Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Beckett On Beatdown Street...Darth Marc In The Lou

Before I get on more recent events, I want to wrap up my thoughts on my trip to Camden Yards.

My friend Karen had an interesting analogy in one of her recent post describing her feelings on Camden Yards. She described as a beautiful ballpark...with all the soul of a Bennigan's.

Wow. As much as I love the park, I can see her point. There is definitely a stripmall feel to the place. But I think that has more to do with the fans than the actual stadium.

It's the fans that make a place rock, that gives the place a buzz or a chill. No stadium, no matter how magnificent the architecture, can do that. Yeah the intimacy of Wrigley or Fenway can help in setting the mood, but it's the fans that decide whether or not the place shakes. It's their emotions that the players feed off, not the jumbotron or the smell of Boog's BBQ. If if weren't for the fans, all the must-see parks like the Stadium, Fenway, Wrigley, The Jake, Safeco and others would just be big warehouses taking up space.

So while I agree that sometimes Camden Yards can be a little hollow emotionally, I put the onus on the fans and the ownership. B-More used to be a great baseball town. From 1966 to 1983, they were the winningest franchise in baseball. But ever since Peter Angelos bought the team, the product has gotten worse and worse. They used to sell out every game. Now they only sell out when the Yanks or Sox are in town and their fans take over the Inner Harbor.

I used to hate the O's and their fans like I hate the Sox and the Nation. Now they're barely a blip on the radar. Sad.

So until the O's and their management find a way to get their fanbase back, Camden Yards will never have the sort of buzz a beautiful park like that deserves.

Nothing will ever make up for Josh Beckett and game 6 of the 2003 World Series.

But it was nice to see him to catch a beatdown from Melky and the boys.

Cabrera's mad dash home was a perfect symbol of how this team is getting it done on the field. The youthful exhuberance is a breath of fresh air to the almost robotic way the Yankees would dismantle opponents. Not that I didn't enjoy beating Tampa 19-1.... The Yankees of 2006 are getting it done the old-fashioned way. Solid defense and pitching, timely hitting and aggressive baserunning. You could see that the Mad-dash unnerved Josh a little bit. The Sox get the lead back and he gets his ass handed to him. I'd love to hear the Infidel Nation is saying about the fact that in his last two starts he's allowed 10+ runs to the Yankees and the Jays.

Moose always seems to pitch better in duels than in blowouts. Maybe it's the long layoffs that throw off his concentration. Whatever it is, his stretch of 12 straight quality starts came to an end when he gave four earned runs in six innings.

Nice to see Proctor put some gooseeggs on the scoreboard after Saturday's meltdown. Real bright trying to do a Kevin Brown imitation and punching a door afterward. At least Brown was smart enough to use his left hand.

Speaking of hand, I wish Jeter would stop the whole "I'm playing, I'm playing" and then sits out bit. If you're hurt, you're hurt. But no need in getting fans hopes up by saying you're playing and then sitting out for two days. He has to realize that fans hang on his every word and he needs to be a little more responsible in his assertions.

It's Wang and Jane Pauley tonight on the mound. This is a chance for Wang to redeem himself for the two bad outings he's had with Boston this year. He's finally pitching at home against them so maybe he'll be a little more comfortable.

I'll be monitoring the out of town scoreboard and my new phone for the Stadium scores as I'm watching my first game from St Louis tonight. The Cards are playing the Reds in a three game set.

It's my first time in the Lou. I'm staying across the street from Busch at the Millenium so that's pretty convenient. Not much to do downtown during the day. The Arch is within walking distance, but outside of that, it's pretty dead. Had a great T-Bone at this place called Caleco's for lunch though.

I plan on hitting up a couple of place afterward so maybe things with loosen up a touch after the game.

More tomorrow.....


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