Baseball and Not Baseball

What I Learned This Week

Three Heads Brewing Loopy Oatmeal Red Ale

NOT BASEBALL

The Tigers seem to be doing better with me doing school work and wasting time on the internet based on quick checks of my Twitter feed. So, I will catch up on recently sampled beers.

Oatmeal red ale sounded very interesting. My first impression was actually favorable as I liked the strong hoppy flavor. Later some of the sips had an almost medicinal aftertaste. This is one I don’t think I will get again.

Cool Label Though

Cool Label Though

Sam Adams IPL

NOT BASEBALL

I wasn’t going to blog about this beer since it isn’t great. But, the Tigers were down 4-0, I had already done 45 minutes of work and I was looking for a way to procrastinate. Writing beer reviews mostly for yourself on the internet is a great way to procrastinate.

I had wanted to try this beer for some time (well since I thought I could get it cheap before 7  at the bar in Fleming’s only to find they had switched to Summer Shandy) and a local store lets you mix and match a six pack for $8.99. So I bought and tried one. This beer is citrusy and safe. It is nothing particularly special, but it would make a good compromise beer if your family wants to drink Summer Shandy and you want to drink Two Hearted Ale. Since Sam Adams is ubiquitous at chain restaurants it would also make a good alternative to domestic pilsners.

Hanging with Al Kaline

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We went to see the Hernandez v Price match up yesterday. We bought standing room tickets since the secondary market was high for real seats. The Tigers won 4-2. Price pitched 8 innings. He only allowed 1 run and got out of a bases loaded jam in the 8th. Hernandez left after 5 innings. He was only at around 90 pitches, but in the 4th he was hit by a sharply hit ground ball.

Standing by the Kaline statue you meet some interesting folks. Several people wanted to take selfies or panoramic shots. I tried to accommodate those who asked between innings. Those who asked during action got the same look I typically give those doing the wave.

One fan spent half an inning describing which pitchers she found attractive. She was a bit more graphic. Her boyfriend took this all in stride.

We left before the fireworks since we saw them at Friday’s game. I’ll pretend I can’t remember Friday’s game. We also wanted to beat the One Direction fans at Ford Field to I-75.

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Bell’s Mars

NOT BASEBALL

A Tigers Twitter friend posted a picture of a six pack of Bell’s Mars he procured from a local wine shop. Mars is the first of 7 specialty brews from a planet series. I thought I might try my luck to see if the shop had any unencumbered bottles. It ended up win-win-win. I got two bottles.  The cost was obnoxious. I didn’t have to specifically name drop the other person- I just vaguely referred to Twitter.

Now since this is the first post in my beer series you should know that I prefer dark beers, or nutty brown beers. The exception to this is Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, an IPA. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is the beer to which all beers are to be compared.

Mars does well even when compared to Two Hearted Ale. It starts out citrusy, then it tastes a bit bitter. The malt gives it a great body. It almost finishes sweet or with umami.

It is a shame this beer is only available in a limited batch. It’s great.

June 30 Pitcher Result Chart

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I just want to upload the image full-size to link to Twitter. Click to enlarge.

June 30

June 30

June 18 Update on Pitcher Results (Smyly, Sanchez Taking Close Losses)

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Results by Pitcher through June 18

Results by Pitcher through June 18

Here are the updated results by pitcher. It seems to pass the “eye test.” Smyly and Sanchez have worse records than the other regular starters, but they show up a lot on the one and two run losses. Sanchez seems to be the best pitcher to me despite the Tigers having a 5-6 record in his starts. All the Tigers are getting between 4 and 5 runs of support per start except for Smyly who is only getting 3.36 (ESPN).

Oakland

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During our recent trip to the San Francisco Bay Area we also went to Oakland to see the Tigers play. We had 4 tickets, but my oldest daughter could not make it so I used Twitter and 3 connections to give away the last ticket to Chris the A’s fan. Chris was good company and from Chris I learned that part of the stadium in the outfield that had changed the most from the late 80’s was called Mt. Davis in “honor” of the owner of the Raiders who got the boxes installed as part of a package to return the Raiders from LA.

We took the train- Bart this time- from near out hotel in Millbrae. It takes a long time to get to Oakland from there, but I really don’t like parking at away games and the BART platform is connected to the O.CO Coliseum area by a pedestrian overpass.

It was hat day in Oakland, too.  Oakland is still getting used to the metal detectors it seems as it took 20 minutes to get in the stadium. The metal detector lines were all held at one point to allow a back up at the ticket scanning area to clear as well.

Oaklanders Like Hats

Oaklanders Like Hats

These are the hats they like

These are the hats they like

Concession lines were ridiculously long. Some people said that this is because many vendors and other support workers work for both the Giants and the A’s who are rarely scheduled at home on the same weekend. Normally lines are not as bad and you can find vendors in the stands. At this game the few vendors were able to stay in a mid-level path in the 100 sections and have fans come to them! I did find a good barbecue place in the outfield. It was nowhere near as good as the KC barbecue place, but it was better than typical ballpark fare.

We had seats near the Tigers bullpen. The seats were good. I won’t speak of the game except to note that it didn’t worry me that Coke was warming in the late innings. It also didn’t worry me that he gave up a single before an error by the shortstop and a catcher’s interference. It also didn’t worry me that he gave up a grand slam- the fifth homer against the Tigers that day. This got us to the train platform before the real rush of fans came.

Oh no!

Oh no!

San Francisco

BASEBALL

This Saturday we visited San Francisco to see the Giants play. We were visiting my daughter who lives in Palo Alto now so we took Caltrain to the stadium. It was great. It cost $14 round trip. It dropped off about 2 blocks from the stadium. There was a Safeway on the block between the station and AT&T Park where we bought water. An express train skipped the first few stations on the way back and got us quickly back to Palo Alto. My youngest daughter was also excited to be on the upper deck of a two-level train.

It was hat day which led to long lines to get in the park. But, once the gates opened we were in the park within about 10 minutes despite being wrapped 2/3 the way along the walkway between the stadium and the water in right field.

Free!!

Free!!

My daughter had Twin gear from a previous trip. She was not able to score a ball or autograph before the game. We did see Eduardo Escobar give a ball to a reluctant 2-year-old. He set the ball on the pad over the railing. When she did not grab the ball he gently pealed her fingers off the rail and wrapped them around the ball.

Twins Gear Fails

Twins Gear Fails

Overall I thought the park was nice. I don’t think I’d rate it as highly as others. I found the concourses too narrow to navigate easily when crowded. The view was great, but not as good as Pittsburgh.

The weather was typical late spring in San Francisco. It was warm until it became bitterly cold because of the wind.

View from Above the Foul Pole

View from Above the Foul Pole

The vendors had some fun things though. Cotton candy had 4 colors. Hot chocolate vendors carried  huge containers on their backs from which to dispense drinks.

4 Colors of Cotton Candy

4 Colors of Cotton Candy

Cocoa Tank

Cocoa Tank

Garlic Fries Come with Mints (How Civilized)

Garlic Fries Come with Mints (How Civilized)

Most importantly the Twins lost!

Results by pitcher through 50 games

Smyly starts 2-5; Porcello starts 8-2; JV starts 7-4; Max starts 8-3; Sanchez starts 4-4; Ray starts 1-2.

The Tigers are 10-6 in one run games.

Results by Pitcher

Results by Pitcher (Click to Enlarge)

2014 So Far

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MOSTLY BASEBALL

My goal a few years ago was to write a post a week or so to keep myself professionally active. Of course it is easy to get out of the habit. I also started tracking in person baseball games. It’s also easy to get out of that habit when you give up your season seats.

This year I’ve been to 4 Tigers games. I’ve had great seats at 2 of them. Folks resell at a good value if you are willing to go on a Tuesday in April or May. The most memorable play was a 2-5-3 strikeout by Cabrera. There was a wild pitch and the catcher threw to get an advancing Kinsler. Cabrera delayed then broke for first.

I also saw a game in Baltimore when at an AFT conference. The conference hotel overlooked the stadium. In fact I saw the Orioles walk off from the hotel lounge the next night.

Yesterday and today I looked at Pinterest as a place to store professional and baseball articles until I get to them. I guess it will work. Of course I have to remember to check in.

Below you will see the view from my Baltimore room and a strangely blank home run plaque on Eutaw Street.

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