Australia Day #1

I woke up this morning at 5am. Super early, I know. I wanted to get a head start on the day because I needed to find my way into down town Sydney to pick up my game tickets for this weekends games at Sydney Cricket Grounds. My friend, as some of you may know him as “PadreLeigh” had them in his possession from a friend who was selling them to me who could no longer make it to the games.

Last night I took a cab from the airport to my hotel. It was approximately 5 miles which included one toll road. I asked a few locals about how much it would cost in AUS currency to make it to my hotel and they all said “around 30-40 dollars”. No problem, I thought to myself. I can handle that. After a 35 minute cab ride and $67 AUS dollars later, I knew I had been taken for a ride. This morning, I took a cab into downtown Sydney to kick around and I told my story to the cab driver and he told me I had been ripped off. The tolled road should’ve been about $4 dollars and the actual cab ride should’ve cost me about $45. So fair warning to anyone who has a trip to Australia coming up. Pick your cabbies wisely. This cab driver was not an Australian.

Today wasn’t as eventful as I had hoped it to be. I wore my flip flops around town and walked roughly 4 miles in them. I ended up with a nasty blister on my right foot which pretty much made walking really not-so-fun. I eventually made it back to my hotel, put my walking shoes on and headed back out but with this blister, I really had to limit my walking and I was done with cab rides. I had brunch at a place called Salad Works. All healthy food and really good. I eventually found “PadreLeigh”, scooped up the tickets and walked back into the city.

First stop? St. Marys Cathedral:

IMG_0868

 

I didn’t go in (couldn’t take pictures inside, anyway) but the Cathedral was absolutely gorgeous.

Here’s a closer look:

IMG_0871

After taking in the pure beauty of that iconic structure, I hustled off to the Australian Museum:

IMG_0885

I learned all about rocks and the Australia gold rush and I also learned about wombats! Did you know the first wombat to ever walk the country of Australia was called a Diprotodon? Here I am with one:

IMG_0893

The Diprotodon was around millions of years ago. Pretty interesting, yeah? I also saw a baby crocodile:

IMG_0896

 

On my way back to my hotel for some dinner, I ran into this statue of some naked dude grabbing the one-horned dilapidated Mongaloid. It was pretty badass:

IMG_0877

 

I tried this Mexican cantina restaurant called Guzman Y Gomez and it was pretty good! It reminded me of a Qdoba or a Chipolte from the Americas. Most places, I’m finding are pretty healthy to eat at. Plus, I’ve been drinking a ton of water because the humidity is a little high out this way.

 

Bathroom selfie time:

IMG_0903

 

Welp! That concludes day one in Australia! Tomorrow I’m going to make it out to the Tangora Zoo in North Sydney and then I have tickets to the Team AUS versus the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game at the Cricket Grounds.

Friday, I’d like to make it out to Bondi beach but all of this is subject to change. Hope all is well back in the States!

 

Hey, have you seen my Facebook page or visited my Twitter? If you haven’t, check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Major League Baseball Season (Australia)

It’s almost baseball time! Guess where I’m at right now? I’m in Hawaii! I’m in Hawaii because I’m on my way to Australia to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks open the ’14 MLB season at the historic Sydney Cricket Grounds! Awesome, right?!

I am so jet lagged, though. I didn’t get any sleep Saturday night and I slept a rough four hours on the six hour flight to Hawaii and now I’ve gotten something to eat and looking to rest up in an attempt to take on this 18 hour flight to the Outback! I went to Japan the year before last and met up with Zack Hample and had a freaking awesome time! This year we are meeting up again and hopefully we will be able to do some other stuff besides baseball while we are there.

Hawaii isn’t what I expected it to be. The airport is a little confusing and the $40 dollar cab ride smashed a huge hole in my wallet. It was actually poor planning on my part; I could’ve got a closer hotel to the airport. Live and learn and it’s all about the experience. You know how when you watch Tv and you see Hawaii on there and there’s all these lush palm trees and blue waters? I suppose I’m in a crappy location (Waikiki) but there isn’t much of that. The area is pretty run down and trashy.

Anyway. I’d take a bunch of pictures and upload them on here but Australia is going to be so much better. So I want to save all of my picture taking for that. Besides the Australian trip, I plan to make it to San Francisco a couple of times this year and I had the All-Star game all figured out but I don’t know if I will make it because I want to see the 25th Anniversary 1989 World Series Oakland Athletic reunion at the Coliseum this year. So we will see.

I hope all of you are doing well out there! I’m having a blast now that baseball season is back!

Hey, if you got time, check out my Twitter and my other blog!

 

 

Australia 2014

Oh, man! in 29 days I’ll be in Australia watching the DiamondBacks and the Dodgers play some baseball! If you remember a year or so ago, I watched baseball in Japan with Zack Hample! It was so awesome!

I really don’t plan to ballhawk much this year. I’m leaving that up to my good pals throughout the country. So my blog might become a little obsolete throughout the year. I’ve started a new blog if you’re interested in reading that. It’s called From the Depths of Safeco Field– and it’s basically all about the Seattle Mariners because, let’s face it; I’m a huge M’s fan. Maybe I haven’t proven my loyalty to them as much as it has looked…but trust me. Since 1989 I’ve been going to Mariners games.

 

See you all at the Safe and some of you at other ballparks!

 

Go Mariners!

 

 

Top 100 Blogs of the Year

It’s been quite the honor to be amongst the top 100 bloggers around the Major Leagues. I haven’t blogged much since I quit ball hawking, and I’ve even started a new blog called “From the Depths of Safeco Field” which I haven’t blogged on there much, either. I’m assuming its because its the off-season. Stay tuned for an epic trip to Australia with Zack Hample and Padre Leigh!

 

FANS
Zack Hample earns top spot again, with a possible return from the runner-up…
1. The Baseball Collector
2. Rays Renegade
3. The AustralianBaseballDigest
4. The Brewer Nation
5. A’s Farm
6. Beisbol 007
7. Cook & Sons’ Baseball Adventures
8. The Unbiased MLB Fan
9. mlbblogger
10. Pinstripe Birthdays
11. Ballparks on a Budget
12. The Baseball Haven
13. La Pagina de Tony Menendez
14. Rockpile Rant
15. Counting Baseballs
16. The Ballpark Guide
17. Three Up, Three Down
18. Dodger Blue World
19. Observing Baseball
20. Born on Third
21. Minoring In Baseball
22. 9 Inning Know It All
23. Phillies Phollowers
24. 7000 Coliseum Way
25. Where Everyone’s a Giant
26. Fish Fry
27. eltubeyero22
28. TheCutoffMan
29. Prospects2Pros
30. Blogging ‘Bout Baseball
31. Rockin’ Redlegs
32. You’re Killin’ Me, Smalls!
33. Los bigleaguers
34. Formerly Fausto: A Baseball Blog
35. baseballqueen
36. The Rays Rant
37. BrokeMets
38. Cream City Cables
39. The Yankee Dinosaur
40. Brewers Rumors
41. DYNASTY League Baseball from designer of Pursue the Pennant
42. A Piece of The Game
43. More Splash Hits
44. The Cub Den
45. The Best MLBlog
46. The Blue Jays Dugout
47. Cove Chatter
48. This is a very simple game…
49. Miami Carlins Fantasy Baseball
50. TheBaseballPHD
51. Rox Addict
52. Bjarkman’s Latino and Cuban League Baseball History Page
53. The Angels’ Ace
54. The Pittsburgh Peas
55. Unfinished Business
56. I’m Not A Headline Guy…
57. Battling Bucs
58. Brewers Farm Report
59. Collection of Baseball
60. Coco crisp’s afro
61. The Baseball Sociologist
62. Flashin’ Leather
63. Reds Country
64. The Ballhawker
65. One Strike Away…Twice!
66. Why Did My Dad Make Me a Mets Fan?
67. Talkin’ Rockies
68. Hoppers Fan
69. Major-League Obie Role-Based Projection System
70. Blue Jays Talk
71. Pinstripe State of Mind
72. Bleacher Boy
73. Balls and Strikes
74. Wrigley Regular
75. If You Write It, They Will Come
76. Plouffe’s New Hairdo
77. All Things Pirates: Breaking down the Buccos
78. Punky G. (G stands for Giants!)
79. Chasing Baseballs
80. Big Apple Baseball Blog
81. Dodgers Insider
82. steel city ballhawk
83. Royal Blues
84. Quisqueyanos en MLB
85. The Take: From 20th & Blake
86. Sarge’s Phillies Phantasy Camp Diary
87. Philadelphia Ballhawk
88. Baseball’s 28th Out
89. The ‘Stros Bros
90. Phillies Red Pinstripes
91. Dodger Familia Thoughts
92. Blue Jays Musings
93. Cubs Crossings
94. Head First Slide Productions
95. The Inherent Dangers of Watching Professional Baseball
96. It’s Always A Good Dre in L.A.
97. The Optimist Tiger
98. Pedro Beato Fan Club
99. 2r2d
100. Skood Sports

9/09/13 Safeco Field

This game was so much fun. The last game I went to was July 24th, so it had been a while since I stepped foot into Safeco Field. This would be my fifth game of the season and probably one of the last ones I’ll be attending. I’m certainly making the last game of the season, like always.

I came into the stadium as the gates opened and lollygagged in the Pen’ for a while. I caught up with long time Mariners fans, Carla and Chris and then without any real warning, one of the bullpen cops tossed me a baseball. I guess I’ll go ahead and count it as a Ballhawk stat on Mygameballs.com. I haven’t really been active on any Ballhawking this season mainly because I just wanted to do more of nothing at the game instead of trying to chase baseballs for three hours all the time.

I wandered down into the lower seating bowl and immediately noticed Erik Bedard sitting on the wall. That dude is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met at the stadium. Well, besides Tom Wilhelmsen, Miguel Olivo and Zach Britton. Seriously, though. He was so nice. He signed everything everyone handed him, he talked about his adjustment from starter to bullpen and he talked a little bit about how the minor leagues worked. I didn’t catch everything he talked about but he was so fan-friendly. This was the end result of my interaction with Bedard:

IMG_0493

While watching batting practice, I noticed the fan base for this game was incredibly low. So I checked with a near-by usher and she told me the attendance would be around 8,000. A new Safeco Field record, by the way! I immediately upgraded my CF bleacher tickets to RF tickets in hopes I’d catch a home run ball. But not just any home run ball. I wanted to catch a Raul Ibanez home run ball. Not only is he sitting on 297 career dingers, but he is also two home runs shy of breaking Ted Williams record of being the oldest player to hit more than 29 home runs in a single season. You catch that puppy, you’ll be in the record books! Haha! A sports fan can dream, right?

So there I sat with my friend Chris. We upgraded our seats and sat four rows back from right field. We also weren’t sitting in our seats. We just picked a random, clear aisle to sit in in case anything came our way. Had we been sitting in our seats? We would have been this guy:

Yup, that’s right, folks. That baseball was Abe Almonte’s first career big league home run and it landed right into the lap of the dude who was sitting in our seats. We had moved down to the front row to sit with Amy Franz (The Ichiro Meter Lady) and her family. Maybe if we had stayed in our original seats, we would have been able to make a better play on that ball. Or maybe if we moved to our right seats, we would have caught it. Anyway, there are a lot of “what-ifs” that can be thrown around in these situations. It’s best not to dwell on the whole thing but it would have been fun to catch a players first big league dinger.

Here’s a picture of me attempting to get into position to make the grab:

Almonte

Seriously. I have the toughest time trying to track the baseball and worry about other fans in my way, steps and railings, too. I don’t know how these fans who have caught multiple home run baseballs do it. I’m so worried about tripping over steps and stepping on peoples stuff and running into other fans all while trying to watch the baseball. It’s so different off the field. I suspect it takes a special kind of person to catch home run baseballs. I sure as hell can’t do it. I mean, if it were hit right to me, yeah. I remember one game I was at, (this was during BP) where a baseball was hit in my direction. I saw it coming, turned and took a few steps up the rows, turned back and around and caught the ball. It seemed easy enough but it was also during BP where no one was around me and I knew that. Sitting in the outfield is way different.

ANYWAY. I left the game in the 8th, came home, checked Twitter, saw that the Mariners had lost. I just had to laugh to myself. I really like the Mariners, in fact, and I’ve said this so many times, I’ve been a fan since 1989, but really, this team has got to start winning. I thought for sure it would’ve been a great year with Morse, Morales, Seager, Ackley, Iwakuma…but it turned out to be another flop. Rumor has it that Ackley doesn’t like playing in Seattle, Brendan Ryan was just traded to the Yankees and Morse didn’t last very long in a Mariners uniform. Rumor also has it that Morales will be gone by the start of Spring Training.

Sigh. Fiddlesticks.

Well, on a more positive note; my charity is going well. Here’s the latest breakdown:

Bud Norris’ Charity; CandleLighters- 10 W and 139 strikeouts have raised $34.75 this season.

Seattle Mariners/Seattle Humane Society Charity; 65 wins have raised $65 this season.

Got a Twitter? Give me a follow!

Got a Facebook? Give me a like!

Want to read more blogs from me? Check out this blog!

7/24/13 Safeco Field

The WIN-dians were in town and my soul purpose of attending this game was to talk with Chris Perez. Prior to the game, I found out he had deleted his Twitter account. I’m not exactly sure why. My only guess was because he had that whole drug thing and fans were flipping his a bunch of BS over it.

Anyway, I never got to see Chris. Last year we had some Twitter dialogue that was pretty awesome and I wanted to re-connect on that and play a quick game of catch and thank him for his contributions to the Cleveland team. Didn’t happen.

I stayed the whole game down in the ‘Pen and it was hot! I know I got sunburnt, I could feel the sun roasting my face as I watched the game.

Here’s a couple memorable pictures I took during the game…

 

IMG_0845

…and good ol’ Jaime on the bullpen phone:

IMG_0848

 

I really had a bad feeling about being in the stadium. Not only were the Mariners on an eight-game winning streak, Safeco Joe was pitching. I know a lot of people like to hold themselves accountable for sports teams having their winning streaks broken up, and I suppose I was one of those people. All I heard in the ‘Pen throughout the game were people claiming they should’ve stayed home, this and that. I had to laugh because this was my exact feelings! I hadn’t been to a Mariners game for a long time. My last game attended was April 26th. As soon as the game started, the Mariners second basement booted an easy grounder and I just hung my head. It was all downhill from there. The Indians blew out the Mariners 10-1. Scott Kazmir was a tough pitcher to beat and he’s had a lot of success at Safeco.

I’ve still been keeping up on my charity promise to Bud Norris (who was traded to the Orioles) and the Candlelighters along with the Seattle Humane Society. Also, for those of you who keep up on this blog, I won’t be touring the Midwest this season. I had an awful run in with the IRS so it killed my vacation fund. The season ends for me on September 29th at Safeco Field. Next year, though, will be amazing. I plan on going to the season opener in Australia, and then I’m headed to Montreal on the 28th of March to watch the Mets and the BlueJays play in Olympic Stadium. After that, I’ll be spending a week or so in California visiting Dodger stadium and Chase Field in Arizona. Then it’s off to Miller Park and then the All-Star game in Minnesota! Plans, of course, always seem to change but I’ll be keeping things updated on this blog in case you’re at the ballpark and you want to say hi.

 

 

Bud Norris’ Charity; CandleLighters- 10 W and 139 strikeouts have raised $34.75 this season.

Seattle Mariners/Seattle Humane Society Charity; 65 wins have raised $65 this season.

Got a Twitter? Give me a follow!

Got a Facebook? Give me a like!

Want to read more blogs from me? Check out this blog!

4/26/2013 Safeco Field

When I think back on my childhood and all the Mariners games I attended with my Dad, all that comes to mind is Randy Johnson striking out like, a billion baseball players. Randy Johnson was one of the most fearless, intimidating, gritty, nasty baseball players of all time. If only the Mariners had a pitcher like that today…

IMG_0783

…the guy who comes the closest to the Big Unit is Tom Wilhelmsen. Yeah, he’s the Mariners closer, but look at him. I know he’s not seven feet tall like Randy is, but he comes awfully close. Plus, he’s gotten so good on the mound this last season, its getting the to point where we might have ourselves a solid closer. During BP, and after the Mariners portion had ended, I flagged Tom down and congratulated him on his new closer role. When he shook my hand, it felt like he had enough power to crush mine! It was incredible! The man was born to throw strikes! Here we are hanging out after BP:

IMG_0793

After hanging out with Tom for a few moments, I wandered the stadium aimlessly. Since I’m not chasing down baseballs during BP anymore, things aren’t as thrilling. And the point of not chasing baseballs anymore is to get away from medicore blog writing. The same thing every day at the same stadium? It could get a little boring.

I sat in the bleachers and watched Albert Pujols for a while. The man is so…broken. And old. I feel so bad for him. He took a few cuts in the batting cage and then he decided to run the bases while the other, more younger, better players took some hacks. He didn’t even finish his rounding the bases. It’s like he gave up at second base and decided to call it a day…

IMG_0814

…if you can tell, I’m not a Pujols fan at all. And it’s got everything to do with him uprooting and leaving St. Louis. I understand he has to do what’s best for his family and blah blah blah, and in all fairness to the Cardinals fans, that city poured their heart and soul into him. They even built him a statue. He wouldn’t even sign the World Series team ball.

I pulled up a spot to admire the ‘Pen from above. And this is what I noticed:

IMG_0797

Hopefully these guys have a plan to get home, right? Besides any of them driving.

The game was actually very entertaining. The Mariners had the bases loaded twice and could not capitalize on either chance to score. And like one of last weeks games, third base coach Jeff Datz managed to send Justin Smoak into score where he was thrown out by a mile! I’m not sure what Datz sees in Smoak. He’s one of the slower Mariners and Datz keeps sending him home in tight scoring situations! Anyway.

The Mariners lost to the Angels 6-3 in nine innings of play. Nothing spectacular.

IMG_0809

Bud Norris’ Charity; CandleLighters- 3 W and 16 strikeouts have raised $10 this season.

Seattle Mariners/Seattle Humane Society Charity; 9 wins have raised $9 this season.

Got a Twitter? Give me a follow!

Got a Facebook? Give me a like!

Want to read more blogs from me? Check out this blog!