December 17, 2003 |
In the beginning, no one's watching and you play because you love the game. At the end, no one's watching and you play because you love the game. It's in the middle, when the crowds swell and the money is stacked to the sky, that things can get confusing as the Bryants, father and son, could tell you. Kobe's dad, Joe, a veteran of eight NBA seasons and until last week a retiree, returned Tuesday night as coach of the Las Vegas Rattlers of the American Basketball Assn.
June 27, 2003 |
The Angels are expecting three sellout crowds for this weekend's series against the Dodgers, after the Dodgers sold out two of three games against the Angels last weekend. Pacific Bell Park will be packed for this weekend's San Francisco-Oakland series after the Giants and A's drew a three-game franchise record 155,375 fans in Oakland last weekend. New York's Yankee Stadium will be jammed for this weekend's Met-Yankee series, and Chicago's U.S.
June 15, 2003 |
The Spokane Indians have known tragedy and greatness, scoundrels and Hall of Famers. They've finished first and last, and even left town. Now, as they celebrate a century of baseball, the Indians are owned by George Brett and three of his brothers, and are perhaps the premier franchise in the Northwest League. "I enjoy going to a minor league park more than I do going to a major league stadium," Brett says in a new video "Spokane Indians, a Century of Baseball," produced for the centennial.
July 28, 2002 |
Rising through the ranks as a shortstop in the Boston Red Sox organization can be a tricky proposition. Just ask David Eckstein, who was put on waivers by the club in June 2000 despite hitting over .300 in each of his first three minor league seasons. Eckstein has since proven his ample worth with the Angels. Now comes Freddy Sanchez, a Hollywood native who recently put together a 27-game hitting streak and a stretch of 45 consecutive games in which he reached base safely.
June 16, 2002 |
Kirk Saarloos is about to complete a significant double play. Today, the former Cal State Fullerton right-hander gets married in Seattle. On Tuesday, he makes his major league debut for the Houston Astros in Milwaukee. A whirlwind couple of days to be sure. But that's par for the course for Saarloos, who has sprinted through the minor leagues after being taken in the third round of the 2001 amateur draft.
May 25, 2002
I just about choked on my Wheaties seeing an actual minor league baseball column in The Times on May 18. Kudos to writer Ben Bolch and the sports page editors for realizing that there are a few Angelenos out there who would welcome a (semi) regular column about minor league baseball in the L.A. Times. I would much rather read a column on the hottest players in the minors than read Ross Newhan's "Salaries Cap Dodgers' Offense" about the team's fiscal irresponsibility the very next day. Please save that for the Business section, not the Sports section.
May 23, 2002 |
"Who's on third?" a teenage girl in the stands pipes up. "No, Who's on first," someone else in the next section wisecracks. At tiny Sam Lynn Ballpark, home of the California League's Bakersfield Blaze, a Single A franchise of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the seats are so close to the action that you can hear everything, even the faint whoosh of the on-deck hitter's practice swing.
November 24, 2001 |
So it goes in baseball contraction talks: Attorneys representing millionaire players meet with attorneys representing multimillionaire owners as high-salaried front-office managers hold their collective breath. But all the talk of eliminating teams--most likely the Minnesota Twins and Montreal Expos--has mostly ignored the plight of hundreds of powerless lower-tiered players and employees from their minor league affiliates who might be out of jobs.
August 24, 2001 |
It's 5:35 p.m. and still 111 degrees, hot enough to grill a Dodger Dog on the metal bleachers at Cashman Field. A 36-year-old journeyman knuckleball pitcher sporting a cap with an alien head on it takes the mound for the Las Vegas 51s as the smattering of ticket-holders brave enough to stand the heat fan themselves with scorecards. Just your typical summer day at the home of the Dodgers' new triple-A affiliate.