The Dead Stadium Tour

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Sometimes I have lottery fantasies. One of the top things I’d do if I suddenly won, like, $50 million, would be to devote my life to driving around. Just driving. After a while, though, you’d have to develop a plan of attack, because otherwise you’re just a drifter, so I think up themed road trips.  This is a great themed road trip:

Nearly every baseball season for the past 25 years, he and three buddies from law school and college have taken in a major-league series at an “endangered” ballpark. They call it the Dead Stadium Tour.

The four baseball junkies, of whom Ondrovic is the official archivist and photographer, have visited 18 now-defunct Major League parks. They’ve seen Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Tiger Stadium in Detroit, the Seattle Kingdome and many spots in between.

I’d take a bottle with me to each one and pour one out for those who used to call those parks home.

Here’s their website.

Former Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos signs a minor league deal with the Dodgers

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Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.

OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.

It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.