Hit and Run: I Was There Edition

I moved and changed jobs almost simultaneously this spring. As a result, I’m off the academic schedule for the first time in over a decade and it’s throwing off my whole concept of summer. So Tuesday night I went to check on the Cardinals score and discovered, to my dismay, that they had just finished one of the two games they are playing in NYC that I could actually attend.  Luckily, they were playing the Mets, which isn’t exactly a tough ticket to get at the last minute these days. So Wednesday night, my boyfriend and I headed out to Citifield, where around the actual game action, my blog post wrote itself.

First off — paper all star ballots!  Nostalgia!  Also, once we had established that I somehow didn’t have a writing implement in my purse, we discovered that the plug end of a pair of headphones is actually the perfect tool for punching the holes out of the ballot.

allstarballot2013

The hardest part about filling these out was trying to remember who was on the disabled list, particularly in the AL. (That’s not a Yankees joke — entirely.)  Then we put them in the ballot box to be buried under everyone’s 35-per-person internet ballots. I’m still looking forward to the All-Star Game if only because I was out of town when it was at old Yankee the last time, and since both the marathon and Fleet Week were canceled this past year, we’ve been lacking in the crowds-of-people-in-uniforms-descending-on-the-city-to-be-ogled department.

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Just before the 7th inning stretch, this happened.  The crowd seemed primarily delighted, with an undercurrent of bemusement.  I certainly think Kidd can handle the in-game/practice side of coaching, but I’m a little unsure how the front office/roster building side is going to go, especially with a front office that can be …mercurial.

The scoreboard proved a great source of entertainment throughout the game.  The consensus in our section was that Matt Holliday has the saddest media photo ever.

sadmattholliday

My boyfriend’s comment: “That’s totally an ‘I’m going to go 0-4 and we’ll lose by 5,’ face.”  So perhaps he’s not sad, he’s just psychic.

Also appearing on the CitiField board, periodic Stanley Cup Final updates!  I didn’t get a picture, but the updates piqued my interest enough that even though the 2 hour and 40 minute game time got us home well before 11, we then stayed up past 1 watching the 6th longest Stanley Cup game in history.

2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One

Happy Friday! Anyone else going to a game this weekend?

Hit and Run: London is for the Ladies

We knew, going in, that the London Olympics would be the first to feature female athletes from every participating country.  We knew that there were more women than men on both the US Olympic team and at the Olympics overall.  But Thursday, with gold medal matches in both women’s football and water polo, and the first ever gold medals awarded in women’s boxing, seemed even more special for women’s sports (particularly if you happen to be a fan of the US).  The 1918 Hartlepool Expansion Ladies Football Team* up there would no doubt approve.

* Photo via The Public Domain Project, who have a great post of old team photos.

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Hit & Run: Seriously, I’m OK, you guys!

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(Photo: Getty Images)

First of all, many thanks to my friends (including Games Mistress and various members of Red Sox Nation) for pulling me out of my Pinstriped Spiral of Gloom last Friday morning after receiving word that Mariano Rivera suffered a season-and-possibly-career-ending torn ACL last Thursday while shagging fly balls in Kansas City. Honestly, there is nothing like a devastating injury to a beloved future Hall of Famer to remind you who your truest friends in baseball are. Red Sox fans and I may be bitter frenemies when wins are on the line, but when something like this happens, we all feel for the biggest fans of the affected team and athlete. So thanks you guys – you are the best!

And what a difference a day made. It wasn’t long until Rivera’s competitive nature bounced back as he declared to reporters “I’m coming back. Write it down in big letters. I’m not going out like this.” So it won’t be long until you can go back to hating my kind again, Red Sox Nation (know that I say this with love). It’s been reported that three doctors at two hospitals examined his knee today, so hopefully surgery and rehab go smoothly enough to get him back on the mound in 2013. Until then, it’s the Soriano-Robertson Show from here on out. Continue reading

Hit and Run: Time Flies Edition

Since the Cardinals played the Opening Night game on ESPN this year, on actual Opening Day I had my pick of games on MLB.tv.  By the time I got home from work, the Indians and Blue Jays were tied in the 9th inning. “Oh, I’ll just watch this quick dramatic conclusion,” I thought.  Then it turned out to be the longest Opening Day game ever played.  It went on so long, in fact, that the benches for both teams saw a lot of work.  Which brought in Omar Vizquel. Who yesterday turned 45.

A longtime Indian now with Toronto, Vizquel got a warm round of applause from the Cleveland fans both when he was first inserted as a defensive replacement, and later when the game went on long enough to give him an at bat.  In an MLB where players my age are now considered on the far side of their prime, and where many of his contemporaries are now mangers, Vizquel’s longevity is both remarkable and jarring.  (Related: Chipper Jones turned 40 the same day. Chipper. Jones. is 40.)

Other sports news properly introduced with “it seems like only yesterday….”

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Hit and Run: Oh, it’s hockey playoff time, is it? I hardly noticed.

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If you guessed 87 as the number of minutes the Pens spent in the sin bin Sunday, you'd be terribly close. (Photo: Getty Images)

You can blame the Leafs’ freefall from playoff contention on this, but I’ve been suffering from hockey fatigue. And so, you’ve been without an NHL Playoff Preview, and for that I apologize.

It seems I haven’t missed too much actual hockey, if the Pittsburgh-Philly series is any indication. The Flyers took a commanding 3-0 lead in the quarterfinal series with an 8-4 win Sunday over the Pens, a game highlighted with more Pier 6 brawls in a single afternoon than I’ve witnessed in recent memory. Someone want to remind Crosby that he should be using his stick to score goals, not whack Bryzgalov’s glove? Ugh. Thankfully, there’s a nice cooling off period for these guys – they don’t meet again until Wednesday.

Because good things come in threes, there’s three Game 3′s happening tonight: the Rangers are in Ottawa, Boston visits Washington and San Jose hosts St. Louis. Each series is tied 1-1.

Now let’s talk baseball…after the jump. Continue reading

Hit and Run: Root, Root, Root Edition

Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

I am rooting for Clayton Kershaw these days. And no, it’s not just because he’s on my fantasy team. He happens to have just slid past Johnny Cueto for the NL ERA title — although it’s a slim enough margin that a bad inning could knock him right back into second. I still bear Cueto a grudge for kicking Jason LaRue in the face and ending his career last season, so I would prefer he not win anything for quite some time. Of course, at the moment Cueto’s on the disabled list and hasn’t yet pitched enough innings to qualify for the ERA title, so it may become Kershaw’s anyway. Karma’s a bitch, Johnny.

Baseball’s regular season is winding down, but there’s plenty of other things to root for:
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Hit and Run: I Really Gotta Run Edition

What with the liveblogging early this week, and an unexpected trip out of town this weekend, I’ve barely had time to catch my breath.  Here’s a couple of quick, fun pictures before I get up and resume packing.

Boris Struebel/Getty Images

The US Women are in the World Cup final, and Abby Wambach has another beautiful header goal. The Final is Sunday right when I’ll be heading back from my trip, but I’ll be with them in spirit.

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Hit and Run: I’m too hot to come up with a theme

World Cup Soccer

Hope Solo shall have none of your silly goal scoring nonsense. (Photo: Getty Images)

We hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend! I’m still unpacking and cleaning up gear from the Great Island Campout of 2011, in which I did not end up on Princess Kate Watch and did not get to celebrate Brad Richards signing with the Maple Leafs.

And tonight? It’s warm! Summer warm! Finally! Also building heat is Team USA, who defeated Columbia 3-0 yesterday in Women’s World Cup action in Germany. The win clinches them a spot in the quarter finals. They face Sweden tomorrow at 2:45 ET.

Back to hockey for a minute… Continue reading

Hit And Run: (Mostly) Celebrity Edition

As excited as the Ladies get for baseball’s All-Star festivities, we tend to ignore the Celebrity Softball game.  I may have to at least DVR it, however, now that Chris Pratt (Parks and Rec, Everwood) has been announced as one of the celebrities. Chris is in the Moneyball movie as one of the A’s prospects, so he’s presumably had at least some movie prep coaching.  If he brings MouseRat to sing the national anthem, I’ll even watch it live.

Also on the celeb roster:

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Hit and Run: Things Which Are Ridiculous

 I wanted to watch Game 4 of the Stanley Cup last night, but couldn’t, because it was on Versus, which I don’t have. (NBC opted for Celebrity Minute To Win It, with Steve-O and some other guy from Jackass. If that’s a bigger ratings draw than the Stanley Cup, the NHL still has a lot of work to do.)

I believe I have made my displeasure about playoff games being on cable channels known before, but I still find it ridiculous.  So since I’m battling some serious writer’s block, here are other things which I am finding ridiculous today.
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Hit & Run: Quick as a Bunny Edition

bunny

For those of you who observed Easter this weekend, we hope you had a wonderful time with family and friends and avoided eating your weight in ham and chocolate (um, unlike me.) Here’s a quick look at what you may have missed over your three-or-four day weekend.

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Hit and Run: You Suck, Albert

Guess who was SO excited to snag Albert Pujols on her fantasy team (in large part because one of the “people” drafting in front of her was Lady Bee’s dog, Daisy, but that’s another story) only to see him have one of his worst season starts ever?

Albert himself doesn’t seem worried and he has historically broken out of his slumps in spectacular fashion, so I’m sure it’s just a matter of being patient.  However, given my excellent record of jinxing things I write about on this blog let’s just try this:

Albert Pujols is so bad right now, you guys.  I think maybe he’s finally over the hill.  Or maybe the pressure of his contract year is getting to him.  Whatever the case, I don’t see him breaking out of this slump any time soon.

Moving on to things which don’t directly affect any of my teams (which usually nullifies any jinxes or reverse jinxes)….

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Hit and Run: With Spring in our Step

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Here's Marquette, whose victory over Syracuse last night made me cry. (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s Monday. How are your brackets looking? Like hell? Thought so.

First of all, a warm welcome to our special guest Ladies… Bracket Brawl participants: Melissa_thistle, Courknee35, Big10Bias and fellow Canuck/friend of the blog Andrew Bucholtz (you will go read his blog The 55-Yard Line now, won’t you?) Our current leader isn’t in our Ladies… group – due to technical difficulties, we had to create another group on ESPN.com so one gal could get her picks in. That gal is Buffalita, leading the pack with 460 points and picking Ohio State to win it all. CuteSports and Raven round out the Top 3 at 440 and 430 points respectively. Any hopes I had of repeating last year’s surprise success have been flushed down the proverbial toilet. I blame Butler.

Best of luck heading into Thursday! Sweet Sixteen will be hopefully be sweet for some of you.

So what else is going on? Continue reading

Hit and Run: Waiting for Those Other Shoes

 

NOT these shoes. Or these socks, for that matter.

The wait for the BCS Championship game (seriously, January 10? and a playoff would take too much time?) may be over, but the waiting for a lot of other sports news is just getting started.  I delayed this post as long as possible hoping a couple of these things might actually go ahead and happen, but apparently the sports world does not exist to satisfy my needs as a blogger. Still, here’s a brief run down of pending news just in case you don’t want to refresh ESPN every five minutes.

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Hit and Run: First of 2011 Edition

Coney Island Polar Bear Swim 2011

Girls, we should really consider an "I Was There" post from the Coney Island Polar Bear Swim next year. I'm just sayin'. (Reuters)

Happy New Year, readers! We hope you had a fabulous holiday that wasn’t marred by travel hiccups, barfing flu or Christmas morning plumbing problems (that last one happened to me. True story.) We’re back at it after a much-needed break. If you laid low this past weekend after a raucous New Year’s Eve, let’s fill you in on what you may have missed.

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Hit and Run: 3 Useless Things

Having a little trouble catching up from the holiday week, so I decided to do a bit of a Hit and Run filled with useless, yet very interesting facts (at least I found them to be).  More after the jump – hope everyone had a delightful football-filled turkey day!

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Hit & Run: Fantasy Football Disasters Edition

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Guess who writes for a sports blog and has Reggie Bush on both her fantasy teams, including one that is in such bad shape as far as running backs go that she is resorting to starting Fred Taylor and 3 WRs for week 3?  Yeah.  So.  (Though as someone who dates a Saints fan, I must note there’s a certain amount of relief among the NOLA fanbase that Reggie’s leg is “just” broken and he didn’t reinjure his knee.)

Injuries and fantasy football lineups thus being on my mind, I thought I’d take a quick survey of other developing situations around the league that might impact your fantasy choices this week.

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Hit and Run: September’s coming soon

Hands up: who cannot wait for September?

Cowboys Texans

No, no, NO, Malcolm Sheppard of the Texans! That's not what I meant by "Hands up!" (AP Photo)

Oh, September. What’s not to love? The return of NFL football, baseball hurling towards the Fall Classic, hockey and basketball waiting in the wings. We’re almost there, but in the meantime, here’s a quick rundown of what happened the last weekend of August.

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Hit & Run: Not So Fast Edition

Devil for Life? Maybe not.

A couple of days ago it looked like Ilya Kolvalchuk was going to be a New Jersey Devil for more or less the rest of his pro career, as he signed a $102 million dollar, 17-year deal that was pretty much unprecedented in professional sports.  (Unless you count the Islanders’ DePietro deal, which I don’t — that would be like saying the Raiders personnel decisions are in any way comparable to the rest of the NFL.)  Yesterday, however, the NHL nixed the deal (and it appears the Devils may have known this was coming even before the press conference).

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Congrats are in order…

This week’s post is a bit more of a Hit and Run, but I figured with all of the hype around the All Star break, mayyyybe we should mention the fact that SPAIN WON THE WORLD CUP!!! Congrats to España, and also to Big Papi, who somehow managed to be pitted against Hanley Ramwhinerez and beat him in the final round of this year’s Home Run Derby 11-5.

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Hit and Run: 100% Vuvuzela Free

I know, we haven’t gotten to group H yet, but I’m a little pressed for time and there’s been lots going on in the sports world this week. (Also, I tend to get really distracted while doing the research for World Cup preview posts.  I can’t imagine why.)  So consider these reaction shots of yesterday’s shocking Swiss upset of Spain a preview of what’s coming soon:

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Hit and Run: Full of Poop

Yes, the Ladies… have been a bit busy this week. I’m home early for the long weekend so that I can be present while my septic tank gets cleaned out. I can barely watch without stifling a gag, but such is the life of a homeowner in the quasi-sticks. Better than paying property taxes in town, I keep reminding myself.

Brett Favre

Yeah, I'm still not speaking to him.

Let’s kick off H&R in fitting style with this latest crap about Brett Favre. It seems that during a pep talk for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, he stated that if they could make it back to the College World Series, he’d return for one more season in the NFL. Continue reading

Hit and Run: A weekend of bananas!

Ok, well perhaps not LITERALLY. But c’mon, anyone that watched really any sport (including boxing) knows that this weekend was off-the-charts-bananas! Franchise record with a no-hitter, 20 inning scoreless standoff, NHL and NBA playoffs, drunk drivers…
Here’s a Hit & Run recap of the weekend’s events after the jump.

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Hit and Run: Old Faces, New Places Edition

The Yankees played their home opener on Tuesday afternoon and a lot of the local media coverage in the city focused on the huge ovation for former Yankee Hideki Matsui, who received his World Series Ring as a member of the visiting Angels. (There was also an impromptu group hug with his old teammates, which you can see about to happen in the picture above.)  Granted, I’m not a Yankees fan, but I live in New York and I’d completely forgotten where Matsui had ended up.  And he’s not the only familiar face showing up somewhere new in the first weeks of the new season:

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Hit & Run: It’s Spring Somewhere Edition

I want to go to there.

It rained all day Tuesday in New York, it was cloudy all day Wednesday, and by the time this posts we’ll be in the middle of yet another snowstorm/frozen rainstorm.  I really can not deal with talking about sports played on snow and ice today.  Let’s look in on spring training again, why don’t we?

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Hit and Run: Football, Football, and more Football!!

The NFL regular season is over. With Alabama winning the BCS National Championship game, college football won’t be back until next fall. For those of you who play fantasy football, a winner has already been decided. (Congrats to THE Blonde Bomber for winning the ladies… fantasy football!) But don’t be too sad. There is still plenty going on in the football world. There’s coaching changes in college football. New coaches in the NFL. And mostly importantly there’s the NFL playoffs!! The Cowboys remembered how to win in January (which didn’t make me very happy). The Patriots got slaughtered by the Ravens (which did make me happy). This weekend is a new set of games that will hopefully be more entertaining than the Wild Card games. (Admit it, aside from the Cards/Packers game, all those games were pretty boring.)

Congrats to Bama for beating the Longhorns 37-21 in the BCS title game.

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Hit & Run: The Late Edition

Red Sox

Happy Friday everyone! I already broke my New Year’s resolution to not curse under my breath every time I read about the Boston Red Sox. This was prompted by the news that Adrian Beltre was officially introduced to the Fenway fold today. He’ll replace Mike Lowell at third base (which is sad, truly. I like Mike Lowell.) I happened to be reading a tweet of Pete Abraham’s over lunch, in which Scott Boras was quoted as saying “I think we’ve built a great stage here and there’s a chance for this rocket to take off.”

Hmm, “rocket”? Is it safe to use that word in Red Sox Country once again without, you know, getting yelled at?

Anyway, good move for the Red Sox and hopefully we’ll see a rebound in Beltre’s numbers (just not during Yankees/Sox games)

More Hit & Run fun after the jump…

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Hit and Run: World Series Game 1 Edition

I wasn’t sure who I wanted to root for going into this World Series.  On the one hand, I’ve always been a National League girl.  On the other hand, I’ve been a New Yorker for seven years now and no New York team has won a World Series since I’ve been here (and the 2003 Yankees were the only team that won a pennant in that time).  Then there’s the fact that the Phillies gave my Cardinals fits all regular season and that if I had to root for a New York baseball team it would probably be the Mets.

I remained undecided during the first two scoreless innings.  Then Chase Utley hit his first home run, I gave a little “woo!” and discovered I’d picked a side after all.  So, with apologies to Lady Bee and Buffalita, I’m rooting for the Phillies.  National League alliances die hard.

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