Results tagged ‘ Best Blog ever ’

Slammed his Bat n’ That Was That

5-1-12

Game Two

I was pretty excited about the game today(surprise).

:)

The Rockies had won game one the night before and the Rox Addict had informed me it was raining baseballs during batting practice in the pavilion on Monday. With my record so far I was ready for a downpour.

I was the first in the pavilion and worked my way down to the first row. The Rockies stayed out for most of the half hour we’re allowed to watch them hit. I had play on one ball before the Rockies called it quits. I didn’t bobble it, it just fell about six inches short of my glove as I was leaning over the wall.

I was hang’n with the Rox Addict and my buddy Scott today. After the Dodgers took the field Scott pointed out that Don Mattingly was walking around the field catching pop flys. At one point Don scooped down to pick up a ball that fell short and turned to toss it to the crowd. I called his name and was sure he was going to toss it to me. Instead he tossed it over my head and my buddy Scott snagged it…That’s pretty damn cool in my book and that’s why I show up early. You never know when you’ll make a lifetime memory.

I had play on a few more baseballs but again I pulled a goose egg. It’s starting to stress me a little because my vision isn’t quite what it used to be and I’m hoping that’s not what’s causing me to keep coming up a bit short. Gett’n old sucks, no doubt about it.

I took some pre-game pictures today.

The Hosers

My good buddy and former Rockie Mark Ellis. This guy is a helluva player, not sure why we let him go?

Tony is always dangerous.

Before I could choke down my dollar hot dog the Rockies were down 7-0 and Chacin was a memory.

 In comes Roenicke.

That bat is history but on the plus side no stitches required.

Rockies played hard and got within one run.

Final Score…Dodgers 7 Rockies 6

I like Chacin but the dude is 0-3 this season with 7.03 ERA in 5 starts. This game was his worst with a career-high seven earned runs on 11 hits and four walks.

I’m “D” The Ranter and I’m wondering if the next time I see Chacin start it’ll be in Colorado Springs??

Next game…Saturday vs the Braves…Go Rockies!!

 

Always Fun..Hang’n with my Son

4/28/12

Rockies vs Giants Game 2

It may be the “Year of the Fan” but it’s damn sure not the “Year of the Ranter”.

Batting practice was so bad that I’m considering not going for a while because I’m struggling finding zen. The combination of the Usher who told me I can’t use the same gate I’ve been using for 4 years, the gates opening the late, and the Rockies skipping out early for BP, I can’t win here.

Props to Hunter for snagg’n his first toss-up of the season, from a Mets player…Sad

I decided to let the guy below pick tonight’s winner. Sucks for him though… He picked a little more than the Mets.

Here are my game pictures.

Scutaro leads off with a single, steals second and third.

Jon’s the man.

 

 

Guillermo Moscoso first MLB pitch.

Guillermo was brought up from AAA to replace Jeremy Guthrie who hurt himself in a bike accident.

Bob with a pep talk.

Sorry Duece.

Dex and the Nacho guy.

Here’s where the Mets catcher takes one in the crotch. Look closely at his face.

The urge to vomit sets in.

A small group forms, all thankful it wasn’t them.

 Missed that one.

Teamwork.

 Chill’n

Happy Camper…What’s up with that Rockies hat though??

Check the dude on the right.

A Facebook friend.

 

Tyler Colvin hits a triple.

Ninth inning, two out…In comes Giambi to pinch hit for Scutaro, Coors Field goes nuts.

With Colvin on third, with a chance to tie it up…Giambi pops out.

Nice try G…Final Score

 Tiebreaker tomorrow with Moyer on the mound. I’m “D” the Ranter and I enjoyed this game, despite the loss.

Maybe it’s cause I was hang’n with my boy…”D”

Two Triples and a Slam….Damn!

4/27/12

Rockies vs the Mets Game 1

I mentioned a while back about my theory and how I thought a good batting practice  results in a high scoring game. Today was the worst batting practice I’ve been to in years.

Between both teams only a handful of balls were hit out and only two landed in the pavilion, that’s straight up pitiful. Game four of the season for me and only one toss-up to date.

The Rockies shot my BP theory to shit last night with one helluva performance from everyone despite the crappy BP.

Here are the game pictures I took:

The fastest player in MLB…Eric Young Jr. 

This is where it all started in the fifth inning when EY Jr pinch hit. Eric scored two runs and got the Rockies back into this game with his enthusiasm.

Quote from EY Jr: “Every time I hit the ball, I run hard,” Young said. “Have you ever seen me not once run hard? It’s the right way to play the game.”

Damn right EY…That’s why we love ya brotha!!

 

Was nice to see Dex hit a three run homer especially on his T-Shirt day.

Props to Hernandez for his Grand Slam…Beautiful shot.

Rockies win this one with a final score of 18-9.

I’m “D” The Ranter… I’m just hoping the Rockies save a few hits for tonight. It’s Hunter’s first game of the season :)

 

 

He’s Been Around a While…That Makes Me Smile

4/17/12

Rockies vs Padres Game 2

Older than me and making history.

My buddy “B” went with me to this game. We showed up early for batting practice and I was rewarded with my first ball of the year.

A toss-up from Dexter Fowler…Thanks Dex!

I immediately gave that ball away for good luck because if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck in my life right now. I had totally spaced out that Jamie Moyer was the starting pitcher today and when I found out that made the game a lot more interesting.

I couldn’t help but smile for the first five innings. The more I learn about Jamie Moyer the more I really enjoy watching his style of pitch. Plus anytime you hear the words Rockies and winning pitcher, believe me that’s a good thing around here :).

Here are the game pictures I took today.

Rosario gets a double.

Cuddy scores off the double.

I think once you’re past 45 you should get an extra swing at least.

 

Smooth sailing to first.

Smooth sailing to second.

Strike three Dex.

Seriously…Are you kidding me? I think a tumbleweed race would be more exciting.

Racing Teeth is straight up embarrassing. I can say that because I’ve raced inside a Bud Light bottle before.

If you’ve never seen it…Here’s the blog entry:

 Running Full Throttle in a Bottle

Rex Brothers

Huston Street.

Here’s three pictures of Helton’s slide home.

A little closer.

Umpire says safe.

 

It’s always cool when my pals come up to the Rockpile and hang for a while. The best view is up here :)

Rafael…The slowest of the Ninja Turtles.

Slow and steady wins the race this time, here’s the last swing of the game.

Rockies kept it together this time and helped Jamie get his record-breaking win.

You Da Man Jamie!!

 

 I wish you many more wins as a Rockie…Sir!

 Click here to see Jamie talking about it all:  

Best picture I took all night.

I’m  “D” The Ranter and now I have a ticket that needs the “Oldest Winning Pitcher’s” autograph on it…”D”  :)

 

Up and Down and All Around.

Here’s an article about Jim Tracy by Chris Jaffe with help from Tom Nawrocki I thought was interesting and worth sharing…”D”

Chris is a writer for “The Hardball Times”

The rise and fall (and re-rise and re-fall) of Jim Tracy

 

by Chris Jaffe
April 16, 2012

Jim Tracy has had one of the most peculiar career arcs of any manager in memory. He has an overall career record that’s mediocre despite almost never having mediocre teams. They’re either pretty good or really bad, and Tracy’s reputation seems to rise and fall with his teams.

That last sentence is anything but peculiar. It’s a commonly held and widely believed truism that managers get too much credit for their teams’ successes and too much blame for their teams’ failures.

True, but in Tracy’s case it’s more extreme. Every time his team wins at least 85 games in a season, Tracy receives legitimate support in Manager of the Year voting. Conversely, the people who I know who don’t like Tracy detest him as fervently as I’ve known a manager to be detested.

He’s great. Or he’s terrible. Yet his overall record is smack dab in the middle, as he entered 2012 just 10 games over .500 after nearly 1,600 games managed. He’s an odd manager to try to understand.

This is something that I should know something about; or at least be able to pretend like I know something about it since a few years ago, I wrote a book, Evaluating Baseball’s Managers, 1876-2008 that, well, evaluated baseball’s managers.

With Tracy, what I find striking is not his personal proclivities and tactical decisions. Those are almost extraordinarily ordinary. There are certain things he does more or less than an average skipper, but nothing especially notable. The most interesting thing about Tracy is his career arc.

The rise of Jim Tracy

Tracy first joined the fraternity of big league managers with the Dodgers in 2001 and quickly won acclaim, guiding them to four straight winning seasons, including a postseason appearance in 2004. In his rookie season, he finished second in the Manager of the Year voting. On the face of it, that was an odd and unlikely result. In 2000, the year before Tracy showed up, the team went 86-76. With Tracy in 2001, they again finished 86-76. That normally doesn’t get MoY support.

True, but the 2000 team won with strong pitching, and in 2001, many arms—most notably ace Kevin Brown—fell to injury. Ultimately, only pitcher was able to make more than 25 starts in 2001. Yet they stayed in the pennant hunt until late in the season.

Frankly, that 2001 team was lucky, as going by runs scored and allowed they were a .500 team, but Tracy kept them competitive for each of the next three years. And it wasn’t just luck. With the Dodgers, Tracy had the knack to get good performances out of his pitchers.

There’s a system used in my book to judge this: The Birnbaum Database. The Birnbaum Database was created by Phil Birnbaum to estimate how teams over/underperform their predicted performance in a given year. There are five parts to it, but the two most important are a pair of algorithms Phil invented to look at how hitters and pitchers did versus how they would be expected to do.

Say you want to look at how Kevin Brown did in 2001. You look at his performance in the surrounding seasons and use that to determine what he should’ve done in that particular year. Then you adjust for playing time, park factor, and various other basic mathematical hokey-pokey adjustments and boom, you have a reasonable projection. Now just compare that to reality and you have your result.

Looking at the numbers of just one guy doesn’t tell you too much about the manager, but when you combine enough players together, the sample size becomes meaningful. In other words, it’s not random happenstance that Bobby Cox scores historically great with pitchers. In LA, Jim Tracy scores wonderfully: +240 runs with individual pitchers.

It was in LA that he made the best move of his entire career. In spring training 2002, he made a controversial move, shifting a young starting pitcher into the bullpen. The pitcher was a young arm with talent who could strike people out. I remember some opposed moving this lad to the bullpen. He had talent, and if you kept him in the starting rotation, he’d have more innings and thus could mean more to the team. Admittedly, in two partial seasons in the starting rotation he’d been rather middling, but he was talented and entering his prime.

That young pitcher’s name was, of course, Eric Gagne.

Did that move ever work! For a few years, Gagne was the best closer in baseball. It would’ve been perfectly easy to leave Gagne in the rotation or even ship him to Triple-A, but Tracy thought the young kid could make it as a closer, and boy was he ever proven right.

Gagne isn’t an isolated example. Tracy also managed to get superior performances out of middle relievers Guillermo Mota and Paul Quantrill, both of whom did notably better in Los Angeles than in any other stop in their careers. In 2003, Gagne, Mota, and Quantrill combined to throw 264.2 innings, allowing just 11 homers and 61 walks while fanning 280 batters for a cumulative ERA of 1.66. Tracy also had some success with his starting pitchers, most notably Odalis Perez, but that bullpen was Tracy’s strongest feature.

Anchored by that trio, the 2003 Dodger bullpen posted an ERA+ of 164, which is the highest by any relief unit since WWII.

This should not be overstated. Tracy didn’t have a magic wand that made all pitchers under his care better, but on the whole, pitchers improved.

Tracy’s reputation peaked in 2004. Despite a middling offense and an unimpressive starting rotation—the only truly above-average pitcher was Perez—LA won 93 games and a trip to the postseason. Tracy had four consecutive successful seasons under his belt and was one of the best-regarded managers in baseball.

His future seemed secure, and Tracy looked poised to be the next long-term manager of the Dodgers. Instead, Tracy’s career was about to implode.

The fall of Jim Tracy

Tracy lasted just one more season in LA—an incredibly ugly and controversial season. On the face of it, the year doesn’t look that interesting. The Dodgers lost more than they won; 71-91 to be exact. That’s a disappointment to be sure, but plenty of prominent managers have survived worse without incident. The season itself was quite a bit uglier, and Tracy got caught up in the mess.

The Dodgers had a new GM in 2005, Paul DePodesta, who had come to prominence as Billy Beane’s numbers guru in Moneyball. This was the height of the whole stats-versus-scouts controversy, and DePodesta was a flashpoint in that whirligig with people rooting for and against him based on what he represented. DePodesta made a series of moves that worked out on paper, but the team was done in by injuries, and controversies kept swirling around the team.

Where did Tracy fit into this? He didn’t get along with DePodesta. The two never could get on the same page, and as the year wore on, it just got worse. The Tracy-DePo dynamic became part of the larger concerns surrounding the team.

The situation became so poisonous that I’ve heard one Dodger fan float that the only time he ever seriously wondered if a manager was trying to tank a season to torpedo the front office was in the Dodgers’ 2005 campaign. That certainly didn’t happen, but a team that was in first place in mid-May ended up losing 62 of their last 100 contests.

After 2005, both DePodesta and Tracy would be gone. Tracy might’ve been better off taking a few years off after 2005, just as Jim Leyland took a sabbatical after a draining 1999 season. Instead, after his dismal 2005 campaign, Tracy landed in situation where things would go even worse for him, Pittsburgh.

Prior to Tracy’s arrival, the Pirates hadn’t enjoyed a winning season since 1992. On the surface of it, Tracy’s arrival made no difference whatsoever and his two-year stint was just another forgettable pair of seasons in the recent dreary history of Pittsburgh baseball. The team lost 95 in 2005 without Tracy, dropped 95 and 94 games with Tracy in 2006 and 2007, and then lost 95 with Tracy’s replacement in 2008.

You’d be hard pressed to find a more consistent level of performance among any team over four years. Based solely on that, you wouldn’t expect there to be anything especially good or bad about Tracy’s tenure.

Well, that would be wrong. I don’t claim to know exactly what happened, but I will say this: Never in all my days have I ever encountered fans that so vehemently loathe like Pirates fans do with Tracy.

I spend a good chunk of time at Baseball Think Factory, a nice internet watering hole frequented by fans of all types. I’ve known many Cubs fans that were left seething by the likes of Dusty Baker or Royals fans that cringe at the name Tony Muser, or Brewer fans for which “Yost” is the vilest of all four-letter words. But no fans muster the level of outrage BTF’s Pirates fans reserve for Tracy.

Maybe it’s just some random sample-size fluke based on who I’ve spoken to, but those Pirate fans who I’ve met have all had the same reaction: Jim Tracy is the lowest of the low. They despise him as a manager and to some extent as a man. He threw everyone under the bus and came off horribly.

The team apparently agreed to some extent. As bad as the Pirates have usually been, they give their managers plenty of time. Tracy’s predecessor, Lloyd McClendon, lasted nearly five full years. John Russell, their post-Tracy skipper, held out for four years. But Tracy, despite having a far bigger name than either of them, barely made it two seasons.

Pirate fans have also said Tracy didn’t develop his players worth a damn, and the Birnbaum Database agrees with them there. He scores miserably, and once again dealing with individual pitchers was the engine of his overall score. This time, however, he scored –86 runs with individual pitchers.

Let’s pause here for a second. As noted above, the Birnbaum scores aren’t prefect, and there’s always some noise in the signal. Managers often have their ups and downs, even when it looks like the data are telling us something about the skipper himself. But rarely do managers suffer the sort of whiplash-inducing shift as what happened to Tracy.

The Pirates had a crop of young pitchers that the team rested their hopes on when Tracy arrived in 2006. In general, they fizzled.

It’s one thing to have a dismal departure from LA. He had enough success there to excuse it as just one of those things. But Pittsburgh made it two jobs in a row over three full seasons of disaster. And really, Tracy only had those four good years with only one playoff appearance. It’s not too surprising that Tracy was left dugout-less for a stretch after his days in Pittsburgh.

Jim Tracy: Repeating his own history?

Then, after a few years on the sidelines, in 2009 the Rockies hired Tracy as their midseason manager. As expected, Pirate fans prophesied doom, doom, and even more doom. No good will ever come of Jim Tracy. He’d screw over the kids, be impatient with his players, and be a self-glorifying lout all the while. Just wait.

Well, that isn’t what happened. A team that went 18-28 under Clint Hurdle suddenly erupted, going 74-42 and making a stunning appearance in the playoffs (where the Phillies soon dispatched them). Back from his depths, Tracy’s reputation was restored as he won the Manager of the Year title.

Not only was he successful, but he showed a willingness to do those things he failed at in Pittsburgh. He was patient with the younger players. He took Ian Stewart, who’d been moved all over the diamond, and made him the regular third baseman, allowing Stewart to develop his power stroke to the tune of 25 homers. When Carlos Gonzalez couldn’t hit, Tracy stayed with him anyway, and Gonzalez eventually flourished. Instead of promoting himself, Tracy gave the players all the credit, noting they’d been to the World Series just a few years earlier.

You could seemingly write a new narrative. Former Rockies manager Jim Leyland once explained his failures in Colorado and subsequent success in Detroit by saying that sometimes with a manager what matters most of all is the fit. It’s how he meshes with the situation, not his own personal proclivities. Maybe both DePodesta and the Pirates were just bad fits for Tracy. Maybe he just needed some time to recharge.

Yeah, but instead of building on his initial success, Tracy has once again done another U-turn. The longer he’s been there, the less patient he’s become. Young players who struggled would find themselves back in the minors. Stewart perhaps cratered the worst. In 2011, just two years after looking like the team’s third baseman for years to come, he batted .156 with zero homers. The team traded him away for silly string and chewing gum this most recent offseason.

The team is going backward, not forward, with him. You can all but hear the “Told ya soes” coming from Pittsburgh. Not only are the Rockies stalling from year to year, but also within years. In 2010, the team was in the pennant race until late, but it then dropped 13 of its last 14 games. Last year, they were better, losing only 11 of their last 14. For that matter, in his final season in Pittsburgh his team was 2-12 at the end. Tracy’s teams weren’t normally bad in the past, but that’s a pretty impressive trio of season-ending performance over his last four years on the job.

As for the Birnbaum Database, it doesn’t tell us much about Tracy’s Colorado stay. By its nature, you need data for 2012 and 2013 to measure what happened to players in 2011. His overall career score is still good—he’s +190 runs with pitchers and –25 with hitters—but those numbers could be a bit inflated. Tracy does well in 2011 in part because players are expected to regress a little in 2012-13. When those years are added in, he’ll fall some.

It would be nice to have some brilliant and insightful summation of Tracy’s career to date, but his tenures seem to defy an easy wrap-up. He’s probably the best current example of how a manager can get too much credit or blame for his teams’ wins and losses.

References and Resources
Rockies fan Tom Nawrocki offered some valuable feedback for the Colorado portion of his career.

Baseball Think Factory, as noted in the article, came in handy, especially the thoughts expressed on Tracy over the years by its leading Pirate fans, most notably Mike Emeigh and Vlad.

Phil Birnbaum created the Birnbaum Database, which is actually more elaborate that described here.

History instructor by day, statnerd by night, Chris Jaffe leads one of the most exciting double lives imaginable; with the exception of every other double life possible to imagine. Despite his lack of comic-book-hero-worthiness, Chris enjoys farting around with this stuff. His new book, Evaluating Baseball’s Managers is available for order. Chris welcomes responses to his articles via e-mail.

Show Me Some More of that Football Score

4/11/12

Giants vs Rockies Game 2…Justice

At this point Timmy doesn’t know it but today would be the shortest start of his career. :)

I was more than ready for some serious batting practice today. I was shutout on opening day and that puts me behind of my one ball a game average. Just when batting practice was starting to get roll’n, mother nature let loose and put an abrupt halt to all fun.

The rain didn’t last long, but it lasted long enough that the tarp was brought out. Zip for catching baseballs this regular season so far, now I’m behind and playing catch-up and that’s no fun.

Here’s a few pre-game pictures. Props to Amy for helping me get Cuddy’s autograph on my ticket today. I was damn close to getting Helton but as I”ve mentioned before I’m an anti-magnet when it comes to Helton for some reason.

I swear I’ve gotten Helton’s autograph only 4 times in 6 years. That might seem like a lot but I go to a lot of games.

Gutherie’s first Coors Field start. Think he was a bit nervous?

Cargo drove had two triples and drove in four runs. Nice to see Cargo finally get some hits.

Check out Dan in this picture, he’s all excited and Robert’s all mellow.

Rockies set a record tonight for most runs and hits without a home run.

Check out the Todd Helton broken bat series.

Partial bat flying.

So long Timmy.

This game was exactly what I needed after that lesson by Barry Zito on Monday.

Rockies even up the series with a football score of 17-8.

 I’m “D” The Ranter and the Rockies have my full attention. Show me some more of that!

 Go Rockies…”D”

 

D’Backs Steal the Show…7-0

 4/9/12

Rockies Opening Day at Coors Field

Giants vs Rockies

As it has for the last couple of seasons Opening Day starts off with breakfast at the 2oth Street Cafe with a small group of the Rantics.

Left to Right are Mike the Rox Addict, Gary X, Alannah X, Rick, Amy, Drugless Douglas and Jersey Geoff.

The only plan this morning was to try to get Dante Bichette’s autograph before heading into Coors Field for the first batting practice of the season.

Last time I saw Dante he was a bald, not today. Dante was signing autographs and promoting Maxx HD sunglasses.

Dante was cool as a former Bomber should be and was signing multiple items for everyone. 

Dante signed a game rubbed baseball for me.

Maybe someday I’ll run into Larry Walker and Andres Gallaraga and I’ll be able to finish up my Blake Street Bomber autograph collection.

I didn’t know at the time but meeting Dante would be the highlight of this day.

Check out the Patio Ride…Yeah I’d rent it, but only if I run that sucker downhill :)

Lot’s of Rockies fans gett’n their drink on early on the rooftop.

Batting practice was a total bust. I’ve noticed at times when the Rockies hit really well during BP they hit well during the game. BP today was pitiful and I was hoping that wasn’t an indication of what the game was gonna be like.The pavillion pre-game was packed full of purple Rockies fans hoping to catch a souvenir.

Sorry folks, it’s not going to happen today. Your chances of getting beaned in the head by a stray foul ball were much better. Just ask the lady along the third base line celebrating her 69th birthday at Coors Field. She managed to snag a ball today, the one that cracked her skull.

That’s the first time I can remember seeing a fan hauled off from the field. Normally Paramedics would just carry them up the stairs.

I heard later that the elderly lady beaned in the head was recovering and was going to be ok. That’s cool,  a happy ending and a helluva story for her to tell the grandkids.

Unfortunately a trend I’m not liking is continuing from last year. The Rockies ended their BP early thus depriving their fans of the only half-hour they get to watch their team take swings.C’mon Rockies, we wait in line in the hot sun so we can come inside and watch you take swings.

We’re allowed a measly half-hour to do this and you end practice 10-15 minutes early?

Listen, I’m not telling the Rockies what to do, I’m just giving them some insight into how fans think.

Graphmaster Gary X hold’n down the front row as per usual.

Mike the Rox Addict and Amy from “The Take from Blake”.

As an old buddy of mine used to say…That’s a crap-ton of balloons.

Matt Belisle giving us a wave.

The ceremonial first pitch times three.

Tulo was presented his Silver Slugger and Gold Glove award from 2011.

Here are the game pictures I took.

First pitch of the game.

Sandoval homers and the Giants are up by 2 in the first inning.

Helton third out toss-up.

Tulo milliseconds before his first hit.

Chacin starting to crumble.

Amy and Jersey Geoff chill’n.

My favorite picture of the day and one of the hardest to get. Cargo breaking his bat with the ball in the picture.

Zito was straight up money today and the Giants embarrass the Rockies on their Home Opener 7-0.

After the beating was over Mike, Gary X, Alannah and I headed over to where the post-game show is broadcast. We said we would do the “Bring Back Helmer” chant and we did.

Here’s the first video. You can see us in the background.

In this video you can hear us chanting “Bring Back Helmer” in the background as the Cowboy is talking.

Here is where I walk up to the wall(you can see my hat) and told them:

 “I supported you and you let Helmer go for no good reason, I supported you Root Sports. You ain’t about the fan, You aint about the fan.”

After I finished the cops that were standing there waved me on.

The best video of all was Allannah X. She was able to get close up and got out a “Bring Back Helmer. Nice job Alannah!

 We did what we could for Tom Helmer. He’s a great guy and he deserved folks standing up for him for the gutless way Poot Warts let him go.

Hindsight being 20/20, a big ole’ sign would have done wonders :)

Let me state for the record, I like all of the rest of the broadcasters in the Poot Warts line-up although I haven’t watched Joel much as I’m boycotting the Post-Game going forward.

 The protest had absolutely nothing to do with any of you, it was a protest against your employer. We were standing up and making a statement for a friend who was wronged by a company that claims to be about “The Fan”, but in reality doesn’t give a shit about “The Fan”, simple as that.

I’m “D” The Ranter and let me reiterate, meeting Dante Bichette was the highlight of this day, but it’s nice to know Rockies fans are taking Purple Mondays seriously :)

Go Rockies…You’re better than this…”D” 

No need to be an Ass…Just cause you got a Pass

4/9/12

This isn’t the Rockies Opening Day Blog..This is the prelude to it.

I’ve got to tell you about  a Denver Post photographer who was so rude she gets her own blog entry.

Rantics meet Helen Richardson, don’t let the smile fool you.

Helen is a photographer for the Denver Post and has the credentials to prove it. Helen’s mission today was to get 200 pictures of  Joe Salazar’s mohawk  no matter what the cost. If you’ve never seen Joe’s mohawk it’s a fregg’n thing of beauty.

Helen asked Joe if he wanted to be in the paper and the first six times Joe said “No”.

 Before Helen had to actually beg Joe for the picture he caved in and let her take a picture of him standing in between three of Denver’s finest. Helen decided she needed to partially stand in my space to get the much desired picture of Joe’s mohawk.

Picture by a rude Helen Richardson of the Denver Post.

So I sat there as she popped off a few pictures. Being a photographer myself I had no issues about that. I was a bit upset that she was in my space and kind of disregarding that fact that it was MY space. After a minute or so of her still taking the same picture of Joe I stood up hoping to give her enough space to finish so I could get back to watching the game.

 A minute later Helen was STILL taking pictures of Joe.

The entire time Helen was taking pictures of Joe she was oblivious to the fact that she was bothering me. She didn’t acknowledge my existance or ask if she could share my space. Finally after letting Helen’s “invasion of my privacy” wreck enough of my Opening Day experience I said “Ya Know a couple of pictures is cool, 200 pictures is douche baggery”.

Then she said “Excuse me am I bothering you?” I said “Yes you are, I’m trying to watch the game and take pictures and you’re in my space and  have been for a while”.

At that point instead of realizing she had over stayed her welcome and politely leaving, she proceeded to verbally F’ck with me and tossed a few expletives my direction. Finally after enough of being harassed by someone who didn’t even pay for her ticket I stuck out my hand and said:

 “Hi I’m D the Ranter and you just made the blog“.

She wouldnt’ shake my hand and just stared at me with a pissed off look on her face.

The look was followed by “Ewwww, are you going to put my picture in your blog?” belted out very sarcastically.

 I said “Naa”.

 At that point she still wouldn’t take the hint and leave so I got a pen from Mike and jotted the name down I that could see on her press credentials.  When Helen noticed me doing that she proceeded to turn her credentials around so I couldn’t see them…

Too late Helen :)

I never mess with folks, especially when I’m at a Rockies game. All who know me know that I go to Coors Field to hang with the Rantics, take lots of pictures and cheer on my Rockies. Baseball is my escape from the real world and I’m there to relax, not get all bent out of shape.

I gave Helen plenty of time to do what she needed to do and she abused her “Press Pass” privilege by being a nuisance, not leaving soon enough and by verbally harassing me.

This is professional behavior? Denver Post do you agree? Rockies do you agree?

Helen here’s a tip, next time start off with “Excuse me could I stand here in your space and take a few pictures?”.

Asking is a good thing and is respectful to fans who actually PAY for their tickets and stand in those long lines to get inside the stadium.

Then take a FEW pictures and then get the hell out-of-the-way.

I purposely sit in the front row so I don’t block anyone with my body or my camera lens as I take my pictures. In my wildest dreams I had no idea I’d have to deal with an annoying Denver Post photographer blocking my view in the front row of the Rockpile of all places?

When Helen finally disappeared I asked Mike the Rox Addict who is a professional photographer if I had been in some way out of line with Helen. Mike said she was rude, unprofessional and had abused her media privileges. Good, glad to have confirmation that it wasn’t me.

Helen, here’s a few nuggets of wisdom from the Ranter free of charge.

Remember, it’s not about the picture you take,  it’s more about the image you leave.

By the way, I only had to take one picture of Jeff’s mohawk.

Here it is:

 You should know better than to mess with someone with RANTER on their jersey.

I’m “D” The Ranter and I may take your picture but I’ll damn sure leave you some elbow room.

Go Rockies!!…Helen, I changed my mind about posting your picture and by the way you and your attitude can…

…”D”

Two Dudes from Ned in a Stadium of Red

3-22-12

Royals vs Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium

This was our first of two games today. But first I want to tell you about an abandoned stadium Mike and I visited the day before.

This old abandoned stadium is Compadre Stadium and what’s left of it is in Chandler, AZ.

It’s not actually all that old, it was built-in 1985 and is the former spring training facility for the Brewers and at the time it was the gem of the cactus league. The Brewers called this place home for 11 years then made the move to Maryvale because the city of Chandler didn’t want to pay for the operating costs for the facility when the Brewers weren’t in town.

Rox Addict and his famous pose.

The land is presently used for sheep and at the same time it’s being torn down.

Photo by Tim Hacker/Tribune

Here’s a few pictures of Compadre in her glory.

All Mike and I wanted to do here was take a few pictures. We I each went a different direction looking for a way in or someone to ask if we could take a peek inside. We were in front of the stadium just a minute of two when a company truck pulled up to Mike. I could see they were talking so I headed over there. As I approached the guy in the truck looked at me and said “Do you want me to call the cops?”. I was like “Dude I just walked up here”. Then he went into a rant about how since they’ve put the sign up saying no trespassing more people than ever have been showing up trying to explore.

The dude threatened to call the cops a few more times and Mike and I got out of there without incident. We left and headed to another part of the stadium. We stayed off the property but got a few pictures from the outfield of the seats.

Cool place, it’s too bad the construction company doesn’t realize the historic significance of this place. Instead of being kind to baseball enthusiasts who only want to take look at a piece of baseball history, they treat them like criminals and run them off.

Here’s a few recent pictures of the stadium that I’ve been able to find.

I don’t advise trying to photograph this place. Not unless you want that guy to call the cops. :)

My first visit to Tempe Diablo Stadium.

Batting practice today consisted of standing in the parking lot next to the stadium. We caught the tail end of BP and only one ball was hit out. A group of dudes were huddled around where the ball was going to land. They all missed it and I positioned myself for the bounce. I was in the perfect spot, the ball hit my glove and bounced out. That was it, BP was over and I blew my only opportunity of the day.

All I can say is “Hey, it’s spring training for me too” :)

Phillie Jim and I in front of the Stadium.

Here’s a few shots of the inside. This is a cool stadium.

Here’s the berm…Packed.

The lineup.

Game shots.

Former Rockie Chris Iannetta.

Albert

The topper to a great game was an Usher letting us sit right behind the Rockies dugout for the last part of the game.

Nice folks, you can tell they’re proud to have Albert around.

Angels get the win over the Royals 7-4.

I’m “D” The Ranter and only two more games left for the Rox Addict and I.

Next Time Put Up a Sign

3-20-12

Today I was itch’n for some batting practice.

Unfortunately the design of Peoria Sports Complex (in my experience) isn’t exactly a Ballhawk’s dream.

I know nothing of the ins and outs of the Peoria Sports Complex. All I can do is tell you about what happened on “this” particular day. It started out great, Mike and I showed up early and the Rockies were out on the field taking batting practice. For about 10 minutes it was only Mike and I watching and I kept thinking “How cool is this, it’s just us”.  Seconds after that thought,  Mike and I were approached by Security and were told that this was a “private” batting practice and we were in a restricted area.

I knew it was too good to be true. What sucks is it wasn’t posted anywhere that we couldn’t be there, no signs.

What Security didn’t know is Mike and I each had snagged a ball before they showed up.

After a quick departure I kept exploring and stumbled across a row of what seemed to be deserted batting cages. They looked like they were accessible to the public as there were no signs stating otherwise. I spotted a few “easter eggs” on the ground so my happy ass wandered in there.

As I was bending over to pick up the “easter egg” I over heard some guy carrying a leaf blower say “Hey, are you supposed to be back here”.

I replied “Am I not supposed to be back here?”

Leaf blower dude says “You can’t just walk back here and pick up baseballs.”

At this point I’m embarrassed and getting irked so I said “You can wander all of the spring train facilities and pick up loose baseballs, that’s exactly what I’m doing until you just  informed me I wasn’t supposed to be here.”

Leafblower dude agreed, backed off me and I continued to wander,  just not by the batting cages. Had I not stopped and tried to pick up the baseball,  Leaf blower dude probably would have ignored me and kept blowing…My eager bad.

Peoria…If you don’t want me in there exploring…PUT UP A SIGN.

We continued our search for batting practice and all we found were locked gates.

Look at this spot. If the gate were unlocked you could snag baseballs from both fields.

 Nope big lock on there. Same with the next one. What a beautiful spot, wasted.

At this point it’s over an hour before game time and we’re forced to stand and hope for foul balls.

Sorry Peoria but that’s lame. We knew for a fact there would be no batting practice inside so the one ball I managed to snag from the Rockies “private” batting practice would be the only one of the day. I hate that :(

On a very cool note, we ran into Huston Street and he autographed a ball and posed for a picture.

Time to head into the Stadium.

Here’s Mike the Rox Addict proving he’s a rebel.

Still bummed at the lack of batting practice Mike and I decided to take our chances at the pitching cages.

I call this set “Been caught stealing”

Still determined to take another baseball home from this place I gave this bad boy a shot.

It wouldn’t budge and I couldn’t find a crow bar.

Eventually I wandered over to the Rockies dugout. The first player out to warm-up was “The Duece”

Duece warmed up for a few minutes then exited without signing for anyone. That didn’t faze me, what fazed me was a few minutes later Duece came out and signed for everyone in the front row including me, on the sweet spot.

Thanks Tulo!

Here’s a few pictures of the Rockies pregame.

Here’s Pacheco and EY Jr flashing the Ranter sign.

Again this game I didn’t take any action shots in hopes of catching a game home run. In hindsight, I should have taken the pictures.

Check out the Rox Addict’s blog if you’d like to see some of the action shots.

Rockies lose to the Padres 10-6.

So the day was a bust. Well not totally, look what I managed to snag. I looked but I didn’t see a sign saying I couldn’t take it.

We left it parked at the In n Out Burger.

 Damn good burger.

I’m “D” The Ranter and maybe it’s just me but Peoria seemed kinda stingy with their baseballs.

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