May 24, 2006

Do you like baseball? Do you like writing about baseball? : C'mon inside.

posted by DrJohnEvans to navel gazing at 03:08 PM - 25 comments

Some of us can't journey to every ballpark in the majors this summer, so this could be the next best thing. What I'm thinking of is a series of SportsFilter columns through this summer and early fall which describe for the reader an experience at your local ballpark. Not just stuff about the ball game, but everything: the crowd, the displays, the sightlines, the local quirks, and how everything changes and evolves as the game plays out. I'd like to put together a staff of writers who'd be willing and able to go to their local ball game which suits whatever criteria we've set for that group of columns, and write about it. To start with, we'd ask you to write about being at any home game where your team's unquestioned ace was starting. I'd go to the SkyDome and write about what a game's like there when Halladay's pitching. Someone in Boston could do the same for a Schilling outing, someone in San Diego for a Peavy start, and so on. I'm thinking that five or six teams would be an ideal number to represent. We'd edit the columns and publish them all within a week of each other, maybe one a day. Other themes we could use could be:

  • a divisional rivalry game
  • an interleague game
  • a game with a rookie starting pitcher making his debut
  • a low-key random weeknight game against your divisional equivalent of the Tampa Bay Lightning
  • a "head-to-head" column in which I write about your team visiting mine, then you write about my team visiting yours, and we publish the columns together
  • if we have enough people visiting opposing ballparks, a "foreign fan" perspective
Obviously some ideas are more easily accessible than others (i.e. it's unlikely that you could find five teams with debuting rookie SPs within a three-week span), so we'd have to see what was available and maybe stockpile columns to publish later if we thought an idea was feasible enough. If there are multiple volunteers for a single major-league team, we'd have to distribute the assignments. Major league teams would be ideal due to everyone's basic familiarity with the players involved, but the occasional minor league report could certainly be valuable. It seems like a neat way to read good baseball writing from a familiar yet foreign perspective. What do you think? Do we have the resources and/or the willpower to do something like this?

posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:09 PM on May 24

I could tackle the Brewers, and maybe even occupy their #5 starter spot at this point. But yeah, I'm interested. I live an hour and a half from Miller Park, and I've got 3 games scheduled so far this summer. I might go to more if I can afford it.

posted by rocketman at 04:01 PM on May 24

i'm not much of a writer, but i could cover yankee games. or, you could just read my blog since this is what i pretty much do to there.

posted by goddam at 04:11 PM on May 24

Aw man, I don't even have a local ball team anymore. *weeps quietly*

posted by qbert72 at 04:27 PM on May 24

we'd ask you to write about being at any home game where your team's unquestioned ace was starting But...but...but...I'm a Mariners fan. We don't have an unquestioned anything at this point in time. I'd be willing to do this, but probably won't make it Seattleward until later in the summer (like, mid-August); if you want to stretch this out over the whole summer, I'm in. Or, what goddam said. Except mine's about the Mariners not the Yankees.

posted by Toxteth O'Grady at 05:44 PM on May 24

qbert - I saw some ball going on in Parc La Fontaine just minutes ago. they had uniforms and ev'rythin'! of course, the pitcher couldn't find the strike zone, I didn't see a ball hit out the infield, and the game is over after 6 innings.

posted by gspm at 06:14 PM on May 24

I'm a Mariners fan. We don't have an unquestioned anything at this point in time. Don't you have the can't-miss-second-coming-of-Gooden prospect in your rotation right now?

posted by yerfatma at 08:09 PM on May 24

Yeah, but he's not firing on all cylinders just yet; he got off to a rocky start. He'll be fine by the end of the season, and dominant next year, but he's had a few shaky starts...

posted by Toxteth O'Grady at 08:53 PM on May 24

gspm: I know there's a Latino league playing there regularly. They bring a barbecue, and they've got a DJ. It's quite the atmosphere. Maybe we could cover them. There's also some softball going on in Parc Laurier. So there.

posted by qbert72 at 10:59 PM on May 24

This sounds great, I am not much of a writer either but I may be able to do the Indians if you wish. I say may because I will find out on June 5th if I am going to have another back surgery or not. If they do another one of those, it will be a little hard for me to go to the games. If not, count me in If you wish. Just let me know. My email addresss is jojomfd1@sbcglobal.net. It is not in my profile so I put it here for ya.

posted by jojomfd1 at 02:21 AM on May 25

I could do this for a Braves game, depending on the time table. I'm also visiting Wrigley for the first time next month.

posted by trox at 07:44 AM on May 25

If there is any use for an "At Large" contributor, I'd be happy to help the cause. I am mainly found at Yankee Stadium, but I go to a handful of games at other locales every year -- generally, Fenway, Shea and then some random parks. I have tickets to see the Yankees' return to Washington next month, and I hope to see Philly's new park for the first time at some point. Sounds like a great idea, DJE. I'm looking forward to some good reading.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:43 AM on May 25

I'd be down for doing whatever for a Rangers game, given enough advance notice (and with the caveat that work-wise, my summers are crazy and unpredictable). Also, I'm hoping to get up to St. Louis sometime after Labor Day to check out their new digs, if that helps. Just let me know.

posted by Ufez Jones at 10:55 AM on May 25

If anyone would like a drinking companion or someone to sit next to them and make snide comments about the players or anyone else in the general area I am available for a Mets or Yankees game. Hit me up on my e-mail it's in the profile.

posted by HATER 187 at 12:14 PM on May 25

I have tickets to see the Yankees' return to Washington next month hey, i'll be there too. the saturday and sunday games. hater, you're welcome sit in the bleachers with me, but they don't sell beer out there.

posted by goddam at 12:23 PM on May 25

Thanks goddam, I'd like that. just let me know whens good either throught e-mail or the lockerroom and we'll see what we can work out. Plus I have binoculars that double as a flask.

posted by HATER 187 at 12:29 PM on May 25

Sneaky. I like it.

posted by qbert72 at 12:32 PM on May 25

Plus I have binoculars that double as a flask. Beer goggles.

posted by BullpenPro at 12:32 PM on May 25

Yeah, you never know when your going to need some wild turkey at an event that is binoculars acceptable.

posted by HATER 187 at 12:33 PM on May 25

I'm also visiting Wrigley for the first time next month. I don't care where your seats are, when you walk in go straight up the stairs, the ones you'll be facing, they should put you out behind the plate for a glimpse. Enter Gate F. That is how I first saw Wrigley. It really was an incredible impression.

posted by tselson at 01:07 PM on May 25

Yeah, you never know when your going to need some wild turkey at an event that is binoculars acceptable. I feel the same way, but try explaining it to the bouncer at Scores.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 01:58 PM on May 25

Awesome, so we have some interest. Now we need to figure out a basic common theme for the first round of columns. The "staff ace" idea actually inspired this whole project. I managed to get out to two Jays games in a row earlier this week, and the atmosphere for the Halladay game was noticeably different. Things seemed more precise: the crowd was less tolerable of opposition hits and errors and was comfortable with less production on offence than usual. I thought "Wow, what a difference, that'd make a great column, except it's kind of one-dimensional and too local for SpoFi." So boom! Reports from more than one teams. Comparative literature rules. Anyway, that's the motivation behind this. What kind of things do you guys wanna write about? What's distinctive about your team that you think would be worthwhile for this? It's a pretty open concept, so anything that comes to mind could work.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:11 PM on May 25

Awesome, so we have some interest. Now we need to figure out a basic common theme for the first round of columns. Well, from a Rangers POV, compared to what you offered before: 1) Millwood ain't buzzworthy, especially at home 2) Given that the entire rest of the AL West is two time zones away, divisional rivalries are pretty weak. 3) If Danks or Diamond or Volquez (sp?) come up, that may work. Only problem is, I'll only likely know about 48 hours in advance. May be able to give it a shot though. 4) Hell, that's pretty much every night at Ameriquest ;). (Exceptions: Yankees in town. Red Sox in town). I could do that one pretty much any night. 5) I'd be down for that, although I went last year to see the Blue Jays in town (with Halliday pitching, to boot) and it was pretty much like most other nights at the park. Maybe the Rangers aren't ideal for this experiment, but I'm still willing.

posted by Ufez Jones at 09:48 PM on May 25

An aside, Ufez, but if that game you went to was the Kevin Mench line drive game, you are banished from ever watching the Blue Jays ever again.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:56 PM on May 25

Fortunately, my good Doc, that wasn't the case. It was a 5-hit CG gem pitched by Le Roy, as listed in the gamelog in my profile (hell, what else is it good for?)

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:16 PM on May 25

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