Tag Archives: baseball

Only in Miami: 160 tropical fish qualify for room and board at a stadium

The 2012 Major League Baseball Season will kick off with its first domestic game of the year as the Miami Marlins will host the St. Louis Cardinals. The game will be played at Marlins Park, a brand spankin’ new stadium located in the Little Havana section of Miami, Florida.

Most fans will be watching the action on the diamond, but other observers will be eyeing the new permanent residents of the stadium. These tenants are 160 tropical fish that are now living in dual 450 gallon fish tanks that are positioned on either side of home plate.

I’ve never been accused of hugging a tree, but there’s something about this whole situation that just seems… well… fishy.

The ballclub isn’t concerned that a misplaced ball will crack or shatter the tanks because they were constructed using bullet-proof acrylic and other similarly impregnable materials. I’m pretty sure that the broader concerns, however, relate to the effects of noise and vibrations generated by tens of thousands of rowdy sports fans and a cutting-edge sound system. Activists are concerned that this environment will critically affect the health of the fish, although the organization believes that neoprene shock absorbers will minimize the impact of the noise and stadium vibrations.

I’m not necessarily sure what to make of the issue, although I will admit that at the very least it would be kind of creepy to share popcorn and cracker jacks with a handful of sea horses and anemones. Here’s the conceptual art and a photograph; judge for yourself:

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On a slow news day, correspondents author stories about athletes exercising until they puke

It’s that time of year again.  Pitchers and catchers have already reported, hungry rookies are trying to earn a spot in the majors and aging veterans are scratching and clawing to hold on to their jobs.  Baseball is in full swing, and the countdown to opening day is well underway.

It’s also the time of year where the 24-hour-news cycle demands that local beatwriters and correspondents break news about local teams.  That’s not necessarily as easy as it may sounds.  Absent a handful of trades, a few injuries and a certain arbitration hearing, the early days of spring training aren’t the most fertile ground for compelling stories about local franchises.   Major leaguers are simply arriving at facilities, running around the diamond, playing catch and taking batting practice. Uh… woohoo?

Not surprisingly, in the collective wasteland of lackluster events, local correspondents are more than willing to author stories about sluggers exercising until they puke.

I’m talking about you, J.D. Martinez.  The 24-year-old Astros outfielder recently explained that he hired a personal trainer to help with his conditioning.  Martinez selected Nick Casazza, because the slugger wanted a trainer to use a program that would cause him to vomit.  From the Ultimate Astros blog:

“I told him, ‘If you don’t make me puke in the first week, I’m not going to come back’ ” Martinez said.

Nick Casazza needed about 10 minutes to accomplish that.

“When he went outside and threw up, he was looking at me like I was the craziest person he ever met in his life,” Casazza said. “But you know what? The kid showed up the next day. He kept coming back. I said, ‘This guy is the real deal.’ ”

Martinez, 24, remembers that first week for “puking everywhere” and for this: “I knew then he was going to be the trainer I was going to be with.”

Uh… J.D….  Nick… your realize that you can get in pretty darn good shape without puking, right?  It’s probably not the best of ideas unless, of course, you’re recycling last night’s StrasBurger.

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Some things never change. Other things change.

Babe Ruth was born on February 6, 1895.  Today is his birthday.

Some things never change.  “The Babe” will always be known as one of the greatest sluggers to ever play professional baseball.  Modern athletes may be getting bigger, faster and stronger, but nobody has truly been able to touch upon Ruth’s legacy.

Some things, however, do change.  Check out this picture, courtesy of Andy Gray at Sport’s Illustrated’s SI Vault.  It shows a 13-year-old patient lighting Babe’s pipe….  at the hospital, while she is apparently confined to a bed.

/hat tip to Andy Gray @si_vault.

BRIAN STOW INTERVIEW: when lives radically change in the briefest of moments

Alright, folks.  This post isn’t going to contain any sarcasm, wit or any attempts at humor.  This one’s as serious as a heart attack… or, more appropriately, as serious as a brutal beating that nearly killed the victim.

You may recall the Brian Stow, the victim of a brutal attack on the 2011 Opening Day of Major League Baseball.  He and others went to the ballpark to watch the San Francisco Giants take on the Los Angeles Dodgers.  He left in critical condition, ultimately spent months in a medically induced coma and will never fully recover from the injuries.  That description, unfortunately, doesn’t come close to truly portraying the hellish situation.

Later tonight, NBC will air the first in-depth interview of Mr. Stow on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams.  The network recently released a video that featured part of this report, and it can be accessed here.  It also released an excerpt of the interview, which can be viewed here.  A word of warning: both videos are very difficult to watch.  And that’s putting it mildly.

Finally, I know a number of folks have somewhat vocal opinions about various aspects of the incident.  That’s fine.  This isn’t about those opinions or any controversial issue.  This is only about supporting one man’s journey from the clutches of death and appreciating the grim reality that our lives can radically change in the briefest of moments.  That’s all, but that should be more than sufficient for anyone.

PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENTS? Major League Baseball, Ryan Braun, the MD Anderson Cancer Center and a group of obese monkeys

Major League Baseball ended the week on a sour note, and the hype surrounding free agency and successful labor negotiations may not dominate mainstream headlines in the immediate future.

Last night, ESPN reported that National League MVP Ryan Braun stands accused of testing positive for a banned performance enhancing substance. Buster Olney correctly explains that Braun is one of the most prominent professional baseball players to be associated with performance enhancing drugs. He faces a 50 game suspension if the allegations prove true.

The breaking news isn’t the only recent story to address the use of performance enhancing drugs by big leaguers. For example:

  • Last week, Major League Baseball officially reinstated Manny Ramirez. He previously retired from the sport after learning that he would serve a 100 game suspension. The suspension is the result of a second positive test that related to his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs.
  • Federal prosecutors requested that Home Run Champ Barry Bonds be sentenced to serve time in prison for obstructing a grand jury’s investigation into the manufacture, distribution and use of performance enhancing drugs. He is eligible for probation but may also be sentenced to serve between 15 and 21 months in prison. The proceedings commence next week.

I’m not going to cover the details associated with these recent developments, the benefits and risks related to performance enhancing substances or the merits of the policies adopted by professional sports organizations. These are complex and controversial issues Read more of this post

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