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This and That on My ‘Baseball’ Mind:

1. Free Tickets:

I find myself unable to use two good Nats’ tickets for Wednesday, July 4 at 11:05 against the Giants. The seats are on the first base side, about 20 rows off the field, just to the right of the catcher. If you’re interested, first to contact me either by leaving a Comment below or writing me at Samesty84@gmail.com gets the tickets.

2. Marlins Park:

A week or two ago I attend two games at this new stadium where the Sox eked out a win and then won the next game easily. I preferred the second game.

A few observations of the new park:

*The views from most areas in the park are quite good. It is small park, holding only 37,000, tho it feels much bigger, probably because of the open areas in the outfield. There are some seats below the upper deck in which some of the scoreboard and roof/sky are blocked. Try to avoid those.

*There is a retractable roof that means a game will never be rained or snowed out. My daughter reports that she almost froze one night there because the air conditioning was so cold. When I was there, the roof was open, and that part, along with the open left field windows gave a lovely view of Miami.

*Like most of the new parks, there’s too much that is not baseball going on for my liking – an aquarium behind home plate, a ‘monument’ with dolphin (?) that gets active in center field when someone hits a home run, the Clevelander, a ‘club’ just behind left field where you can swim, watch baseball and other players (female) as well as drink, and lots of lights and noise that tell you what to do when (clap, etc.). I’m probably too old fashioned for a lot of this and suspect most folks from the area in fact like these ‘additions’ to a stadium.

*The parking is great, you can reserve it on line and park in one of the various garages next to the stadium. It’s a bit slow leaving, especially if your car is on the upper floors of the garage, but Miami is only a few miles away.

*The food looks good, including Taste of Miami (Papo Llega y Pon-pork sandwiches, Latin American Grill-cuban sandwiches, & Don Camaron’s-ceviche and oysters), Brother Jimmy’s BBQ, Miami Mex, Kosher Korner, Goya Rincon Habana, Kids Shack, and the usual assortment of traditional ball park fare.

*Perhaps it’s just because the stadium is newly opened, but I found every Marlins’ park employee I encountered friendly and helpful, not like some of those folks at some of the older parks (like the one next to Yawkey Way in Boston, for example).

*And there’s probably more information on the various scoreboards than even a numbers person such as myself can really handle and watch the game at the same time.

Overall? Easy to get to, easy to see from, and a good overall evening, especially if your team wins.

I’ll go back.

3. What’s That All About?

At the writing of this post, the Sox are a couple of games above .500,have won four games in a row, and are out of last place in their the AL East. Whether they are heading in the right direction or this is just another tease of a few wins, who knows? And every time one of the injured players returns, it seems like someone else takes their place on the injured list. I know a team has to win despite injuries, but it seems to me the Sox, and a number of other teams, have had more than their usual number of serious injuries this year. What’s that all about?

Also, a recent comment by respected Boston sports writer (a double, triple oxymoron?) says that the Sox clubhouse is ‘toxic’ and everyone feels it. But no named source is given.

Whether that is true or not, I don’t have the slightest idea. I have observed, however, something that bothers me. Several players, including my favorites Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz have been quoted recently as saying something like, “I don’t know (why a decision was made), I just work here.”

That doesn’t sound to me like a place where folks are happy to be working.

4. Yankees Teach Upstart Nats About Baseball:

I attended two of the three games at Nationals’ Park where the Yunkees gave the young and not so young Nationals and their fans a lesson about baseball. While the scores of the various games, including one that lasted 14 innings (of course I stayed), the games were really not close. That is to say, despite the hopes of all the Nats’ fans present, it was pretty clear that those guys from the north were the class (as my father use to say about the best greyhound racing dogs) and the home boys were star struck young’uns.

No better example of all of this was 40 year old Andy Pettitte striking out young phenom Bryce Harper three straight times on pitches mostly thrown at 79-81 mph. Harper then struck out a couple more times in that game and went 0-7. He looked like a Little League player.

But I know Harper will learn, and I also assume, if he stays healthy, he might well end up in the Yankee outfield when he gets to free agency in three or four years. So too Strasburg?

I hope not. But will the Lerner’s spend the money to keep these two genuine, exciting ball players?

5, Finally, regarding R.A. Dickey:

There have been numerous articles recently about the knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and what he is doing with a baseball this year and to the opposition, including his two back-to-back complete one run games (striking out at least 10 in each game).

One article, by The New York Times’ Andrew Keh, (HT to Harry Siler for alerting me), entitled Early On, Knuckleball Threw the Mets’ Dickey a Curve, tells what it was like for Dickey before he became the pitcher he is today. Worth the very short time it will take you to read it.