My goal is to add perspective to subjects other than the regular headlines.
Contact Stephanie at s.betweenthelines@yahoo.com



Friday, October 30, 2009

The Future of the Cubs

10/30/09 CUBS UPDATE:

Reported from ESPNChicago.com- or click here.
"CHICAGO -- New Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and team president Crane Kenney are expected to petition Major League Baseball for the 2014 All-Star Game, according to ESPNChicago.com reporter Bruce Levine. The All-Star Game would be part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field. By that time, the Ricketts family is hoping to spend between $200 million and $300 million in renovations on Wrigley. Wrigley Field has hosted the All-Star Game in 1946, '62, and '90."

So what are these renovations you ask? According to Bruce Levine's official blog they include:
  1.  Refurbishing the upper desk and grandstand, which will include new skyboxes, restaurants, and bars.
  2. The triangle building (that we have seen a plan for since a few years ago- looks pretty cool). It will take over the west parking area of the ball park (where the bike check is) and will feature team offices as well as a Hall of Fame museum, shops, and restaurants.
  3. A multi-level parking structure.
  4. Updated and expanded washrooms and food courts in Wrigley.
  5. An LED scoreboard that will show replays, and return ads from advertisers. But since Wrigley is a historic landmark, it's going to be tough to find placement for this.
  6. POSSIBLY changing the Naming Rights... They can call it whatever they want, it will aways be Wrigley Field to me.
  7. The Cubs have had serious offers to move spring training to Florida.
  8. Locker rooms will be expanded to include a state-of-the-art batting cage and an audio/visual room to go over plays.

(The triangle building that was proposed for Wrigley a few years ago, may finally be built)


(Aerial view of where the new building would be constructed- NW corner).

Gordon Wittenmyer tweeted this morning, as I assume a press conference or interview was taking place. These are his tweets (listed first to last):
@cst_cubs: Ricketts to fans: "we're going to win the World Series."
@cst_cubs: Ricketts: "I would imagine slight increases in both (payroll and ticket prices)."
@cst_cubs: Key to winning WS: "making playoffs every year."
@cst_cubs: Making team "playoff worthy every single year ... is very doable."
@cst_cubs: Laura Ricketts, co-owner: "This is also about family pride."
@cst_cubs: Tom R on Lou: "One of the best mngrs in baseball and ... right guy to take it to the nxt level in 2010."
@cst_cubs: TR Series timetable: "I think we have the team that can do it nxt year. ... Enough talent comng back."
@cst_cubs: Laura R: "The Cubs are bigger than us as owners, bigger than Wrigley itself."
@cst_cubs: TR: "There is no curse. If anybody on our team thnks he's cursed, we'll move him to a lesser cursed team."

My thoughts:
Alright, so they ONLY issues I have with this are a few statements that Tom Ricketts said regarding the cubs.
1. Nothing is bigger than Wrigley Field. The Cubs are privelaged to play in the greatest park in front of the greatest fans, and THEY need to became up to par with the conditions they are so blessed to have.
2. I don't get WHY they need to increase prices AGAIN, when all they are talking about in the renovations is increasing ad sales and through an LED jumbro-tron and renaming the field.
3. "I think we have the team that can do it nxt year. ... Enough talent comng back." <-- if he believes this, Im out. I'm sorry, I love my Cubs, but there is NO WAY that this team that we have right now can even compete with teams like the Yankees and Phillies who are in the World Series now. It's not even close how far off the Cubs are to producing a team capable of playing a game like the Tigers vs Twins in the 163rd game of the season this year. Now THAT was real baseball.


The last thing I'll say regarding the cubs is this:


Mr. Ricketts, while I do enjoy reading of the improvements you hope to make to my team, and I love the optimism behind the force that's driving you, I've heard enough. START DOING.

Sincerely,
-S

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Today's Internet Headlines

Pedro Recalls Don Zimmer Incident While Preparing for Game 2 at Yankee Stadium- by Tom Caron (NESN.com)
In response--> Zimmer Combative, Apologetic (with video)- ESPN (espn.com)

Numbers Stacked Against Yankees in World Series After Game 1 Loss- Michael Hurley (NESN.com)

Pujols Hopes To Stay In St. Louis- MLB Trade Rumors (mlbtraderumors.com)

Orioles Consider Big Changes for Camden Yards- Don Muret (sportingnews.com)

World Series Game Two: All Eyes on the Mound- Dan Levy (The Sporting Blog)

Cliff Lee's Non-challant Catch

Cliff Lee is just a baller, plain and simple.



-S

Phillies Take Game 1

World Series Game 1
Philadelphia Phillies 6    New York Yankees 1
(Phillies lead series 1-0)

Well, you're welcome Philadelphia Phillie fans. It seems as though my Phillies Pumpkin Pie came through tonight, and I may have to make one for each game to keep up the good luck now! Haha, totally kidding, but I really did make a Phillies Pumpkin Pie tonight... see?



Of course the real credit goes towards the talent- Cliff Lee, Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez and the rest of the team- that contributed to the 6-1 Phillies win over the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium. Lee pitched the gem you would expect from a reigning Cy Young winner- a complete game with 10 K's, while Utley hit two solo homers giving the Phillies the lead in the 3rd and never looking back. Ibanez's single in the 8th drove in 2 to further the lead to 4-0.



Going into this world series the Yankees have won 26 of the 39 World Series they have been in, which comes to a .667 winning percentage. So every 3 World Series the Yankees are in the, they win it at least twice. Not bad odds, huh? Well, it's not anywhere close to being over, and if they want to raise that mark other guys besides Jeter need to start hitting the Philly pitching.

CC looked shakey to begin the game, and you can rationalize that the first homer to Utley was a mistake, but when he made the exact same pitch, just a tad higher in the zone the next time, it was obvious he had been missing his spots. In my opinion, he was lucky both of those were only solo shots. In both at bats to Utley he had 2 strikes on him when he hit the homers. And by the time he was pulled, CC had thrown 122 pitches, 80 for strikes, on 4 hits, 2 earned runs, 6 K's and 3 free passes.

If the Yankees had been shut out, it would have been the first time ever in a Yankees World Series game. Incredible. I'm sure you can still rag on them when they have stats like this though, right?

This was also the second time that Utley has hit a homer to start the scoring in game 1 of the World Series, which he did last year, too. And that wasn't the only thing he did tonight- he set records. His walk in the first inning off CC Sabathia, marked the 26th consecutive post season game in which he has reached base successfully, passing Boog Powell with 25 (w/ the Orioles 1966-1971). Up until tonight, no lefty had ever gone yard off CC in Yankee Stadium. Utley set another record by being the first lefty to hit two homers off another lefty since the 1928 World Series when Babe Ruth surpassed the feat. Last year, Howard hit two homers in game 4 of the World Series versus the Rays to become the second Phillies player to ever do so, and tonight Utley joined the group. Lenny Dystra did it in 1993 versus the Toronto Blue Jays.



In a game that saw the biggest crowd ever at Yankee Stadium, 50,207 people watched as the Yankees lost in 52 degree weather with 13mph (left to right) winds. I do have to say, Nick Swishers assist and attempt at Utley's first homer were impressive. Also, his 4.2 pitches per at bat was a shocking stat I saw during the game (one of the best in the league).
 
Game 2 will be played tomorrow night, Thursday, October 29th at Yankee Stadium. Pedro Martinez will be throwing from the hill for the Phillies, and without the pressure should be decent, although he tends to thrive under heat. AJ Burnett will be throwing for the Yankees and trying to even out the series before they go on the road to Philly. He still has yet to win a game in the post season. The game will be on Fox starting at 6:57pm Central time.

Happy World Series, All!
-S

PS. It must be hard to be an Indians fan and see your former top two pitchers in a World Series on different teams battling each other... bad move on the Indians end? We'll see...

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Yankees Win the Pennant

It's easy right now to say the Angels blew it. But... I have a hard time believing that.

The Yankees were up 3 games to none. At that point, it would have been easy to quit and get it over with . But, not the Angels. They still had a fight left in them- a fight that made this series, a series worth watching.

We all knew going into this that the Yankees would be hard to beat. We're talking about a team that was 54 games above .500 and the only team this year to break 100+ wins (103-59). It's no secret I wanted the Angels to win-It would have been a good story. Plus, with Torii Hunter being my favorite player ever, I wanted to see him win a World Series. Obviously when the halos beat the yanks in game 4, it brought back 2004 memories when the Red Sox came back from a 3-0 game deficit to win 4 straight and go on to the World Series and win. I doubt I will ever see that again, but of course I had hope (I am a Cub fan after all... I'm use to believing against the odds).

The Angels gave them a run for their money. They made the series last 6 games instead of 4. They refused to be swept. They went out as a respectable team, but the Yankees came out the AL Champs.



There's no doubt about it now, the Yankees were the better team. In this American League Championship Series they hit 42 points higher in average, scored 11 more runs on 11 more hits, ripped 5 more homers, and even more impressively drew a walk 12 more times than the Angels did. In only his second year as the Yankee's Manager, Joe Girardi worked his pitching staff effectively, remained confident and calm under pressure, and used his bench strategically.




Most of the credit belongs with the Yankee players. A-Rod finally became clutch in October, batting .429 and driving in the most runs on the team (6). For everything Mark Teixeira didn't do at the plate, he made up for defensively. You cannot glorify A-Rod without creditting Teixeira, who was worth every penny they spent on him for all the runs he saved this series alone. Without his glove at firstbase, you probably would not be reading this post right now. Honestly, you can go up and down this roster and just keep giving credit to every single player... Pettitte was perfect, CC was untouchable, and Mariano was once again in God form.



Their lineup is intimidating but if anyone can take them on, it's the Philadelphia Phillies. Now that is going to be a series worth watching. Cliff Lee vs CC Sabatha in game 1. Need I say more? I don't care if you are not a fan of either teams-this is going to be power vs power, experience vs experience. The pitching may get roughed up, but I also believe that will be the deciding factor.
In the end, the two best teams are in the World Series, plain and simple, and it's going to be an incredible series.

Keep checking back here throughout the World Series. I'll have SP matchups and any updates/stats I get I'll post.

Happy World Series!
-S

**Pictures used in this post were found on google.com search engine.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pujols & the Embedded Ball Photo

I got this in an e-mail forwarded to me from my friend John. This picture is pretty cool so I thought I'd share it with you guys.


(Click picture to view full size)
"Rovak’s blog entry is worth reading for more than just photophiles. He says in 26 years of shooting baseball, he’s been able to get a photo of the ball “embedded” in the bat only three times. This one happened because he knows Pujols’ swing well enough to fire a shot as Pujols moves his lead shoulder." (script is from the e-mail)

Yours in Baseball,
-S

Waterfall Man

Click here to see video and a short excerpt of the man who decided to jump in the waterfall at the Angels game last night.

I thought things like this were not suppose to be televised to ensure that no attention was brought to it??

Yours in Baseball,
-S

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Welcome to the World Series!

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies, their fans, and their incredible organization for their second consecutive World Series appearance!



Here's to a...
 RED WORLD SERIES!

A personal Congrats to Scotty Eyre! A hard-working class-act, who's family and friends could not be happier to see him as a part of another historic team!

To Charlie Manuel, one of the absolute best managers to ever grace the Major Leagues, Congratulations!














Man, I love October!

-S

"Mountain Climbing Time" by Torii Hunter

The following is from Torii Hunter's official MLB Blog, that he updated today:

Well, we've got a mountain to climb in Game 5. No getting around it. We've just got to get there, get to the top somehow. It is a mountain, though, no question about it. A big one.

If they win, it's over. Yankees go to the World Series, we go home. Simple as that. Down 3-1 in the ALCS, I wouldn't say I'm frustrated. Mad is more like it. We know baseball. It can turn around any time. We've got to go out there and try to climb that mountain.

Everybody is asking me how they've shut down our offense. They've go CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera. And A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte, and a good bullpen. CC and Mariano, need I say more? But that doesn't mean we can't get something going, get our offense rolling again. Sure we can. We need to take it one at-bat at a time, play the way we have all season, and get this thing back to New York.


They had their big man going last night, and we've got our big man going tomorrow night. John Lackey, man, I'm comfortable with him out there. He pounds the strike zone, like CC did last night. We didn't play good defense behind Lackey in Game 1 at Yankee Stadium, and we can't let that happen again. We've got to be on top of our game. We've got to play better than that.


People talk about pressure, but we don't have any pressure down 3-1. We're just going to go out and play the game the right way, and hopefully that'll take us back to New York for Game 6. The pressure's not on us. I don't buy that at all.
We've been trying to get back to our game since the start of the series. We know we can do it. You don't sweep Boston without being good. We have to get that aggressive mindset and play free but also smart.


It's been rough offensively. We just haven't been getting the big hit when we need it. Smooth Bobby Abreu was saying that we're trying to do too much with runners in scoring position, that we've got to relax and hit the way we did during the season.


Bobby knows best. I think he's on the money. We can't force things. We have to be disciplined and get pitches in good spots and drive them. We need to be aggressive but play with intelligence at the same time.


It's a mountain, for sure, but you've got to take it one step at a time. We don't want this to end, and we don't want to see the Yankees celebrate on our field. No team wants to watch that. Let's get after it. Crank up the volume, fans, and get the Rally Monkey warmed up.


It's time to get busy, time to go to work. Time to put on the mountain-climbing boots.
-Torii Hunter, CF Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, #48

My favorite part of that entire blog was when he said, "We have to get that aggressive mindset and play free but also smart." I couldn't think of a better way to state it, playing free- not holding back.

I like Torii Hunter, not only as a ballplayer, but as a person. I grew up a Twins fan watching Torii rob the White Sox of homeruns and man center field for the Minnesota Twins. The man's a hero to me. He's always the guy signing autographs, talking to fans, revving up his teammates, and supporting charities. He's a team leader in every sense of the word and he's setting a great example for the rest of his teammates on the Angels.

I still believe in this team. They have a nation of supporters hoping they can make this story happen. Millions of people who want them to win this for their fallen teammate. Obviously, I can't guarantee a win, but what I can guarantee you, is that you'll see this team take the field with their hearts and leave it all out on the field. You may not see them touch the banner in centerfield, but you'll see it in their faces for 9 innings tomorrow night.



"Bobby knows best!"
Let's go Halos!
-S

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Baseball Quotes

These are a few of my absolute favorite baseball quotes. Everytime I find one I like I add it to my collection (which is currently scribbled craps of paper in memorbilia box). I love quotes for the pure reason that they are the words of our legends. We are able to hold onto their personality through the words they once spoke, wrote, or followed, and hrough these we not only learn more about the history of the game, but how to keep the passion of the game alive today. They inspire, they lead, they entertain, and they epitomize the greatness of the game.

Ernie Harwell
"Baseball is a lot like life. It's a day-to-day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunites in baseball as you do in life."
"I love the game because it's so simple, yet it can be so complex. There's a lot of layers to it, but they aren't hard to peel back."
"I'd like to be remembered as someone who showed up for the job. I consider myself a worker. I love what I do. If I had my time over again, I'd probably do it for nothing."

Joe DiMaggio
"When baseball is no longer fun, it's no longer a game."
"I'm just a ballplayer with one amibition, and that is to giva all I've got to help my ball club win. I've never played any other way."
"You always get a special kick on opening day, no matter how many you go through. You look forward to it like a birthday party when you're a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen."

Ty Cobb
"Baseball was one-hundred percent my life."
"I never could stand losing. Second place didn't interest me. I had a fire in my belly."
"The base paths belonged to me, the runner. The rules gave me the right. I always went into a bag full speed, feet first. I had sharp spikes on my shoes. If the baseman stood where he had no business to be and got hurt, that was his fault."
"The crowd makes the ballgame."
"The great trouble with baseball today is that most of the players are in the game for the money and that's it, not for the love of it, the excitement of it, the thrill of it."

Derek Jeter
"If you're going to play at all, you're out to win. Baseball, board games, playing Jeopardy, I hate to lose."
"It doesn't feel different being here (at the All-Star Game). I feel like I'm on an All-Star team everyday."
"My office is Yankee Stadium. Yes, dreams do come true."
"You gotta have fun. Regardless of how you look at it, we're playing a game. It's a business, it's our job, but I don't think you can do well unless you're having fun."


Yours in Baseball,
-S

Friday, October 16, 2009

Amazing!

I never found out if this was real or fake, but nonetheless it's awesome!



Yours in Baseball,
-S

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blogroll & Websites

Hey all! Hope you are enjoying all these incredible games of the postseason! If you are looking for something new I have a few suggestions...

1. Check out http://www.gradysizemore.org/ ... "Between the Lines with S" is featured on the home page! The creator of the site saw my picture with Grady on here and asked me to share my experience of meeting him for her Fan Encounters section. Her site has everything Grady related! So, ladies... if you love Grady, it's the best place to get the info and pictures you'd kill to see! I'm not interested in many sites that feature players as individuals rather than as a part of the team, but as you will read in my "Fan Encounter," Grady is more than just an athlete- he personifies the game in a unique way- not only in the way he plays, but in the way he treats his fans. I'm always happy to show support for these type of people, the ones who never take a day for granted and who are humbled by their supports. So visit her site, check out my story, and contribute a story of your own if you have one!



2. My friend Ruben started up a sports gambling blog that I'm going to contribute to for MLB related bets. It's called The DGs Edge. When it comes to betting, Ruben's your man. Since baseball season is coming to it's final weeks, football will be the main (but definitely not the only) focus, with the betting tips being brought to you by football experts from across the country.

I'm always happy to support passionate people, no matter what their focus is. And I love hearing about new site and people that want to share their niche with the rest of the world. If you know of any great sites/blogs/etc that you want to share with the rest of the readers here, e-mail me at s.betweenthelines@yahoo.com. To reference these blogs/website in the future, please see the "Blogroll" on the right hand side of the page. Thank you & happy playoffs!



(The official banner, made by Theresa at www.gradysizemore.org)

Yours in baseball,
-S

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Several Chicago Cubs have wish lists -- chicagotribune.com

Several Chicago Cubs have wish lists -- chicagotribune.com

By: Paul Sullivan

Cubs manager Lou Piniella said last week that adding an RBI guy in 2010 is No. 1 on his offseason wish list. Piniella's players have wish lists of their own, but few are willing to offer their opinions. It's easier to toe the line and spout clich├ęs, avoiding the possibility of igniting a controversy. But some players have no problem speaking out about what they believe, including Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly and Carlos Zambrano.
So what do they wish for?
Ramirez wishes fans would understand general manager Jim Hendry wasn't wrong to believe Milton Bradley would produce in a Cubs uniform. "It's not his fault," Ramirez said of Hendry's decision to sign Bradley. "Milton put up great numbers last year. It didn't work out. (Hendry's) the same guy who put back-to-back (division) championship teams together.
"We went to the playoffs in '07, last year and this year we were in the race even though we didn't have the production we're supposed to have from a lot of players. I don't think its Jim Hendry's fault. If the guys in here would've done their job, and I didn't go down, we would've been in better position."
Dempster's wish is simple. He wants the Cubs to upgrade their outdated facilities. Asked what he would tell the Ricketts family, the presumptive new owners, about the Cubs biggest needs, Dempster replied: "Some of the facilities are about 100 years old."
Lilly's wish is for the Cubs to re-sign Reed Johnson, who becomes a free agent in November. But he also said it would be prudent to consider bringing back Mark DeRosa, who left a void in the clubhouse when he was traded to the Indians last winter.
"I love Mark as a player, a person, a clubhouse guy," Lilly said. "I could say he's probably the best teammate I've ever had. All around, he really cares a great deal about everybody, and that's the kind of person he is. I think he also leads by example -- the way he plays. He's a special individual."
And Zambrano, the enigmatic ace who won nine games in 2009? What would he like most?Zambrano wants the media to stop speculating he will be traded this winter, reiterating he has a no-trade clause he won't waive. "Like Arnold Schwarzenegger said, 'I'll be back,' " Zambrano said before Thursday night's game.

Is he sure about that?

"Believe it," he said. "All new episodes -- next year."

Stay tuned.
----psullivan@tribune.com



Posted using ShareThis

Posted from today's Chicago Trib (10/2/09)
I agree completely with Lilly... We need Mark DeRosa back.
-S


DeRo celebrating as the Cards clinch the NLC this year...


DeRo with Jacque Jones and Soriano after a walk off!


BRING BACK DEROSA!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lake County Fielders- Kevin Costner

Kevin Costner is the new owner of an expansion team for the Northern Leagues, The Lake County Fielders. The team will open in 2010 in Zion, Illinois.

The name of the team was chosen by the people who live in Lake County, as well as Kenosha and Racine, Wisconsin through a contest held by Allstate. Costner loved the look and feel of this team, and thinks it will represent the midwest well.

“The Fielders name and design logo really jumped out with Kevin (Costner) and I as the type of nostalgic, Midwestern image that we’re trying to capture,” said Fielders’ President Rich Ehrenreich. “We think fans will love the name and concept.”

The Lake County Fielder will join the Northern League which had an attendance of over 1 million people. They will join teams like the Joliet Jackhammers, Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, Gary Southshore Railcats, Kansas City T-Bones, Shaumburg Flyers, and Winnipeg Goldeyes.
The best part about this new team is it's location. It's right by Six Flags Great America, Key Lime Cove Water Resort, and Gurnee Mills Mall. Family trips to this area just got THAT much better. Roller coasters, water rides, shopping, and now add in a state-of-the-art-ballpark, and you have a great family vacation planned.


(Click pictures to enlarge)

The stadium will be located at 850 Green Bay Rd, Zion, IL 60099. Season tickets are available, for an extremely affordable price. This is at the top of my list for next season's experiences for me. I love expansion teams. It gives so many more people jobs, while in a baseball setting, and it gives 40 ballplayers a chance to play. I think Kevin Costner is going to do a great job with this team, as we already know he is as passionate about baseball as even the biggest fan.  Here are some pics of the future development:











Also here's an overview of the dimensions and overall plan:


If you have any other info on this new team, please e-mail me at S.BetweenTheLines@yahoo.com
Thanks!
-S

**Visit Northern League Basbeall for updates and more information.