Tag Archives: major league baseball

Throwback Jerseys

Throwback jerseys are sports uniforms that are made to look like a team’s old jerseys. Almost every major American sports leagues have turn-back-the-clock nights where the teams wear throwback jerseys. The National Football League and the National Basketball Association have cool throwback jerseys, but I prefer Major League Baseball’s throwbacks. The MLB made throwback jerseys popular. The MLB has a much deeper, richer, and extensive history than the NFL and NBA. They have more memorable teams and stars from different eras. They also have an insanely long season so they have a lot more games where the players rock retro uniforms. Sometimes they even wear defunct Minor League team jerseys or even classic Negro League ones. They honor their past and they don’t run from it.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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A Blown Call

Umpires are humans and humans make mistakes, but that doesn’t make you feel any better when an ump blows a call and your team loses. Major League Baseball needs to accept the inevitable and embrace instant replay to review controversial calls. They already do it for homeruns, but they need to do it for plays at the plate too. Maybe each team can challenge a call twice per game or maybe they can challenge once every three innings. It wouldn’t be too much of a hindrance or slow the game down too much. The umpires seem to be the biggest opponent of utilizing instant replay. They need to shut the fuck up. It won’t put them out of a job or anything. The NBA, the NFL, the NHL all use instant replay and we never saw an influx of referees on welfare. Umpires are an integral part of the MLB, they aren’t going anywhere. There’s nothing wrong with technology, especially if it makes you do your job better. I don’t want to see any more perfect games getting ruined by an inept umpire. The future is now and human error should be a thing of the past.

Critically Rated at 3/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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California Baseball Teams

Baseball is America’s pastime and California is America’s best state. I’m not being biased, I’m being factual. There are only thirty clubs in Major League Baseball and five of them are based in California. We have two expansion teams and three of the most storied teams in the MLB. The Oakland Athletics have been an American League team since 1901. They’ve played in Philadelphia, moved to Kansas City, then came to the Bay Area. They have won 9 World Series titles: 5 in Philly and 4 in Oakland. The LA Dodgers and SF Giants are both National League teams with roots in New York City, and they are one of the best rivalries in baseball. The Giants and Dodgers both have roots going back to 1883.  The Dodgers have 6 World Series titles, and the Giants have 7 (and are the reigning World Series Champions for the second time in three years). The Angels were an expansion team in 1961. They currently have one World Series title and right now they have one of the most formidable lineups in baseball.

            The Giants and the Dodgers have been rivals since the NYC days. The Giants and the A’s have a mostly friendly rivalry, but there’s some tension because A’s swept the Giants in the Battle of the Bay in the ’89 World Series. The Angles also beat the Giants in the 2002 World Series and bitter feelings still linger in San Francisco (we were five outs away, then they had to bust out the damn Rally Monkey). The Dodgers and the A’s have a rivalry because they are both competing for the love of LA.

And then there’s the San Diego Padres. They are the little brother of MLB teams in California. They have no World Series Titles and no real rivalry with any other California team because they’ve never really been a contender. They have 2 NL Pennants that they can raise, but you’re not a team until you have a ring. They have a nice stadium. That’s about it.

            The era of the East Coast Bias is long gone. It’s all about the West now. And you have a lot of options for choosing a baseball team in the Golden State. Do you support the NL or the AL? Northern California or Southern California? Do you like winners or losers? No matter what, there’s a team for you. But if I were you, I’d go with the Giants. Can’t go wrong with the best.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Opening Day 2013

Today is Opening Day for Major League Baseball, one of the best holidays of the year. You’ve been jonesing for the season to start all winter, you get a little bit of a fix from Spring Training, but there’s nothing like the real thing. Baseball is a drug and Opening Day is the needle. Opening Day also represents possibilities. It’s a clean slate, a fresh start for your team. Anything can happen and everyone looks forward to it. It’s better than Christmas. You look forward to Christmas for a few weeks, then it finally arrives, you do Christmassy things for a few hours, and then it’s over. But with baseball you’re waiting for a few months for Opening Day, then it finally arrives and you do Opening Day festivities and watch your team play a game, and when it’s over you realize that it was just the first of 162 games and you’ll have baseball in your life for the next six months. Christmas abandons you, baseball crashes on your couch and never leaves. Play Ball!

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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The Yankees

The New York Yankees have won the World Series 27 times with forty appearances. That’s more than any other MLB team. The St. Louis Cardinals are a distant second with 11 World Series titles with eighteen appearances. That’s how dominant they are. That’s also why you either love the Yankees or hate the Yankees. You have no choice but to respect them. They are good at baseball and they are good for baseball.

            You expect to get into the playoffs if you’re a Yankees fan. If you are a fan of any other team, it’s a great season if you just make it to the playoffs. And if you advance, that’s even more exciting. Yankees fans consider it a losing season if they don’t win the World Series. The Yankees are the villains of Major League Baseball. So it’s sad if you’re a Yankees fan if they got knocked out, but every other baseball fan is happy. A loss for the Yankees is a win for everybody.

The Yankees are like your older brother who always dominates you at air hockey. After a while you just get frustrated at always getting your ass handed to you. Fuck air hockey and fuck the Yankees.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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American League vs. National League

Major League Baseball is composed of two leagues: the National League and the American League. If you follow baseball, you have to have an opinion on which league is better. But don’t bring it up with casual acquaintances. Your league preference is like bringing up politics or religion at a dinner party. You just don’t do it.

            Both leagues follow the same basic rules. But the American League has the designated hitter. Instead of a pitcher trying to get a hit, you have a player whose sole position on the team is to be a glorified pinch hitter. The pitcher has to hit in the National League. That’s real baseball… nine men vs. nine men.

The end result is that the American League has more hits and more runs. But nothing is as exciting as when a pitcher gets a hit. The National League is real baseball. The American League is Blernsball.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Baseball

Baseball is the best sport ever. Hands down. There is no debate. Baseball is America’s pastime for a reason. It is timeless. It means something. The love and passion that you have for your team is something that you can share with family, with friends, with complete strangers. If you’re in a strange new place and you see someone wearing your team’s hat, you have something to talk about. If you’re in a strange new place and you see someone wearing your rival team’s hat, you have something to talk about.

Cincinnati Reds Ken Griffey Jr

Baseball is an easy game to comprehend, but it takes a lifetime to master. People who have never seen baseball in person know that three strikes and you’re out at the old ball game. There is beauty in its simplicity. You can be a casual viewer and just be aware of the situation and what’s at stake. And you can also be a diehard fanatic and follow every single pitch, every play. How can such a simple game get so complex?

Baseball is all scenarios and statistics. It’s all about who is pitching and who is at the plate and who is on base and how many outs there are. Every single detail is accounted for and every single player is rated. This gives baseball a continuous feel. You know that Ty Cobb could play today. You know that Ichiro Suzuki could play back then. When you cheer for a team you can celebrate the accomplishments of the current roster and you also honor the past. I am a Giants fan, born in 1985. I never saw Willie Mays play, but I am proud that he was on my team. I can claim him as my own. You can’t do that with basketball, or football, or soccer. A baseball team has a legacy, a history, and if you are a fan of a team you celebrate the past, the future, the present.

Football has lost its way. You used to cheer for a team. Now everyone plays Fantasy Football and you cheer for individual players. You hope the Saints will lose but that Brees has a good game. That’s not what competition is. It’s about having pride for the team that represents you. It’s about each player having their moment to shine, but it’s the team that gets the win, not the individual.

The Chicago Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908. And they still have some of the most loyal fans in professional sports. You love your team, win or lose. And if they lose and you still root for them, each victory means more. That MLB: The Show commercial where the Cubs win the Series tugs at the heartstrings of every fan that knows what it’s like to lose. With the start of each new season, you hope that this is the year.

Like I said, I’m a Giants fan. I was brought up being a Giants fan. I heard stories of Willie Mays and Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal from my grandma. I grew up watching Barry Bonds (steroids or not, he was still the best player of that era). I experienced the joy of making it to the World Series and felt the despair of losing in spectacular fashion in 2002. And somehow we made it back and won in 2010. I went to the parade to celebrate. I felt that I helped contribute to the win just by watching and believing and hoping. My aunt thanked me for going to the parade and representing our family. It meant something to them that I was even there participating. I thought about all the Giants games that my grandma watched and how she never got to experience the thrill of a championship in her city. The game is more than a game; it’s a link between generations. A win for the Giants is a win for all the Giants fans across the ages.

Baseball has no time limit. It can go on forever, and sometimes it seems like it does. And it’s never over until you make the final out. Take the 2011 World Series for example. The Texas Rangers were a strike away from winning it all. And the Cardinals came back to tie it. And then the Rangers were a strike away from winning it all again. I remember commenting to my friend, “How many times are the Rangers going to have to win this game?”… And then the Cardinals came back again and won the game. And won again the next night. And they won the series even though logic and common sense said they should have lost.

The defense has the ball. That is different from most other sports. It adds drama, it adds tension. It’s a game of skill. The best players only hit the ball slightly more than three out of ten times. If you fail 70% of the time you are still considered good.

Baseball is a marathon not a sprint. The regular season lasts 162 games over 6 months. More games mean less tension. Each game is still important, but it’s not a matter of life or death. So you’ll see less fighting on the field and in the stands. You’ll still see rivalries and trash talking and the occasional fights, but you don’t see riots and brawls like with soccer. This helps to make it more of a family game. You go with your parents and grandparents when you’re young, and you go with your kids and grandkids when you’re old. And you talk about who’s on first, and what’s on second, and you laugh and joke and sing Take Me Out to the Ball Game.

Baseball is a great game. It is casual and complex and fun and frustrating. Sometimes it is all you have to talk about, all you have to live for. It’s more than a game. It’s a way of life. At least for 6 months out of the year.

Critically Rated at 17/17

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