The Rays are number one!

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No, not in the AL East! In terms of critical violations of health codes at its concession outlets in their home stadium!

ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reviewed health department inspection reports
for food and beverage outlets at all 107 North American arenas and
stadiums that were home to Major League Baseball, National Football
League, National Hockey League and National Basketball Association teams
in 2009. At 30 of the venues (28 percent), more than half of the
concession stands or restaurants had been cited for at least one
“critical” or “major” health violation . . . At Tropicana Field — home of the Tampa Bay Rays — every one of the
stadium’s 47 food and drink outlets inspected incurred a critical
violation during inspections within the past year, according to Florida
inspection reports.

Not that the Rays are the only ones doing poorly in this regard. The story has a nice interactive map showing just how terrible every ballpark, stadium and arena is doing in all four major sports. I note a very large number of violations in Florida, though that could just as easily be a function of more stringent inspections in Florida than a difference in actual problems. When you look at stuff like this you’re bound to find differences in how things get reported.

And while the details in this kind of report don’t make me feel all that good, I’ve read enough books over the years that lead me to believe that we really don’t want to hear the details about anyplace we eat.

Hot dogs on me, everyone!

Another young fan was struck by a foul ball, this time at Guaranteed Rate Field

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ESPN reports via the Associated Press that a young boy was struck by a line drive foul ball but was not seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Royals. The boy and a woman were escorted by a first aid crew to the concourse area and the boy was later eating ice cream in a luxury suite.

A woman was struck in the face by a foul ball also on the first base side at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, but she didn’t request medical assistance.

Last week, a young fan at Yankee Stadium was hit by a line drive foul ball, which motivated several teams to commit to extending protective netting at their ballparks. The Yankees, strangely, were not among them. Nor were the White Sox.

Diamondbacks clinch NL Wild Card

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Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.

The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.

The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.

The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.