Thanks to a U2 concert, the Marlins will be the home team in Seattle this weekend

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Because of U2 — who, if you try hard enough, can be blamed for most of what has happened for the past 25 years or so — the Marlins/Mariners series, originally scheduled for Sun Life Stadium in Miami this weekend is being played in Seattle.  But, as was the case when the Blue Jays/Phillies got moved to Citizens Bank Park last year, the out-of-town team will be the home team.

And heck, maybe the Mariners will feel more like the road team anyway.  This series was supposed to be part of an east coast swing for them, so their travel schedule breaks down like this: Philly, Washington, and then back to Seattle to face the Marlins and Braves. The Marlins’ travel plans are less jerky. They were at home in this last series against Anaheim, but they were going to be heading out west to face Oakland in the series that starts on Tuesday anyway. With their day off yesterday — which the Mariners didn’t get — their travel was much less taxing.

Still, I don’t know that it’s enough of a handicap to make up for the fact that Marlins have to play a “home” series several thousand miles from home.  In order to even things up more, I believe that the Mariners players should have to stay in a hotel in downtown Seattle, while the Marlins get free run of the Mariners’ players’ homes, cars and whatnot.*

*The whatnot is negotiable on a family by family basis and really is none of our business. 

Bartolo Colon Watching the Eclipse Is Your Moment of Zen

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A Solar Eclipse

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

In that great journey of the stars through space
About the mighty, all-directing Sun,
The pallid, faithful Moon, has been the one
Companion of the Earth. Her tender face,
Pale with the swift, keen purpose of that race,
Which at Time’s natal hour was first begun,
Shines ever on her lover as they run
And lights his orbit with her silvery smile.

Sometimes such passionate love doth in her rise,
Down from her beaten path she softly slips,
And with her mantle veils the Sun’s bold eyes,
Then in the gloaming finds her lover’s lips.
While far and near the men our world call wise
See only that the Sun is in eclipse.

The umps have dropped their Ian Kinsler protest

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Over the weekend the World Umpires Association — the umpire’s union —  launched a protest in response to what it feels is Major League Baseball’s failure to adequately address the “escalating attacks” on the men in blue. They were specifically upset that Ian Kinsler didn’t get suspended for his remarks in which he said that Angel Hernandez should get out of the umpiring business because he’s terrible. Apparently to umpires truth is no defense. In any event, they wore white wristbands Saturday night as a sign of solidarity or whatever.

Now that’s over, it seems. At least for the time being. The Association released this statement yesterday afternoon:

“Today, WUA members agreed to the Commissioner’s proposal to meet with the Union’s Governing Board to discuss the concerns on which our white wristband protest is based. We appreciate the Commissioner’s willingness to engage seriously on verbal attacks and other important issues that must be addressed. To demonstrate our good faith, MLB Umpires will remove the protest white wristbands pending the requested meeting.”

As many noted over the weekend — most notably Emma Span of Sports Illustrated — this protest was, at best, tone deaf. While officials are, obviously, due proper respect, a player jawing at an umpire is neither unprecedented nor very serious compared to, well, almost anything that goes on in the game or in society. At a time when people are literally taking to the streets to protest white supremacy, Neo-Nazis and the KKK, asking folks to spare thoughts for some people who sometimes have to take guff over ball and strike calls is not exactly a cause that is going to draw a ton of sympathy. And that’s before you address the fact that the umpires are not innocent when it comes to stoking the animosity between themselves and the players.

I wouldn’t expect to hear too much more out of this other than, perhaps, a relatively non-committal statement from Major League Baseball and a relatively detail-free declaration of victory by the umpires after their meeting.