Craig Calcaterra

Seattle Mariners' Stefen Romero, left, shakes hands with third base coach Rich Donnelly after Romero's solo home run against the Oakland Athletics during the fifth inning of a baseball game on Monday, May 5, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Associated Press

The Chicken Runs at Midnight


This is not tied to anything timely or newsy. I just happened to see Yahoo’s Tim Brown tweet it out on Saturday. I had never seen it before, I watched it and then, after crying for an hour, watched it again and now I want all of you to do the same thing too.

It’s a video of long-time major league coach Rich Donnelly talking about his daughter’s battle with a brain tumor which coincided with the 1992 playoffs, when Donnelly coached for the Pirates. Then something else happened during the 1997 World Series, when Donnelly was coaching for the Marlins which brought that back to him. It involves his daughter, Jose Lind and the title of this post in a way that is better watched than described.

Vin Scully Avenue is happening

vin scully getty

Yesterday we wrote about the proposal, today we report that it’s official: the Los Angeles City Council voted to rename Elysian Park Avenue from Sunset Blvd. to Stadium Way in front of Dodger Stadium “Vin Scully Avenue.” The vote was unanimous.

It will take 30 days for the street name to officially change as there is a period in which communications must be had with the community pursuant to city laws, but it’s happening.

All of which makes me want to get on Google Maps and catalog the streets near other ballparks named after famous figures in franchise history. If I had to guess, almost all of them have at least some nearby alley or street which honors a Hall of Famer, a beloved figure or, in the case of the Dodgers, a broadcaster.


The Twins are putting 6-7 foot tall nets above the dugouts

Target Field

In December, Major League Baseball announced recommendations — not rules, but mere recommendations — that clubs put protective netting in front of all seats between the near ends of both dugouts (i.e., the ends of the dugouts located closest to home plate). Most parks already had netting which extended to the near edge of the dugout, of course. That, combined with the emphasis on notice to and education of fans regarding their safety made some — including this author — think that baseball’s netting initiative was less about increasing protection for fans and more about increasing protection of itself from liability.

The Minnesota Twins, however, just announced that they are going to go beyond these recommendations:

The “DSP” is David St. Peter, the Twins president.

Based on the immediate responses to this news, as seen in one Twins reporter’s Twitter replies, this isn’t going to go over particularly well:

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 2.04.33 PM

On some level I understand. Fans still like to sit down close. Many like to get foul balls and interact with players as much as they possibly can. As the league said back in December, they have an interest in balancing fan experience and safety. Someone is gonna get angry when nets go up. Maybe a lot of someones.

But those dugout seats in Minnesota are really close. And people can get seriously hurt. While most fans can and do sit down there without getting hurt, the Twins and their employees are there every day and likely see their fair share of injuries and near-misses too. If they’re nervous about it, it’s hard not to defer to them in this regard.