Was just watching the episode titled "Voices Carry" from season 2 of the TV series The 4400, and what should jump out at me?
None other than The Nat, being used as a location for the opening act of the show.
The entire series has been shot in Vancouver, so you’ll often see scenes in and around places like the Art Gallery, Commercial Drive, Steveston Village, The Chan Centre at UBC, the Convocation Mall at SFU and the like, so it stands to reason that when an episode involves a minor league ballplayer who can hear what people are thinking, you’d look to The Nat for a backdrop.
If you’ve ever wondered what the Canadians locker rooms look like (or rather, used to look like), go rent Season Two, Disc One of The 4400 and all will be answered.
Oh, and no, this wasn’t the shoot that ripped up the infield grass several years ago - something the ballpark has still not recovered from.
Can you think of any other movies or TV shows that have used The Nat as a backdrop? Leave a comment.
Yes, the rumours are true: The world’s foremost team mascot, thegiant head that started it all - The San Diego Chicken - will beappearing at Nat Bailey Stadium on Tuesday night’s game.
This ishuge. You might have seen some good mascots in your time (or not, ifyou follow the antics of Fin the Vancouver Canucks Whale closely), but The Famous Chicken invented it all. He was the first. He’s long been the best. He’ll be in the Hall of Fame - guaranteed. And he hates umpireswith a passion.
And in case you think you’re going to get a good ticket by showing up at the door unannounced, the C’s ticket office wants you to know that box seats are ALREADY sold out.
Call the C’s ticket office now and reserve your seats for what is a hell of a show. Oh, and take your kids. Take their friends. Take random children you find in the street. The Chicken feeds off their giggles.
And if you can’t make Tuesday night, get there for Wednesday’s nooner - game starts at 1pm, and the beer starts flowing half an hour earlier.
Could it be that the Vancouver Canadians are about to turn it around, making a second half charge on Salem-Keizer in a bid to make the playoffs against all odds?
Nah. The Volcanoes are ridiculous, since San Francisco doesn’t promote anyone unless they’re at least 32 years of age. But I’ll take a solid 2nd place, if that’s available, thanks.
Today the C’s went up against an ailing Everett Aquasox outfit that has been in such poor form they could fit right into the NWL East without missing a step, and the C’s took their chances to display a little hittin’.
VANCOUVER CANADIANS Michael ‘Runway’ Richard DH .314 Josh ‘Hoo’ Horton SS .282 Amblin’ Danny Hamblin 1B .267 Matt ‘Excellentic’ Sulentic RF .284 Justin ‘Ham’ Frash 3B .219 Matt ‘Manta’ Ray .172 Dusty ‘The American Dream’ Napoleon C .220 [seen above] Shane ‘3-0′ Keough LF .176 Leonardo ‘Monster’ Martinez P
EVERETT FLIPPERKIDS ‘Soggy’ Ogui Diaz SS .283 Roberto ‘Mendoza’ Mena 2B .143 Greg ‘Windmills’ Halman CF .306 Manelik ‘Manic Depression’ Pimental 1B .238 ‘Okey’ Joe Dunigan LF .237 Jeff ‘Done Nothin’ Dunbar C .194 Kalian ‘Tulip’ Sams DH .146 Welington ‘The Boot’ Dotel RF .167 Deybis ‘Dey-O. Dey-ey-ey-O’ Benitez 3B .136 ‘Floppy’ Bobby Harmon P
Diamond Dallas Braden, the 24th round draftee we said was headed for the Majors back in 2004 when everyone else was saying, "Dallas who?", has been sent down to AAA Sacramento after getting shelled by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Braden was traveling along nicely until the 4th inning, when he gave up a 3-run bomb to BJ ’someone please change my initials’ Upton, before giving up back to back jacks in the 5th on his way to recording his first pro loss.
"It was great until the fourth inning,'’ Braden said. "Spectacular until then. But if you pitch up, you’re going to get beat up. That’s just the way it goes. I just wish I could have been better for the people who paid money to see it.'’
[…] In the fifth, the Devil Rays matched the A’s earlier back-to-back homers with two deep shots to left-center, first by Rocco Baldelli leading off the inning and then Elijah Dukes — whose drive nearly nailed Stomper, the A’s mascot, who was frolicking in the stands.
"That was a backdoor slider to Dukes that came right back over the middle – and went out the backdoor of the stadium,'’ Braden said.
Expect him to go back up in ten days or so, as the A’s have a bunch of days off and only sent him down because they wouldn’t have much use for him in the meantime.
"They’ve got holes to fill, I completely understand,'’ Braden said of the move. "And they don’t want two guys (Braden and Joe Kennedy) just sitting around so long.'’
Filling Braden’s spot in the roster is Ryan Langerhans, who was brought in from Atlanta for a Player To Be Named Later. He’ll take the center fielder role for Oakland while their entire outfield recovers from their assorted injuries, allowing Shannon Stewart to play his regular role in left and Travis Buck to handle right.
Danny Putnam? Pinch-runner, I’m guessing.
Photo credit: AP
CURT SCHILLING CIRCLES THE WAGONS OVER FAKE SOCK ALLEGATION
You knew it was going to happen as soon as the words were spoken, but Doug Mirabelli is now claiming he never said Schilling’s famed Bloody Sock? was a fake, and the broadcaster who had earlier quoted Mirabelli as saying that is now all coy about it and second guessing himself.
"Take Gary Thorne, John, Jack Joe or whatever his first name is,Heyman, Karen Vescey, Woody Paige, CHB, Jay Marriotti, Bill Plaschke,and a host of other people that litter the media landscape, and putthem all on an island somewhere."
Put them on an island? Well, what else would you expect to hear from a guy who endorsed the reelection of George W. Bush while celebrating his World Series win?
The Red Sox paid $50m to get the rights just to talk to Daisuke Matsuzaka. They then paid another $52m to sign him for six years.
As of now, he has an ERA of 4.36, which makes his deal only marginally better than the contract given to Gil Meche by the Kansas City Royals. Which is only marginally better than the deal the Mariners gave to Jeff "could pitch once" Weaver.
Which is only marginally better than taking $8m and setting it on fire.
BEST QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Why is Kenji Johjima, a Japanese catcher that just about every team in the game would take in a heartbeat, platooning in Seattle with another catcher?
Let’s ask Bobby Valentine:
"Because his manager’s an idiot."
Sho nuff, Bobby. Sho nuff.
Ever see a game of cricket on TV and have no idea at all what’s going on? I was raised on the sport so it’s second nature to me, but I can understand why it would confuse someone who has no idea of the rules/point.
I’ve seen many efforts to explain it over the years, but I have to say that none beats the page on cricket at the Hardball Times. It’s the most accurate, easiest to understand article I’ve seen, and I thoroughly recommend any sports fan to read it, and then find a game to watch on TV somewhere.
Once you understand cricket, baseball season never really ends…
Work continues to go on behind the scenes to restore the Notes From The Nat archives - this past week we’ve manually reposted all blog posts from July 2006 and August 2005, complete with updated images and, in some cases, cleaned up text.
It’s a huge job bringing the site back up to speed - we’ve still got about 270 posts in limbo after our previous blog software crashed and burned, and there’s another 50 posts that are in the system but unformatted and thus tough to read - but we’ll keep working at it, bringing the old posts back, one at a time, until we get back to season 2004 when it all began.
But please, if you do have a blog, learn from our experience and make sure you use blogging software that is portable. Moving from Blogger to PostNuke, and then to WordPress, has caused us literally months of work in trying to keep the archives from disappearing, and we still have a long way to go.
That said, we’ll be using the current WordPress software now and into the future. It does what need it to, it’s flexible, it’s upgradeable, it keeps the comment spam away, and seems to be secure and well-supported.
Post-Nuke users take note…
Random YouTube Clip of the Day:
When Ichiro and Daisuke went into pitched battle yesterday for the first time on US soil, the Red Sox pitcher pretty much owned the Mariners legend, with Ichiro going 0-4. But what happened when the two first met, back when Ichiro was 26 and at the height of his powers, and Daisuke was just 18?
Chicago White Sox GM Kenny Williams and Pulp Fiction’s Marsellus Wallace.
It’s never too early to start the GM-ribbing, and since Chicago White Sox GM Kenny Williams is an A-grade Pierszynski, I thought it might be worth mentioning the similarities between he and his long lost twin - not just in appearance, but mainly in temperament.
Remember how Williams celebrated a World Series win by chasing Frank Thomas out of Chicago after 15 seasons of success, claiming Thomas was "selfish" and an "idiot"?
Then Thomas, of course, signed for next to no money with Oakland and propelled them to the ALCS on the back of 39 home runs, while Williams continued to bitch to the press about him?
Well, Frank Thomas just hit a grand slam for his new team, the Toronto Blue Jays, amidst much discussion of how he’s a clubhouse captain who has time for anyone and everyone. Similar talk was rife when he was an Athletic.
So what does that make Kenny Williams? Yes, that’s right - it makes him someone who would choose to employ both Ozzie Guillen AND AJ Pierszynski. Translated: An A-grade douchebag.
It’s tradition that when a team wins a championship, they’re given a big stonking ring with plenty of diamond chips to celebrate the fact. Usually these rings are so fat on the finger that you wouldn’t wear them outside of a 25-year alumni reunion, but they make for a nice keepsake in lieu of an actual trophy that you can take home.
So anyways, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes had a great season in 2006, and thus they’re getting their rings, but there’s a twist in the tale…
What’s worse, if you buy one of the Salem-Keizer championship rings,they’ll actually put your name on the side, as if you were playing leftfield.
Now, maybe someone out there can tell me… is this not a little classless? I might be just uninformed, but this isn’t usually done, is it?
I used to work in the movie industry, and on each film you worked on, you’d normally get a jacket or t-shirt or cap or some such that had "[Name of Movie] Crew, Vancouver 2006" printed somewhere on it as a thank you for taking part.
But as cheap as those bits of swag were, you’d never consider for a moment the idea of selling them to people who WEREN’T working on crew. That sort of thing would just be tacky, right? It would devalue the very thing you’ve been thanked for if any old schmuck could go out and buy it for $12, and thereafter pretend that they worked on [Name of Movie].
If I were a member of the Volcanoes 2006 team, I’d feel a little put out that team ownership is making money off the back of something that I’ve trained fifteen years to win.
But hey, that’s just me.
Random YouTube clip of the day: Game Six of the 1986 World Series, recreated using Nintendo’s RBI Baseball. Pure genius.
The game started off lightning fast with Vince Mazzaropitching for the Ports having a little control problem. He walkedMellilo (’04) and then a passed ball had mellilo at second. A single tocenter followed but no run as Mellio was nailed at the plate by a greatthrow for [Javier] Herrera (’04).. That guy has a cannon of an arm!!!However Barton made up for it with a 2 run shot to left field in thetop of the first. The Ports replied in the bottom of the first withLloyd Turner (’02-’03) hit a towering solo shot to center field outover the 389 mark and then Herrera followed up a couple of batterslater with a RBI single to tie the game.
Worth noting is that Javier Herrera just came out of Tommy johnsurgery a short time ago and A’s farm director Keith Lieppman hasrecently said that he didn’t think Herrera would be allowed to throwhard in the field for a while, just to be sure.
That Herreraunleashed a hard one in an exhibition game with nothing on the line isworrying, though absolutely in line with his prior history of notlistening to coaches who tell him to take it easy. This is, after all,a kid who ran into an outfield wall so hard while playing in Arizonathat healmost broke his neck, and put himself out of the game for nearly a year - and then got suspended for steroid use a year after his return.
The game settled down with some good pitching on bothsides, with Mellilo’s solo HR to left field in the 3rd the onlyscoring for a while. The Ports finally got more runs with a 2 run HR inthe bottom of the sixth to take the lead. Unfortunately i do not havehis name only his number #31, as he was a pinch hitter and the PAsystem is not the greatest.
For the record, that dinger came from Anthony Recker, Vancouver catcher from the 2005 season.
It did give the lead back to the ports at 4-3 and that wasthe final score at the end of the game. Brad Davis (’05) came in andpitched the last 2 innings for the save. (wow a two inning save,wouldnt that be nice?)
I’ve been saying ever since he used to throw in Vancouver thatDangerous Bradley Davis is my pick for a darkhorse Major Leaguer-to-be.Kid can throw, and though his stats haven’t jumped out and smackedOakland’s farm honchos between the eyes just yet, those who venturedout to Nat Bailey Stadium in 2005 will remember PLENTY of 2-inningsaves from The Dangerous One.
The only other notable higlight came from Jason Perry inthe 8th inning. With 2 on and 2 out, Tommy Everidge (’04) hit a slicingshot deep down the right field line with Perry chasing after it runningsideways and backwards. He caught the ball and promptly slammedstraight into the wall. He kind of bounced off and collapsed to theground… incredibly he hung on to the ball to end the inning. He wasseriously shaken up so i was happy that he was able to get back up andhalf walk, half jog back to the dugout…
Jason Perry never played in Vancouver as he was drafted by the BlueJays originally, but he did play for Medicine Hat back when they had aballteam. Prairie represent!
Barton looked good, especially on his home run to oppositefield, Suzuki (’04) had a good game with a couple of good at bats,worked an 0-2 count for a walk and laced a double late in the game.
Bold prediction time: If Jason Kendall or Adam Melhuse go down withinjury late this season, I’m picking Suzuki to get a September call-upto Oakland - especially if Landon Powell excels in AA ball (which islikely, if reports of his trimming down are accurate).
Something else i noted was about the much vaunted andcrticised SS Cliff Pennington… it appears he has been moved to 2ndbase although i am not sure yet if this is permanent. Still waiting formore info.
This is perhaps the hugest news to come out of this game. It meanstwo things and explains one other. First, it means Pennington’sbargaining power is gone - when he signed with Oakland, he did sosaying he was fine to play anywhere, but with word on the street sayinghe wanted to play shortstop - period. Second, it means Justin Sellers(’05 - seen right) will start in shortstop for Stockton this year, which suggests hemight be considered a better bet than the one-time ’sure thing’first round pick.
It also explains why Gregorio Petit (’04) isplaying in his usual shortstop position in AA ball - a spot he wasbooted out of to make room for Pennington over the last two seasons…which means Petit might ALSO have jumped Pennington on the prospectlists.
Bad news for Moneypenny, great news for a couple of V-Town infield maestros.