a guy and a bee

a collection of random thoughts and ideas from me, her, and sometimes us

Tag Archives: orioles

bacon on a stick, it was that good.

imagei’m a lover of bacon like many others. i wouldn’t say it’s my favorite food but a close second or third and can put it on everything. well at camden yards, at the jack daniels stand on eutaw street, they have bacon on a stick. it’s a slab piece of bacon that is grilled/smoked prior to ordering. once ordered by the customer, they get it out of the hot box and dip it in a vat of maple glaze. now, if you thought bacon on a stick was good, maple glazed bacon on a stick is even better. it’s not an every day item, but definitely an occasional snack. watch out, after i ate about half of the bacon, i nearly dropped the other of the bacon on the floor.

oh and it’s a little messy so make sure you get some napkins. i think i had maple glaze on my face until we got into the car. haha. for $5, it was a nice treat and not as expensive as i would expect for ballpark food. it’s meaty and delicious and with that being said, i’d give it an A rating.

this is one of the several new food selections at oriole park at camden yards. next time i might try the crab and mac ‘n cheese hotdog. we also setup a meeting with some of the other partial season ticket holders that sit in our section to try out the new dempsey’s bar. they tried it and although they enjoyed it, they had a really long wait for some carry out soup. i am sure it will get better as the year continues though. @rsharrow had a picture of the new bar on his instagram account last night. it looks pretty good.

have you tried any of the new food selections? beer can chicken, perhaps?

ps… do they have bacon on a stick at the renaissance festival? i’ve never seem them there. guess i was too busy looking at the turkey legs and steak on a stake.

there's me chowing down on the bacon.

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saturday in DC

a few weeks ago after baseball promotions came out for all of the local teams, my buddy and i circled the april 14th bobblehead night for strasburg of the nationals. everyone who follows baseball knows that he is a flame thrower and has really brought the fans to the stadium. well, as time went on, he found out that he couldn’t make it so bee said she would go with me. she’s really gotten interested in baseball the last few years now that we have a partial season ticket package to the orioles and i think it makes her happy to see me doing something i enjoy.

since the game didn’t start until 4:05, we decided to do something else we enjoy, check out some great art and with one of my favorite artist’s having a special display at the national gallery of art, we made the trip down earlier in the day. not to mention, we had to  get to the stadium early to ensure we got one of these prized bobbleheads. so anyway, we got down there and checked out the Picasso drawings exhibit. the detail and intricacies of his works are incredible and something i really appreciate about his work. the variety of this collection was also large and spanned several decades. there were many different techniques and not just the usual cubism or blue period drawings that one might expect. the detail on some portions of the work versus the other pieces make you wonder what he was thinking or if he was working on his early skills. unfortunately, i didn’t take any pictures in exhibit to post and one guy got yelled at for being on his phone so i didn’t want to be that guy. as we finished with the Picasso drawings, we walked through some of the Degas, Monet, and some Rodin. we didn’t get much time after that to move through many of the other exhibits and there were a ton of people checking out the japanese scrolls exhibit, but we didn’t want to wait or really have time. after we left, we stopped by potbelly for a quick bit to eat and then headed over to Nationals Park to take in a ball game. ps… you can see a full size version of the thinker at the BMA and you won’t have to leave baltimore.

this was bee’s first trip to nationals park and my first one of the season. i made a couple trips down last year to see the orioles play as well as one game against the braves when her dad was in town. once we got there and got our tickets, we waited in line for about 20-30 minutes. we probably could have gone in earlier via the centerfield gate, but didn’t want walk around. plus we were calming down from almost blowing through a red light that i never really saw. those stoplights on the right and not in front of me get me every time. that’s neither here nor there but needless to say, we had a good time after not getting in an accident. we got to see edwin jackson pitch a great complete game. hopefully he signs with the orioles next year. we liked the open air feel of the stadium and the different food selections they have. we got some nachos and a couple free sodas. after the game ended, we went over to bee’s father’s favorite pizza place in rockville. when we called him about it, he recited the phone number exactly even though he now lives in nebraska. giuseppe’s makes a really tasty pizza and has a great crust. it’s more doughy then any other local pizzas that i have had. we left full, happy, and with a burnt roof of my mouth. all in all, we had a great day. enjoyed several of our favorite things to do and even ate some pizza.

opening day!

opening dayas you probably know, i am a big orioles and baseball fan and with the 20th anniversary of camden yards coming up, my wife got us opening day tickets for christmas (or was it my birthday…). anyway, i’ve been to opening several times as a kid and my buddy dan and i went last year. this year, it was bee, myself, my dad, and dan and his dad. well, needless to say, we had a great time.

with all the new renovations to the stadium, we got down to the stadium early around 1230/1245 to take in the events. first we talked around the stadium on the outside to see the brooks robinson statue since we hadn’t been down that way since it was installed. with all the crazy people at pickles we stayed on the other side and took it in from afar. as we got into the eutaw street gate, we saw the new gino’s stand and the patio area above centerfield. we made our way from there to right field and watched some batting practice and then went over to left field and took in some more BP. i just missed a ball by a split second. guess i should have had my glove on instead of keeping it in our bag. haha.

our seats were in section 13, which is different than our partial ticket plan but still under cover. and boy was it windy under there. there was probably at 10 degree difference from the sun to the shade because of the winds that were whipping through the stadium friday. many of the renovations to the stadium looked nice and well done. can’t decide yet if i am fan of the new lower wall in right field. it’s kind of like when they moved home plate so they could add more seats to the stadium. guess we’ll see how it plays as t he year goes on. as the festivities went along and all the players got introduced, it was great to see markakis and wieters be presented with their well deserved gold glove awards. nick should probably have 2 or 3 by now, but you can’t argue giving him one for having an error-less season and playing more than 150 games in RF. the new rules in voting for gold gloves as probably helped make this possible finally.

the game turned out to be a great one too and arrieta pitched a gem. i knew the orioles would win. they have one of the top 3 win/loss records on opening day in all of major league baseball. i’m pretty sure the only boo’ing on the day was when kevin gregg was introduced. poor guy. then again, they might have boo’d troy patton too for letting up a 2 RBI home run in the 9th in. no one boo’d the caped crusader, er, field trespasser though as the baltimore police laid a nice tackle on him. we also missed it because we were in the concourse at the time when a police officer came running by us and down the tunnel.

all in all, it was a great time at the yard and a fun way to spend the day with some family, friends, and new comers to opening day in baltimore, aka a statewide holiday!

“do i feel lucky? well, do ya?”

well that’s what i am thinking and i don’t have a. 44 magnum in face like the guy in dirty harry. yes, me and millions of other people went to the local gas stations and convenience stores and bought a mega million tickets. the biggest jackpot ever! over half a billion dollars! a couple of us from work all threw in a few bucks each today as well earlier in the week (as well as the extra tickets i picked up for myself on the way home).

not sure what i would do with all that money but i’m sure i would buy a piece of the orioles and ravens. haha. so here’s to hoping that tomorrow, we wake up rich in more than one day. guess we will find out.

what would you do with all that money anyway? do you play the lotto or do you not like it?

don’t change the game

coach harbaugh never likes the refs call

it seems like in every major sport these days, there is a large mistake by the officials on a regular basis. granted referreeing isn’t a perfect science and there is only a split second for you to make the decision, but it seems like the obvious calls are being missed and therefore games are being changed because of it. take the syracuse vs. unc asheville game the other night in the second round of the ncaa tournament. an inbound pass goes in and doesn’t even hit a player on unc-a and the ref gives the ball back to syracuse. now granted, this might not have changed the final outcome, but it changed the game at that moment and with such little time on the clock left, there was no way the team could recover. maybe they should have called a foul on unc-a as both players went after the loose ball. as well, in the same game, there was also a shot clock violation that didn’t get called. i didn’t see if that got overturned by replay, but the officials have replay on the court so why not use it when the play is crucial to the game.

The NCAA Coordinator of Officials, John Adams said,

“I’m not going to alibi for the gentlemen in the game. They work their butts off. When you see this call, it’s either a foul or you give it to the other team that didn’t knock the ball out of bounds.”

“He didn’t get it right.”

having umpired baseball for parts of 13 plus years, i know that you can’t be right all the time but a play that like needs to be overruled by the officials. when there is more than 1 official on the floor, you need to get together and make the right call. just now at halftime of the murray st/marquette game, there was a clear walk as the player scored at the buzzer and it counted. unbelievable. it’s not just now and it’s not just basketball. i’m sure every major sport this year had has their fair share of screw ups and i’ve even screwed up before, but it appears to be happening more and more on the national stage, which isn’t good. you never want to put yourself in the game and make a call that can change a game like that.

remember the perfect game that armando galarraga (who is now in orioles camp) had a couple years ago when jim joyce blew the call at first? he later apologized for screwing up the call, but it doesn’t go back and fix the wrong and change history. how many perfect games have there been, ever? 20, in over 100 years.

if you are going to let the players play, let them play. ultimately, you need to be consistent, whether it’s good or bad. be consistent and don’t put yourself out there to make a critical call in correctly. it’s a shame things have been so bad lately, but hopefully it changes so it stops affecting the game adversely. literally, for the love of the game, they need to be better.

you can see the play in syracuse/unc asheville game on youtube.

orioles, what’s next?

new 2012 logo!

with the ravens season over, it’s time to focus on baseball season. being born and raised in the baltimore area, i was raised as an orioles fan. growing up with the oriole way was great but not being old enough to remember the ’83 world series and not seeing one since has been a tough way to be a fan. as we all  know, the last 14 years have been tough for any orioles fan; however, i can’t give up on them now.

“What? Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!”

having grown up as a baseball fan and playing and umpiring baseball for the vast majority of my life, i always watch the game with a critical eye. i sometimes joke that i’ve forgotten more about the rules of baseball them some people know. we all know this year is going to be a another rough year. there was promise when andy mcphail came in and things went okay and now that he is gone, dan duquette is attempting to put his stamp on this organizations. he’s stirred up things in the front office, but has he done enough? we’ve had a problem developing talent for years now and some of those people that were in charge for the last several years are still around. as far as the talent on the field, i haven’t been blown away. seems like more of the same but on a bigger scale. he’s brought in a lot of decent talent and some older talent as well as a mix of foreign born players. many of these guys are expected to strengthen the organization overall but how many of them will make a splash with the big league club? on the surface, i like some of the deals that they have made.

new oriole, tsuyoshi wada

i would have hoped they showed up and made a splash with a #1 pitcher, especially now that Guthrie has been traded, but there’s two sides to everything and one of those guys would have to want to come here as well. now we have a chance with the guys like wada, ayala, hammel, eveland, and a cast of others who we have signed to bolster up a rotation with guys who hopefully have bright futures like britton, matusz, arrieta, and tillman.

they’ve also worked to bolster up the other position players. when i say worked, we don’t know if they will work or if anyone of the trades/signings are any good. right now, none of them remind me of the hardy trade last year but hopefully they will turn into a nugget as showalter would say. i’ll leave all the advance stats and sabremetrics up to the experts like camden crazies and camden depot, but on my gut feel, and i know many of the others feel the same way, it’s going to be a tough season. last year, i had great hope for the team. at the start of the season , i had them at .500 or better, but this year, i think its going to a struggle to even get there.

this year as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of oriole park at camden yards, i am going to continue to enjoy the team and the stadium. for the second year, bee has gotten us a partial game plan for my birthday. it’s been different the last couple years enjoying the game through the eyes of someone who is new to the game. when we get to the stadium, i enjoy watching the game through her eyes and explaining many of the different aspects of the game to her. having been to at least 150 games, from memorial stadium to camden yards, it’s neat to see someone who is new to the sport. i’ve seen great games, terrible games, games in final week of the streak, the orioles vs. cuba game, fireworks games, and many more. this year, again, we will cheer on her favorite player, nick markakis and many others, and give it the old college try. just like the orioles.

what’s next? who knows what will happen. maybe, for a lost generation of orioles fans who haven’t seen a winning team, we will see a billy beane like season and make a run to better than .500 and make a run at the postseason.

see you at the yard! i’ve met lots of great people there over the years so stop by!

oriole park, photo courtesy of me on flickr

birthday celebrations

last week was my birthday. the big 29 on the 29th. last year, we started a tradition of going to museum or somewhere different for my birthday. we saw the warhol exhibit at the BMA last year and this year we ventured down to the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM). i bought the groupon for two a few months ago and it was a great deal so we figured we would put it together since the last couple we purchased we never got around to using in time and have expired.

although you can’t take photos inside, you can take photos outside which is were the attached are from. they have great and different art all around. we enjoyed many of them. i was pretty partial to the mario batali’s recipes on the paper plates and the toothpick city (can’t remember the name). everywhere you turned there was something different and intriguing to look at. the photo on the left is from the glass tree located in front of the museum. it was pretty crowded inside since it was a holiday week and we even saw a lot of families and younger visitors besides the hipsters that there there as well.

we tried to find something in the gift shop, but we couldn’t find anything that tickled our fancy. usually when visit somewhere new we usually purchase a pint glass. we started it over the summer and have grown a nice and random collection going. on the right is a iron little character in one of the outside exhibits. if you haven’t had a chance to check out the AVAM, we would certainly suggest it.

outside, there is also a very large egg made out of mirror pieces and i snapped this photo. one of my favorites in awhile and i tend to take alot of photos when visiting places. after the avam, we went to the abbey burger bistro. it was my second time visiting and we started out with the crab tots and then moved to a build your own burger. both were fantastic and we were stuffed when we walked out the doors. it was a nice little afternoon downtown.

image

fantastic (and easy to do at home)

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went with the pretzel roll! so good!

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my dinner. sorry it's so dark.

for dinner, i had suggested we try somewhere new and the family gathered at George Martin’s Grillfire in The Hotel at Arundel Preserve which is near Arundel Mills. we had a fantastic dinner and time. it’s probably described as a new american cuisine restaurant. i got the petite filet since i was still somewhat full even after a post lunch nap! others got the meatloaf (a popular choice), ribs, crab cakes, avocado cobb salad, and the salmon wrap. everyone seemed to enjoy their including the free cheese bread they brought out time and time again after we ate the loaves. the wait staff was good and attentive and even brought us out some free desserts for the table after bee told them it was my birthday.

all in all it was a great birthday and i got a partial season ticket plan to see the orioles this summer so that was exciting!

My Year in Sports

21 Orioles Games
1 Shorebirds Game
1 Ironbirds Game
2 Baysox Games
2 Nationals Games
1 Nebraska Football Game
2 Ravens Games
2 Elon BBall Games (at MD and at Navy)
1 Baltimore Grand Prix

From starting about this time last year, it’s been a fun year of attending sporting events. As a big baseball fan, I’ve always enjoyed going to numerous games a year at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, but the variety increased this year. Last October, I attended my first professional football game. Sat on the 50 yard line about 30 rows from the field. Fantastic time and nothing like corporate seats. Shortly after that, we made our way to Nebraska to see my wife’s dad. There we had the opportunity to attend the Nebraska vs. Missouri game, a great rivalry and exciting game. It was their 306th or 309th consecutive sell out. I have a separate blog post on here all about our trip if you are interested.

As the fall turned into winter, Elon’s basketball team travelled for the season to play teams locally and we saw them at Maryland and Navy around the holidays. We had a great alumni attendance at both games and certainly gave Maryland a run for their money. (Should I mention we also went to 1 or 2 Elon football games? They play 1-AA in football in the SoCon.)

At the end of the year, I found out for my birthday, Bee got me/us a partial game season ticket plan for the Orioles. Section 15 if you want to see us out there next year! Between FanFest and the season starting, I laid low with getting some autographs and collectibles. As spring started, I made it to my first opening day, with my buddy Dan, since I was in high school. We had a blast and were ready for what we thought would be a great season. Between season tickets, random Friday or Saturday games, giveaway nights or alumni games, I made it to at least 21 games. In between, we went to the Shorebirds and Baysox games for bobblehead giveaways. I also finally made it out to the Ironbirds stadium after 10 years for a work night at the the game. Hadn’t been to a minor league game in years. I also finally made it to Nationals stadium, once to see the Orioles and once with Bee’s family when they were in town. Nice place but I still enjoy OPaCY! Even wrangled in a batting practice ball at a Orioles game and a foul ball at a Baysox game. The ball hawks weren’t around at the time. Haha.

Once the season wound down, we got to the much anticipated Grand Prix. I made my way down to practice and had a good time. Lots going on and lots of energy. Neat experience but couldn’t go the rest of the weekend since we were going to the beach for the holiday.

And as we end up in October again, I got to go to another Ravens game for the weekend. Another corporate section and hospitality tent event. What a way to tailgate! This time it was Bee’s first professional football game and we won to boot. Talk about a loud, rowdy environment at M&T Bank these days.

I’m not really a fan of professional basketball and only a semi casual fan of hockey so who knows if I attend something like that soon but we shall see what the next year of sports brings. I know it will include lots of Orioles games though!

Length of Ballgames

I don’t know about you guys, but a 4 plus hour game is out of control. And the game went into extra innings around, if not after, the 4 hour mark. The major league umpires have let this thing get out of control and although there aren’t any official timing rules, they need to do something.

Having seen Garcia pitch against the Orioles last week, you know that he took 10-15 seconds between pitches at least. Throws a pitch, gets the ball back, circles the mound, composes himself and then gets the next sign. What a load of junk. I am sure Beckett did the same thing and don’t get me started on Papelbon, who probably took a leisurely trip around the stadium before he came in.

The fact that the umpires continue to let these players and especially these two teams to continuously do this is a real shame.

Things like this are reasons why people are leaving the game, especially kids, and going to other sports. A soccer match is over in 90 minutes, maybe 2 hours without an extra half or period. Same with hockey, non stop action.

It’s time for MLB to start limiting time between innings with pitches, time between pitches, and paying more attention to time spent on visits to the mound. In a game that had a final score of 3-2, there is no way the game should have taken 4 hours and 15 minutes. The Orioles had an hour and 15 minute rain delay and then played a 6-2 game (and they won!) that only lasted just over 2 hours IN THE RAIN for half of the game.

Get it together, MLB!

finally some photos

well, i finally got around to downloading the photos and looking threw them. there are a couple from a trip to salisbury to see the shorebirds on july 1st and a great shot of the fireworks at the orioles game last week.

perdue stadium

the fireworks is probably one of my favorite fireworks photos to date and i took some nice ones on the 4th of july as well! maybe i will post them later.

for those who haven’t been to a minor league stadium, and this was my first trip in a long time, it is generally a great experience. lots of fan interaction and lots going on at the game. the stadiums are smaller and don’t necessarily have the most comfortable seats, but are still enjoyable.

the other picture on the right is of the delmarva shorebirds first baseman, mike flacco (brother of joe flacco, raven’s QB if you didn’t know). he has been hitting clean up for the shorebirds this season and seems to be making strides on improving his game.

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