Category Archives: Disgruntled Fan Feature

Slightly-erratically scheduled, full-length commentaries on major issues in sports.

Collusion Collides With Reality

Do you remember where you were when MLB was found guilty of collusion in the case of this past off-season’s free agent market?

Of course you don’t. Because that didn’t happen.

Embed from Getty Images

In Major League Baseball, youth–like Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Braves–is always served

Nor did this space bother to comment on the charges, even in the heat of the grumbling back during spring training. Because none of it ever made a lick of sense, and anyone who knows anything about the history of baseball since the advent of free agency–or even what happened in the last couple of years with the Houston Astros–already knew that.

Continue reading Collusion Collides With Reality


The New College Try

In the midst of all the goings on over last weekend, something interesting and unexpected showed up my TV. 

It wasn’t the French Open results, which deserve a post all their own. 

It wasn’t the aftermath of the Warriors’ second consecutive NBA title, as entertaining as that was.

Nor was it the celebration that happened in the wake of the Capitals’ Stanley Cup breakthrough. 

Embed from Getty Images

College teams are headed for Omaha…and so may a lot of MLB viewers

No, it was–amazingly enough–college baseball, specifically the NCAA Super Regionals. And the games I saw made me wonder: where has this been all my life?

Continue reading The New College Try

A View From The Park: San Francisco

NOTE: Here is the eighth in an occasional series of Features describing the author’s visits to various MLB ballparks around the country. The continuation of this series brings the author to San Francisco’s AT&T Park, home of the Giants and the second closest major league park to your correspondent’s home. (Click any photo for a larger view)

I found the problem with AT&T Park.

That’s bigger news than it might seem, since it is practically baseball dogma at this point that the home of the San Francisco Giants is the premier ballpark experience in the game. And a big part of that presumed perfection lies in the oft-stated assumption that, at AT&T Park, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

Leave it to your humble correspondent to find what might be the one bad seat in the park.

The Willie Mays Gate at AT&T Park
The scene outside the Willie Mays Gate at AT&T Park before the Giants’ game against the Cincinnati Reds, May 15, 2018.

Continue reading A View From The Park: San Francisco

Thinking, Expansive And Otherwise

With the Vegas Golden Knights all set in their Western Conference Final matchup against the Winnipeg Jets (puck drop set for tonight), now is probably a good time to sIt and ponder the significance of the team’s nearly unprecedented success in their first season.

Embed from Getty Images

Marc-Andre Fleury and the Golden Knights: Successful by design?

Note that it’s “nearly unprecedented” success. Longtime puckheads know that the St. Louis Blues–under a young Scotty Bowman, no less–made the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season. True, they were in a division with all the rest of the league’s initial expansion teams, so some new team had to make it all the way to the Final in its first season–but they did it before the Golden Knights, so the current darlings of the NHL are not really breaking new ground.

There is, however, a minor undercurrent that seems to believe that, as with that first expansion season, Vegas has benefited from a “rigged” situation. According to some, the league made it too easy for the GK’s to achieve their rapid success–and that the NHL, ostensibly horrified at how far Vegas has taken their puck and run with it, will make sure that such lightning-quick success will “never happen again.”

So the pundits may say. However, if you think about it, the most likely scenario says that the exact opposite will be true. What we’re seeing on the ice in Las Vegas may, in fact, be the wave of the future. Continue reading Thinking, Expansive And Otherwise

Is Diamond Level A Fan’s Best Friend?

Good is good, and better is better. And then there’s the best–as in “the best seat in the house.”

At your local ballpark, the best seat in the house is usually right behind home plate, perhaps just a row or two behind the backstop. At the nearby Oakland Coliseum, those seats are known as the “Diamond Level”; the name may change at your local stadium, but these days almost all parks are equipped with seating that’s right down on the field and right next to the action.

Diamond Level view, opening dayShohei Ohtani takes a pitch during an extra-inning at bat during the season opening game between the Angels and the A’s at the Coliseum–as viewed for the Diamond Level. (Author’s photo)

I had a chance to sit in those seats on Opening Day at the Coliseum last month. A friend was going with her son-in-law and there was one extra ticket, so I got a call the day before the opener asking me if I’d like to join in the fun–for free. On Opening Day. In the warm California sun.

Wow. What an opportunity. And there’s no way anyone could complain about that. Right? Well… Continue reading Is Diamond Level A Fan’s Best Friend?