The luckiest fan around

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I’ve been going to baseball games since the Carter administration and I’ve never even sniffed a foul ball. I think the closest I’ve ever been to getting a souvenir was six or seven rows. So you’ll understand my jealousy of one Brian Cardis:

While most fans go a lifetime without catching a foul ball, Cardis caught two in the upper deck in a span of four pitches with the Dodgers’ James Loney batting in the ninth inning Sunday.

Both plays were nearly the same – high popups that floated over the first deck, carried three rows deep into the club-level seats behind third base in the second deck and directly into Cardis’ glove.

I’d understand if he had to scramble for ’em. It’s Pittsburgh in late September, so there’s maybe three dozen fans in the whole joint. But these went right to his glove. He was taking a picture of the first one with his phone when the second one came his way.

I’m not exactly sure why I’m jealous. It’s one thing to show off a foul ball back at school on Monday, but I’m in my mid-30s now and there really isn’t anyone who would be all that impressed if I flashed a James Loney foul ball at a staff meeting at work or at a party or something.

But I am jealous. And given that lightning seems to like to strike there, I’m going to see if this Cardis guy puts any of his season tickets on StubHub next summer.

Two mystery teams are talking to Manny Machado

Manny Machado
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The Phillies and White Sox have dominated much of the conversation around free agent Manny Machado this winter, but Andy Martino of SNY says that they may have some stiff competition as the clock winds down to Opening Day. Two mystery teams have been recently linked to the slugger, and Fancred’s Jon Heyman adds that one of them currently has the high bid, though they’re not considered his “preferred landing spot.”

There’s little sense in putting any stock in these kinds of rumors, of course, but it’ll be interesting to see how Machado’s camp responds in the weeks to come. The 26-year-old’s father, Manuel, added some fuel to the fire on Friday after taking an interview with Z101 Digital, saying, “I believe that the team you will probably less think about is the one that’s going to sign Manny Machado.”

Whether that’s in reference to the Yankees, who are apparently still in the conversation, or a true unknown team remains to be seen. Machado has given little, if any indication that he’s leaning toward a particular club, but is generally expected to be more receptive to whichever suitor feels inclined to meet his 10-year, $300 million asking price. At the very least, Manuel’s comments may help light a fire under the Phillies and White Sox as they continue to mull over a potential deal with the four-time All-Star.