Liveblog: 2006 Baseball Blogging Backyard BBQ!
I have been progressively adding to this post through the long weekend, so keep checking the bottom to find the pulse of the MLBlogosphere. Add your comments! . . . .
Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone. As you can see on the panel of the MLBlogs.com homepage, we decided to celebrate this time of year with the 2006 Baseball Blogging Backyard BBQ. Maybe you’re at a cookout or the lake, but you just can’t stay away from that Typepad text field. This is your place to kick back with friends and blog about whatever you wanna — baseball, Indy 500, DaVinci Code, graduations, weddings, and your favorite Memorial Day memories from the past or even the reason it’s celebrated in the USA. And if you’re in Canada or Venezuela or points beyond, then thanks for the indulgence and join the party because it’s one giant Sphere.
Saturday night update: I want to squeeze in a quick thank-you here to my grandpa, Woody Groomer, back in Indiana. He fought in World War II and tonight I am sure is jitterbugging at the VFW back home as he does most nights. He’s in his late 80s now and even though he only recently had to stop driving tour buses he acts like he’s in his 20s. Never liked sports much and will battle you for the last piece of pie. Thanks, Kapa.
Biggest delivery of the day. Curt Schilling? Derek Lowe? Justin Verlander? Barry Zito? No to all of the above. It’s all about Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt.
Special props to our friend John Nemo over at The King’s Game for that recognition of his revolutionary blog by the St. Pete Times. . . . Matt at Diamondhacks has a good summation of Brandon Webb’s dominance so far. . . . More blog congrats are pouring in for 2,000-hit man Derek Jeter from places like Red Sox Nation Daily and Baseball & The Boogie Down Bronx. . . . Buck Canyon has a case of Gold Jock Syndrome. . . . Straight A’s needs a few good brats and burgers at the Baseball Blogging Backyard BBQ — and an About page. Who has your favorite About page, anyway? The White Sox Guy has one that comes complete with newsletter signup. . . . MLB.com Cardinal beat writer Matthew Leach has a name you have to know in his latest post at Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer. . . . Strangest comment so far was from a troll who ragged on me for writing about what people are blogging. Fortunately trolls are few and far between at MLBlogs.
Welcome to our newest MLBlogger: Slightly Ahead of the Curveball. Great URL for our weekend theme, too. . . . Update at 10:34 pm ET: Welcome also to Ben Heller, one of our fantasy writers at MLB.com. . . . Be sure to
check out the photos from GABP just posted by Reds broadcaster Steve Stewart over at The Bad Boy Blog. Here’s a thumb of one of them that just seemed fitting for the MLBlogs festivities this weekend.
It’s official: A "Boof" is in the win column for the first time in Major League history. . . . Jason Bay is making a strong and legit run at a starting spot at home for the All-Star Game. Will he get the wide support? That’s five consecutive games with a longball, and he also took away a homer tonight in this marathon against Houston. Who’s your starting NL outfield so far? It’s definitely a down year if you scan the ballot and are looking for three no-brainers. Pretty wide-open. . . . Chris Burke is thinking right now: 18th inning. . . .Take heart, Halo fans. Little Weaver definitely has arrived. . . . Bet this is the first time in baseball history that a team (Detroit) has been at .714 while a player (actually two now) is at 714.
Recently Updated Photo Albums:
- Blue Jays Photos
- Yankees 15-4 Royals
- Me stuff! =)
- Other Stuff
- Ballparks Tour
- Photos of Zack
- Miscellaneous Cardinals Related Images
- Cards V. Nats, 29Apr06
- Shea Stadium
- Ballparks Tour
- Other Stuff
- Fenway Park
- Miller Park
- May 5 Sox vs. Toronto
Congrats to Lisa of For Love of the Astros for making the right call and traveling to Pittsburgh for Saturday’s game. She just happened to bump into the longest game (18 innings) ever at PNC, and even though her beloved ‘Stros lost, that was the right call. And speaking of the ‘Stros, sadly we are sorry to see that our friend ‘Stros Bro has just announced his retirement from MLBlogs — everyone try to talk him out of that decision, because, well, Roger Clemens has done so more than once.
AMAZING pic by Mollie in her latest Photo Album. It’s the one of Al Pujols at the plate. What’s amazing about it? Think of everything happening in the composition. The ball has just left Chan Ho Park’s hand. Pujols is at the toe-touch position. It is the ultimate mano-a-mano in sports, all in a millisecond. Just take a look at her full-size image and appreciate it. The backstop screen actually adds a cool effect and is not disruptive. And by the way: That could have been the matchup at the end of the World Baseball Classic, if not for Japan beating Korea and Cuba beating the Dominican Republic. So here it is, courtesy of Mollie, whose day job is making movies for you.
Clear skies and DP is on pit row . . . time to liveblog Indy and Baseball >>
Update from Indiana on Woody Groomer, my grandpa who fought in World War II. Just double-checked his age and he’s 89. Last night he and his latest "new girlfriend" danced at the Eagles. You are only as old as you want to be. Sixty-two years ago he and the Allies were shooting at German soldiers who were fighting for Adolph Hitler in the largest land battle the U.S. Army ever has fought to date. The numbers of WWII veterans are dwindling by the day, and one day they will all be gone. On this Memorial Day Weekend, he’s still jitterbugging. Salute.
1:30: DP unscatched after first crash, now running 14th. Great telemetry graphics by ABC for this edition of The Greatest Spectacle In Racing; looks like they pull 3 Gs when they’re in the turns, and it’s zero on the straightaways. The temperature is 90 at Indy, so expect a lot of talk about "marbles" between now and the 200th lap. DP will lose 5-6 pounds today in the cockpit.
Hafner just took The Gambler deep and Tribe has 3-0 lead after uno. Detroit is riding its longest winning streak since the 1984 glory days. We’ll find out a lot more about them now. The Yanks and Red Sox are next up at Comerica after this one. . . . Welcome to the Mets, El Duque: A four-spot by your teammates before you even take the mound. . . . The Bombers are batting around in the first inning. Take a look at the Gameday live box score: The first four Yanks have lines that start 1-1-1.
1:46: Yankees entered the day with a 280-275 lead over the Indians as 1-2 in MLB for team homers. Damon made it 281 in the first AB today. . . . What is the best trophy in pro sports? Am partial here of course to the World Series trophy with all of its pennants, but they are all distinctive in their own way and the Stanley Cup of course is probably the one most steeped in lore. But looking at the Borg-Warner trophy that awaits DP hopefully today, you have to admit it’s pretty hard to top a trophy that has the winner’s face on it.
1:57: Past the quarter mark at Indy. Wheldon looks like a repeat racer right now, but it’s a long last 150 laps, especially at 90 degrees. Adventure lies ahead. Marco Andretti almost lost it just now. What’s harder, hitting the fastball or doing this? That’s been a big argument. I’ll still take the mano-a-mano like you see in Mollie’s photo above, but this is phenomenal athletic concentration happening right now at the Brickyard. . . . Great "Secret" commercial with DP in the simulated racers side-by-side with kids — only wish it were The King next to her instead of Al Unser. . . . The Side-By-Side on ABC is great if you love Indy. Can you tell that your friendly neighborhood blogwatcher grew up in Indiana and went to Time Trials as a kid?
2:00: DP is up to ninth.
2:02: Great post by our friend Cory Humes over at A New Pirates Generation. He went to the history game at PNC last night and got home at 2 am. . . . Mad Dog is liveblogging the Yankees game. . . . Kellia is on a doubleheader rant. Good to see she’s rooting for DP, too! . . . CRASH. Tomas Scheckter just lost the back of his car. That’s the second caution. It’s blocking pit lane, too. Replay shows he just spun it coming out of the turn, on the rumble strips. Amazingly no one hit him. DP made it through the second incident of the day.
2:07: Looks like something might have been thrown from Scheckter’s car way up into the crowd. That doesn’t look good. . . . Replays show it was a piece of the wreckage left on the track and then hit by a car doing 120 mph — that piece was just launched. Update on the fan: Walked out on his own power and appeared to be OK. Great news. You want a foul ball in the stands if you’re at a baseball game. You don’t want a launched piece of wreckage in the stands if you’re at the Indy 500. Not even The Baseball Collector would want that.
2:15: Quick poll: How many people would like to see the Side-By-Side that ABC is using in the same way for a big MLB event? Would you want to see the infielders taking warmup throws or the bullpen pitcher throwing? It probably only applies to an event like Indy or the World Cup, but thought I’d ask. Commercials were actually invented for the purpose of creating a break in the action, such as game shows or TV episodes. Baseball has natural breaks, not so with Indy.
2:20: Washington is all over the Dodgers, 7-0 in the fourth. Soriano just hit No. 18 — seems like a very likely NL starter at PNC on July 11. . . . DP is now eighth after 81 laps back at the hottest Indy ever. Track temp is 125 degrees. Scheckter is saying track conditions were "super." DP probably has lost two pounds so far. . . . Red Sox Chick just said "it’s going to be a long season." Hey, it’s always a long season. Indy is a microcosm of that — long day. . . . DP JUST MOVED UP TO SEVENTH.
2:27: Great post by our colleague T.R. Sullivan over at Postcards from Elysian Fields. It’s a Memorial Day theme and we’ll add that to the start of the blurb on the MLBlogs.com homepage. . . . DP’s crew is having some issues with the handling. But she just turned a 217 lap and is NOW UP TO SIXTH.
2:35: Indians just added another deuce, so it’s 5-0 and the Tigers’ streak is in serious jeopardy. . . . This is amazing: Marco Andretti is seventh, and his father Michael is eighth. When does something like that ever happen in sports? You think about the Griffeys playing in the same outfield. But racing 200+mph side-by-side, a father and son? Unbelievable. . . . DP JUST MOVED UP TO FIFTH.
2:39: Past the halfway mark, now at lap 104. Danica is 14 seconds behind Wheldon — but her crew told her that she is running faster than Wheldon now. Heart is racing here. It could be another unbelievable finish like last year. But there’s a lot of racing ahead. . . . DP just hit the pits at lap 106. I remember when she stalled the car RIGHT AT THIS POINT. Routine stop. She’s back on the track. Sigh of relief for DP fans.
2:43: Wheldon’s in the pits. Wow, 10-second pit. Dixon’s pit is 9.9. CRASH: Involving two cars. Wow, it’s Castroneves. He never has failed to complete every lap at Indy. This is big, he’s into the wall. That’s a big competitor for DP. Buddy Rice is the other part of the crash — DP’s teammate. So we’re under yellow and DP will be packed in with the leaders.
3:00: An unshaven Dave Letterman just told ABC that if his driver DP wins this thing, it will "turn everything upside down." Indeed. If DP wins, what will the "Late Show" be like? He should let her host a show.
3:03: Michael was worrying about Marco’s tires because he was getting crumbs under them. Yes, the first usage of "marbles" was just uttered. If it weren’t for DP, this would be THE story. . . . Don’t look now, but the Royals are chipping away after the quick six runs by the Yanks. KC has scored a run in each of the last three innings. . . . The White Sox seem to be heeding Ozzie’s words today — but Toronto just put up a three-spot.
3:08: Green flag is out again, lap 124. Wheldon, Dixon, Hornish, Kanaan, Franchitti, Patrick. Oops, DP just slid to eighth.
3:15: "Patience." That’s DP’s modus operandi right now. It’s lap 134, she’s sixth, and the air-pressure adjustment made a consistent right. She’ll have two more pits between now and what could be one of the greatest moments in sports. . . . Meanwhile, Hornish has overtaken Wheldon out in front.
3:26: Potential disaster. DP was just coming out of the pits at the moment a yellow came out for an Al Unser Jr. crash. The problem is that DP is stuck in that position a full lap down now while the caution is out. It’s about lap 150, three fourths of the way through the race, so she has 50 laps to make up a lap on guys who are flying with good machines today. Gonna be harder now. But hey, last year she stalled in the pits and still was leading after 190.
3:34: This is amazing what’s happening with Jason Bay right now. He just homered for the sixth straight game, and he now has 10 in his last 10 games. Pretty phenomenal stuff. We just mentioned Soriano as a likely NL All-Star outfield starter, and the way things are going that vote probably starts with Bay. Pirates fans should be voting around the clock and telling every friend they have to vote. Looking forward to the next voting updates. Will he be starting at PNC in front of the home crowd July 11? . . . Red Sox are up 2-0 behind Wakefield in the sixth — against a Devil Rays team still without MLBlogger Jorge Cantu in the lineup. They need him.
3:38: Still on caution. The Hornish team botched the breakway in the pits, leaving the pump in the tank, and fortunately the fuel man is apparently OK. . . . Just about to go back to green, and Jeff Simmons’ car is out, another delay. . . . Wonder what Murray Cook thinks of the grass cutting design on the track apron?
3:57: This is going to be good. Lap 171 of 200, DP still in sixth, and everyone has to come in one more time. . . . It’s also getting good in the Bronx. The Yankees have blown just about all of that 6-0 lead, and it’s now 6-5 with Mo coming on for the top of the ninth. It’s like the Indy 500 and the Royals are DP right now. Can the late charge happen?
4:01: DP is fifth and five seconds back. Dixon just got black-flagged, which effectively takes him out of the race unless there’s a caution, so that bumped DP up a spot. Marco Andretti, who looks like a high school freshman, is now third.
4:06: Rivera gets his 11th save, and the Yankees hold on. Doesn’t matter in the AL East grand scheme of things, except for separation from losing Toronto, because Wakefield is the man today. Big news in the AL is that the Tigers’ nine-game win streak is moments away from toast. . . . El Duque had enough support early and picked up the win in his first game as a Met.
4:09: Great pit for DP (8.2 seconds), just 12 laps to go. Not looking like it’s gonna happen for DP Nation. In fact, yellow just went out, and that pretty much seals DP’s fate; she needed green the rest of the way while these other pits were happening. . . . There are still some great storylines. Michael Andretti has never won here and the yellow helps him. Nine laps to go. . . . MLB.com Mariners beat writer Corey Brock just blogged from the Metrodome to say the M’s are swinging the bats well against Johan Santana. . . . Our friend and former Spheroid Edward at DC Daily just blogged about Soriano’s 18th homer.
4:17: That save by Rivera just tied him with Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley for fourth on the all-time list at 390. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Royals’ 3-22 record on the road this season equals the worst road start after 25 games in American-League history (the 1904 Washington Senators, 1916 Philadelphia A’s and 1988 Baltimore Orioles each lost 22 of their first 25 road decisions). The Royals also have lost 16 of the last 17 games at Yankee Stadium (dating back to 2002).
4:19: Green is out, four laps to go. Can Michael Andretti win his first Indy 500? Get ready for a wild sprint.
4:21: WOW — the son just passed the father. Marco in front with 2 left.
4:23: What a finish. Sam Hornish Jr. dived ahead of Marco and won in the second-closest finish in the 90-year history of the event. Tough break for Danica Patrick but still a great run, finishing eighth and I believe on the lead lap. "I must have used up most of my luck last year," she told ABC, saying it wasn’t a winning car today. Tough break for the Andrettis, but still finished 2-3. Congrats to Hornish, your 2006 Indianapolis 500 champion.
6:40: This Memorial Day Weekend also will be remembered for the moment when Barry Bonds passed the great Babe Ruth for second place on the career home run list with 715. Hammerin’ Hank Aaron is 40 homers away. It will be interesting to see what MLBloggers think of the moment. How will it be remembered? What chance does Bonds have of reaching 755? MLBlogs.com is an official affiliate of MLB.com with "unofficial opinions," so have at it, baseball fans.
Monday: Memorial Day
Since the previous paragraph was written here last night, we have been letting you "have at it" by posting this adjacent panel on the MLBlogs.com homepage. The mission of this blog is to focus on the people who post here and to help you grow this community and help you gain exposure for your blog. The mission statement of MLBlogs itself is: MLB.com Official Affiliate/Unofficial Opinions. Hopefully it feels like an actual ballpark around here, where you can cheer and/or boo to your heart’s desire, because you paid for a seat to be here with many other fans (your blog is no more than two clicks away from the view of millions and millions of fans at MLB.com and all 30 club sites), and maybe to be amongst MLB personalities as well. So here’s the point. Let’s keep the BBBBBQ theme going here through the rest of the long holiday weekend. There are so many different things you want to post about, whether it’s the games being played, a trip you are taking to see Midwest ballparks, All-Star voting, Memorial Day thoughts, Barry, etc. There were probably as many posts at MLBlogs about Derek Jeter’s 2,000th hit as there were for Barry’s 715th homer. We want to reflect what you are blogging about.
2:47 pm: Big Unit is back to Big Unit today, but he just lost his no-hitter to Pudge in the bottom of the sixth. Randy Johnson was the last to throw one in the Majors, in May 2004. As I wrote on May 9 for MLB.com, this is the longest stretch without a no-hitter in Major League Baseball since World War II. Why can’t anyone throw a no-hitter anymore? Two years and 11 days; there have been an average of two per year in modern baseball history. There were 37 no-nos in the 1990s and there have been seven in this entire decade — as many as Nolan Ryan threw in his career. Nolan, where are you? You have to give Pudge credit, because he pushed a low-away pitch off the plate into right field.
3:00: National Moment of Silence for American veterans who sacrificed their lives for freedom. Nice to do. Thanks again to my 89-year-old grandpa, Woody Groomer, veteran of the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, when he fought Hitler’s troops. This weekend, he went jitterbugging as usual at the local Eagles club with his new girlfriend.
3:25: More Recently Updated Photo Albums, including some nice shots from our friend Kevin over at The Player To Be Named Later:
- Cards V. Padres, 06Oct05
- Miscellaneous Cardinals Related Images
- Midwest trip
- Cardinals vs. Padres (at San Diego) 5.27-28.06
- Photos of Zack
- Other Stuff
7:28: OK, the hours are starting to dwindle like the sun in the East on our 5BQ. Next year I am thinking that spending the entire weekend at Indy or on a boat will be the way to go, but this has been fun to "live it" through the MLBlogosphere and try to make sure everyone’s blogs are seen. . . . Red Sox Chick is on a tear right now so clear some room in the paint. That was a really moving post about the 2004 championship, and please join her on the liveblog tonight. Post a comment here if you are liveblogging tonight as well. . . . If you were ever thinking about buying something at the MLB.com Shop, then don’t forget that you have until 11:59 ET tonight if you want to get that 15-percent off Memorial Day Weekend Sale on your total order. . . . Kellia has calmed down since the Tripleranter. You mess with Byrnesie and you will pay. . . . I miss liveblogging about DP.
7:43: Our colleague Tom Singer just wrote about players who might see 715 on the horizon, and in the course of the article he mentioned the overall "apathy" surrounding Barry passing Babe. Indeed, the comment was backed statistically at MLBlogs, where you have been blogging about pretty much everything else in an exceptionally heavy posting weekend. But there are still many fans, primarily those who were at AT&T Park, who enjoyed the moment, and for those people we have nice ways to commemorate it, such as the 715 display at the Shop. That’s why we’ve been having the 5BQ all this extended weekend — it’s been a very diverse range of blogging.
10:01: Jason Bay’s homer streak is over at six games, because he was just left on deck in the bottom of the eighth. Not that Pirates fan are complaining: 14 runs tonight. Some good things are happening in Buccoville.
10:20: TRAFFIC TIPS FOR MLBLOGGERS. Some people have asked about it. One of the most important things you can do is comment on other people’s blogs. It’s like anything else. If you want to be popular, you have to mingle and be a people person. And because you want to.
10:24: So, what did you all think of the first annual Baseball Blogging Backyard BBQ? The "5BQ" gave us a chance to showcase all of your great posts about baseball and beyond, in text, photo, video and audio formats. There was a great disparity of topics, ranging from Indy to Memorial Day observances to Barry to your teams to . . . who can remember . . . click as many MLBlogs as you can and sample the fare. It was remarkable how active this MLBlogosphere was, when past perception is that people take off for the weekend like this and then "catch up" on Tuesday. Blogs are forever. Please keep the input coming as we try to grow a great blogging community in ways you want, and thanks for making it a fun Memorial Day Weekend around here. I thank you, and my 89-year-old grandpa Woody Groomer, the WWII vet who was my inspiration on this weekend, thanks you. Everyone have a great week back at the dude ranch and we’ll get back to the Spheroids shortly (so email us your responses to the previous Spheroid questions here!).