Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Nats home opener...under 5,000 tickets remain

It's been being reported all day that there will be fewer than 5,000 tickets remaining for the Nationals home opener when they go on sale this Saturday morning*. That's really amazing since the only people with access to the tickets so far are season ticket holders (full and partial). I think Nats attendance has potential to shock the baseball community. A base of already 3,000,000 tickets sold is unreal considering the team doesn't even have a TV contract yet. I have been saying all along that the home opener will be as tough a ticket as the Wizards 1997 playoffs. I was on hold for hours trying to get tickets to a game against the Bulls and was shut out. I hope that's not the case this time.

Also, it looks like I won't be going to a Spring Training game while I'm in Orlando 10 days from now. My schedule just isn't going to allow time for a game. It's still a goal of mine to take an entire vacation for the sole purpose of attending spring training.

Steroids are still front page news and a week from today should be interesting because of the subpeonas that have been handed down. I hope they ask every player point blank "did you ever take steroids?". My long term Rafael Palmeiro bet could turn out to be not so long term because of the void clause. I think McGwire is the most interesting player that we could find some news about. He's gone out of his way to stay out of the spotlight the last few years and putting him under oath should be really interesting. That's all for now....Short and not so sweet. Later.

*UPDATE: The home opener goes on sale March 26. All regular season games besides the opener go on sale this Saturday.

To check out the Washington Times article where I got this information, click here:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20050309-121733-4873r.htm

Sunday, March 06, 2005

I haven't died...

What's up loyal readers? I apologize for the layoff once again, but life has been hectic around FunderBean Way. I'm attending my future brother and sister in law's wedding next weekend along with having my fantasy baseball draft....I'm going to Orlando, Florida the following weekend to attend my brother's wedding....I'm in the process of trying to buy a house...and I myself am getting married in early August. Not that you give a damn, but at least I'm giving reasons for my absence. Never fear, this blog has been on my mind every single day. I just haven't had the time to update regulary. Plus, as mentioned early last month, we are in the 1-2 month stretch where the FunderBean sporting interest is at its yearly low. Post-SuperBowl/pre-March Madness that is....

Basically, sorry for the layoff. I'm back and I've not forgetten my space here.

-Today was a crazy day for college basketball. I watched none of it except the final 2:00 of the UNC/Duke game. I did, however, watch the end of the golf tournament at Doral. I guess I am a statistic. The marginal golf fan DOES watch when Tiger is playing well and/or winning.

-Along the lines of my Cristian Guzman autograph the other day came a Tony Armas Jr. mailbox autograph. I think it would be a cool project to try to assemble all of the autographs of the Inagural Nats.

-The Contender starts tomorrow. I've already got the TiVo ready to rock on that one. I hope it's not a total letdown because I've been looking foreward to this for months.

-Virginia Tech, following a win over Maryland, will need to win a game (or two) in the ACC tournament if they have a chance at the NCAA's.

-The University of Virginia is Junior Varsity.


Well, that's all for now. Sorry for the spottiness but I figured I owed an explanation as to where I've been. Hope to talk to you soon.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Mailbox Autograph

When I checked the mail yesterday, I was suprised to find an envelope that I addressed to myself. It was a response to the letter I had sent to Nationals spring training. When I opened the letter, I was happy to see that it had the two baseball cards that I had sent to Cristian Guzman inside. Both were autographed, but there was nothing else inside the envelope. His signature is below average and boarderline ugly. I'd probably give it a D+. I checked online a few places to make sure the signature looked similar (authentic), and it does. Cristian Guzman is officially the first Nationals autograph I own. Pretty cool. I was actually worried that I'd never get any of the cards back because I addressed everything to Melbourne, Florida and I think they have changed the mailing address in the last year or two and now technically reside in Viero, Florida (or something that sounds like that). If anybody is interested, here is the Nationals Spring Training Address that worked for me.

(Players' Name)
c/o Washington Nationals
Space Coast Stadium
5800 Stadium Parkway
Melbourne, FL 32940

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Spring Training for the Beans?

We've got about 5-6 inches of snow on the ground..... March is going to be painful with April bringing pure baseball joy. I have two weddings that I am a part of in mid-March, but the 2nd is in Orlando, Florida. I only mention this because I might take the opportunity to go check out a Spring Training game or two. I've never done that before and I've always wanted to go on a Spring Training vacation. This won't be quite that, but it will be a good taste of a full weekend of Spring Training. I haven't decided if I'd like to go to Nationals ST or not since I will be following them all summer long. I may try to hit up some other team. We'll see. My curiosity will probably end up taking me to Melbourne and the Nats camp.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

ESPN The Monopoly

Here's what's wrong with ESPN. This weekend is "ESPN the weekend" in Orlando, Florida. Yep. That Orlando Florida...home to Disney World. If you are reading this on Sunday, you will also notice that the ESPN.com frontpage is all about the Oscars. Hmmmm. I wonder if the Oscars are on ABC? Yep. That ABC. The one that is affiliated with ESPN and Disney. ESPN is becoming so overly self-serving that they make me want to throw up in my own mouth, chew it for 30 seconds, spit it into a glass, add some ice, and partake. I don't know if I can put into words the love-hate relationship I have with ESPN. I live for PTI, and I couldn't live without the network, but they also make me sick at the same time. I wish there were a decent competitor. The ESPN monopoly is single-handedly ruining the sports world by oversaturating it with their personality.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Random Baseball Card Wrap-Up

I am fairly bored right now so I think I'm going to try something new. I have a box of baseball cards sitting next to my desk. Not the ones I collected as a kid, which are still at my parents house a few towns over, but the ones I have bought throughout my college years and beyond. I haven't bought very many, but I have roughly a shoebox full of cards most of which are between 1999 and 2002. To try and cure my boredom, I'm going to close my eyes and pull a card out of the box and write about the player I chose and the card itself. Here we go...

And the card is.....Booooooo! It's a 2000 Upper Deck Victory Ray Lankford card. I really wanted to cheat and pull another card, but that wouldn't be fair. First of all, I'd like to say that I never quite understood what Upper Deck Victory was. I remember buying a box of these cards at a Wal-Mart or a Target. They are an Upper Deck sub-set with a lot of cards, but they seemed to have mostly popular players and the entire set was probably 200-300 cards instead of the 500-700 card sets that I was used to growing up as a kid. I also remember that these cards were a lot cheaper than your regular Upper Deck cards.

I'm going to have to pull Ray Lankford up on Baseball-Refrence.com and see if I can get any interesting nuggets on him. The back of this particular card doesn't give out much information in words other than that Lankford led the Cardinals in 1999 in team batting average. On to baseball-reference.com.....

Interesting. Ray Lankford was an All-Star only once..1997. Ray hit .295 that season with 31 HR and 98 RBI. He also stole 21 bases that year with a .411 on-base percentage. I'd say that's an all-star year, but you have to remember that offensive stats were way out of whack in the mid-to-late 90's so those numbers are rather modest for that year. His first half was still good enough to earn him an all-star selection. Ray duplicated his HR total of 31 the next year, 1998, but he also played 21 more games. Those are the only two times in Lankford's career that he broke 30 in the HR department.

Well, that ends my shoebox baseball card wrap-up. Not very exciting. It would have been cool to pull someone a little bit more interesting than Ray Lankford. Two random notes...1) if you type Ray Lankford into Google, the first link that comes up is a fantasy link that says that Ray Lankford was owned in 0.0% of 2004 ESPN fantasy baseball leagues. 2) There is no such website as www.raylankford.com. That's pretty sad. I would think that every marginally famous athlete would have a webpage either started by a fan, charity, or sponsor. Not the case with Ray Lankford.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

C-Webb and Sammy Sosa

Wow. It's very rare these days that I sign on to my computer or turn on my television and see some breaking sports news that actually suprises me. I am a sports radio junkie, PTI addict, and basically check what's going on in the sporting world 1st thing every morning and the last thing before bed at night. I was shocked this morning when I saw that Chris Webber is now a 76er. I have always liked C-Webb, dating back to his early years here in Washington. I think the 76er's did a great thing by complimenting A.I. with such a talented post presence. Miami is still the team to beat, but Philly is now an Eastern Confrence contender. This worries me a little bit as a Wizards fan. Washington is having a great year, but are only 4 games up in the loss column on the team that currently has the 8 seed...and Philly is currently the 1st team out of the playoffs, we'll call them the 9 seed even though only 8 teams make it in.

On to baseball....I was getting into my spring training groove, and the weather decides to dump a batch of heavy snow on the DC area. Nothing like a huge snowstorm to setback the feeling that spring and baseball are right around the corner. I have been doing a lot of reading on Sammy Sosa and his arrival at Orioles camp. I've always been a Sammy guy in the past and I've also been an Orioles fan by default before getting the Nationals. I am a full fledged Nats guy now, but I still know where to get my O's info and they still show up in my local papers, etc. Anyway, it got me thinking about today's typical player and the players that live only in our memories or what's been passed down to us through story. Love him or hate him, Sammy is a throwback to that era of a ballplayer having "a story" and being a "character". Sammy's 1st BP as an Oriole made the rest of the team stop what they were doing and watch the slugger pummell baseballs over the centerfield fence. He demands attention, and in my opinion rightfully so. He also genuinely seems to care about kids and making baseball fun. Sure, a lot of his antics are for show, but he's actually trying to entertain...trying to give the fans the most for their dollar, and for that I respect him. Sprinting out to right, his "fly-hop" out of the batters box when he think's he's gotten enough, his chest-hit-kiss-V sign to the cameras in the dugout after his homers....all of it, is to some showing off, but to me, it's giving the fans a little bit more. In today's day and age of Barry Bonds and red-asses all around, Sosa and what comes with him are a bit refreshing to me. I say he's one of the few of the "stories" that we all tell our grandkids about, and the memories of Sammy Sosa should live forever.