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Reds-White Sox, June 19 photos

I was looking for tickets to Saturday’s game against the White Sox, but wasn’t really willing to pay the scalpers’ prices on them. So I decided to forgo the series. I’ve already seen the ChiSox a couple of times (once at Old Comiskey in 1989, again at New Comiskey in 1992). But as I was leaving work a couple of mornings ago, a co-worker asked if I wanted tickets to Friday’s game. I asked the question, of course, “How much?” His answer: “Free.” My answer: “Of course.”

My son had a baseball game tonight, so I knew I wouldn’t make it to the whole Reds game. As it turned out, I ended up umping the little leaguers because the high school kid they hired didn’t show up. I’m a terrible ump, and the little league game took about two hours to play. TWO HOURS FOR FIVE INNINGS. I was exhausted, but I knew we could still catch a few innings of the Reds game, so I dropped off my son, picked up my wife, and we were on our way…

We got to the game during the top of the seventh inning, just in time to see Jim Thome bat!

He ended up popping out I think. But hey, it was pure luck that we saw him at all…he was pinch hitting, and it turned out to be his only plate appearance of the night.

We also saw Jermaine Dye ground out…

…and Paul Konerko hit a long shot…

And some other stuff. I’m not sure. I was exhausted, still sweating from my umpire duties, but kept clicking away. Here’s a few of the other shots I took during the game…

Oh, and there was some dude standing down the first base line…I think there is some other blogger that thinks this guy should be a Hall of Famer or something…

One last thing. For those who are interested…THE REDS WON! Eat it, Steve. 🙂

Tops in the American League – through week 1

I’m participating in a season-long project coordinated by Baseball Happenings called the MLB Blog Poll. Each week, participating bloggers will vote for the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year, with the league alternating each week. Keep in mind that it is based on the players’ performance for the entire season, not just the prior week. Also, this early in the season, it is difficult to judge some players, especially the rookies. The first week results have now been posted at Baseball Happenings. Here were my picks, along with the reason I chose each:

American League MVP
1. A.J. Pierzynski (White Sox, C) – Currently leading in RBI (7), batting average (.529), slugging (1.059) and on-base percentage (.556). He is also among the 18 hitters who have gone yard twice this season, and his 9 hits are tied for second in the league.
2. Jermaine Dye (White Sox, OF) – Just behind his teammate in BA (.474), slugging (.947), and OBP (.545), Dye also has 2 home runs and has driven in 3 runs.
3. Howie Kendrick (Angels, 2B) – 11 hits in 24 at-bats for a .458 BA, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 3 RBI.

American League Cy Young
1. Felix Hernandez (Mariners, SP) – In 15 innings, the King has struck out 9 without allowing a run, but a lack of run support has resulted in no decision in both of his starts.
2. Rich Harden (A’s, SP) – He’s only pitched 11 innings, but has struck out 15 while allowing only 1 run in 2 starts.
3. Joe Nathan (Twins, RP) – 3 saves in 3 games, 3 strikeouts. He has given up 3 hits, but no runs have scored on him yet.

American League Rookies
1. David Murphy (Rangers, OF) – 7 hits in 17 at-bats (.412), 2 doubles and 1 home run. Throw in 3 RBI and 1 stolen base, and so far he is the rookie to beat at this early juncture.
2. Nick Blackburn (Twins, P) – Took a hard loss, allowing only 1 run and striking out 6 in 7 innings against the Angels.
3. Clete Thomas (Tigers, OF) – The surprise rookie so far – 7 hits in 14 at-bats. Only 1 extra base hit (a double), 1 RBI and 1 stolen base, which puts him at the bottom of the list.

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