Stratford, CT

Went to Connecticut this past weekend to hang out with my friend Sean. (Not only is he the guy who was with me at Camden Yards the day I snagged my 100th lifetime game ball, but he’s also written a fantastic/suspenseful baseball-themed novel called SEAMS.)
Highlights of the weekend included:

1. Getting lost in a gigantic corn maze.

zack_corn_maze.jpg


2. Sleeping in a room that had a Cal Ripken shrine.

cal_ripken_shrine.jpg


3. Observing Sean’s beautiful (and at times disturbing) relationship with Hudson, his three-year-old French bulldog.

ewwww.jpg


4. Playing baseball both days and hitting monstrous fungos over Sean’s head.

zack_380_foot_fungo.jpg


And, of course, eating Thai food during Game 2 of the ALCS and watching Manny Ramirez break the all-time post-season home run record. (Good thing he didn’t hit it onto Lansdowne Street. It would’ve taken two lifetimes to forgive myself for not being there.)

31 Comments

sounds fun man. youre a monster of fungo-ing, haha but 380 isnt a pop up either. red sox-rox world series is my call. imagine the rockies won the world series, wow.

i want the mets preliminary schedule!!!

Everyone
I remember somebody once linking their blog about getting autographs at Nassau Coliseum from here. If that’s you’re blog, I would love it if you would email me, or at least post another link, as I have some questions.

Zack, the announcer on FOX (not Joe Buck) just used your description of the screwball, and how you turn the doornob the wrong way to throw it!!! Did you come up with that?

Once again, another blast. It was great to see you. Your fungo skill is only surpassed by your ability to pound down chocolates.

Thai food and baseball? Next time let’s do hot dogs and maybe the Sox can finish up before 1am…

Nice pictures Zack! You crushed that ball!

Looks like you had a great time!

Do you like the King of Queens? There is a funny episode when Doug runs on the field at Shea to get Arthur a ball.

Chris

I saw that episode, lol. I forgot, how did they get such good tickets?

In 1 episode, they got them from Carrie’s work and in the other Doug got them for Deacon, Carrie and Arthur to go.

There such great shows!

GJK2212-
I think there are two things that I can do on a Major League level: official scorekeeping and hitting fungos. (Sadly, hitting a curveball isn’t one of them.) I’d love to see the Rockies and Soxies in the Series.

CHUCKSTER-

Still no luck?

PUCK COLLECTOR-

Yeah, I heard that too. Maybe he read my book? I don’t think I invented that comparison, but I can’t specifically remember ever hearing it before I wrote it for the book. It just popped in my head one day, but it very well might have gotten there via another announcer some time way in the past.

SHEFFRO1-

Thanks…I think. I’ve been eating like an idiot lately, and I seriously need to do something about that. But yes, great times. I’ll be back in Stratford before you know it, now that I see how easy it is.

CHRIS-

Thanks! That ball actually hit the trees on the other side of the CF bleachers. I thought about pacing it off to measure exactly how far it went…but it was with a metal bat, so I knew it didn’t really count. Never saw “King of Queens,” but that sounds pretty funny.

haha i love the picture of you in the corn maze

Hiya Zack..a few weeks ago I posted IF the Rockies could pull off a miralce and make the World Series, I would try and go. 21 out of 22 wins later, here I am. What I need help with from all the fellow ballhawkers is advice on tickets. The Rockies are putting tikcets online Monday. No lottery. I practiced with NLCS tickets and a server box comes up saying it’s busy and counts down from 60 and then tries to reconnect. Am I better off deleting that box and trying to reconnect myself, or does that put you in line and hopefully will connect after awhile? Any help anyone can give me about getting through online would be GREATLY appreciated!! Thank you all for your help..Jim

Hey Zack, when you were in the corn maze, did you hear a voice whispering, “If you build it, he will come.”

If I were the manager of the Indians I would make sure of one thing the next time Manny Ramirez came up. He would take the first pitch right in the ear hole. I absolutely hate that **** he pulls when he hits a homer. It’s 7-2 for goodness sake and he acts like he just won game 7. He definitely needs to get drilled. That might “drill” some sense into him.

Leigh

Leigh,

Nothing will drill sense into Manny. Being a lifelong Indians fan, I was on the cheering side for Manny for many years. One thing is for sure, he is a genius with the baseball bat. Another thing is for sure, he is not nearly a genius at anything else. The man can hit, and has proven that it doesn’t take a high IQ to succeed at this. He was potentially one of the dumbest people to play on that great Indians team. He made more brainless baserunning mistakes than any one great player I have ever seen (stealing second successfully and then getting tagged out by the pitcher while WALKING BACK TO FIRST BECAUSE HE THOUGHT IT WAS A FOUL BALL SINCE THERE WAS NO THROW…. 3 TIMES IN ONE SEASON). His interviews were classic stupidity that not even hiding behind speaking a language other than English could mask. I remember one interview in Spanish that he gave where he was talking about how difficult to add up the scores from each inning on the scoreboard. Seriously.

I actually think he celebrates his “game winning” shots when they are down 7-2 because he has no real idea of the score.

This is a funny joke (I think) article: http://callofthegreenmonster.typepad.com/call_of_the_green_monster/2005/01/manny_ramirez_p.html

Anyhow, I am sticking with my Tribe on this one. Indians win game 5 with CC tossing at home.

GOISLANDERS4-
Thanks, yo.

JIM-

Well, the big “if” finally came true. Sadly, though, I have noooo idea how all these ticket things work. Wish I could give you some advice or point you in the right direction, but I’m afraid you’ll just have to rely on other people to help you out this time.

NM_ROCKHOUND-

How did I *not* think of that while I was there?

LEIGH-

I love Manny (for reasons which I’ve discussed many times in the past), but you’re absolutely right. He deserves to get plunked.

ALEX-

You’re right, too. He’s too dumb to know how much of an idiot he is, and how offensive his body language is. I might have to root for Beckett in Game 5 because he’s always been nice to me, but whoever wins the ALCS, I’ll be happy. Obviously it’s looking like it’ll go to the Tribe.

if I wanted to, and skipped school. I’m almost positive I could get at least 2 rockies WS tickets SOMEWHERE.

just use multiple windows

zack…

this offseason is soo boring. joe torre just turned down the yankees. maybe that will out them in their place.

so far ive spent the offseason doing something i never tried before-emailing teams requesting fan packs.

so far ive gotten stuff from the indians, a’s, pirates, dodgers, and red sox. all were pretty cool. the sox sent me fenway dirt. its actually really enjoyable, getting random free baseball stuff in the mail. mostly its just oversized cards and pocket schedules. but ill get the cards signed next year.

i need a schedule soon or im going to call the mets and demand one, haha

padreleigh,
i just watched ryan brauns 1st career homerun and i saw you catch it!. you were wearing a dark blue sweater. you stood up and kind of made a basket catch and then just sat right down. thats cool that you have seats in the first row.

gjk2212:

wha wha whaaat?

free stuff? can you elaborate on how to get this stuff?

Zack-

This query belongs on your previous post with the NY Times ad on plate appearances, but here goes.

What are your thoughts on how the game calculates the number of batters faced by a pitcher during a game? More specifically, are you aware that if a runner is thrown out for the third out during a player at bat, the pitcher does not get credited with a batter faced for that batter.

So if you go 2-2 on a guy and he fouls off four pitches before a runner is thrown out trying to steal second on what was ball 3–despite throwing nine pitches to a guy, there is no batter faced credited.

While no plate appearance credited to the batter, I don’t think there’s sufficient symmetry to deny crediting the pitcher with a bater faced. Does that mean the pitches thrown to the batter are not included in determining the average number of pitches thrown per “batter faced,” or is there another term of art used? Just wondering.

Go Islanders….

That’s cool that you saw the video. It was a pretty easy catch. It was right at me. I’ve got six career game home runs in 8 years going to games. Two this year. I just sat right down because I like to be cool. You know, “act like you’ve been there.” No need to jump up and down and show off for the camera. That’s not me. It’s nice to have the video for posterity though.

Fatherpuck…

That’s a very cool baseball fact. I’ve never heard of that. I’ve learned something new today.

Cubs0110…

I’ve just emailed teams before and asked politely for any leftover giveaways. Some of the teams will invariably send you a box of goodies. Give it a try.

Leigh

gjk & Leigh

what email address do you send it to?

CUBS0110-
You make it sound so easy…

GJK2212-

Look what you’ve done, getting everyone all riled up about free stuff. Excellent work! We all need reasons to get (or stay) riled up about baseball as November approaches. What are you gonna do once you get the Mets’ schedule? Start planning out your whole season?

FATHER PUCK-

Great observation. Great point. There are lots of examples in baseball of stats not telling the full story. This is just another one. Why, for example, does a batter get credit for a sac fly when a runner tags up from third but not from any other base? Why don’t batters get RBIs when they ground into double plays? Why DO they get RBIs when they walk with the bases loaded? Why don’t they get credit for a sacrifice when they plate a runner from third with a ground ball? Why Why Why?! It’s just one of those things. Personally, I pay VERY little attention to “batters faced.” If a pitcher throws eight innings and gives up a run and few hits but only “faced” 25 batters, I think, “Hey, cool, he only faced one batter over the minimum,” but it still doesn’t say much. I’m not sure about the average pitches per batter question. Anyone have an idea about that?

LEIGH-

When I catch foul balls during games, I act like I’ve been there. (In fact, people often come up to me and ask, “Aren’t you EXCITED?! You just CAUGHT a FOUL BALL!!!”) But with homers, I totally freak out.

Donnie Baseball, or Joe Girardi?

I’ve got to go with Girardi.

And when you move a guy from first to second, but you get out, its and RBO. Runner Batted Over. My Little League team said it all of last season, so know I have to use it for the rest of my life.

leigh and anyone else who cares

if you go to mlb.com, click on the bar that says standings. than go to may 25 (or 26. i forgot when you got it. when you do that, scroll to the padres team in the west standings. click on the score of the game and a box score will come up. than theres a thing to the left of the screen that has a paragraph summary. click the words in it that say full story. than at the top of the article, there are links for video clips like “ryan braun homerun” and the other big things that happened in that game. just click ryan brauns homerun and they show footage of it in real gametime motion. and then they show it in slow motion so you can see you catching it slower

Zack, honestly, if I haven’t already missed enough school being sick, and skipping to buy Cubs playoff tickets (remember I got 4 box seats within 6 minutes) I might buy some WS tickets to resell, but I think I’ll just sit back at watch it happen.

Go Islanders….

Yeah, thanks for the tip. I love the slow motion. My eyes were closed you know. Ha ha. Just kidding. What was funny about that one was when Braun hit it my friend that sits with me said, “That’s yours.” She was right. Later this season Andrew Jones hit her with a home run. It literally hit her. After it hit her it riccocheted off my empty seat. Of course I was at the concession stand getting a hot dog and a coke when it happened. Uggh!!

Zack…

I know what you mean about other people being more excited than you. When I got Scott Hairston’s walk off in September people were all running up going, “You got it! You got it!” They were all jumping up and down, but I just like to keep a low profile I guess. I love the chase for the ball itself, and I love the adrenaline rush when you see it coming and you know you have a chance to catch it. I just don’t like the limelight and the whole mugging for the camera. It’s not my personality. I was just raised conservative I guess. I know you seem to like being on TV and stuff and that’s fine. It’s just not my thing. I tell you what. Just for you guys, if I ever catch another one (a Padre one), I’ll jump up and down a little bit or pump my fist or something. Then, we’ll all have a big laugh on here.

Leigh

Anne Doula…and everyone

If you go to any team’s main web page, at the bottom there is a link that says CONTACT US. I have used that function and a “To whom it may concern” and received quite a bit of stuff. Give it a try. If it’s still up, check out the team’s giveaways from the previous season and ask for something specific that you like. An example would be saying something along the lines of, “I’m a big BLANK fan, but I live in Calfornia now and can’t get to many of your home games anymore. My kids and I sure would appreciate it if you could send us any leftover giveaways you may have. We would really appreciate it, etc.” I think y’all get the general idea. Even if they’re not your favorite team why not get some cool stuff? It’s kind of like Zack switching hats. Just pretend to be a fan. Hey, that’s an idea! Ask them for a hat so you’ll have a cheap one to switch into when they’re in town next year. Ha ha. Everyone should post on here the stuff they get from their email requests.

Leigh

Leigh:

I got a Aaron Hill bobblehead.

Chris

Leigh
wow that is awesome thanks alot!!!!!!

zack et al….. ok this is my 1st blog experience. i just ordered zack’s new book, learned how to possibly receive free, groovey red sox stuff, know how to appear way cool if i ever catch a ball, and much more. thanks,everyone,for all this new info & insights.oddly enough, not many middle aged girrrls around e. tennessee share my red sox enthusiasm.
susan

gjk I just tried that on the Twins. Hopefully it will work. Thank you for the advice and something to keep busy with over the offseason that seems like an eternity. Twins don’t come in until the 11th of September :(:(:(

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