Results tagged ‘ NLCS ’

Celebrity Sighting down in Playoffs

Maybe it is just me, but it seems like the celebrity baseball fans are not straying into the  ALCS/NLCS ballparks yet. Oh, there have been a few  A and B-list sightings of the famous both from the entertainment field,and some current or former sports stars sitting in the seats near the field. But it might seems to be a bit, well empty compared to some recent seasons. 

But since I am not sitting in either Yankee Stadium, or Dodger Stadium during these games, maybe I am out of the sight lines to glancing upon or just  visually missing the boat on the celebrity onslaught that seems to follow a “winning” team as they head towards a possible World Series berth. Maybe it is just too nice weather-wise in Los Angeles right now. And we know that the Arctic winds have dampened only the seats in Yankee Stadium in the first two games of the ALCS.

But then again, maybe the weather is a bit……..well, chilly for the celebrity style folks to flock outside the confines of the Hard Rock Cafe or even a Club Level Suite right now at Yankee Stadium. But it can be such great  public relations coupes and established city cred to see or be seen in the masses wearing the blue pinstripes. But then again, I am not hoping for a huge explosion of celebrity sightings to increase when the Phillies open their home set of the series tomorrow, but then again, it is home to a lot of very unique people.

I am not really trying to complain about the lack of the celebrity mobs not flocking to the ballparks, it just seemed like there were more visual sighting in 2008 when Boston and Tampa Bay played at Tropicana Field. But then again, they were in a controlled environment where the temps never reached far above 78 degrees either even with a full house screaming at the top of their lungs. I remember bumping into comedian/minor league baseball team owner Bill Murray near the Food Courts on the First Base side while he was buying some cinnamon encrusted almonds for the game ( great taste in edibles Bill). 

Or even catching a photo op with  WWE superstar John Cena at a Rays after party following Game 2 of the ALCS up in the Cigar Bar at the Trop. It was a invitation only event mostly for the Rays employees, but I snagged a pass and shook many a hand of friends within the Rays organization that wondered how I could have wrangled such an invite. But they forget, where there is a will, there is a way with me.

And there have been some nice sightings so far in this round of the playoffs. It was great to see that Miley’s dad could make it out to Chavez Ravine for Game 1 of the NLCS.  With strands of his well coiffed  mini mullet swaying the breeze, his southern twang ringing through the PA system, he offered a fantastic rendition of the National Anthem.

It must an ever increasing problem for Billy Ray Cyrus to always been seen as “Miley’s Dad” by people under 18, but as “Doc” or the “Achy Breaky Man” to the rest of us. But it is awesome to see he still loves the game, and I hoped he stayed and watched it that day because even with the Dodger loss, it was a great game to watch in person.

Then on Friday, there was a glance of Los Angeles Laker guard Kobi Bryant sitting with Dodger Team owner Frank McCourt and Tommy Lasorda down near the field level for Game 2 of the NLCS game. We know Bryant has a huge love of all sports, even if his second choice of sports teams tend to range to a certain soccer team in Spain. But by the pictures, it seemed like he got into the flow of the game and had a great time. Hopefully he can again be coaxed to attend another game soon and become a lifetime Dodger faithful. 

Also during that Friday game fans in attendance got to see members of the boy band, The Backstreet Boys as they performed “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch. You can bet that there was a bevy of fabulous harmonies and a few great vocal scale moves that kept the crowd either looking towards the big screen or towards the field during their performance.

Now we move eastbound into the big stadium in the Bronx for a Friday night game to begin the 2009 ALCS in some chilly weather that had more than a few people bundled up looking more like a cocoon. I think we might have had sightings of even more celebrity or famous ballplayers in the stands if not for the sweeping chill produced by the wind swirling in the stadium. For some reason, extreme conditions and celebrities only go along in their movie roles.

But we did get a picture of the  spinal cord and backside of former Yankee great Tino Martinez sitting up in one of the enclose suites chatting and talking with a table full of people. Fox made sure to focus in on the table and sit there for about a minute, with Tino  finally looking towards the field a few times, so we know it was Tino and not some fake sighting. And that might also be a problem. Sometimes in conditions like that everyone can look like someone else when wearing a  woolly ski cap and a big jacket.

But the person who seemed to have gained the most photo ops during the last months of the season is the “alleged” girlfriend/BFF  Kate Hudson who again had those primo seats just beyond the top of the Yankees dugout on the Third Base line.  I am not going to rouse the rumor mill again if she is or is not even dating a certain Yankee player.

In neither of the pictures posted the last few nights do we see anything hot in her hand, or even a head covering, but we hope that the thin blond one did not catch a head cold or even a glimpse of the sniffles. But it is rewarding to see she is facing the elements like the rest of the Yankee faithful and enjoying the game among the regular fans. Let’s hope that our own MLBlogs  “Confessions of a She-Fan” can make it out to a game or two in Anaheim to throw her mug up there to compete with the “Kate Hudson’s” of the world. I would be blown away to see Lady Jane on the television screen, but not surprised in the least.

But also during the Friday night game in the Bronx, they invited one of their own back to throw out the First Pitch before the game. David Cone, who pitched for the Pinstripes from 1996-2000 and produced 55 victories in his time with the Yankees threw a perfect strike across the plate before Game 1 of the ALCS.  And Cone, who owns a great eating establishment in Oldsmar, in the Tampa Bay area looks like he could still pull spot duty in the Bullpen.

And even if a bunch of the ex-players and celebrities were not in plain sight, you have to guess that there were more than a dozen hidden up behind the frosted glass enjoying the game either by television or sitting near the windows enjoying CC Sabathia’s  dominance in that first game. And we all know of a few out in L A who enjoy seats up in the Club Level and are usual visitors to the games, and might not be considered “event-based” celebrities by the loyal Dodger fans

So hopefully tonight when the NLCS proceeds in Citizens Bank Park the Philly celebrity faithful  will come on down and represent their town and cheer for their boys. Let’s just hope that Darryl Hall and John Oates are not the only ones we see in the seats tonight during the game.
This city has a bevy of talented celebrities. We all know that Kevin Bacon is a proud member of the “City of Brotherly Love”. But did you know comedians David Brennan, Tina Fey and Bob Saget call this city their own. And something I never knew before, 2/3rds of the “Three Stooges”, Larry Fine and Curly Joe DeRita came from this Pennsylvania town.

I  am personally going to be searching for someone dressed up in a powdered wig and bi-focals and trying to present a “Where is Ben Franklin” moment in CBP. Seriously, I know the economy is tight, and even Nicholas Cage is said to be broke as an old clock right now, but this is the time that these cities need to see their famous brethren basking in the glow of another successful season.

So as the venues swap this week, it is going to be interesting to see if any celebrities will be in attendance
 in Los Angles/Anaheim this week when the Yankees come to town. There might be a few wearing Yankees gear, like Hudson, but let’s hope some of the Anaheim faithful also come out and support the teams resurgence into the ALCS. 

Maybe we will see Bobby Hatfield  who was a part of the “Righteous Brothers”, or maybe even Gwen Stefani of the group “No Doubt” singing the National Anthems or during the 7th Inning stretch. For this region of California also has its special and famous people who will hopefully come out and support the Angels. But I guess we will see.

But just seeing some of these  special people enjoying the sport we love so well, and cheering along with us seems to boost the energy and the vibe in a stadium. And you know the camera people are forever seeking out these elusive personalities either in the suites or stuck among the thousands in the stands. Hopefully someday a few of us writing on could be featured on the big screen as a sports journalist, or even a novelist by our own “Confessions of a She-Fan” Jan Heller.


Who I am following in the Playoffs

         NL Division Series Logo                                           AL Division Series Logo

I have to admit, that I have been a bad, bad baseball fan the last couple of days. I have only seen a few innings of a few post season games and have not been as intensely into the playoffs the way I have been in the past. Some might consider since my team was eliminated early from any contention that I have lost the zeal to watch baseball, but that is not the issue.  So what if the Tampa Bay Rays will not be making beautiful memories for my lifetime in 2009, I will survive.

And it is not matter that my second favorite team (Seattle) also did  not make any head ways into the 2009 playoff picture after the Rays canceled their own ticket with a rough start in September. So with neither of my top two in the post season, it is time to adapt temporary arrangements to throw my support towards another team on their ride through the 2009 post season.

Rob Carr / AP

With that in mind, I might not make any new friends with my announcement that the teams, one in each league that I plan to follow in the 2009 playoffs, will consist of teams that are situated in the American League East. And the fact I am about to shun the Red Sox and Yankees is not due to any internal forces or even extreme pain against either of these teams that our season quickly dissolved in September. The Rays lost the chance to cash in their ticket to the postseason with their respective series against these two teams. the better teams won in 2009.

So I am going to have to develop a new set of criteria to decide who will get my cheers and jeers in 2009. Maybe I will use a formulated plan of attack based on offense, defense and pitching statistics. Or I could go the way of visiting a Psychic and see what team she sees in the aura around me, or what the Tarot cards have in store for any of the teams in the playoffs. Or maybe I can just go the simple route and decide the team by looking at the post season rosters and deciding it all based on the ex-Rays currently on their rosters.

And for some reason, I like the way that last suggestion looks on the computer, it just seems to jump out off the page and tells me to “pick me! pick me”.  So I think that will be my measure of calculating and deciding the  one AL and NL teams I will root for in this post season carnival. And as I take this road, there are two clear choices that I will lean towards and follow until the last out of their last game in this playoff season.

Mel Evans / AP

But my decision on the team I am going to follow in 2009 will be based on a few criteria that most people might not have considered before now.  Way back in 1991, when the team was first awarded to the Denver area, I did not want to follow anyone else but the black and purple of the Rockies. But there was a solid reason behind this selection that still to this day makes me not want to root or even hope for any prosperity for the Florida (Miami) Marlins. And it was a simple case of money over community want that sealed the deal for my fish vendetta.

You see, the Tampa Bay community was in a fight with local cities Orlando and Miami for a chance to be the first expansion team in the state and might of had a better chance at securing that first Florida team if not for the deep, deep pockets of former Blockbuster Entertainment head honcho Wayne Huizenga. So my instant alliance went to the team that would play almost one mile above sea level and far from the sandy beaches of Tampa Bay.

But there is a secondary reason why this team is being considered as my “team ” for the 2009 playoffs. Since the Rockies sacked their old manager, they have played more inspired ball and have come a long way both in their record and in their team concept. For that reason, they give me a slight feel of the atmosphere and the thrill that I felt with the rays in 2008. But more of the reasoning might have come via ESPN’s talking heads. You see, when the Rays were making their run last season, the announcers kept reminding people they were that season’s ‘Rockies”. 

As much as that was funny at the time, now I hope the Rays can be next season’s “Rockies” for the second time in a row and follow the same path (minus the manager firing) and get back on the playoff train in 2010.  So I will be following the Phillies and Rockies series with extra motivation. But the fact that the Rockies have been there before, and have gotten as far as the Rays did in 2008 boast a weird similarity that entices my support. The Rockies fought back the doom and gloom disillusion of so many around the league this season to secure a playoff berth and then go on and challenge to overtake the mighty Dodgers in the last series of the season shows the heart of a champion again.

Mel Evans / AP

It brings up a lot of the same emotion I felt in 2008, and so this is the team I have decided to follow in this season’s playoffs. Granted, they have been labeled a long shot, but I remember so many who said that the Rays would not go far either in 2008. And the added bonus that former Rays Jason Hammel is on the post season roster gives me more of a reason to want to see “Hambone” take the mound and throws laser beams. And Hammel will get a chance to leave his impression on the NLDS when he gets the start Friday night because of the unexpected injury to Jorge De La Rosa late in the season.  

So that is it, that is my team for the playoffs. No wishy washy wavering between teams, this is my solid choice and one that I will live by even if they do not get out of the first round of the playoffs. I am not a bandwagon fan. If I make you a pick of mine, I stick by you even in defeat. but that is not the case in so many sports fans in this country. So no matter what happens from today on, the Rockies will have my attention, and my support to try and again get back to the World Series this season. And it would again be a great surprise, or even a great honor in 2010 to have the Rays be considered “this seasons Rockies”…..again.