Results tagged ‘ Life on the Road ’

Thursday afternoon tidbits: Pineiro starting Sunday – UPDATED AGAIN

Greetings from my favorite ballpark in America, the absolutely perfect AT&T Park. Even a long and bumpy day of flights couldn’t ruin a day that includes a burrito from Taqueria Cancun, a cup of Intelligentsia Coffee and a game at this gem of a ballpark.

Even so, it’ll be nice to sleep in tomorrow…

Anyway, the tidbits.

* Joel Pineiro will start Sunday’s game against the Giants, and Brad Thompson will go to the bullpen. Thompson COULD be listed as an available reliever as soon as tomorrow. I’d have to figure that when Pineiro is activated, Kelvin Jimenez will be optioned, but that’s not based on anyone actually telling me anything.

* Mark Mulder pitched today, not last night, and did very well. Unofficially, he pitched five innings with one hit and no walks. That may not be EXACT, but if not, it’s very close. He’ll go Tuesday for Palm Beach, per John Mozeliak.

* Brendan Ryan will likely play in an extended spring training game within the next couple of days, but it is not completely certain yet. Ryan DID appear in an extended spring game today, playing five innings and getting two plate appearances.

* The bullpen is VERY thin tonight. Reyes is unavailable, and TLR says that both Franklin and Isringhausen are as well, with Flores not available for more than a batter or two. I’m inclined to believe that if they have a chance to win, you might well see Franklin and Izzy, but we’ll see.

* Still working on getting a Mulder update — should have something very soon.

* Tomorrow’s lineup will include Barton and Ludwick against Barry Zito, and my guess is he might choose tomorrow night to give Ankiel his first night off of the year. Best guess at a Friday starting outfield: Barton LF, Schumaker CF, Ludwick RF.

* STL lineup: Schumaker RF, Duncan LF, Pujols 1B, Ankiel CF, Glaus 3B, Molina C, Kennedy 2B, Wainwright P, Izturis SS

* SF lineup: Lewis LF, Rowand CF, Winn RF, Molina C, Durham 2B, Castillo 3B, Aurilia 1B, Bocock SS, Correia P.

-M.

Monday afternoon tidbits: Duncan back in lineup

Happy Opening Day, Houston style.

After a couple of days off, I’m somewhat refreshed; Peet’s coffee at the airport and a Whataburger certainly helped in that regard too. It’s a really nice day in Houston; it’s possible that for once the roof won’t be needed.

* Chris Duncan is back in the lineup, batting sixth; TLR and Duncan both said they see no restrictions on him

* Cesar Izturis is the leadoff man for the first time this year

* Ryan Ludwick was amused when it was pointed out to him that he’s leading the National League in triples; it’s up on the big video board in right field here.

* TLR said they’ll wait till after Pineiro pitches tomorrow to make a judgment on what happens with him. I specifically asked whether there’s a chance he’d take one more rehab even if he looks good, so as to help them better decide whom to remove. He declined to answer that, just saying they’ll wait till after tomorrow to make any decision.

–UPDATE– Pineiro will pitch for Memphis, at New Orleans, rather than at home for Springfield on Tuesday. Evidently there are weather concerns in Springfield.

* Lineup: Izturis SS, Ankiel CF, Pujols 1B, Glaus 3B, Ludwick RF, Duncan LF, Molina C, Wellemeyer P, Miles 2B.

-M.

Playoff blogging from Phoenix

Greetings, all…

Although the Cardenales are done for the year, your faithful correspondent is not. After the utterly awesome Mrs. got up early and procured us a delicious breakfast (I’m usually a yogurt-and-a-banana kind of guy), I got on a plane this morning and headed west for the Valley of the Sun. It’s hot and sunny and beautiful here, though I’ve heard we could have some dicey weather over the weekend in Chicago.

Anyway. I plan to do some Cardinals season-wrapup blogging at some point in the coming days, but I also wanted to let y’all know that I’ll be checking in from the division series. I’ll also be gaining weight, as Phoenix is the only city in America with the nation’s two greatest burger chains: In-N-Out (though not the one on Camrose) and Whataburger.

Hope y’all are well. Talk at you later this week — and thanks again for the greetings.

-M.

Attaboy, Caleb

Pittsburgh is normally my town for odd amusements, but Milwaukee has delivered some fun over these couple of days.

This morning, around 11 or so, I heard what sounded like somebody practicing guitar in the next room over at the hotel. It wasn’t too loud or anything, so it wasn’t a big deal. Then, a few minutes later, I realized that it was actually a band warming up — and they ended up playing apparently right outside my window. Fortunately, they were excellent. So if you’re in Milwaukee and you get the chance to go hear Reilly, I’d definitely recommend you do so. Raucous Irish rock. The kind of thing you want to hear as you’re downing half-and-half pints in an Irish pub.

But really, the highlight of the day came just a few moments ago, on the big video board in center field at Miller Park. The following text message was displayed:

"CONGRATS ON ADOPTING A PIG CALEB"

Congratulations indeed. Be good to that pig. Can he swing from a web? No, he can’t. He’s a pig.

-M.

Sweet tea and shoulder shots

Greetings from Atlanta, which is as close to my beloved hometown as the Major Leagues get during the regular season. It feels a lot like home — even had some sweet tea with lunch today. Good times.

* Rolen is already back from StL. Probably won’t play till Sunday, and possibly not till Tuesday, but we’ll see. He had a shot. He said the shoulder capsule has tightened, but that his labrum looked good on an MRI. Still a fairly open-ended issue, truth be told.

* Edmonds is activated, starting in center field and batting fifth. Andy Cavazos optioned, so for a day or two or four they’re down to 11 pitchers.

* Still, still, still waiting on Carp announcement.

-M, digging FM 92.9 here in Atlanta.

Photos from SF

I’ve returned from All-Star week, and am now able to post my photos. Also, some news from the park — Daniel Berk covered the workout today and reports that Wellemeyer will go on the DL with an elbow injury that resulted from banging his elbow against his knee on his delivery (OUCH!). Cavazos will be recalled. Additionally, Eckstein will be activated and Ryan sent out.

Anyway, on with the photos.

-M.

Those are good burgers, Walter

So here’s the natural follow-up to a post about in-the-park food.

As a general rule, day games can be a little tough, just because they throw your rhythm off. Day-after-night is pretty brutal when you work until 2, 2 1/2 hours after the game and then try to get there at least 3 hours before the next day. (for reference, I arrive at least 3 1/2 hours, ideally 4, before a night game).

But there’s one major upside to a day game — the chance to get out and sample the grub in the city where the team is playing. And few cities are better on that score than Chicago — I had pizza from Gino’s East this evening.

Side note — I have the Bulls-Sixers game on in the background as I type this, and they just showed Carlos Zambrano at the arena. TLR is there as well; I’m doubting they hung out together. Anyway…

Favorite places to eat after a day game around the NL…

* Florida — There’s a Cuban place in Fort Lauderdale that I used to love, but I had a bad experience last time I went there. I’ll need to get around to finding somewhere else.

* New York — What’s NOT to like? There’s too much good food in New York to mention, but as a general rule I always try to get at least one Italian meal when I’m there.

* Cincinnati — Skyline Chili. Not exactly highbrow, but so, so, so very good. Three-way chili, or of course the aforementioned cheese Coney at the park.

* Houston — Whataburger before a night game. For a sit-down meal, there’s a place called Irma’s right by the ballpark, Southwest/Mexican stuff, and it’s fantastic. Not to mention affordable. I’m a fan.

* Milwaukee — The Pasta Tree, near UW-Milwaukee, is excellent and reasonably priced. I also have a coffee place that I love there, but installment three of the NL eating tour will focus on non-meal options.

* Chicago — Gino’s East is it for pizza for me, though Giordano’s is high-quality and so is Due. I also absolutely love Heaven On Seven, which is a Cajun/Creole place with at least two locations — one downtown and one right near the ballpark.

* San Francisco — Another place with scads of great options. I love The Stinking Rose, which is a garlic restaurant. And I always have to go get a burrito in the Mission district. My favorite taqueria in the Mission is Taqueria Cancun, but it’s like the North End in Boston — you can’t go wrong anywhere. I had an unbelievable steak at Harris’ steakhouse there once, but that’s the kind of place I can’t afford on a regular, or even sporadic, basis. Let’s just say if I see ballplayers at a restaurant, it’s probably out of my price range.

* San Diego — Old Town Mexican Cafe. The beer is good and cold, the food is better and hot, and their freshly made tortillas are just wonderful.

* Anywhere in Southern California or Arizona — In-N-Out Burger. The reigning champ. There is none better. Phoenix has both In-N-Out and Whataburger, and that’s not even fair.

If I didn’t list a city, it’s because I haven’t found a favorite place there yet. But I’ll keep looking. Because I’m always looking out for you, the readers. Yeah, that’s it.

Now playing on the iPod — Cat Power, The Greatest

-M.

Jackrabbit Slim

OK, so that’s a Pulp Fiction reference. Sue me.

Anyway, first off, apologies for the dearth of postings recently. It was a pretty nutty week, with West Coast travel, the trade deadline, etc. etc. etc. I’ll talk ball again soon, but for now I wanted to give a little non-ball insight.

The San Diego-Los Angeles trip is usually one of my favorites of the year, because the weather is always gorgeous, both ballparks are nice… and so on. The one thing that was missing this year was the customary day off in between San Diego and L.A., but life goes on.

I still managed to squeeze in my favorite SoCal activity. After Thursday’s day game in San Diego, I drove out to Palm Desert and spent the night there, then went hiking in Joshua Tree National Park before heading in to L.A. It wasn’t too brutally hot, and the scenery was typically spectacular — though the main park road was closed due to, I believe, flooding.

Anyway, here are some photos of the day, assuming I can master the photo-posting element of this interface. I had a close encounter with a jackrabbit, a less-close encounter with a coyote, and saw quite a few lizards and birds. If this stuff bores you to tears, apologies. I promise a baseball post before the end of this homestand.

What a Series to Miss

So I saw about 2 minutes of this weekend’s incredible series. Ouch. I followed as much as I could, and in fact I caught the postgame Saturday night on KMOX from the middle of Virginia.

Much as it would have been fun to take it all in, though, I had a higher priority: one of my best friends from college got married. It was a great reminder that as much as I love ball and love my job, Job does not equal Life.

Charlottesville, VA, is a beautiful town, btw.

Mostly, though, I’m posting just to say this: congratulations and best wishes, Rena and Evan. We’ll be back to your regularly scheduled ball talk soon.

-M.

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