Results tagged ‘ Rockpile Rant ’
Padres vs Rockies.
Opening Day at Coors Field.
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.
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…
Fran and Robert.
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.
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.
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.
Here it is finished… WOW!!
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?
Hunter and I met up with long time Rockies employee and Rant follower Missy. 15 years with the Rockies right Missy?
As we walked by the 850 KOA booth I noticed Goose Gossage and David Nied getting interviewed by Mike Rosin.
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.
Seemed like there were fewer balloons this year?
Ceremonial first pitch.
Gonna be a fun season seeing these guys around, it feels like old times.
I like the fact that Dante has the boys hitt’n good so far.
Props to Cargo for staying healthy last year…Another Gold Glove!
Damn that thing is shiny!
This set of conjoined twins is known as the Hellowitzki.
First pitch of the game.
Look far left in the front row you can see Jersey Geoff in the mix.
This Canadian earned his bacon today.
Dex seconds before a home run blast to right field.
Dex’s home run ball just before it lands.
Dex gett’n some luv from the dugout. You can see John Elway and Dick Monfort above the dugout.
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.
Props to your girl though, she knows what time it is
Watch your back “Baby Bull”!
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.
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.
Peanuts, Popcorn & American Presidents
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Also available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and I-Tunes.
I’m “D” the Ranter…Is it first pitch yet?
Rockies vs White Sox..Camelback Ranch
Last day in Arizona.
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.
We were there on a Monday and the back fields were almost deserted.
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?
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.
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.
Plus, Dante signed a baseball card the Rox Addict hooked me up with.
Check out this motley autograph Crue..Left to Right, James, Eric, and Mike the Rox Addict.
James is the guy who made the “Helmer is my Homeboy” T-Shirts. Maybe it’s time for some Ranter shirts?
I don’t have many of these…Here’s Tulo smiling.
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”
World Baseball Classic USA vs Mexico…Chase Field
I don’t claim to know much about the World Baseball Classic.
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
As we approached the Chase Field district there was definitely a crazy baseball vibe going on.
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.
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.
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.
Random game shots. To give you a play by-play I would have had to pay attention.
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.
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.
This overly festive game concluded with a Team Mexico win over Team USA 5-2.
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.
My first and last trip to Hohokam Stadium.
(Rox Addict and his famous Running Man pose out front).
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.
So as I was standing along the first base line hoping for a foul ball I observed this.
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.
We did just that. Beautiful day too. Mom and Pops thanks for coming up :).
Cool looking old stadium.
A few game shots.
Fans scrambling for a home run ball.
A packed left field berm.
A packed right field berm.
Some aerial entertainment.
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.
White Sox cream the cheap ass Cubbies 8-3.
You can tell rain is a coming.
No worries, next game is a WBC game and it’s indoors
I’m “D” the Ranter and I will ballhawk for cash.
Spring training is more than just pre-season baseball for me.
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.
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.
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.
Next entry for me will be Wednesday March 6th when the Rox Addict and I land in Phoenix.
I’m “D” the Ranter…It’s almost time to shine.
Spring Training in Arizona.
For some of us, there is no regular season without a trip south just to check things out.
Knowing that sometime in March I’ll be traipsing through the backfield at some team’s facility scouring for baseballs or innocently(wink wink) wandering into a restricted area fill my winter time thoughts.
I know it will be warm and I’ll be wearing shorts, sunglasses and sport’n my trademark Ranter hat.
Plus Arizona has In and Out Burger joints :)…Yeah!
Daydreaming about spring training is what gets me through the Colorado winter. I know for a fact I’m not the only one who daydreams about the southwest sun and cacti.
Rantics, I see your FACEBOOK posts
Spring Training for the players is intense at times but for me it’s how I decompress from life. I’ve stopped setting goals for myself and I plan to focus on having a good time. Setting goals creates pressure and as I just mentioned that’s not what I’m shooting for. The goal if any is to relax, have fun, hang with baseball friends, make some new friends, catch some baseballs, watch 3 World Baseball Classic games, wander the back fields of random spring training facilities, and take LOTS of pictures.
Then tell you all about it because that’s what the Number #1 Rockies MLBlogger for the last 6 years does
As far as autographs go I plan to bring some of my pictures along and hopefully get a few of my favorites signed. I have no idea of what to get autographed at the WBC??
Maybe a WBC bat or jersey?
I feel like I crank out some of my best blogs during Spring Training. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m relaxed or because I’m more focused by not being distracted by my normal routine?
I guess stuff is just more fun to write about when you had a blast doing it.
Same as last year I’ll be hang’n with my partner in crime the Rox Addict and there’s usually never a dull moment with us two exploring a ballpark or a restricted area
We’re sort of a Dynamic Rockies Blogging Duo of sorts.
This year will be my 6th year attending Spring Training in Arizona. So in tribute to that here are some links and a few pictures from my Spring Training adventures in years past.
The Mobile Blogging Unit and Hi Corbett Field. I loved that place.(2009).
Rockies win that first game in the new stadium 8-7.
Next Time Put Up a Sign (2012)
Mike the Rox Addicts first game ball: (2012)…He Snagged the ball Green hat and all
I figured out why I chase baseballs.
As a kid some of my fondest memories were going to hockey games with my pops. We had a local farm team and my thing was I liked to try and snag a puck or two when I was there. This was way before they used nets and pucks would often fly into the stands and kids would scramble for them. I guess chasing baseballs takes me back to a happy place in my childhood.
We all need something like that.
I’m “D” the Ranter
Spring Training brings out the kid in me. Six weeks till I get to play.
See you kids down there
Chiefs vs Broncos…Game 16
The last regular season game of the year. There were only two things Krista and I wanted to see happen today. A Broncos win, and news of the #1 seed in the AFC.
I love this feeling. Being a hardcore Rockies fan winning is a strange concept to me. Winning 11 in a row is way more than anyone anticipated at the beginning of this season.
After almost 15 years of the Broncos owning a lollipop factory, finally they don’t suck anymore.
Folks..Hold your head high…Being a Broncos fan carries some weight again. Even the Rockies Rally Squirrel jumped ship and now lives near Sports Authority Field.
I figure since Rockies fans don’t tail-gate the scraps here must be plentiful. Krista and I did a little Hill-Gating with Mike the Rox Addict before the game. We shared a few of Colorado’s finest and started making plans for our Spring Training trip in 2 months
Hill-Gating is partying on a hill next to where other folks are Tail-Gating. Admittedly not a great word but it’s my word. How many words do you have?
Leslie with his own brand of Chop.
This Superbowl run is for you Champ.
Love the broncos Toque that Champ is wearing.
Don’t know what a toque is? Let me help you.
In Canada, toque, or tuque (pron.: /’tu:k/), is the common name for a knitted winter hat, or beanie. The Canadian English term was assimilated from Canadian French tuque. Toque first appeared in writing around 1870.
The fashion is said to have originated with the coureurs de bois, French and Métis fur traders, who kept their woollen nightcaps on for warmth during cold winter days. Such hats are known in other English-speaking countries by a variety of names, including beanie (American), watch cap or stocking cap; the terms tuque and toque are unique to Canada and northern areas of the United States, close to the Canadian border.
Now you know.
First play Quinn hands off to Charles.
Quinn gets a taste of some Mile High grass
With Manning at the Helm…
Broncos straight up kick the Chiefs ass 38-3..Total Domination!
On a final Broncos note..Six years ago on Jan 1 2007 cornerback Darrent Williams was shot and killed on New Years Day, at 24 years of age…Sad
Here’s a video tribute to Darrent.
It’s been a year folks. Lots of ups and down in our Colorado Sports world. Blogging gained absolutely no credibility in 2012 and as such a lot of sporting events are trying to restrict what type of cameras can be brought into a Stadium or Arena. They are shying away from anything with a detachable lens.
Anyone that knows me knows I don’t sell my pictures. They are online for all to view and enjoy. There’s not a lot of people out there that do what I do quite like I do it. If you know me you know….I’m not “in it” for the money.
Shit… Being ”in it” costs me money.
I rarely watch sports on TV because I love being there. That feeling of being a small part of something bigger, camera in hand waiting to catch that “perfect picture” whatever it may be that day.
Props to Coors Field and the Rockies and Sports Authority Field and the Broncos for not restricting my camera usage. I’m glad they realize I’m on their side. The Nuggets and the Pepsi Center are a different story.
Spring Training Road Trip will be early March 2013 for the Rox Addict and I.
My Spring training trip is shorter this year because we purchased a mountain ranch a month ago..
You’d think the perfect name for the ranch would be the Rockpile Ranch right? For some reason my wife doesn’t share my enthusiasm for that name. Since we’re at 9200 feet elevation the wife decided we’re gonna call it the…
“HIGH C RANCH”.
I’m “D” the Ranter.
Press Pass for the Ranter in 2013
From Krista, Hunter, Mylee , Elway, Nugget, Bronco, Karma Kitty and I…
Happy New Year and a prosperous 2013 to you…”D“
Nuggets vs Hornets
Pepsi Center 6pm
Our first Nuggets game of the season. Wasn’t sure what to expect.
Jersey Geoff and his family must have been think’n the same thing as my family because we ran into him up in the thin-air section (300 section). This was their first Nuggets game of the season as well.
Gold Medalist Missy Franklin was at the game. (Denver resident but not Colorado native).
Pre-Game the Nuggets recognized Andre Iguodala for helping Team USA win the Olympic gold medal. Andre scored 23 points, 6 assists and had 2 rebounds tonight!
Nuggets also recognized center Timofey Mozgov for winning a bronze medal while playing for his native Russia.
The face of the Nuggets have changed so I’ll hit you with some player names.
Kenneth Faried..14 points and 12 rebounds tonight.
Nuggets 102..Hornets 84
.Nugget’s are now 8-6 on the season and the win tonight was their 4th in a row. I must say at first I didn’t like the new uniforms, but they’re starting to grow on me.
Love that Old Skool logo.
I’m “D” the Ranter…Doing my best to be a well-rounded sports blogger
Rockies new Skipper…Walt Weiss
If your an old skool Rockies fan you love Walt Weiss’s play. Walt was a solid defensive shortstop and knew how to get on base.
Walt has a lifetime OBP of .351 and hit .258 for his career.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about Weiss as the new Skipper though. I like other Rockie fans have questions like…
How do you bypass coaching in the minor leagues entirely and go right from High School to the Major Leagues?
Why only the one year contract?
How much say will Walt have in the hiring of his new staff?
When can we lose the purple dinosaur?
What’s your first move?
I listened to Drew Goodman and Scott Hastings interview Walt yesterday afternoon on the radio and I really like how Walt answered these types of questions.
Here’s a link to that interview:
So I figure since none of us fans have a say in who gets picked as the new Manager, really all I can do as a fan is see what Walt’s been able to accomplish a year from now.
The Rockies have some intriguing pieces in this puzzle. Walt’s got 12 months to see what he can do with this Rocky Mountain rubiks cube.
Here’s a lil slice of Walt Weiss
1. Walt was initially drafted by the Orioles in the 10th round of the 1982 amateur draft. Walt decided to postpone his pro ball career and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel HIll. In 1985 Walt was the 11th overall pick.
2. Walt’s first Major League appearance was in Sept of 1987 in a Oakland A’s uniform.
3. In 1998 Walt batted .280 and made the All-Star team (The All-Star game that year was held at Coors Field), for the Braves his first and only time.
4. Also in 1988 Walt made a costly error (Walt’s fault) in Game 4 of the World Series allowing the Dodgers to win the series in 5 games. That year Walt was awarded the American League Rookie of the Year Award, becoming the third consecutive Oakland player to win the award, following José Canseco and Mark McGwire.
5. In 1992 Walt was traded from the A’s to the newly formed Marlins and in 1993 played 158 games. At the end of the 1993 season Walt became a free agent and signed with the Rockies becoming the first player to have played for both expansion teams the Rockies and Marlins.
6. Walt played shortstop for the Rockies from 1994-97 and was a special assistant to Dan O’Dowd from 2002-08.
7. Walt retired an Atlanta Brave in 2000 with his last game played on Oct 1st 2000 against the Colorado Rockies in Atlanta. Rockies won 10-5.
8. Walt was the head varsity coach for Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado. Weiss let his team to the 5A semifinals his first season.
Walt’s been involved in professional baseball for 20+ years. Is he what the Rockies are looking for?
I’m ”D” the Ranter and what I do know is I’ll be at my Tuesday games and those 10 bobble head games. If there’s no inspiration to make any more games it’ll be…