Over the past week, we have been counting down the days until spring will finally be here. As a sports enthusiast, spring is an amazing time of the year. During the 93 days of spring, the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments take place, the NBA and NHL playoffs will start and almost end, and the NFL will have its annual draft at Radio City Music Hall. But the top thing I am looking forward to this season, is the start of the 2013 Major League Baseball season on March 31.
Is there any sport more connected to spring then baseball? When Spring Training officially began in late February, everyone began to see the light at the end of the dark, cold, winter tunnel, and began eagerly awaiting the start of the baseball season. There is nothing quite like sitting at ballpark when the weather is warm enough that you can wear just a T-Shirt and shorts, but cool enough that you won't break a sweat sitting in the sun. Perfection.
As a Red Sox fan myself, there is not really the same excitement as in years past, but that doesn't matter. I love baseball. And if you are a die-hard fan like me, you always stick behind your team, for better or worse. Despite the less-than-stellar outlook for the Red Sox this year, I can't wait for all the baseball debates I will have this year. The most heated sports arguments always seem to be between baseball rivals. There is not a Yankees fan out there that I don't love arguing with (except my wife; we have agreed not to talk about it, specifically anything Derek Jeter related).
When the season starts, I can always count on tuning into a game every night for the next six months. There is nothing quite like it. I love all sports, but Major League Baseball has a much more sentimental value in my heart and that is why it's my favorite thing about the spring season.
What sports event or game that are you looking forward most in spring 2013?
This week: a unique Mad Men-inspired video, an embarrassing baseball error and the stir around Michelle Obama's nails.
Mad Men Rickroll
A comedian compiled dozens of one-word clips of "Mad Men" scenes to create a whole "music video" to Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." Enjoy. And don't say I didn't warn you.
Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention has caused quite a stir, but not just for political reasons. Apparently women everywhere are clamoring over the nail polish she wore during the speech, which turned out to be...well, read the article.
Awkward Rockies error
It's one of the easiest parts of the game: the catcher just has to throw the ball back to the pitcher after each pitch. But in this case, the pitcher missed the catch, allowing the Braves to score an unearned run and, ultimately, win the game.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
It's a sad day for Mariners fans everywhere. Right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, who has been with the Mariners since 2001, was traded to the Yankees last night. And to add insult to injury, his first game as a Yankee was also last night...at Safeco Field...against the Mariners.
While I'm now a Mets fan, there has always been a hometeam spot in my heart for the Mariners, since I grew up just a few hours from them. The one season I remember most clearly was actually Ichiro's first, in 2001, when the M's set an American League record for single-season wins, ending with a record of 116-46. Ichiro won AL MVP that year, and he's also managed to be a 10-time All-Star during his time with the team. I've always inherently rooted for the Mariners as a Washingtonian...but with the loss of Ichiro that's much harder to do, since he was the last team member I still remembered.
This morning I came across a song called "Ichiro's Theme" by Ben Gibbard. Take a listen:
We'll miss you, Ichiro. And while I love you, I now dislike the Yankees a little bit more.
The Texas Rangers have been among the top teams in Major League Baseball in 2012, and on TicketNetwork.com, they have also been the most sought-after tickets in the league.
Games at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington have accounted for nearly 12% of all MLB tickets sold through the TicketNetwork.com marketplace, nearly 3% more than their closest competitor, the New York Yankees. Even more impressively, the Rangers have sold more than two times the number of tickets than any of their American League West rivals combined. The team has had an electrifying first half (see video below to see Mother Nature's proof) and currently boasts the second-best record in baseball, having out-slugged their opponents all season long, scoring a league-leading 443 runs.
Having the Rangers and Yankees atop the rankings is not really a surprise as they are the two best teams in baseball, but one surprise is the disappointing Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox have been a fixture as one of the top selling teams in previous years, but they have not lived up to those standards in 2012. The team currently ranks No. 11, behind teams like the Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates and even the typically attendance-challenged Tampa Bay Rays.
Top Selling MLB Teams on TicketNetwork.com
|#1. Texas Rangers
||#16. Minnesota Twins
|#2. New York Yankees
||#17. Kansas City Royals
|#3. Milwaukee Brewers
||#18. New York Mets
|#4. Detroit Tigers
||#19. Houston Astros
|#5. Atlanta Braves
||#20. Philadelphia Phillies
|#6. Pittsburgh Pirates
||#21. Cincinnati Reds
|#7. San Francisco Giants
||#22. Cleveland Indians
|#8. Colorado Rockies
||#23. Los Angeles Angels
|#9. Tampa Bay Rays
||#24. Baltimore Orioles
|#10. Los Angeles Dodgers
||#25. Toronto Blue Jays
|#11. Boston Red Sox
||#26. Miami Marlins
|#12. St. Louis Cardinals
||#27. Arizona Diamondbacks
|#13. Washington Nationals
||#28. Chicago White Sox
|#14. Seattle Mariners
||#29. San Diego Padres
|#15. Chicago Cubs
||#30. Oakland Athletics
As a Mets fan, I was thrilled when Johan Santana threw the very first no-hitter in franchise history last Friday, after a mere 8,020 games played by the team. It seemed an opportune time to speak for all of us who root for the Amazin's. Since a sense of humor is pretty much a requirement for being a Mets fan, here's a list of pros and cons for becoming a fan of New York's "other team":
|The Mets did not end up being the last team standing without a no-hitter. Sadly, that award goes to the Padres.
||Since the Padres are four years younger than the Mets, we might still end up being the team that went the longest before getting their first no-hitter.
|The Mets have the best mascot in baseball.
||I've got nothing. I mean, come on...it's Mr. Met.
|The Mets have an awesome theme song, which has been around in some version since 1961.("Meet the Mets")
||From 2007-2011, the Mets have the lowest winning percentage of any team in the majors who regularly uses a theme song written before 1963.
|The Mets have the home run apple (see pic above), which is raised every time a Met hits a home run at Citi Field.
||Until this year, Citi Field was so huge that we didn't see the home run apple all that often.
|David Wright/Johan Santana
||Jason Bay/Fred Wilpon
|The Mets are the only expansion team to win more than one World Series.
||We play just across town from some other team that claims to have won 27 World Series.
|Celebrity Mets fans include Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Chris Rock and a myriad of others.
||Celebrity fans also include Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino. That one hurts.
All kidding aside, I think the Mets are one of the most fun-loving teams in baseball; they genuinely enjoy playing the game and supporting each other along the way, through thick and thin.
What team do you root for? And why?