Monday, March 23, 2015

As Roger Goodell's World Turns

With his less than stellar reputation, Roger Goodell is always on the proverbial Hot Seat.

During the NFL'S regular season and playoffs I couldn't find time to offer my take on the continuing tumultuous tenure of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.  Well with the scouting combine freshly completed and the draft more than a month away, I figured now would be a very good time to offer my thoughts on Roger Goodell's world.

The bottom line plain and simple is that since he became commissioner of the most popular of the four major North American sports leagues in 2006, he has fallen well short of my expectations as a fan.  From the snafu of the Ray Rice investigation to Deflategate, Goodell has made a couple of things very clear.  He is very inept for one reason or another at overseeing the various investigations of alleged criminal activity and his handling of numerous player suspensions is at times beyond comprehension!  We all know that 2 games was more lenient than it should have been given the evidence and circumstances of the Ray Rice case.  As far as the Deflategate episode goes, that is a totally different situation which I will expand on in a future post.

In all likelihood however, Goodell's job status will remain safe as long as the NFL keeps making huge gobs of money under his watch.  If the tide starts to turn the other way I would give serious consideration to finding a replacement for Goodell's services.  There's no telling what will happen on the next episode of 'As Roger Goodell's World Turns.'  Your guess is as good as mine.

 

Tim Musick
Copyright 2015
All Rights Reserved    

Monday, March 16, 2015

Welcome To Your First Day Of Sports Officiating 101

Photo Courtesy of
Wikimedia
and
Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA
under
CC BY-SA 2.0 License

As the name of this very blog implies sports is one of the items that my world revolves around along with music and movies.  To go along with my undying passion for sports, I've also developed and cultivated another passion for officiating and what it takes to be a good official no matter the sport.  I have become some engrossed in it that I know pretty much all the names of the officials in each of the four major North American sports.  Yes I am that obsessed with it!

Throughout my years of sports observation I have learned one simple lesson when it comes to officiating.  Anybody can be a sports official if they are willing to put in the time and effort it takes to become one no matter what line of work you're involved at any point in your life.  With that in mind it is important to remember that the job of officiating suits some individuals better than others.

The key thing to ask yourself when determining whether officiating is something you truly want to do in life is is this something that you are truly passionate about?  

The second and more complex lesson I've learned about officiating is what exactly does it mean to be a GREAT official and not just good or adequate one.  Below is my list of my 10 essential rules all officials need to know to go from being good to great:

1. You are one half of the human element in an otherwise unfair world of two true exact outcomes.  One of the beautiful things that makes sports exciting are the true outcomes.  The competitive nature of sports allows for one of  two things.  A winner and a loser.  At the end of the day, sports doesn't care about the human element.  It just wants to find a winner and a loser.  That's it.  As an official, it is up to you to help inject the human element of sports to determine the two true outcomes in a winner and a loser.

2. You must possess excellent communication skills.  We are all human beings correct?  We all have the ability to communicate with each other in one way or another right?  As an official it is paramount that you are able to get your point across without sounding lost or confused.

3. Be fair to all parties involved.  In a world that is essentially set up to be unfair it is your job to act in a fair and just manner.

4. Allow for players and coaches to have their say during competition.  Regardless of whether or not you've blown some calls, players and coaches should feel free to have such discussions without fear of any possible recourse of action.

5. Check your ego at the door when entering the arena of competition.  It is VERY important to keep in mind that sports fans don't shell out huge wads of cash to come see you in your craft.  They are there to see some of the greatest athletes in the world do what they do best in a competitive environment.   


6. You must have confidence in yourself and your abilities.  This sounds like something that should be easy to come by but can be hard to achieve sometimes.  If you don't have confidence in yourself and your abilities then you are doing a disservice not only to yourself but those around you as well.


7. Don't be afraid of failure.  We all make mistakes at some point in our lives and you will undoubtedly make some yourself as an official.  You are not always perfect.

8. Get the calls right no matter what the situation is.  In the name of fairness in an unfair world it is imperative that you do everything you can to make the right calls, even if it means conferring with your fellow officials or utilizing instant replay to do so.

9. Maintain control over any and all situations.  As an official this is probably one of the most important jobs you have as an official.  You must not let things get out of hand.

10. Be invisible.  If you have gone about your job without anybody noticing you're there then you have put in a great day's worth of work.

If you follow these 10 rules, you will have what it takes to succeed in the officiating world.




Tim Musick
Copyright 2015
All Rights Reserved


          
      

Monday, March 9, 2015

Slow And Steady May Win The Race But It Doesn't Always Lead To Something Compelling

Photo Courtesy of
Wikimedia
and
Rick Dikeman
under
CC BY-SA 3.0 License

Over the years I have heard from various family members and friends of mine about what a beautiful game the game of soccer is.  Well you know what, I've tried watching the so-called grand game a few times over the years and I just don't see what the big deal is.

As the title of this post suggests, soccer seems to move at a slow and steady pace to me.  As a devoted fan and lover of baseball, I've heard those same critiques about our national pastime.  I would counter that statement by pointing out that even though the game of baseball does move at a slow and steady pace at times, there is always something happening!  Maybe I just don't fully understand all the strategic moves that go into the game of soccer like I do with baseball.


I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out!

Don't despair for me though.  There is a game that is very similar to the game of soccer which I find much more captivating and entertaining and they both the same basic of putting an inanimate object through a net to score a goal.  That is ice hockey.  What soccer feels like to me when I've watched it before, ice hockey is the total polar opposite.  It moves at a much  faster pace.  Players hit each other hard and don't act like little prima donnas afterwards when falling to the ground.  Not only do hockey players sometimes fall down hard when getting hit but they're falling on a much more slippery and potentially more dangerous surface in the form of ice.  At least soccer players have nice soft grass available to cushion their falls!    

Here's something else to take into consideration when comparing both sports.  While soccer is played on a much larger piece of real estate to that of the hockey rink, the only time a puck is legally considered to be out of play is when it goes into the stands.

Now that I've made my case for why ice hockey is much better than soccer, who out there feels brave enough to plead in favor of the world's grand game?




Tim Musick
Copyright 2015
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

2015 MLB Spring Training Primer


Today's the day the journey of the 2015 Major League Baseball season begins with the arrival of Spring Training games in Florida and Arizona.  The first set of games start 1 PM EST for Grapefruit League games and 3 PM EST for Cactus League games through Saturday March 7.  Sunday March 8 is the beginning of Spring Forward where we move up our clocks one hour except in places like Arizona which doesn't utilize Daylight Savings Time.  All afternoon Cactus League games from this point on will start at 1 PM local time.

In an effort to be of service to you loyal readers of Tim's Sports World, I thought it would be good to provide you with the latest and most up-to-date information on where you can go to catch your favorite team in action as they gear up for Opening Day on April 6th for most teams.  The St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs start their regular season against each other on Sunday April 5 at 8 PM EDT/7 PM CDT on ESPN2 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

If you can't make it out to Spring Training for whatever reason, MLB Network has you covered with over 200 games being broadcast starting today.  Make sure to check your local listings for the availability of MLB Network in your area.  In any case Happy Spring Training 2015!

JetBlue Park At Fenway South
Photo Courtesy of
Wikimedia
and
NT1952
under
CC BY-SA 3.0 License
Grapefruit League: Florida

Atlanta Braves-Lake Buena Vista, FL.  First Spring Training game is Wednesday, March 4 VS. New York Mets at 1:05 PM EST.  Last Spring Training game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Baltimore Orioles at 3:05 PM EDT at Champion Stadium. 

Spring Training Venue:


Champion Stadium At The ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex At Walt Disney World
700 S. Victory Way
Kissimee, FL 34747
1-407-939-GAME (4263)

Single game ticket prices range from $14-$54.  Season ticket prices range from $234-$612. Discounts are available for groups of 20 or more people.  Sections 101-106 and 207-220 are the only sections available for a discount.  Discounts are not available for all games and are subject to availability. Team also offers mini plan options in 4 categories ranging in price from $84-$97.  Suites are available for groups of 15-300 people.

General parking is complimentary.  Valet parking will be available for $20.

Baltimore Orioles-Sarasota, FL.  First Spring Training game is Tuesday, March 3 VS. Detroit Tigers at 1:05 PM EST at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, FL.  First home Spring game is Wednesday, March 3 VS. Detroit Tigers at 1:05 PM EST.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Atlanta Braves at 3:05 PM EDT at Champion Stadium in Kissimmee, FL.   

Spring Training Venue

Ed Smith Stadium
2700 12th Street
 Sarasota, FL 34237
941-893-6300

Single game ticket prices range from $8-$30 for Value games, $10-$32 for Select games and $13-$35 for Prime games.  Call ticket office for additional ticket information.

Parking is $9.

Boston Red Sox-Lee County, FL.  First Spring Training Games are Doubleheader Split Squad VS. Boston College Eagles and Northeastern Huskies at 1:05 PM EST at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, FL.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Minnesota Twins at 1:05 PM EDT at CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers, FL.  

Spring Training Venue


JetBlue Park At Fenway South
11500 Fenway South Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33913
293-334-4700

Single game ticket prices range from from $5-$48 depending on desired seating area.
Parking is $5 in the Boys & Girls Club of Lee County (BGCLC) Lot and $10 in the Stadium Lots. The BGCLC Lot is a grass field which is about a quarter-mile removed from the ballpark's west entrance.  To get into it, look for the Southwest Regional Commerce and Trade Center sign.  It is at the intersection of Rickenbacker and Daniels Parkway.

Detroit Tigers-Lakeland, FL.  Second Spring Training game is Tuesday, March 3 VS. Baltimore Orioles at 1:05 PM EST at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, FL.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Tampa Bay Rays at 12:35 PM EDT at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL.

Spring Training Venue

Joker Marchant Stadium
2301 Lakeland Hills Blvd.
Lakeland, FL 33805
863-686-8075
Single game ticket prices range from $10-$30 (Dynamic Pricing style system is utilized.)
Parking Rates: $8 for cars, $15 for RV's, $20 for Buses and $136 for Season Parking Pass

Mailing Address:
Detroit Tigers
2125 N. Lake Ave.
Lakeland, FL 33805

Telephone numbers of Interest:

Administration Office: 863-686-8075
Order Tickets: 866-668-4437
Handicap Needs: 863-413-4140

Houston Astros-Kissimmee, FL.  First Spring Training game is Thursday, April 5 VS. Philadelphia Phillies at 12:05 PM CST/1:05 PM EST at Osceola County Stadium.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Kansas City Royals at 3:05 PM CDT at Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX. 

Spring Training Venue

Osceola County Stadium
631 Heritage Park Way
Kissimmee, FL 34744
321-697-3200
321-697-3210 (FAX)
Ticket prices range from $10-$55 for single games, $17-$32 for season tickets and $12-$32 for groups.  Dynamic style pricing system is utilized.
Parking is $7.

Miami Marlins-Jupiter, FL.  Second Spring Training game is Tuesday, March VS. University of Miami Hurricanes at Roger Dean Stadium.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Jacksonville Suns at 1:05 PM EDT at Bragan Field in Jacksonville, FL.

Spring Training Venue

Roger Dean Stadium
4751 Main Street
Jupiter, FL 33458
561-7751818
6+ game mini plan prices start at $84.  Season ticket prices range from $294-$322 for Marlins games and $315-$345 for Cardinals games.  Group ticket prices start as low as $14 a person for groups of 15 or more people.
Parking Rates: $5 for Cars and $20.00 for Buses and other large vehicles.

Minnesota Twins-Fort Myers, FL.  First Spring Training game is Wednesday, March 4 VS. University of Minnesota Golden Gophers at 6:05 PM CST/7:05 PM EST at Hammond Stadium. Last Spring game is Saturday April 4 VS. Boston Red Sox at 12:05 PM CDT/1:05 PM EDT at Hammond Stadium.

Spring Training Venue

Hammond Stadium At CenturyLink Sports Complex
14100 Six Mile Cypress Parkway
Fort Myers, FL 33912
Stadium has undergone extensive renovations.
1-800-33-TWINS (1-800-338-9467) or 612-338-9467
Single game ticket prices range from $10-$41 for Value Pricing games and $13-$37 for Premium Pricing games.  Call for further ticket information.
Parking is $10.

New York Mets-Port St. Lucie, FL.  First Spring Training game is Wednesday, March 4 VS. Atlanta Braves at 1:05 PM EST at Champion Stadium in Kissimmee FL.  First Spring home game is Friday, March 6 VS. Detroit Tigers at 1:10 PM EST.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Texas Rangers at 2:05 PM EDT/1:05 PM CDT at Globe Life Park in Arlington, TX.

Spring Training Venue

Tradition Field
525 NW Peacock Blvd.
Port St. Lucie, FL 34986
772-871-2115
Box Office Hours: Mon-Sat 10 AM to 4 PM, Sunday 10 AM to 2 PM
Season ticket prices range from $268-$460.  Group tickets to most games are available for the discounted price of $14 per ticket in the Upper Reserve sections or $10 in the Berm.  Group ticket packages consist of 25 or more persons.
Parking is $7.

New York Yankees-Tampa, FL.  First Spring Training game is Tuesday, March 3 VS. Philadelphia Phillies at 1:05 PM EST at Bright House Field in Clearwater, FL.  First home Spring game is Wednesday, March 4 VS. Philadelphia Phillies at 1:05 PM EST.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Washington Nationals at 1:05 PM EDT at Nationals Park in Washington D.C.

 

Spring Training Venue

George M. Steinbrenner Field
1 Steinbrenner Drive
Tampa, FL 33614
813-879-2244 or 1-800-96-YANKS (1-800-969-2657)
Call for ticket information.
Parking at George M. Steinbrenner Field is reserved via parking passes.  Parking is located across the street from George M. Steinbrenner Field (adjacent to Raymond James Stadium).  The total cost of a parking pass is $136 ($8 X 17 games).  

Philadelphia Phillies-Clearwater, FL.  Second Spring Training game is Tuesday, March 3 VS. Philadelphia Phillies at 1:05 PM EST.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:05 PM EDT at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA.    

Spring Training Venue

Bright House Field
601 Old Coachman Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
727-467-4457
Call for ticket information.
Parking is $10 in the stadium/complex/college lots and $5 at NE Coachman Park.  All spots at NE Coachman Park are shaded by trees.

Pittsburgh Pirates-Bradenton, FL.  Second Spring Training game is Tuesday, March 3 VS. Toronto Blue Jays at 1:07 PM EST at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, FL. First home Spring game is Wednesday, March 4 VS. Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05 PM EST.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Philadelphia Phillies at 1:05 PM EDT at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA.

Spring Training Venue

McKechnie Field
1611 9th Street West
Bradenton, FL 34205
941-747-3031 (Ticket Office), 941-747-9442 (FAX)
Advance ticket prices range from $12-$27.  Standing room tickets are available for sold out games only.  Day of game ticket prices are $3 and up in all categories except Standing Room.  Season ticket prices range from $193-$373.  Also available for unique season ticket packages are the 4Topps tables located on the new McKechnie Field Boardwalk.  Ticket packages for this area are $2,800 for four seats and include $800 in Bucs Bucks, to be used on ballpark concessions, per table.
Parking costs vary from $10 in the stadium lot to $4-$10 for neighborhood parking to free curbside parking on 17 Ave. W just past the 5 St. W intersection and Rogers Garden Elementary School.

St. Louis Cardinals-Jupiter, FL.  First Spring Training game is Thursday, March 5 VS. Miami Marlins at 1:05 PM EST/12:05 PM CST.  The Miami Marlins will be the home team for this game.  The first home Spring game will be Friday, March 6 VS. Houston Astros at 1:05 PM EST/12:05 PM CST.  The last Spring game will be Friday, April 3 VS. Memphis Redbirds at 6:05 PM CDT at AutoZone Park in Memphis, TN.  Opening night for the Cardinals is Sunday, April 5 at Wrigley Field in Chicago at 8 PM EDT/7 PM CDT VS. Chicago Cubs on ESPN2.  

Spring Training Venue

Roger Dean Stadium
4751 Main Street
Jupiter, FL 33458
561-775-1818
6+ game mini plan prices start at $84.  Season ticket prices range from $294-$322 for Marlins games and $315-$345 for Cardinals games.  Group ticket prices start as low as $14 a person for groups of 15 or more people.
Parking Rates: $5 for Cars and $20.00 for Buses and other large vehicles.

Tampa Bay Rays-Charlotte County, FL.  First Spring Training game is Thursday, March 5 VS. Baltimore Orioles at 1:05 PM EST.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Detroit Tigers at 12:35 PM EDT at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL.  

Spring Training Venue

Charlotte Sports Park
2300 El Jobean Road
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
941-206-4487
Single game ticket prices range from $14-$51.  3-game packs are available for $39.  Each pack includes a Rays Photo Ball.
Parking is $5 in the Black Widow Harley-Davidson lot and $10 in the stadium lot.

Toronto Blue Jays-Dunedin, FL.  First Spring Training game is Tuesday, March 3 VS. Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:07 PM EST.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Cincinnati Reds at 1:07 PM EDT at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, QC, Canada.  

Spring Training Venue

Florida Auto Exchange Stadium
373 Douglas Ave. (corner of Douglas Ave. and Beltrees St.)
Dunedin, FL 34698
727-733-0429
Single game ticket prices range from $18-$23.  Season ticket prices range from $270-$345.
Parking is $3-$10 for neighborhood parking and $15 for stadium parking.

Washington Nationals-Viera, FL.  First Spring Training game is Thursday, March 5 VS. New York Mets at 5:05 PM EST.  Last Spring game Saturday, April 4 VS. New York Yankees at 1:05 PM EDT at Nationals Park in Washington D.C.

Spring Training Venue

Space Coast Stadium
5800 Stadium Parkway
Viera, FL 32940
321-633-9200 (Visitor Information)
Single game ticket prices range from $12-$35 (dynamic pricing style system is used.)  Season ticket prices range from $238-$280.
Parking is $7.

Salt River Fields At Talking Stick
Photo Courtesy of
Wikimedia
and
Cygnusloop99
under
CC BY-SA 3.0 License
Cactus League: Arizona

 


Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim-Tempe, AZ.  First Spring Training game is Thursday, March 5 VS. Milwaukee Brewers at 12:05 PM PST/1:05 PM MST.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Los Angeles Dodgers at 6:10 PM PDT at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA.  

Spring Training Venue

Tempe Diablo Stadium
2200 W. Alameda Drive
Tempe, AZ 85282
480-350-5205
Single game ticket prices range from $15-$60 (Dynamic style pricing system is utilized.)  Group ticket packages of 15 or more persons range from $14-$48 for Non-Premium games and $15-$53 for Premium games.  Most Premium games are on weekend dates.
Parking is $5.

Arizona Diamondbacks-Scottsdale, AZ.  First Spring Training game is Tuesday, March 3 VS. Arizona State Sun Devils at 3:10 PM MST.  Last Spring game Saturday, April 4 VS. Chicago Cubs at 1:10 PM MST at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ.  Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time.

Spring Training Venue

Salt River Fields At Talking Stick
7555 N. Pima Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Salt River Fields At Talking Stick is served by major freeways, Interstate 10, Interstate 17, Red Mountain Freeway Loop 202 and Pima Freeway-Loop 101.
Phone #'s: 480-270-5000, 888-490-0383, 480-362-9467 (phone fee of $10 per transaction applies.)
Season ticket prices range from $162-$504 for D-Backs games consisting of an 18-game schedule, $135-$420 for Rockies games consisting of a 15-game schedule and $297-$924 for a full season consisting of a 33-game schedule.
Ticket office hours: Center Field ticket office-10 AM-3:30 PM for day games, 10 AM-9 PM for night games; Home Plate ticket office-11 AM-3:30 PM for day games, 5 PM-9:30 PM for night games; Left Field ticket office-11 AM-2 PM for day games, 5 PM-8 PM for night games; Right Field ticket office-11 AM-2 PM for day games, 5 PM-8 PM for night games.  Non-game days: Center Field ticket office only-10 AM-4 PM Monday through Friday, 10 AM-2 PM Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Parking Rates: $5 for day of game parking in all lots.  RV and Bus parking is available for $15. Salt River Fields parking lots will open at 9 AM on game days.

Chicago Cubs-Mesa, AZ.  First Spring Training games are a Split Squad Doubleheader on Thursday, March 5 VS. Oakland Athletics at 2:05 PM CST/1:05 PM MST at Sloan Park and VS. San Francisco Giants at 2:05 PM CST/1:05 PM MST at Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, AZ.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Arizona Diamondbacks at 3:10 PM CDT/1:10 PM MST at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ.  Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time.  Opening Night for the Chicago Cubs is Sunday, April 5 VS. St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field in Chicago at 8:05 PM EDT/7:05 PM CDT on ESPN2. 

Spring Training Venue

Sloan Park
2330 Rio Salado Parkway
Mesa, AZ 85201
Phone #'s: 1-800-THE-CUBS (1-800-843-2827) for single game and season tickets, 480-668-0500 for group ticket sales.  Single game ticket prices range from $9-$36.  Group ticket prices are $42 for non-marquee games and $46 for marquee games for 20 or more people.  Group ticket price admission comes with grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, tortilla chips and homemade salsa, pasta salad, brownies, lemonade and iced tea.  Season ticket prices range from $135-$540.
Parking to all games is available for $10 (reserved), $5 (general) per vehicle or motorcycle.  Buses and RV's are $14.

Cincinnati Reds-Goodyear, AZ.  First Spring Training game is Tuesday, March 3 VS. Cleveland Indians at 3:05 PM EST/1:05 MST.  The Reds will be the home team.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Toronto Blue Jays at 1:07 PM EDT at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, QC, Canada.

Spring Training Venue

Goodyear Ballpark
1933 S. Ballpark Way
Goodyear, AZ 85338
623-882-3120 (general), 623-882-3130 (ticket office)
Single game ticket prices range from $4-$10 for children 12 and under and $8-$29 for everybody else.  Mini plans range from $11-$23.  Group ticket prices range from $7-$37 Monday through Friday and $9-$37 on weekends.  Suites are $750 for 15 people.  
Parking is $5 for Cars and $10 for RV's.  There is no overnight parking for RV's

Cleveland Indians-Goodyear, AZ.  First Spring Training game is Tuesday, March 3 VS. Cincinnati Reds at 3:05 PM EST/1:05 MST.  The Reds will be the home team.  First home Spring game is Wednesday, March 4 VS. Cincinnati Reds at 3:05 PM EST/1:05 MST.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Milwaukee Brewers at 3:05 PM EDT/12:05 MST at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix, AZ.  Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time.

Spring Training Venue

Goodyear Ballpark
1933 S. Ballpark Way
Goodyear, AZ 85338
623-882-3120 (general), 623-882-3130 (ticket office)
Single game ticket prices range from $4-$10 for children 12 and under and $8-$29 for everybody else.  Mini plans range from $11-$23.  Group ticket prices range from $7-$37 Monday through Friday and $9-$37 on weekends.  Suites are $750 for 15 people.  
Parking is $5 for Cars and Trucks, $10 for RV's.  There is no overnight parking.

Colorado Rockies-Scottsdale, AZ.  First Spring Training game is Wednesday, March 4 VS. Arizona Diamondbacks at 1:10 PM MST.  The Rockies will be the home team.  Last Spring Training game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Seattle Mariners at 1:10 PM MDT/12:10 PM MST. Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time.

Spring Training Venue

Salt River Fields At Talking Stick
7555 N. Pima Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Salt River Fields At Talking Stick is served by major freeways, Interstate 10, Interstate 17, Red Mountain Freeway Loop 202 and Pima Freeway-Loop 101.
Phone #'s: 480-270-5000, 888-490-0383, 480-362-9467 (phone fee of $10 per transaction applies.)
Season ticket prices range from $162-$504 for D-Backs games consisting of an 18-game schedule, $135-$420 for Rockies games consisting of a 15-game schedule and $297-$924 for a full season consisting of a 33-game schedule.
Ticket office hours: Center Field ticket office-10 AM-3:30 PM for day games, 10 AM-9 PM for night games; Home Plate ticket office-11 AM-3:30 PM for day games, 5 PM-9:30 PM for night games; Left Field ticket office-11 AM-2 PM for day games, 5 PM-8 PM for night games; Right Field ticket office-11 AM-2 PM for day games, 5 PM-8 PM for night games.  Non-game days: Center Field ticket office only-10 AM-4 PM Monday through Friday, 10 AM-2 PM Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Parking Rates: $5 for day of game parking in all lots.  RV and Bus parking is available for $15. Salt River Fields parking lots will open at 9 AM on game days.

Chicago White Sox-Glendale, AZ.  First Spring Training game is Wednesday, March 4 VS. Los Angeles Dodgers at 2:05 PM CST/1:05 PM MST.  The Dodgers will be the home team.  First home Spring game is Thursday, April 4 VS. Los Angeles Dodgers at 2:05 PM CST/1:05 PM MST.  Last Spring game is Friday, April 3 VS. Charlotte Knights at 5:05 PM CDT/6:05 PM EDT at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, NC.  

Spring Training Venue

Camelback Ranch
10710 W. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85037
623-302-5000
Single game ticket prices range from $9-$39 for Advance Purchase Monday through Friday.  Suites in this price category are $400.  Day of game purchases are from $12-$37.  Suite purchases are excluded from this category.  Weekend Premier Game purchases are from $14-$59 Friday through Sunday.  Suites in this price category are $500.  Group ticket prices vary depending on desired seating location.  Season ticket prices range from $108-$528 for White Sox games consisting of a 14-game schedule, $112-$532 for Dodger games consisting of a 14-game schedule and $220-$1,060 for full season schedule consisting of 28 games.  Mini plans of 3+ games are also available from $27-$117.
Parking is free!  There is no overnight parking.

Kansas City Royals-Surprise, AZ.  First Spring Training game is a Tuesday, March 3 charity game VS. Texas Rangers at 2:05 PM CST/1:05 PM MST.  The Rangers will be the home team.  The first Spring home game Wednesday, March 4 VS. Texas Rangers at 2:05 PM CST/1:05 PM MST.  The last Spring game will be Saturday, April 4 VS. Houston Astros at 3:05 PM CDT at Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX.  

Spring Training Venue

Surprise Stadium
15850 N. Bullard Ave.
Surprise, AZ 85374
623-222-2222
Single game ticket prices range from $8-$30.  Season ticket prices range from $112-$196 for 7-game FLEX and 7-PACK games (Royals or Rangers), $196-$392 for Royals games consisting of a 14-game schedule, $210-$420 for Rangers games consisting of a 15-game schedule and $377-$812 for full season schedule consisting of 29 games.  Group sale discounts are also available.  Groups of 20-49 people are $3 off each ticket.  Groups of 50-99 people are $5 off each ticket.  Groups of 100 or more people must call box office to inquire about discount rates.  Suites are available for $1,000 (includes $250 food and beverage voucher and admission for 16 people.
Parking is available in one of the lots outside of the center field entrance.
Box Office hours: 10 AM-5 PM Monday through Friday, 10 AM-2 PM Saturday and Sunday, 10 AM-30 minutes after the game on game days.

Los Angeles Dodgers-Glendale, AZ.  First Spring Training game is Wednesday, March 4 VS. Chicago White Sox at 2:05 PM CST/1:05 PM MST.  The Dodgers will be the home team.  The last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at 6:10 PM PDT at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA.

Spring Training Venue

Camelback Ranch
10710 W. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85037
623-302-5000
Single game ticket prices range from $9-$39 for Advance Purchase Monday through Friday.  Suites in this price category are $400.  Day of game purchases are from $12-$37.  Suite purchases are excluded from this category.  Weekend Premier Game purchases are from $14-$59 Friday through Sunday.  Suites in this price category are $500.  Group ticket prices vary depending on desired seating location.  Season ticket prices range from $108-$528 for White Sox games consisting of a 14-game schedule, $112-$532 for Dodger games consisting of a 14-game schedule and $220-$1,060 for full season schedule consisting of 28 games.  Mini plans of 3+ games are also available from $27-$117.
Parking is free!  There is no overnight parking.

Milwaukee Brewers-Phoenix, AZ.  First Spring Training game is Wednesday, March 4 VS. UW-Milwaukee Panthers at 2:05 PM CST/1:05 PM MST.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Cleveland Indians at 2:05 PM CDT/12:05 PM MST.  Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time.

Spring Training Venue

Maryvale Baseball Park
3600 N. 51st Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85031
623-245-5500
Single game ticket prices range from $8-$23.  Season ticket packages start at $176.  Group ticket information can be obtained by calling Miller Park ticket office at 1-800-933-7890.  Groups consist of 20 or more people.  
Parking prices are $5 for advance parking purchases and $6 for day of game parking.
Maryvale Baseball Park box office hours are 9 AM-5 PM Monday through Friday, 10 AM-5 PM on Saturday and 10 AM-2 PM on Sunday.

Oakland Athletics-Mesa, AZ.  First Spring Training game is Tuesday, March 3 VS. San Francisco Giants at 12:05 PM PST/1:05 PM MST.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. San Francisco Giants at 1:05 PM PDT AT O.co Coliseum in Oakland, CA.

Spring Training Venue

Hohokam Stadium
1235 N. Center Street
Mesa, AZ 85201
480-644-4451
Call for ticket information.
Parking is $3-$5 for neighborhood parking and $7 for stadium parking.

San Diego Padres-Peoria, AZ.  First Spring Training game is a Tuesday, March 3, charity game VS. Seattle Mariners at 12:05 PM PST/1:05 PM MST.  The Mariners will be the home team. First home Spring game is Friday, March 6 VS. Chicago White Sox at 12:05 PM PST/1:05 MST. Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Diablos Rojos del Mexico at 2 PM PDT at Petco Park in San Diego, CA.

Spring Training Venue

Peoria Sports Complex
16101 N. 83rd Ave.
Peoria, AZ 85382
623-773-8715
Advance ticket purchase prices range from $5-$26 for Value games, $8-$27 for Regular games and $8-$29 for Premium games.  Day of game purchases for single game tickets are an additional $2 per ticket.  Season ticket prices start at $210 for Padres home games consisting of a 15-game schedule, $224 for Mariners home games consisting of a 16-game schedule and $434 for a full season schedule consisting of 31 games.  Group ticket discounts of $1-$5 are available based on the size of your group for any game.  Group ticket packages also include name recognition on the scoreboard during games, free parking passes and other special benefits.  Optional catering for a pregame buffet is available on upper level Terrace overlooking the field.  To purchase group tickets call 623-773-8719.  Suite rentals are also available and can accommodate up to 12 guests.  For suite rental information call 623-773-8719.
Parking is available on a first come, first serve basis.  Vehicles such as cars are $5.  RV's are $10.

San Francisco Giants-Scottsdale, AZ.  First Spring Training game is Tuesday, March 3 VS. Oakland Athletics at 12:05 PM PST/1:05 PM MST at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, AZ.  First home Spring game is Wednesday, March 4 VS. Oakland Athletics at 12:05 PM PST/ 1:05 PM MST.  Last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. Oakland Athletics at 1:05 PM PDT AT O.co Coliseum in Oakland, CA.

  
Spring Training Venue

Scottsdale Stadium
7408 E. Osborn Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
480-990-7972
Dynamic style pricing system is used for single game tickets and prices range from $10-$68.75. Season tickets have already sold out.  Group/suite tickets are available for groups ranging in size from 20-150 people.  For more information call 415-972-2298.  Box office hours are as follows: 10 AM-5 PM Monday through Friday.
Cost of parking varies from free to not free.

Seattle Mariners-Peoria, AZ.  First Spring Training game is Wednesday, March 4 charity game VS. San Diego Padres at 12:05 PM PST/1:05 PM MST.  The Mariners will be the home team. The last Spring game will be Saturday, April 4 VS. Colorado Rockies at 12:10 PM PDT/MST at Salt River Fields At Talking Stick in Scottsdale, AZ.  Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time.

Spring Training Venue

Peoria Sports Complex
16101 N. 83rd Ave.
Peoria, AZ 85382
623-773-8715
Advance ticket purchase prices range from $5-$26 for Value games, $8-$27 for Regular games and $8-$29 for Premium games.  Day of game purchases for single game tickets are an additional $2 per ticket.  Season ticket prices start at $210 for Padres home games consisting of a 15-game schedule, $224 for Mariners home games consisting of a 16-game schedule and $434 for a full season schedule consisting of 31 games.  Group ticket discounts of $1-$5 are available based on the size of your group for any game.  Group ticket packages also include name recognition on the scoreboard during games, free parking passes and other special benefits.  Optional catering for a pregame buffet is available on upper level Terrace overlooking the field.  To purchase group tickets call 623-773-8719.  Suite rentals are also available and can accommodate up to 12 guests.  For suite rental information call 623-773-8719.
Parking is available on a first come, first serve basis.  Vehicles such as cars are $5.  RV's are $10.

Texas Rangers-Surprise, AZ.  First Spring Training game is a March 4 charity game VS. Kansas City Royals at 2:05 PM CST/1:05 PM MST.  The Rangers will be the home team.  The last Spring game is Saturday, April 4 VS. New York Mets at 1:05 PM CDT at Globe Life Park in Arlington, TX. 

Spring Training Venue

Surprise Stadium
15850 N. Bullard Ave.
Surprise, AZ 85374
623-222-2222
Single game ticket prices range from $8-$30.  Season ticket prices range from $112-$196 for 7-game FLEX and 7-PACK games (Royals or Rangers), $196-$392 for Royals games consisting of a 14-game schedule, $210-$420 for Rangers games consisting of a 15-game schedule and $377-$812 for full season schedule consisting of 29 games.  Group sale discounts are also available.  Groups of 20-49 people are $3 off each ticket.  Groups of 50-99 people are $5 off each ticket.  Groups of 100 or more people must call box office to inquire about discount rates.  Suites are available for $1,000 (includes $250 food and beverage voucher and admission for 16 people.
Parking is available in one of the lots outside of the center field entrance.
Box Office hours: 10 AM-5 PM Monday through Friday, 10 AM-2 PM Saturday and Sunday, 10 AM-30 minutes after the game on game days.
Parking is free!


Tim Musick
Copyright 2015
All Rights Reserved



   























Monday, March 2, 2015

Who Says You Need An Agent?


 
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia and Keith Allison under CC  BY-SA 2.0 License
 
As Spring Training is about to commence ahead of the 2015 regular season, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will most likely be involved in negotiations on a possible contract extension with reliever Huston Street in addition to getting the team revved up for action by Opening Day on April 6th in Seattle.

What makes these negotiations with Street so fascinating is that Street is acting as his own agent in the negotiations.  For the team that's a good thing because the middleman is essentially eliminated in negotiations and the team can deal directly with the player.  For the player in this situation they must be very careful to not get taken advantage of at any point during the entire process in their pursuit of a contract that is a fair value in relation to said player's standing in their marketplace

In Huston Street's case he is one of the better relievers in the game today.  To that end, Street is seeking a contract similar to those obtained by David Robertson and Andrew Miller.  Robertson agreed to a 4-year $46 million dollar deal with the Chicago White Sox while Andrew Miller agreed to a 4-year $36 million dollar deal.

Why am I writing this you ask?  To show you just how complicated contract negotiations can be. You don't just throw out a number and hope for the best.  It is not that easy.

Message to Huston Street: I wish you the best of luck in navigating these tricky waters without the possible safety net of someone else acting on your behalf with your best interests in mind.  You are much stronger than me.

The good thing is General Manager Jerry Dipoto has a history of smooth negotiations with players and their representatives since he took the position in 2011 when you consider that the team has successfully avoided any and all hearings for their arbitration eligible players under Dipoto's watch.





Tim Musick
Copyright 2015
All Rights Reserved  

Friday, February 27, 2015

Top 10 MLB Network Right Now-Analysts

There's a Hall of Famer on the Shredder's analyst list!

Hello and welcome to the third and final installment of Top Ten MLB Network Right Now.  Over the past week, we have focused on the personalities of MLB Network in an effort to showcase the great talent that the network has to offer.

Each personality has been fit into their specific category based on their specific job description within the organizational workplace of MLB Network.  The two previous categories were Hosts and Reporters and Insiders.  In today's final rankings we focus on the individuals who are seemingly the most free to express their opinions swirling within the inner realms of their minds in the Analysts. The analysts have the biggest presence of the personalities in Secaucus.  Let's end the suspense.  Here are the Top 10 MLB Network Right Now Analysts edition according to the Sports Network Television Shredder:

1. Harold Reynolds-Yes the number one analyst spot on the Shredder's rankings is occupied by none other than the model of analyst consistency in Harold Reynolds.  Say what you will about this old school apologist, there's something to be said about his nearly 20-year career as an analyst post playing career.  Talk about bringing back excellent value as an analyst.  Reynolds has vastly improved from his rookie days at the World Wide leader in ESPN.  Looking into the future, Reynolds shows no signs of slowing down thanks to the added responsibility of covering the World Series on Fox for years to come.

2. John Smoltz-When you can lay claim to a very decorated Hall of Fame career you are virtually guaranteed of a spot in the Shredder's Top 10 MLB Network Right Now Analyst List.  The surprise here is that Smoltz doesn't own the top spot.  In any case, Smoltz has greatly utilized his Hall of Fame knowledge as a resourceful pitcher to his advantage.  It's no accident that he regularly appears as a color commentator on the network's Showcase game coverage throughout the regular season and playoffs.

3. Kevin Millar-The self-proclaimed 04 champion of the Boston Red Sox is unlike any analyst currently covering the sport right now.  Not too many analysts can lay claim to their very own unique and most definitely one-of-a-kind vernacular.  More times than not, Millar really does offer very good insight through that otherwise complicated language of his.

4. Dan Plesac-Plesac cracks the top 4 thanks to his veteran presence with the network.  The 18-year pitching veteran has brought that same longevity and work ethic to his resume as an excellent commentator on the game today.  He's also not fazed by his own antics of wearing kung fu Panda hats complete with karate sound effects in honor of Red Sox (that feels weird to type) third baseman Pablo Sandoval.

5. Eric Byrnes-The former Oakland Athletic has been a bastion of the new school era of progressiveness from the former player's point of view.  There's also a feisty quality in his analysis as evidenced by his weekly appearances on High Heat opposite Christopher 'Mad Dog' Russo.  His effortless nonstop energy is a huge advantage that he utilizes beautifully to the max.

6. Bill Ripken-The lesser known of the Ripken siblings comes in at number 6 on the Shredder's Analyst list.  Like his brother Cal, Bill does an excellent job in teaching the fundamentals of the game from the demo field in Studio 42.  Another thing in his favor is his preference to add a Designated Hitter position to the National League style of game.  Even though his opinions may not always be shared by the public at large, having no fear when expressing your opinions goes a long way when becoming the best analyst one could possibly be.  

7. Mark DeRosa-One of MLB Network's newer analysts, Mark DeRosa has so far made the most out of his knowledge as a recent former player thanks to a 15+ year career with 8 teams.  DeRosa showed early potential as an analyst as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2013 when he make frequent appearances on MLB Network's Intentional Talk alongside fellow teammate and sparkplug Munenori Kawasaki.  If DeRosa stays dedicated to his craft as an analyst, the Shredder sees nothing but good things for his future.

8. Ron Darling-This man seemingly has exposure down to a science.  The former Mets pitcher of '80s fame appears across all of MLB Network's big name programs in addition to his regular season contributions with Sportsnet New York (SNY) Mets telecasts and TBS' national  game coverage on weekends.

9. Mike Lowell-The 2-time World Series winner always delivers a unique insight into the game.  He does good work on the MLB Now panel alongside Brian Kenny.  Where he provides the most value is his insight of what it's like for foreign born players to make the transition to the big leagues.  This is especially true given the growing influx of players from Cuba making the transition the the big show.

10. Darryl Hamilton-Since joining MLB Network in 2013, Hamilton is a perfect role model when it comes to finding the right mix of ingredients in an analyst.  He always delivers very thoughtful and smart insight when discussing the daily happenings of Major League Baseball.  He's also not afraid to be critical of players when he feels that such analysis is warranted.

Those That Just Missed The Cut-Sean Casey, Ryan Dempster, Cliff Floyd, Al Leiter, Jim Kaat, Joe Magrane.  Sorry gentlemen, there just wasn't enough room in such a crowded field.  Keep at it and you may see your name in the Top 10 next time.

Those That Need More Seasoning Or Exposure-Carlos Pena, Dave Valle, Joey Cora.  With more reps and exposure these guys could work their way up through the ranks.



Tim Musick
Copyright 2015
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Top 10 MLB Network Right Now-Insiders

Does Mr. Bow Tie For A Cause occupy the top spot?

Photo Courtesy of
Wikimedia
and
Thousandrobots 
under

Hello and welcome to the second installment of Top 10 MLB Network Right Now where we rank the various personalities of MLB Network using our own version of objective methodology combined with the personality makeup of the individual.  We call it the Sports Network Television Shredder.

In today's episode we will focus on the Insiders of MLB Network.  The Insiders are responsible for providing the latest up-to-date information on trade rumors, free agent signings and various other pertinent team transactions.  In other words this is no easy task that bears a huge responsibility for those willing to take it on.

One more thing before we release the Shredder's rankings.  Since MLB Network has a grand total of 6 Insiders on their payroll this will be a Top 6 list rather than the usual Top 10.  And remember, your are always free to agree or disagree with the Shredder's rankings.  With that in mind, here is the Top 10 MLB Network Right Now-Insiders Edition.

1. Ken Rosenthal-Rosenthal takes the top spot on the Sports Network Television Shredder's Insiders list.  In addition to his appearances on Hot Stove and MLB Tonight, Rosenthal also has a presence with Fox Sports and their coverage of Major League Baseball happenings.  He even writes his own series of columns for Fox Sports on their website.

When it comes to reporting on the latest information on the league, Rosenthal's skills are second to none.  He consistent track record of breaking the major stories before most of his colleagues while also giving credit to others is a perfect illustration of his excellent reputation and top notch work ethic within the industry.

2. Jon Heyman-At number two on the Shredder's list, Heyman's reporting of various deals and transactions is fearless and yet unnerving for agents everywhere when it comes to throwing out the rumored terms on contract negotiations for various players.


As an agent, you have to build a very strong working relationship with the CBS Sports writer to feel somewhat comfortable with his style of reporting.

Picture courtesy of Wikimedia
Caryn Rose under CC BY 2.0 license

3. Tom Verducci-Verducci lands in the third spot on the Shredder's list.  Verducci's work at Sports Illustrated continues to be some of the finest pieces of journalism you will see anywhere.  His reporting on baseball's steroid scandal was flawless, especially at a time when the sport essentially did all it could to ignore it and sweep it under the rug.


Luckily that didn't happen and the sport now has one the toughest Performance Enhancement Drug policies of any sport.

He also has some pretty innovative ideas on how to improve the game today and for the future which is a plus for the game going forward under Commissioner Rob Manfred's leadership.


4. Peter Gammons-Since joining the MLB Network family in 2010, Gammons still does some masterful work that is reminiscent of his days at the World Wide Leader in ESPN.  His behind-the-scenes access style of reporting is a nice touch in today's game of baseball.

5. Jon Paul Morosi-Occupying the number 5 spot, Jon Paul Morosi profiles as a potential rising star among MLB Network's stable of Insiders.  If he keeps up his current path of trajectory, Morosi could potentially crack into the top 3 on this list.

6. Joel Sherman-Along with Ken Rosenthal, Joel Sherman is the epitome of professional sports journalism.  He gets his fair share of inside scoop and gives credit where credit is due.  What more could you want in the pursuit of journalistic excellence.


So there you have it.  This is the Sports Network Television Shredder's Top 6 MLB Network Right Now Insiders' list.  What's yours?



Tim Musick
Copyright 2015
All Rights Reserved