Orioles vs. Tigers 4/6/11 and 4/7/11

So I usually do single game by game entries, but between
midterms this week and long days at the park (get there around 3:30, leave at
11:30), I have been squeezed for time. 
So, I did the Opening Day entry
earlier in the week, followed by last night the quick post on the Jose Valverde spitting incident.  Here are my game entries for the 2nd
and 3rd home games of the season to finish up the Tigers series.

 

 

So Wednesday was a relaxed night at the ballpark.  Attendance went from sold out on Monday to
12,451 that night, so after BP, we just chilled in the outfield seats.

 

I got there around 3:30, still don’t know why.

 

DSCF1442.JPG

 

Adam Jones tweeted at
me
offering to come in early, but he never got back at me, so that didn’t
happen.  Ballhawks and fans gathered with
me at the gate, and the day had begun. 
For a pic of the group, check out Zack Hample’s blog entry of the game (and the 2nd game) here.

 

So running around to BP, the first ball I snagged on the day
was a Mark Reynolds shot.  He hit it to a
section to the right of where I was standing, and Tim and I both ran towards it
as it hit the seats and rolled awkwardly through a row.  He was 2 rows down, I was right above it, so
I was able to reach over and grab it.  On
the board.  My goal on the day was 4 (to
even out with the 2 from the opener, since I want to average 3 this year), so
this was a quick start.

 

After that, I made two of my best snags ever.  The first was a Casper Wells home run that I
got only about 15 feet to my left, and with no fans fighting for it.  The reason it was special was because I
spaced it horribly, and had to leap and throw my arm back just to barely grab
it on the tip of my glove.  Got high
fives for that one.

 

The 3rd ball of the day was a Brandon Inge home
run that was a section over to my right. 
I ran a bit over, but saw it was landing in a group of people about 6
rows down, so I didn’t really make a move. 
The ball ended up missing everybody and hitting off a chair, flying high
in the air into another group of people to the right and a row in front of me.  I reached above them with my bare right hand,
tipped it up into the air above them all, and then jumped and grabbed it.  This one got me the most congratulatory
remarks I’ve ever gotten, and trust me, I don’t make that many nice catches, so
I was proud of this one.

 

That was it on the day for baseballs.  But 3 is good for me.  I honestly feel good as long as I don’t get
shut out, which hasn’t happened since the 2009 season.

 

And I like this one shot I took of Tillman, Matusz, and
Britton during BP:

 

DSCF1443.JPG

 

After BP, I ran over to where Max Scherzer was signing by
the dugout, and after he ignored me multiple times for wearing an O’s shirt, I
made a “we both hate the Yankees” comment, he smiled, and signed my ticket.

 

I ran over to the Orioles dugout hoping for a warm up
ball.  First, I stopped by where Vlad was
signing for a minute:

 

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And got him to sign an extra ball I had brought with me (I
usually bring a clean ball or two for this kind of situation):

 

DSCF1498.JPG

 

I didn’t get a 4th ball, but whatever.  I’m satisfied with 3 still.

 

Tim and Ben and I stayed out in left field for the entire
game.  Low attendance and lineups full of
right handed power (besides the O’s with Reynolds and Vlad, the Tigers have
Miguel Cabrera), we will be out there all season.  It was a chill night sitting out in the
middle of the LF seats.  Felt like
baseball season again.

 

Anyways, 4 HRs were hit to right or center field.  Awesome. 
Whatever.  And Zack Hample snagged
Alex Avila’s shot, so check out info on that on his blog post (linked at the
top).

 

I left in the 8th to go sit with Brittany and
Donna at Donna’s seats (Brittany has season tix next to the bullpen) that were…
well… beautiful.  To show, here are a few
pics from that view:

 

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DSCF1456.JPGDSCF1458.JPG

        

 

So that was cool.

 

Though the Orioles lost their first
game of the season that night, it was still very relaxing to attend the
game.  Afterward, I went with Donna and
Britney out to the players’ lot.  I had
never gone there after games (mainly because I live in the city now, so I don’t
have to worry about rides or missing the subway or anything), but they
introduced me to it.  We waved to
players, talked, and got yelled at.  And
Jake Fox stopped his giant SUV to sign for everybody, though I didn’t get
that.  I got 2 pictures of him signing
from his car, but both are dark and blurry.

 

I then left, went home, and
crashed.  Class in the AM.

 

Stuffs:

 

DSCF1462.JPG

 

Season stats (after this game):

 

Baseballs: 5 (4 hit, 1 on fly, 1
toss up, 0 found)

Autographs: 2 (Scherzer, Guerrero)

Orioles home games attended: 2

Orioles total games attended: 2

Total MLB games attended: 2

Total baseball games attended
(MLB+MiLB): 2

 

 

Then Thursday hit.  I left class at 2, went back to my place to
do some things, and left around 3:15 for the game.  Got there by 3:45, and chilled outside the
gates again.  Zack Hample never showed
up, but that was because he was at the other gates (Ha!).  Ben and Tim came around 4.  Matt never showed up (turned out he was sick).

 

I said ha before because Zack went
to the other side since the run in is slightly shorter, but his gate opened a
full 30 seconds or so after ours, so we ran past him before he could even come
in.  It was funny.

 

Running in, I got one ball in foul
territory down the 1B line, and then Tom (security guard) pointed out another
in the seats down the 3B line, so I had 2 already before even reaching the LF
seats.

 

BP brought more photos of our young
pitchers.  This one of Matusz and Britton
talking with new pitching coach Mark Connor (I think that’s him):

 

DSCF1465.JPG

 

BP was empty for the first 25
minutes or so for us, which was nice:

 

Zack Hample and Tim Oriole Park 4711

 

In that picture, the people are:

 

1. Tim (going up the stairs to look
for easter eggs

2. Zack (recording notes and such
after Orioles BP ended)

 

I got some pictures of Justin
Verlander throwing some:

 

DSCF1468.JPG

DSCF1469.JPG

 

Jeremy Guthrie was back from the
hospital (he had pneumonia), pictured here talking with Verlander:

 

DSCF1472.JPG

 

I scooped up an Adam Jones home run
hit into an empty section, then caught a Brandon Inge home run on the fly in an
empty row later in BP.  Though it was
busier, nobody else made a play on that one.

 

And that was that.  I didn’t go for any autographs or extra
balls.  Just the 4 on the day.  Talked with my favorite ushers a bit and
wandered the concourse.  Oh, and got some
of the old Orioles to sign cards.  They
do that every Monday and Thursday home game. 
Got Tippy Martinez, Fred Valentine, and Bill Swaggerty.  Woot.

 

The game was cold.  Tim, Ben, and I again sat out in left field,
but this time next to the bullpen.  Ben
hit 12 balls on the day, including multiple at the pen, so we just chilled
there.  Though on most righty batters, we
got up and moved to ends of rows to prepare for HR balls.  Was quite funny actually how much we never
settled into actual spots, though we got no balls, the seats were so empty that
moving around was easy.  Finally, though,
a HR was hit to LF (Adam Jones’ shot), but it was a line drive smash down the
line, and way out of reach for where we were.

 

Tim and Ben danced like white kids,
Ronnie said hey, and we just had another chill night at the game.

 

Brad Penny pitched for the Tigers:

 

DSCF1477.JPG

 

And Chris Tillman for the Orioles:

 

DSCF1480.JPG

 

The end of the game brought an
Orioles come from behind W, but it also brought us Jose Valverde spitting on a fan in the 8th inning.  Click on that for more info.

 

Here’s my loot (space in the
baseballs is the Jones home run that I tossed to a kid after BP ended):

 

DSCF1497.JPG

 

Season stats:

 

Baseballs: 9 (6 hit, 2 on fly, 1
toss up, 2 found)

Autographs: 2 (Scherzer, Guerrero)

Orioles home games attended: 3

Orioles total games attended: 3

Total MLB games attended: 3

Total baseball games attended
(MLB+MiLB): 3

 

And I am leaving in just a couple
of minutes for the park.  The O’s take on
the undefeated Rangers this weekend, and I plan to be at all 3 games, win or
lose.  The weather is crummy out, so
probably no BP, but these games can bring some good fortune and fun at times,
so I’m there.

Jose Valverde Spits on Fan

So aside from the regular game posts, I had to get up a bit
about this.  I posted it on Twitter, and
tons of people seemed intrigued, so I figured I’d shoot up this story quick.

So.

 

Here is what I witnessed. 
All is fact, and anything that I cannot confirm will be noted as
something I’m guessing (or of the sort).

 

During the bottom of the 8th inning at Oriole
Park earlier tonight (April 7), Jose Valverde approached two fans and spit at
one of them, shooting his wad of gum at the pair.

 

It started in the middle of that frame when the two fans
walked up to the break in the bullpen walls at Camden Yards during the
Tigers/Orioles game and started shouting at the Tigers sitting on the bullpen
bench.  My friend Tim heard one of them
(in an orange shirt, and though I can’t confirm it was an Orioles shirt, I saw
it as Orioles orange opposed to Tigers orange) shouting something about Joel
Zumaya.  As we walked away to grab seats
at the end of the rows (hoping for a HR ball), we looked over from about 20
feet away, and Valverde approached the fans at the edge of the pen.  Of course, my camera was in my bag a section
away.  But, here is the vantage point of
the fans.  I took this as the game ended
afterward, as you can see the Tigers pitchers walking away.  But it shows where they were and where Jose
came to that front corner to stand close to them:

 

DSCF1496.JPG

What we saw was Jose walking over to these shouting fans,
looking quite intimidating and a bit PO’d in my opinion.  As he got there, said a few words, then
signaled with two fingers for the fan (or both) to come closer.  Within 10 seconds, he followed that by
spitting at the fan (or both (again, I don’t know what they really said that
ticked him off or if it was just one of them or what)).  It was a legit spitting motion at them, in
which he spit a huge wad of gum at them. 
Here are two pictures I took of the gum on the ground of the bullpen
below (the space between the Tigers pen area and the seats, as in the ground of
the Orioles pen area).  The first is a
close up of the wad.  It was huge.  Second is zoomed out but quite blurry.

 

DSCF1494.JPG

 

DSCF1495.JPG

 

Valverde, after the spit, turned around and walked back to
his seat.  Fans around were shocked.  The two guys saw the cop in the bullpen
coming into the Tigers pen, so they ran out of the row, up the stairs, and out
of the section (not sure why, unless they said something horrible, since Jose
spit at them, and just to note, nobody saw the guys spit at Jose or make any
physical motions towards him, so it seemed to be words that provoked him).  The cop came all the way over to the same
spot Jose was standing during the incident, saw that they were gone, called
someone on his radio, and left.  So who
knows what happened there.

 

Witnesses:  I was with
my friends Tim and Ben for most of
the game, both of whom saw this.  Another
friend, Matt (and his friend) were
nearby and talking with us when we saw Valverde approach them, and they both
saw it.  The fans in the section who were
actually closest to the event all saw it, but had no new info as to what
happened when I asked besides what we saw.

 

 

So yeah.  Who knows
what will come of this.  If anything (Does
MLB suspend for such a thing? I mean, if it was at a player, there would be
suspension, so I don’t know why at a fan is any better or excusable. But again,
I do not know what was said, so I am just coming from the position of seeing
them what looked like heckling him and he did this. That’s it.).  Just wanted to share.

 

Valverde had a stomach bug earlier in the week.  Maybe about that?

 

And I got a few pics of him talking with Orioles pitcher
Mike Gonzalez during BP:

 

DSCF1470.JPG

 

And I hope to get game posts for Wednesday and Thursday’s
games up tomorrow, as I will be at all 3 games this weekend against the
undefeated Rangers.

 

 

Follow me on Twitter:
@2131andBeyond

Orioles Home Opener vs. Tigers

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The Orioles home opener was all you could ask for it to
be.  Huge crowd, celebration, and most
importantly, a W.

 

I got to the park around 11:30 (gates opened at noon) after
taking a midterm exam in the morning and rushing down.

 

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A bunch of friends were already there, waiting first in line
(as expected).  Romeo had been there
since who knows when, and with him at this point was (I hope I don’t forget
anybody) Zevi, Brittany, Nick, Amanda, Tim, Ben, Stan, and Stan’s wife.  I think that’s it.  (Romeo, Zevi, and Brittany got interviewed by
WBAL before I got there, check that out here. 
58 second mark.  Three quotes,
then you see the initial group of them). 
So, I joined them, and the crowd started forming by quarter of noon or
so.

                                             

DSCF1299.JPG

 

Batting practice was not set to start until 12:25 or so, but
we still ran in at 12 to go see the Orioles stretching down on the field.  My first view entering the seating area
(though a bit blurry, taken as I was running):

 

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During this time, I took about 50 photos of the Orioles
stretching and talking.  Here are some
highlights.

 

Brittany took a picture of me and Zevi talking to Ronnie
when he first came out.  He asked me
about my college experiences and some random stuff, then we yelled at him for
not having high socks on, in which he told us that in ST, Mark Hendrickson also
yelled at him for it (and said: “Who ARE you, man?!”).  Then Ronnie went off to throw.

 

RonnieAndMeSorta.jpeg

 

Zach Britton sighting (1-blurry first shot of him, 2-talking
with Mike Gonzalez, 3-talking with bullpen coach Rick Adair, 4-talking with
athletic trainer Richie Bancells):

 

BrittonFirst.jpg

 

More guys (1-Matt Wieters throwing, 2-Pie, Guerrero,
Izturis, 3-pitchers stretching circle, 4-Adair talking with Matusz and Tillman
with Ronnie on the side (minus high socks)):

 

ScatteredWarmup44.jpg

 

And more (1-guys throwing, 2-media by/in the dugout, 3-Mark
Reynolds and DLee throwing, 4-Pie and Jonesy):

 

Scattered2Warmup44.jpg

 

Then guys started hitting, so I made my way around the seating
bowl to the left field seats:

 

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As I settled into my usual spot in the aisle for snagging,
Luke Scott tossed a ball towards 3 kids begging (more like shrieking profusely)
for one (arrow pointing at ball in midair):

 

DSCF1330.JPG

 

Guys started off with their bunts and oppo hitting, so I
snapped this quick shot of Buck talking with Tillman and Matusz:

 

DSCF1331.JPG

 

Then guys hit for real. 
And I have no more photos from Orioles BP.  They were hitting scarcely to the LF seats,
and all of them were landing in clusters of people in 86 and 80.  Asking the other guys around I knew, we think
only about 5-10 came in the mid-sections of 82 and 84 during all of this
session.  And the 5 or so of us were
spread out, but nobody ended with more than 3 on the day.  I got one ball during O’s BP, my first of the
season and it was Vlad’s first home run into the LF seats (he hit 2 into the
bullpen before it).  It was a real blast,
hitting off of the signs on club level and bouncing back down (easily 420+
ft).  With guys all running up the
stairs, I watched from mid level, and got it off the rebound.

 

Then the Orioles went in, and Tigers pitchers came out to
warm up.  I headed over there, and lost
out on one ball to Tim who had a Tigers shirt on, so I moved aside and let him
go for it, knowing that the shirt would get him it anyways.

 

DSCF1333.JPG

 

Later, as Brad Thomas was heading in, he responded to my
request for a ball, chucking it in my general direction.  (Picture of him throwing before this moment,
#36) Turn your head sideways for this one:

 

DSCF1334.JPG

 

As I gloved the ball, I felt my back being hit at, and a kid
(probably about 12) had hopped on my back, throwing us both into the wall in
front of us.  No physical damage done,
and I was more just really confused than annoyed.  But when I got back out to left field, I
noticed one thing:

 

BrokenCamera.jpeg

 

The hit into the wall broke my camera screen.  Wonderful. 
Whatever.  The right side of the
screen sort of still works, so I’ll live (at least until I find the money to
buy a new camera).  So for the rest of
the day, I had to take pictures mostly guessing that I was getting the picture
taken.  They came out pretty well for
having to use this tactic.

 

I got annoyed when I walked away and saw the kid going back
to his dad.  Why did this annoy me?  Check out what he was wearing:

 

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Seriously?!  God damn.

 

Anyways.

 

I left halfway through Tigers BP to wander the concourse and
Eutaw St. to see the festivities and new stuff around, knowing that with the
rush and all, I wanted to be back at the seats by 2:30 for the ceremonies.

 

New at the ballpark (1-Natty-Boh stand, 2-Natty-Boh Bar,
3-Polock Johnny’s, 4-Grille 54):

 

NewConcourse.jpg

 

Oh, and a funny looking band:

 

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So I got back to the seats (in section 86 next to the
bullpen, yes, we actually bought seats there for once) just as Jim Hunter
started the pre-game ceremonies.  I took
over 100 pictures of the happenings, so here are just a few to show what it
looked like:

 

OpeningCeremonies.jpg

 

So yeah.  Taking the
pictures with a broken camera the rest of the day was difficult.  But all is well on the western front.

 

Otherwise, we stayed in our seats on the bullpen wall for
the rest of the day.  With so many
people, it would have been hell to get up to go around, so we stayed put.  Don’t worry, all season we will be doing all
kinds of random interesting stuff, but today was about chilling at Opening Day.

 

Here are some shots from the seats I got of both bullpens
and the field (1-Arrieta warming up, 2-Porcello warming up, 3-players on field
for the anthem, 4-Jose Valverde getting annoyed by the hecklers in front of
us):

 

ScatteredShots44.jpg

 

And more (1-Romeo and some of the crowd, 2-guy on the field,
3-Ronnie and bullpen guys during God Bless America, 4-the outfielders jumping
together when the game ended):

 

Scattered2Shots44.jpg

 

My ticket from the day with my 2 baseballs (left is toss
from Thomas, right is the hit from Vlad):

 

DSCF1441.JPG

 

Oh, and by the way, the Orioles kinda messed up during
pre-game ceremonies on the jumbotron. 
See for yourself:

 

DSCF1422.JPG

 

 

 

The Orioles won the game 5-1.  Jake Arrieta got the W.  Brian Roberts hit another home run.  Yada yada. 
I’m not here to discuss the on field stuff.

 

 

A few other videos to check out:

 

During the game, a guy hopped over the CF wall and onto the
field.  He rand around then dropped down
to the ground, got cuffed, and finally taken out.  See it here
on Youtube.

 

And this video
which randomly includes Zevi, Tim, and Ben entering the park at noon.

 

And I am back at the ballpark for this entire home
stand.  Should be interesting.

 

Season stats:

 

Baseballs: 2 (1 hit, 0 on fly, 1 toss up, 0 found)

Autographs: 0

Orioles home games attended: 1

Orioles total games attended: 1

Total MLB games attended: 1

Total baseball games attended (MLB+MiLB): 1

 

 

 

 

Follow me on Twitter:
@2131andBeyond

Promotions & Giveaways Review: The AL West

The AL East and Central Reviews (linked) have been posted.  Trying to squeeze in each division before the
season starts if I can.  If not, no
yelling or tantrum throwing.

 

To give this some basis:

 

Key to types of promotions/giveaways:

            Primary – The kind of stuff that draws
and extra 5,000 fans or more to the ballpark just to get something

            Secondary – The kind of stuff that will
bring in people who are on the ropes about attending, but most likely will not
have fans jumping out of their seats to get

            Repeats – Whether good or bad, these
are just promotions/giveaways that occur 3+ times on a team’s schedule

 

I didn’t include things like schedule magnets, koozies, and
stuff like that that are way too widely used amongst most teams, so would
cancel out overall.  There are also many
other scattered promotions on calendars, but I mainly included here the ones
that I thought were worth mentioning and worth traveling to the ballpark for if
you’re the kind of person that needs that extra boost of motivation to go see
baseball.

 

Each team name is bolded for emphasis as well as because
they are each linked to their respective promotional schedule pages.

 

So, here it is.  The AL West.

 

 

Los Angeles Angels

 

            Primary:

·     
Kendrys Morales Bobblehead (5/24)

·     
Dan Haren Bobblehead (6/28)

·     
Angels Gnome Bobblehead (8/18)

            Secondary:

·     
50th Anniversary Shirt (4/8)

·     
Angels Ski Beanie (4/9)

·     
50th Anniversary Fleece Blanket
(4/12)

·     
Angels Wrestling Mask (5/10)

·     
Angels Sock Rally Monkey (7/5)

·     
Angels Kids Gumball Machine (9/24

            Repeats:

·     
Big Bang Fridays and Flashback Fridays

·     
Family Sundays

 

Notes: The
Angels, as you can see, have a lineup of a few good bobbleheads to go with a
series of solid middle-tier giveaways. 
If you click to see their schedule, there are a bunch more hats and a
few other things that they have listed, but I didn’t feel it necessary to list
it all here.  The repeats are alright,
but the often giveaways make up for it.

 

Grade: A-

 

 

Oakland Athletics

 

            Primary:

·     
Rickey Henderson Bobblehead (4/30)

·     
MC Hammer Bobblehead (7/17)

·     
Ray Fosse Bobblehead (8/13)

            Secondary:

·     
Hideki Matsui T-shirt (4/3)

·     
Fleece Blanket (4/15)

·     
A’s Home Cap (4/16)

·     
Atleticos T-shirt/Cinco de Mayo (5/5)

·     
A’s Gold Kurt Suzuki Replica Jersey (7/31)

            Repeats:

·     
Free Hot Dog Thursdays

 

Notes: The A’s
have an interesting lineup here.  April
and June are full of some really great stuff, but then after Cinco de Mayo, the
giveaways fall off the map.  There are a
few things for kids in May/June/July, but other than the 2nd and 3
bobbles plus the Suzuki jersey, all that’s really left after those two months
are the free hot dog days.  Interesting
planning.  But the unique bobbles really
set them apart.  Oh, and they have
Mathletics Day.

 

Grade: A-

 

 

Seattle Mariners

 

            Primary:

·     
Felix Hernandez 2010 A.L. Cy Young Bobblehead
(4/9)

·     
Ichiro Hit Counter Bobblehead (5/6)

·     
Cameron & McLemore “Sweet 116″ Bobblehead
(7/15)

            Secondary:

·     
Mariners Rally Towels (4/8)

·     
Ichiro T-shirt (4/10)

·     
Franklin Gutierrez Fly Swatter (5/19)

·     
Mariners Train (6/3)

·     
Ichiro Replica Green Jersey (6/17)

            Repeats:

·     
 Mariners
Matinees

 

Notes: With some
solid bobbleheads and a good selection of some shirts, hats, and other items,
the Mariners represent a solid lineup of promotions that should be set as an
example for all teams.

 

Grade: A-

 

 

Texas Rangers

 

            Primary:

·     
Josh Hamilton MVP Figurine (5/23)

·     
Nelson Cruz Walk-Off Bobblehead (6/20)

            Secondary:

·     
Rangers Yearbook (6/6)

·     
Elvis Andrus Figurine (8/8)

·     
Rangers Football (8/28)

            Repeats:

·     
Player T-shirts (Josh Hamilton 4/3, Adrian
Beltre 4/25, Michael Young 7/25, Fan Vote Shirt 9/25)

·     
Player Jerseys (Neftali Feliz 5/15, Ian Kinsler
7/3, Josh Hamilton 7/24)

·     
Thirsty Tuesdays

·     
Dr. Pepper Autograph Wednesdays

 

Notes: Sounds
like yet again another solid lineup.

 

Grade: B+

 

 

Well, if you can’t tell by the grades and summaries, the AL
West, though discounted by only having four teams, has a solid group of promotional
schedules.  This division is by far not
only the closest out of all of the AL divisions, but the highest ranked in
overall value of promos.  This is like
the AL East of promotional schedules.

 

But there can only be one winner…

 

The Oakland Athletics

 

The A’s, one of the three ‘A-’s of the division, take it
all.  Why?  Their unique bobbleheads.  The variation of secondary promotions is
quite good, as are the other three teams in the division, and with no team
having any exciting repeat promos, the Rickey Henderson, MC Hammer, and Ray
Fosse bobbleheads give the A’s the edge. 
Catch them face the Mariners on Friday in what I believe to be one of
the more underrated pitching matchups to begin the season: Trevor Cahill vs.
Felix Hernandez.

 

 

 

 

So that’s that.  Here
are the links for the other two division promotional schedule reviews:

The AL East

The AL Central

 

 

Will start with the National League tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow me on Twitter:
@2131andBeyond

 

Promotions & Giveaways Review: The AL East

Over the next week (yes, into the first day or two of the
regular season), I will be delving into the world of promotions and
giveaways.  I want to not only review
what each team is doing for their fans in this 2011 season, but to also put a
fun twist on it and figure out what team wins each division and then overall
the World Series if it were all based off of these free stuff lineups.

 

I will do one division each day (well, today is AL East,
then another one up tonight, then another one up each night thru Thursday, and
then Friday will be the final judging and playoffs to see who wins the World
Series (of awesome stuff)).

 

Key to types of promotions/giveaways:

            Primary – The kind of stuff that draws
and extra 5,000 fans or more to the ballpark just to get something

            Secondary – The kind of stuff that will
bring in people who are on the ropes about attending, but most likely will not
have fans jumping out of their seats to get

            Repeats – Whether good or bad, these
are just promotions/giveaways that occur 3+ times on a team’s schedule

 

I didn’t include things like schedule magnets, koozies, and
stuff like that that are way too widely used amongst most teams, so would
cancel out overall.  There are also many
other scattered promotions on calendars, but I mainly included here the ones
that I thought were worth mentioning and worth traveling to the ballpark for if
you’re the kind of person that needs that extra boost of motivation to go see
baseball.

 

First up, the AL East.

 

Each team name is bolded for emphasis as well as because
they are each linked to their respective promotional schedule pages.

 

Baltimore Orioles

           

            Primary:

·     
Buck Showalter Bobblehead (6/25)

·     
Brian Matusz Bobblehead (8/6)

            Secondary:

·     
Orioles Cap (6/12)

·     
Orioles Drawstring Backpack (6/26)

            Repeats:

·     
T-shirt Thursday (5/12, 6/30, 7/14, 8/11)

·     
2110 Eutaw Street (5/7, 6/11, 7/16, 8/13, 9/17)

 

Notes: The
Orioles really cut back this year, taking away two t-shirt days and really
cutting down on secondary promos, not to mention fewer bobbleheads after last
year having a trio that connected as well as a full size one, too.  But what could possibly beat a Buck Showalter Bobblehead?

Grade: B-

 

 

Boston Red Sox

 

As of now, the Red Sox have not released a promotional
schedule.  Who knows if they even do any
of that stuff when Fenway sells out anyways.

 

Grade: F

 

New York Yankees

 

            Primary:
n/a

            Secondary:

·     
2011 Commemorative Cap (4/4)

·     
Grass Seed Planter (5/24)

·     
Jorge Posada Figurine (6/10)

·     
Mark Teixeira Bat (6/12)

            Repeats:

·     
Cap Day/Night (6/11, 6/13, 8/10, 8/12, and I’ll
throw in here that Visor Day is on 7/7)

 

Notes: I found it interesting that nothing on the Yankees
promo schedule really had my eyes popping, you know, with all their money and
such.  But I guess since they draw great
crowds anyways, why splurge on a few over the top items when you can throw tons
of mediocre junk at fans and get the same turnout.  I really stopped after June with caring about
listing each secondary item (10 or so more). 
There are a whole bunch, really. Too many to list.  Which is cool I guess of the organization to
do.  They try to squeeze so many in that
as I’m writing this, there are a few days that still say just “Promotion Item”
which is just funny (8/9, 9/5).

 

I also found it funny that on each promo, it was ___ ___
Night/Day.  Like Jorge Posada Figurine
Night or Mark Teixeira Bat Day.  On
every. Single. One.  I just didn’t feel
like redundantly including that all above. 
Oh, and everybody should surely attend Calculator Day on 9/4.

 

Grade: B

 

Tampa Bay Rays

 

            Primary:

·     
Evan Longoria Gold Glove Replica Trophy (4/2)

·     
Manny Ramirez Bobblehead (5/29)

·     
BJ Upton Bobblehead (6/19)

            Secondary:

·     
AL East Champs Mini Banner (4/3)

·     
Joe Maddon Bank (5/1)

·     
Raymond Pillowcase (5/15)

·     
David Price Superhero Action Figure (8/21)

·     
Evan Longoria Cereal Bowl and Spoon Set (9/4)

            Repeats:

·     
Free Shirt Friday (4/15, 4/29, 5/13, 5/27, 6/17,
7/1, 7/15, 8/5, 8/19, 9/2, 9/9, 9/23)

·     
Postgame Concert (4/30 – REO Speedwagon, 5/14 -
Darius Rucker, 8/6 – Goo Goo Dolls, 9/24 – Miranda Lambert)

 

Notes: The Rays
are REALLY trying to attract kids this season. 
Other than the Replica Trophy at the beginning, every other giveaway is
only for kids 14 & under.  If not for
the t-shirt days (which, I will admit, they have a TON of) and the concerts,
the Rays would have been really cutting off the older groups of people past
childhood.  Another minor kids (14 &
under) promo they have is a fire helmet on 9/11, which I thought was a nice way
to honor that day.

 

Grade: A-

 

Toronto Blue Jays

 

            Primary:

·     
Jose Bautista Bobblehead (4/3)

·     
Roberto Alomar HOF Bobblehead (7/31)

            Secondary:

·     
Canada Day T-Shirt (7/1)

·     
T-Shirt ?? (9/18)

            Repeats:

·     
Jr. Jays Saturdays (Every. Single. Saturday.)

·     
Tweeting Tuesdays (Every. Single. Tuesday.)

·     
Fan Fridays (Every. Single. Friday.)

 

Notes:  Only the Blue
Jays would celebrate Canada Day.  So
that’s unique to the Rogers Centre. 
Otherwise, not a ton of stuff, but they have two really good bobbleheads
to go with those repeat days that will make sure that fans stay involved all
season in ways much cheaper than distributing memorabilia.  And props to the team for being the only one
to list Mother’s Day as an event on their promotional calendar.

Grade: C+

 

 

Okay.  So the AL East
overall has a bunch of different situations. 
The Orioles are eh.  The Blue
Jays, who say eh, have scarce items, but with their consistent repeats,
probably end up giving stuff away and keep fan morale up.  The Yankees do the same as the Jays with
having something on most every day, even if not top notch, but instead of
repeats, they just came up with as many crappy designs for items as they
could.  The Rays list would be a LOT
better if a lot of the stuff were for all fans, not just kids.  And the Red Sox… well… they just suck.

 

The winner of the AL East per their promotional schedule
is…

 

The Tampa Bay Rays.

 

Though yes, most of their cool stuff is for kids, they have
free shirts on a whole bunch of Fridays for all fans (first 10,000… aka all
fans).  In the end, the kicker was their
postgame concerts.  A baseball game AND a
concert under one ticket?  I’m in.

 

Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford are just no match to
Darius Rucker and Miranda Lambert.

Follow me on Twitter: @2131andBeyond

Oriole Park, Team Shop, Season Tickets. Oh my.

The title says it all. 
Oriole Park.  Team Shop.  Season Tickets.  Oh my.

 

This is a three-part entry. 
First section will be about Oriole Park, 2nd will be about
the team shop at OPACY, 3rd will show some pictures of the new
season tickets.

 

Last time I reported at Oriole Park, it was at Fanfest and
the place was covered in snow.

 

SnOPACY.jpg

Between then and now, I have been back at least 8 times or
so, whether passing through, picking up tickets, or going to specifically visit
it.  I knew the weeks leading up to Opening
Day that there would be changes to see, so I wanted to see them firsthand.  So for now, I am just going to go through
what I have seen at Oriole Park over the last few weeks.  The photos are scattered from four different
visits, so if continuity-wise something does not match up, that would be why.

 

Part 1: Oriole Park
at Camden Yards

 

One time at the park, I saw an odd site.  A jeep was randomly driving onto Eutaw
Street.  Not like a work vehicle.  Just a random civilian going the wrong way.

 

CarsOnEutaw.jpg

 

Boog’s BBQ stand is being set up.  Or at least the frame.  So are a few of the other stands, but this is
the most notable one.

 

DSCF1066.JPG

 

Workmen were still tearing up different parts of the yard,
presumably to replace parts and make things better.

 

FixingUpOPACY.jpg

 

The orange seats were FINALLY put back in (if you look at
the photo from Fanfest above, you will see that the orange seat is not
present).

 

OrangeSeatsBack.jpg

 

There was some photo shoot happening in the Orioles
dugout.  My zoom made this blurry, but I
couldn’t even figure out what was going on really.

 

DSCF1071.JPG

 

Now when I went to Oriole Park just today, Eutaw Street was
closed (looked like construction):

 

DSCF1211.JPG

 

So I made it a point to walk laps around the park to look
for other changes.

 

If anybody remembers that the food service provider is
different at Oriole Park this year.  It’s
now Delaware something Foods.  The name
is irrelevant.  Point is, I remember
earlier in the off season that they were looking into new foods and such.

 

So, here are the new look concession stands.

 

DSCF1184.JPG

DSCF1185.JPG

DSCF1192.JPG

DSCF1193.JPG

DSCF1194.JPG

So those look nice.

 

In my opinion, I think they really brighten the place up a
bit by giving the signs some color and brightness.  Now, those were the ones I saw.  There was also a Boardwalk Fries, which is
old news, and then a few spots where there are no signs up yet as to what the
places will be, so I should have an update on those next week once they are put
up.  I will also try to get a glimpse at the menus/pricing as soon as it goes up.

 

Some other sights from my day there today.

 

I could have taken a fryer with me:

 

DSCF1189.JPG

 

Or even walked into the park, but I didn’t want to start
pissing off the workers:

 

DSCF1188.JPG

 

Though at every fence part of the park, there were NO
TRESPASSING signs.  Damn.

 

 

They were testing random clips on the Jumbotron.  You can see here one of the logos of the Red
Sox vs. the O’s, a new middle of the inning promo where you text in to say
which Oriole history video clip you want them to play, and lastly… clouds.

 

JumbotronStuff.jpg

 

Oh, yes.  And Adam
Jones is now the official Orioles icon. 
He has taken over BOTH sides of the back of the scoreboard.

 

DSCF1210.JPG

 

And a few other random sights:

 

Sights1.jpg

DSCF1205.JPG

Sights2.jpg

 

And to transition us to part two of the entry, I will show
you this:

 

HatStand.jpg

 

There is a new feature of the shop.  Seems like a little kiosk on Eutaw Street
right outside of the team shop that will be selling the official team
hats.  I guess.  I don’t know. 
It looks quite odd and space consuming. 
And the picture of the two people on the side is quite awkwardly close.

 

 

Part 2:  Orioles Team Shop

 

Now I could show you a few random shots I took of the Oriole
team shop when it was empty and there were signs up saying that it would
re-open in March, but I much prefer showing a few shots I took today in the
store, it’s first day being open. 

 

TeamShop.jpg

 

The workers were new. 
None of them had heard of Guerrero or Reynolds when I asked.  They had to ask a manager when I asked if
they had either jersey.  The answer was
no, and neither did the Sports Legends Museum shop.  You would think they would want to have all
of the new highly hyped guys supplied in the newly renovated shop.  Guess not.

 

The only other major change I saw was that the back sales
counter was completely removed, and a second was added in the front.  The bottom left picture shows where the old counter
was in the back of the store, and in the bottom right (cick to make larger),
you can see a more expanded check out area in the front.  Otherwise, the kids stuff is still in that
awkward separate room on the side.  As
for the stuff there.  They definitely
expanded the line of shirts/hats and other apparel, and cut down on the random
trinket and memorabilia around.  I guess,
as of now, they feel like the clothing stuffs sell more.

 

When I stopped into Sports Legends to see if they had a Vlad
shirt (not that I’m looking to buy, was just curious), I saw these two
hilarious shirts:

 

DSCF1212.JPG

 

In case it’s too dark to see, the left one says “Buck the
past!” and the right one is an Alex Ovechkin jersey shirt that says
“BOHVECHKIN”.

 

Part 3: Season
Tickets

 

Season tickets came in last week.  Last year I was a 13 game holder, but after
two straight years of 40+ games, I figured it was worth it to upgrade to the 29
game plan.  Not only are there a few
added benefits like auto day and such, but the tickets come in an epic package.

 

So the big envelope came, and inside was an EPIC box, which contained everything:

 

TixBox.jpg

 

I know I am going to cherish the box.  My account rep said that the boxes have been
a huge hit, which is a good sign.  They
are really awesome.

 

So in there were some ads:

 

TixAds.jpg

 

The Orange Carpet Member card, which gives season ticket
holder a LOT of power for ticket sales and more:

 

DSCF1112.JPG

 

Then the pages of tickets. 
On top was a welcome page with the huge Opening Day ticket, then 7 subsequent
pages of tickets.

 

DSCF1117.JPG

DSCF1118.JPG

 

And I have a 13 game plan in the mail coming to me, so it should be interesting seeing the differences in the two packages.

So that’s that. 
Opening Day at Oriole Park is two weeks from today.  And I can’t wait.

 

And as for my random photos of the post.

 

We have Charlie Sheen’s bracket, which is mainly awesome
because he picked Akron to win it all (though they lost in the first round):

Sheen.Bracket2.jpg

 

And here we have facepalm madness from the Louisville game when they lost to Morehead State (thank you to
@madsports8):

20110317__108227352MH012_Morehead_Sta_p1_1_.jpg

Lacrosse Classic and Ronnie Deck Sightings

This past weekend brought me to watch every type of sporting
event BESIDES baseball.  Yes, I either
attended or watched on TV: Lacrosse, football, hockey, and soccer.

 

Up first was lacrosse. 
The Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic was held on Saturday for the 5th
straight year in Baltimore.  It is a
collection of three games, always with two high seeded matchups and a local
game.  Instead of naming the teams, I’ll
show the matchups based on the posters they gave out for each team (yes, I took
one of each):

Game1.jpg

Thumbnail image for Game2.jpgGame3.jpg

 

So I took the bus down to Federal Hill and met up with Zevi
at M&T Bank Stadium, where we got our tickets and ran inside just in time
for the national anthem (click to see larger):

DSCF1005.JPG

 

After that, Syracuse and Georgetown took the field:

 

Warmups1.jpg

And the first game began:

 

Gamestart1.jpg

Then we met up with my friend Joel (who goes to Cuse, but happened to be home for his spring break):

During one of the breaks of the game (3 periods, so there
are two breaks of I think 15 minutes), we found a stand set up by the
Chesapeake Bayhawks of MLL (Major League Lacrosse) and got our picture with the
MLL trophy they brought (I’m on the left, Zevi on the right):

MLLTrophy.jpg

 

In the 3rd period, with Syracuse leading 8-7,
Georgetown scored on a breakaway goal with 5 seconds left, sending the game
into overtime:

Game1Score.jpg

Syracuse scored first in the sudden death extra time, which was cause for
celebration:

Game1Final.jpg

 

And it was onto the next game: Cornell and Virginia.

 

Virginia won 11-9.  I
cheered for Cornell purely because I did not want to cheer for an ACC team not
named Maryland:

 

Game2score.jpg

At one point during the game, Cornell shot the ball so hard
(shot? Is that the word they use in lacrosse?) that it ripped through the
net.  I figured now would be a good time
to show the epic green nets:

 

DSCF1037.JPG

They had a reason for using them.  I just forget it.

 

The best part of this entire day, hands down, was the free
snack’n waffles, sponsored by Smuckers:

 

Wafflestand.jpg

So that was our lunch. 
Lots and lots of waffles.

 

Waffles1.jpg

So then the local game was next.  Johns Hopkins and UMBC came out to warm up:

 

Warmups3.jpg

And 5 seconds into the game, Hopkins had won the face-off,
charged down the field, and scored:

 

Game3Score.jpg

I figured that this game was already in the books (it was;
Hopkins won 16-5), so I headed home to watch basketball.  Akron was playing Kent State in the MAC Championship.

 

My Zips won.

196831_1648364015535_1429980247_31493446_1009399_n.jpg

They play Notre Dame on Friday in the 1st round of the NCAA tournament.

I figure since this is an MLBlog, I should include something
baseball related in the entry.  Here’s a
screenshot I took of some Pirates prospect taking a lead during the Orioles
game.  I swear; he’s an oompa loompa:

 

Screen shot 2011-03-10 at 9.22.18 PM.png

Oh, and here’s a Ronnie Deck sighting:

 

ronnie.jpeg

And you can see Ronnie as well in this video.  From 0:11-0:15, you can see him standing
behind Mark Reynolds.

 

Final note:

tumblr_lhw0t0WhyO1qg7sx4o1_500.jpg

Current All-Jewish MLB Team

Here it is.  After
compiling lots of information, I have come up with the MLB All-Jewish
team.  As opposed to many lists that I
have seen in the past that include classic names like Sandy Koufax, Hank
Greenberg, and Shawn Green, this roster lists only current/active baseball players with at least some major league
experience in their careers (Even one game experience counts.  If a guy has spent his career in the minors
but has at least appeared in one ML outing, he counts).

 

The 3 points under each name are (in respective order):
their current team/organization, career stats overall (hitters: AVG, OBP, SLG;
starting pitchers: W-L%, ERA, WHIP; relief pitchers: ERA, WHIP), and
awards/achievements.

 

Starting lineup (by
position):

 

youkilis.jpg

C – Brad Ausmus

            Los Angeles
Dodgers

            .251/.325/.344

            1x
All-Star, 3x Gold Glove

1B – Kevin Youkilis

            Boston Red
Sox

            .294/.394/.497

            2x
All-Star, 1x Gold Glove

2B – Ian Kinsler

            Texas
Rangers

           kinsler.jpg .281/.356/.466

            2x All-Star

SS – Ryan Braun

            Milwaukee
Brewers

            .307/.364/.554

            NL Rookie
of the Year, 3x All-Star,

                          3x Silver Slugger

3B – Danny Valencia

            Minnesota
Twins

            .311/.351/.448

ryanbraun.jpg

LF – Sam Fuld

            Tampa Bay
Rays

            .252/.368/.344

CF – Ryan Kalish

            Boston Red
Sox

            .252/.305/.405

RF – Gabe Kapler

            Los Angeles
Dodgers

            .268/.329/.420

 

Bench:

 

Ike Davis 1B

            New York
Mets

            .264/.351/.440

ikedavis.jpgAdam Greenberg OF

            Free Agent

            1 Major
League plate appearance,

                             was hit-by-pitch

Brian Horwitz OF

            Free Agent

            .222/.310/.389

Josh Whitesell 1B

            Washington
Nationals

            .200/.352/.313

Adam Stern OF

            Free Agent

            .116/.156/.209

            Was the
PTBNL in the trade that sent Javy Lopez from the Orioles to the 

                          Red Sox

 

 

Starting rotation:

marquis.jpg

SP – Scott Feldman
RHP

            Texas
Rangers

            .492, 4.80,
1.442

SP – Jason Marquis
RHP

            Washington
Nationals

            .511, 4.56,
1.429

            1x
All-Star, 1x Silver Slugger

SP – Jason Hirsh RHP

            Free Agent

            .421, 5.32,
1.449

Bullpen:

 

breslow.jpg

RP – Scott
Schoeneweis LHP

            Boston Red
Sox

            5.01, 1.474

RP – John Grabow LHP

            Chicago
Cubs

            4.24, 1.464

RP – Aaron Poreda LHP

            San Diego
Padres

            2.70, 1.725

RP – Craig Breslow
LHP (Closer)

            Oakland
Athletics

            2.87,
1.175, 5 saves last season

 

And for added Jewishness:

President – Mark Shapiro
(Cleveland Indians)

General Manager – Rubén Amaro, Jr. (Philadephia Phillies)

 

Notes:

 

-Yes, I know Brad Ausmus retired last year.  But since he could technically still come
back, and the 2011 regular season hasn’t begun yet, I am including him.  Main reason being that no other current
Jewish player has ever caught a game in either a MLB or MiLB game.

 

-3 man rotation. 
Why?  There are only 3 active
Jewish pitchers with starting experience (in the last 8 years).  What’s even more odd about the pitching staff
is that the 3 starters are righties, while all 4 relievers are lefties.

 

-Ryan Braun at SS? 
Yes sir/maam!  As with Ausmus, no
current Jewish player has ever played SS in a game at the MLB/MiLB level.  But, since this composition is not official
in any way, shape, or form, there had to be some out of the box thinking
here.  And no, it did not include putting
Amar’e Stoudemire at short.  As a follower pointed
out to me on Twitter, Ryan Braun played SS in high school and college.  So, I did some research, and found out a
lot.  Braun, who played shortstop for all
of high school and part of college at University of Miami (FL), was once rated
the 6th best SS prospect in baseball.  Here is more info about his high school and
college career.

 

stevestone.jpg

-And as an Oriole note, I have to bring up Steve Stone.  Stone, a pitcher for the Baltimore
Orioles from 1979-1981, was Jewish.  From pitching for the Orioles in
their 1979 World Series season to winning the Cy Young Award in 1980, Stone is
considered to be one of the top three Jewish pitchers all-time.  Stone
currently gives color commentary for the Chicago White Sox, but will always be
remembered for his accomplishments as a Jewish baseball player and his career
that met its end in Baltimore.

And that’s it.  Though you will never find more than 2 or 3 Jewish players on a single team at most times in baseball, it’s nice to know that as a collaboration, there are some strong bright spots on an overall roster.

mazeltovbaseball.jpg

 

Follow me on Twitter! @2131andBeyond


_____

*All stats from Baseball-Reference.com

Orioles Fanfest 2011. And then some.

Orioles Fanfest 2011 was a BLAST.  To explain why this entry is so long, I’ll
just say this.  For an event scheduled
from 10 AM – 6 PM, we (Zevi and I) left my apartment at about 6:20 in the
morning and got back around 9 PM or so. 
It was one hell of a day.

 

And the reason it took me so long to post this.  Not only did editing the photos, sorting
through things, and writing this up take a while, but I have been dealing with
flu symptoms for over two weeks now, and the persistent migraines are just
killing me.  But, luckily getting over
that nonsense, and on to better things.

 

So, as I said, we left at 6:20.  My place is about a half hour walk from the
Convention Center, but we took the light rail down (about a 10 minute ride) to
avoid sketchy street corners (the sun hadn’t come out yet).  Stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a bite (knew we
wouldn’t really be eating all day) and got to Fanfest by 7.  So what if we were front of the line.  Romeo (top O’s fan you’ll ever meet) was
holding that spot since 5:30, so we joined him.

Starting at the top left going clockwise: Us standing front of the line, Zevi eating, me, Zevi, Stan, Romeo, and the look behind us with no line just yet

4part6.jpg

We sat there.  And
stood up.  And walked around.  It was a long, yet entertaining, 3
hours.  Met lots of people.  Stan joined us (another great fan),
eventually our friends Tim and Ben came along (and Tim’s GF and some other
guy).  We heard a lot of comments on the
fact that I was wearing shorts and it was about 20 degrees outside.  Who cares. 
Friend Nick came by to get some tickets from us for him and his
beautiful family.  Brittany came up to… I
actually don’t know why, since she didn’t go in with us (I don’t think).  I don’t remember.  Todd eventually came around 9:30ish and
hopped in line with us.  I saw Dan
Connolly walk by as well.  Not the
Patriots lineman.  We know lotsa people,
and that’s barely it.

The Sun came by with a camera to interview Romeo, but Zevi,
Stan, and I hopped in.  They didn’t
include it in their Fanfest video on the website.  I WONDER WHY. *who’s your favorite Orioles
reporter?*

 

10. O. Clock.  Let’s
go.  We headed in.  Outside, they had passed out pamphlets with a
map of the setup inside along with other details.

2part2.jpg

 

Woohoo.  We were
in.  Oh, note: the first 250 people in
line got a voucher for a free autograph session with Al Bumbry, Brad Bergesen,
Mark Reynolds, and Brendan Harris.  If
you don’t know already, the Orioles charged $15 per table otherwise this year
(for “charity”), so this was a big deal (well, to most people).  After we got the voucher outside, we knew we
could run up to the memorabilia room first upon entrance then go to the line
soon after.  Buck Showalter and Andy
MacPhail spoke for season ticket holders as well at 10:10 (oh yeah, season
ticket holders got in at 10, general public at 11), but we knew everything they
are going to say.  Nothing a logical
intelligent fan doesn’t know already.

Same deal with this photo: Standing in line for the autos, Buck and Andy in their first forum, the table with Harris, Reynolds, Bergy, and Bumby, Tim waiting in line (black jacket with “O’s” on sleeve):

4part7.jpg

 

So we went to the memorabilia room.  I got a hat. 
They had tons of game used stuff there: jerseys, hats, pants, jackets,
bats, baseballs, photos, and more.  Will
share that pic later.  People got
lots.  Zevi got Ronnie Deck’s BP
jersey.  Brittany got some washed up
reliever’s shirt I assume, as always.

 

The rest of the day was a blur. SO MUCH HAPPENED.  The basic summary of the day was: we ran
around and did a lot.  I don’t know the
order of everything, so I’m just doing the rest of this in bullet point form.  It’s HOPEFULLY in order, but a few things may
be scattered.  Don’t yell at me.

 

-The line for the autos we got for free was only a hundred
people or so once we got there, and it took only a short amount of time to get
in.  I got Bumbry on one of his cards
(already have him on a ball, plus a few of his cards) along with Bergesen (same
deal).  Got Reynolds on a ball (he didn’t
have cards) and Harris on a ball and his card. 
Below are (starting top left, go clockwise): Brad Bergesen card, Mark
Reynolds baseball, Brendan Harris baseball, Brendan Harris card.

 

Al Bumbry’s card is on a 4 part photo at the end, just threw
it in there.

 

-There was a line for promotional items.  They were giving away the mini bobbleheads
from last year (when they did the trio of connecting outfielders (Reimold,
Jones, Markakis)), dugout club lunch boxes, Wieters backpacks… Basically, all
of the leftover giveaways.  The line was
at least 300 people at all times throughout the day, so I didn’t wait in it,
especially when I already have all of those items.  Well, I lie. 
I waited in it once when Stan had a spot towards the front, so I joined
him and grabbed a lunch box and a few bobbleheads.  Later, we got more.  That’s another bullet.

 

-Without the ability to hop in and out of different
autograph lines all day, we had to learn more of the map and the other things
to do.  For example, we went up to the
top floor (where the memorabilia room and more was) and played bingo.  They were giving out prizes for winners, and
hell, we were tired.  So, Zevi, Todd, and
I sat down and played some bingo.  Dave
joined in a few minutes after.  They
brought old guys like Dick Hall and Scott McGregor up at times to guest-call
the numbers.  We didn’t win any.  It was rigged, for sure.

Photo: my collection of bingo cards, Zevi playing bingo, 2 shots of Dick Hall guest-calling bingo

4part8.jpg

 

-We met up with Brittany and others at the Starbucks in the
Center, and after I randomly ran off somewhere (I don’t remember), I met up
with them, and we trekked over to Oriole Park. 
As part of Fanfest, fans could take self-guided tours of Oriole Park for
free (funny, because they didn’t check tickets at the door, so technically
anybody could show up at Oriole Park and tour for free).  Best part about it was it included clubhouse
and such, parts not included on the tours during the season.  Though it didn’t include club level and press
box and other spots, I’m okay, since I go to those spots during the
season.  Since it was an open house type
atmosphere, there were only Orioles reps set up throughout the tour to point
you in the right direction under the tunnels and all, but nobody leading
us.  That meant we could go at our own
pace, which would be of course slow to take everything in.  We went all around and absorbed it all.  Pictures will be in another post.  There are a ton.  They are awesome.

 

-All day, they had forums where fans could listen in and
then ask questions.  There were forums
with coaches, media, bloggers, and players. 
And then sorted into groups of players.  One of the only two forums we listened to was one later in the day with the
outfielders (Reimold, Scott, Jones, Markakis, and Pie wasn’t there (hopefully
busy producing 18 Cent)).  It was awesome
hearing them.  Nick actually showed
Markakis that day (he’s not on my top list, kind of annoys me as some people
know).  Jonesy was hilarious as usual
(somebody asked what city he hates the most, and he said “Toronto.  I hate Toronto.  Everything about it.” Most likely in
reference to the whole border ideal last season, but who knows.  Someone brought Twitter up as well.  All in all, he was awesome.).  Luke had a cool beard, and smiled.  Reimold was depressed.  Who knows with him.

Photo: top 2 are of the outfielders talking, bottom is the crowd for that forum:

4part9.jpg

-There was a photo line upstairs where you could pose with
the player there, they would take your picture, and then print it for
free.  Pretty cool.  Too bad I was too stupid to take advantage of
it.  Though when Brittany texted me
telling me Markakis was the player up there, I ran up with Dave, we got in
line, Zevi joined quickly after, and… when there was only one family left in
front of us, Nick left.  And they said no
more players were coming.  Well, that
sucked.  And I complained.  Harassed the guy for a good 5 minutes.  Submitted my official complaint.  Not for me, but the kid in the family in
front of us started crying when Nick left, and it looked so sad, so we yelled
out for Nick to take one more with the kid, even if not us.  We felt really bad.  The time the guy spent arguing with me, Nick
could have posed with the kid and gone. 
But no.  I hope that kid met Nick
at some point.  We really tried for him.

 

-After that photo line stint, Brady Anderson was randomly
signing at this random jersey sales booth. 
So, we dove in line there.

Photo: in line waiting for Brady, Brady signing, Zevi with Brady, me with Brady:

4part10.jpg

-We heard a rumor that the used BP jerseys were on sale (amongst other things), so we ran back, and I bought Alan Dunn’s.  Picture later.

 

-At this time, I was ready to finally sit down after all of
this, so we headed back downstairs because I wanted to get to the bloggers
forum in time.  More on that in a
second.  When we got downstairs, the
forum before the bloggers was still going on, and what else did we see?  The free promos line was practically
empty.  So, we headed over, ran through
the line, and grabbed a few Nick Markakis mini bobbleheads.  Noticing that a) there was nobody left in
line and b) people were grabbing a ton and the Orioles didn’t seem to care
since nobody was in line, we grabbed two tall empty boxes, and went at it.  As I grabbed bobbleheads, Zevi stacked them
in the boxes.  We left, after the filling,
with a good 35-40 bobbleheads in hand.

 

-We headed over to the forum now.  The seating area was half empty by this time
(about 5:00).  We met up with Brittany
and her crew of bullpen-obsessive friends, and distributed bobbleheads to all
of them.  Giving a few away to some other
friends and random people, we still ended up with about 30 in the end.  As the forum ended, Jim Hunter got on stage
and said he was giving away an Orioles hoodie for the person who answered his
trivia question (supposedly, he had been giving one away between each forum
throughout the day).  He then asked, “In
what year did new Orioles reliever Jeremy Accardo lead the Toronto Blue Jays in
saves?” and I jumped up and shouted “HERE!”. 
He turned and pointed to me.  I
yelled out “2007!” and he confirmed that I was correct.  So, I got a hoodie.  Pretty sweet.

-For the last event of Fanfest, and one I was looking
forward to, was the bloggers forum.  I am
a writer for Baltimore Sports Report, and our staff was being represented on
the lineup by writer Jeff Pilson, so that was exciting.  It was also nice to hear the views of the
bloggers, who are not affiliated with the Orioles officially, so they can be
brutally honest with negativity if they so please.

Photo: video board showing the forum title, Jeff Pilson of BSR talking, the line of bloggers on stage (in the wrong order: Chris Stoner from Batimore Sports and Life, Daniel Moroz from Camden Crazies, Neal Shaffer from The Loss Column, James Baker from Orioles Post, Stacey Long from Camden Chat, and Pete Kerzel from MASN Sports), bloggers leaving:

4part11.jpg

-And that was it.  Day.  Over.  And the center emptied out.

2part3.jpg

-Did I mention that we got back around 9?  Oh yeah, after Fanfest, and a hike to the
parking lot and some funny happenings (long story), we ended up at the
Baltimore Blast game.  Since our friend
runs the scoreboard, we were able to leave all of our bags and boxes of stuff
with him behind the scenes, and we enjoyed the game from the front row seats we
had.

4part12.jpg

 

We only stayed for the 1st half.  I was dying (4 hours of sleep) and we still
had to carry all the stuff back up to my apartment.  So, with the Blast up like 9 or 10, we headed
out (they ended up winning by 1).

 

We made it back, Zevi got picked up and went home, and I
crashed.

 

And that’s it.  The
day was over.  We brought everything
back, Zevi went home, and I crashed.

 

Spectacular day.

 

Here’s the stuff:

Bergy signed card, Reynolds signed baseball, Harris signed baseball, Harris signed card:

4Part1.jpg

Brady Anderson signed card, Brady signed ball, 2 pics of the new Cal baseballs I bought (the ones with orange stitching):

 

4part2.jpg

Alan Dunn game used jersey (front and back), Ronnie Deck game used hat (inside and front):

4part3.jpg

Lanyard from MASN (for some picture thing), 2 of the Dugout Club lunch boxes, the bobbleheads, Orioles 2010 Yearbook:

4part4.jpg

Al Bumbry signed card, raffle voucher tickets for Family Feud (don’t wanna talk about it), a stack of O’s logo and team schedule magnets, 2011 pocket schedules:

4part5.jpg

Oh, and a recurring theme throughout the day was people
saying “hey, I’m @soandso from Twitter!”. 
It was funny.  Most likely
recognized me because I told people I’d be wearing the ridiculous outfit of my
Hawaiian O’s shirt, O’s shorts (in Winter), and O’s Santa hat.  So, it was cool meeting:

 

@nickneagle and @natashaneagle, who came to me pre-event for
tickets.  Glad to know that people use me
even when it is the first time meeting them :D Beautiful family.

@oriolefan0321, who I met upstairs by the photo thing, and
asked me where something was after introducing himself.  I don’t really remember.

@joepappa, who introduced himself to me in the tunnel
underground at OPACY.  Very cool
dude.  He is the first guy in this video
on MASN.

@johnson652 and @trueblue4163 who decided to tweet about me
but not say hello. Sadface.

 

 

And I hope to see y’all more this season at some games.

 

The Pro Bowl was the next day.  Woohoo.

 

And since then, it has been a dull life of classes and
sickness for me.  That’s about it.

 

Expect more posts this week and after on some good
stuff.  I have ideas.  I have stuff ready to put together, but couldn’t post it since this was priority.  So look for a lot.  This one only took a while because of
sickness, plus it’s gargantuan length.

 

Twitter.  Follow these
people.  If I didn’t already plug them in
the article, that is:

 

Zevi. @magicon33rd

Romeo. @romeobaltimore

Stan. @b_morefanatic

Brittany. @beatlefnatic

Todd. @seemsuncertain

Dave. @flavadave10

Tim. @sportsnickeltim

 

 

 

Since I took so long to get this out, in the mean time,
Opening Day tickets arrived that I ordered. 
Very exciting:

openingdaytix.jpg

 

Since then, Spring Training has begun.  Pitchers and catchers reported.  Catch all of your Orioles news at
BaltimoreSportsReport.com and Orioles-Nation.com.

Speaking of which, I did a review of Fanfest on BSR.  Check that out.

Lots of links to plug, but will do that in another post.

And I leave you with this:

jewyorkjets.jpg

 

And remember to follow ME on Twitter!

Fanfest Plans. Who wants in?

Two more links to plug.  One about the ticket prices going up at Oriole Park and the other concerning the new rumor about the Orioles “inside track” to signing Vladimir Guerrero.

Fanfest is a week from tomorrow morning.  My plans are almost set for the day.

I am finishing moving into my new apartment over the next few days.

Nothing major else to report.  My plans for Fanfest are as follows:

Get to Convention Center around 7-8 AM.  Chill there until opening at 10 AM.  Stay until they kick me out around 6:30 PM.  And LOTS in between.

If you’re going, let me know.  Tweet @ me (@2131andBeyond), comment here, or anything else, really.  Would love to meet up with as many people as I can.  I’ll be the crazy one wearing an Orioles Hawaiian type shirt and Santa hat.

Last story: I put $1.60 in the light rail ticket machine this morning to get to work.  It dispensed a ticket and $1.55 in change.  I win.

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