March 16, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- All the kids played soccer. Loek van Mil wanted to be different, so he played baseball. This was in the Netherlands, two decades ago, where the youth coaches were the ones that had been exchange students in the United States during the disco era. Van Mil did balance drills, for no good baseball reason. "There is no real use in standing there like a flamingo," van Mil said. The coaches have gotten better, and so have the players. The Netherlands is in the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic for the first time, with a Monday date against the Dominican Republic.
March 29, 2012
Finally, Frank McCourt made what appears to be his best decision ever on behalf of the Dodgers: He sold the team to a group that includes a local, business-savvy sports legend, an experienced baseball executive and the head of a deep-pocketed financial services company. Some of that lineup may be window-dressing, but at least the McCourt era is ending and a new one is beginning. What may determine the success of this era is how much the new owners are prepared to invest in the team, developing a roster of top-tier talent and making necessary renovations to the stadium.
February 18, 2012 |
Sometime soon, Phil Niekro plans to make his way from his home outside Atlanta to the Braves' spring-training site near Orlando, Florida, where he'll watch a little baseball, play a lot of golf and, as he does every year, throw some batting practice. Niekro is 72, but he can still lob it in there. Besides, age doesn't really matter since anybody who has ever picked up a baseball feels young again when spring training rolls around. Even a man who reported to his first camp more than half a century ago. "I think everyone enjoys spring training," the Hall of Fame member said.
August 26, 2011 |
Remember who was playing second base for the Dodgers 45 years ago Sunday? If you said John Lennon, you're close. All the Beatles played the infield that night, on a stage set up at second base, draped in blue and white, of course. Yes, Sunday is the 45th anniversary of the "bigger-than-Jesus" Beatles at Dodger Stadium, the first concert in the history of the gleaming 4-year-old ballpark. The third-place Dodgers were off playing the first-place Giants in San Francisco on the day "Nowhere Man" rang out across Chavez Ravine.
July 28, 2011 |
Fashionably great, the French kids pour down Aisle 2, top deck, at the bottom of the first inning. They ooh-la-la the purple mountains. They ooh-la-la the big green rug. "Let's go, Dod-jeurs!" they holler. "Take me out to zee ball game!" they sing. They fall down a lot. They are teenagers. It is part of the kismet of an old ballyard that you can be sitting there alone on a summer's night, wondering what you can do to further Franco-American relations — if anything — when in wander 25 French schoolkids to take in their very first American baseball game.
July 15, 2011 |
It has been a summer for learning a new offense and getting used to new coaches for the state's most prolific sophomore quarterback from a year ago, Andrew Elffers of Pasadena Maranatha. He passed for 3,328 yards and 37 touchdowns while throwing mostly from a shotgun formation. The new coach, Peter Karavedas, a 27-year-old former defensive coordinator at Whittier Christian, hired Mike Owens, a former Van Nuys High and Oregon quarterback, to install a West Coast passing scheme, in which the quarterback takes the snap from under center, looks for quick releases and must make pinpoint passes.