In reality all I can do is let you know how jacked up I think that is.

So now you know.

Today, the plan was to meet up with my folks at the stadium and take in a game.

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We did just that. Beautiful day too. Mom and Pops thanks for coming up :).

Cool looking old stadium.

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A few game shots.

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Fans scrambling for a home run ball.

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A packed left field berm.

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A packed right field berm.

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Some aerial entertainment.

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I didn’t kill it with pictures today. It was fun just hang’n with my folks and watching the game feeling lucky to be warm.

Final Score.

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White Sox cream the cheap ass Cubbies 8-3.

You can tell rain is a coming.

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No worries, next game is a WBC game and it’s indoors :)

I’m “D” the Ranter and I will ballhawk for cash.

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Back in the Game…Tulo’s the Same

3-6-12

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When the plane landed in Phoenix we headed immediately to the car rental joint, picked up a snazzy Ford Focus, then drove straight to Talking Stick. We rolled up about 9:30 and the facility couldn’t have been prettier. The sun was shining with temperature in the mid 60’s. Being the first fan to ever attend a game here I have a special affiliation with Salt River Fields at Talking Stick even if there’s only a handful of fans that know of my accomplishment.

We meandered the backfields in search of anyone partaking in a little batting practice. It was eerily quiet on the Rockies side. ‘cept for a wee bit of minor league action going on so I hung out on the side lines and it paid off.  I managed to snag two foul balls in a 10 minute time frame. Back in the game!

The goal was to see Team USA warm-up and we learned that they wouldn’t be out till this afternoon. At that point we figured it was time to take a visit to the local In and Out Burger and then check into our room. On the way back to the car I spotted my third ball of the day.

My first Easter egg of the season!

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Food and hotel taken care of it was back to Salt River Fields where Mike and I ran into Eric B. After a quick hello I took off as I noticed Team USA was beginning to take BP on the D-backs side (bonus)!

There were probably 20 other ballhawks out in left field all salivating at the chance to snag a USA World Baseball. I hung out there for 45 minutes and had play on three balls. One I managed to snag as it bounced off of the gravel. I looked at it and unfortunately it was just a regular old MLB baseball.

That sucked!

Not long after that I witnessed the Rox Addict snag one on the fly. His was a plain old MLB ball too. I’ll give him big props as it was a sweet catch in the tip of his glove and he was surrounded by greedy ballhawks.

Tonight’s game was the Rockies vs Team USA. I had a seat in the front row along the Rockies side so I used the opportunity to snag a few autographs. I managed to get Todd Helton, Tyler Colvin, Dante Bichette,  Jordan Pacheco and Eric Young Jr.

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I have a great picture of Tulo in the Snow I’d love autographed, but as is usually the case “The Deuce” took the low road and exited the field ignoring his fans.

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The redeye flight and no sleep was catching up with me so I took just a couple of pictures during the game and spent the last part of the game hang’n with Jersey Geoff, his buddy Mike, and the Rox Addict.

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Rockies made it interesting in the 9th after trailing the entire game and actually pulled out a win. Funny though, Rockies did Team USA no favors when they actually had to loan them a few pitchers.

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The four of us ended up in the outfield with absolutely no competition for home run balls and wouldn’t you know it,  diddly squat came our way. You have no idea how funny it would have been had a home run been hit in our general direction. The scramble for that ball by the four of us would have been hilarious.

I’m “D” the Ranter and today was an excellent first day! My only goals for the first day were to bust out some shorts for the first time in 6 months and get a nice sunburn started.

Mission Accomplished!

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Cactus, Burgers and Ball…And That Aint All

2-26-13

Spring training is more than just pre-season baseball for me.

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It’s a fresh start each year with new strategies, new people and new attitudes.

Living in the mountains makes the baseball off-season seriously drag. Don’t get me wrong I love my snow (and my Broncos). Truthfully, for me winter is just the space between the end of one baseball season and the start of another one.

I crave variety. The Cactus League is full just that.

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Each little Spring Training facility is a small taste of another team. I love the Rockies, but baseball is history and I’m a sponge when I’m down in Cactus League Country. Only true baseball fans make the yearly trek to Spring Training each year to watch and support their team.

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Yes the games are meaningless, but these are fans that need this little dose of baseball to get them through till Opening Day. I for one am guilty as charged. I feel if I didn’t have my yearly trip to Phoenix to bask in the sun, chase baseballs, harass players, eat a years worth of In n Out burgers in a week, act like a fool and bump into Rantics I’d implode.

As sure as the brown hairs in my beard are being replaced by white ones, the Rox Addict and I will be wandering the Phoenix area in search of baseball history, memories and souvenirs one short week from now.

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Next entry for me will be Wednesday March 6th when the Rox Addict and I land in Phoenix.

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I’m “D” the Ranter…It’s almost time to shine.

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