[Odd week. Not sure what's coming up next week. I'll get back to RPG stuff at some point. I can't believe how much I wrote last Sunday night about sports.]
The El Paso Chihuahuas introduced their new mascot today.
It’s a guy in a dog suit.
I know that’s obvious, but I’m disappointed. I was hoping for actual
Chihuahuas. I was looking forward to seeing a small herd
of little trained dogs running the bases for the seventh inning stretch to the
theme song from . (Sorry I can’t link to it here. Look it up on Youtube.) You could have contests where people picked
their favorite. You could get these dogs
from the shelter and then offer them up for adoption to the fans. But instead, it’s just a guy in a suit like
every other team’s mascot. (I hope the
marketing department was already smart enough to figure out that they need to
hook up with the Animal Shelter for some promotions, at least.) Beverly Hills Chihuahua
What happens when the
Chihuahuas eventually change
their name? What happens to Chico? Maybe he can go fight Godzilla in his next
On to actual baseball, I got to more or less hear the full game Monday night. The dogs are still in
Tucson playing the Reno Aces. My questions from last time have
been mostly answered. The crowds have
been small, but seemed to be fairly enthusiastic for their former home team,
along with a few fans from El Paso.
Since I was listening at work, I could not give the game my undivided attention, but at least I got to hear that eventful bottom of the third. Voice of the dogs (the dog trainer? the dog whisperer? the handler? the breeder?), Tim Hagerty, got to show off all of his baseball broadcasting skills here and displayed that he really does know his stuff. While Aces manager, Phil Nevin, was arguing a fair/foul call, Tim was able to correctly articulate the rule governing the situation.
Phil got some more quality time with umps that inning as Cameron Maybin of the dogs, perhaps forgetting the number of outs, walked away from occupying first. Thankfully the pitcher had called time before that, so Maybin was allowed back on the field, to the opposing manager’s chagrin. The dogs would go on to score four runs in the inning, though during one of the scores the PA starting inexplicably playing music during the play.
While I’ve heard of several of the players on these teams, imagine my surprise that I’d actually seen one of them play in the majors. The only major league game I’ve been to was on September 11, 1999. There the Diamondbacks blanked the Phillies 4-0. Randy Wolf was the Phillies pitcher that day and the Reno Aces pitcher today. Over the years, I’ve run into Wolf playing in other games and always remember having seen him and have been amazed by his longevity. Tim related some of his career. I suppose it would have been impossible to not talk about him. God bless you Randy.
Nevin would argue with umps again later, no doubt endearing himself to them. Tim would show off his rule book and trivia skills by talking about how a pitcher could get a save by pitching for three innings and finishing the game, regardless of the score. The example he gave involved an extremely lopsided game. I had to look this one up. As per the rule book, the qualifying pitcher must “effectively” pitch for those three innings, leaving some room for interpretation. Dogs win 5-3.
Meanwhile in the big leagues, suddenly a cacophony has started over their new Instant Replay challenge system. This was completely unanticipated. Apparently the Red Sox were jobbed on a clearly blown replay call, thus initiating the crisis. If this had happened to 27 other teams in the league (obviously not including the Yankees and Dodgers), it would have been an amusing sidebar.
What did anybody really expect? The NFL has been doing this for years and still routinely screws up reviewed calls. The excuse for them at least is that their games are all fixed. I don’t know if there’s enough betting action on individual, regular season baseball games for that to be a factor here, so the MLB doesn’t have any real excuse.
Well, start immediately tinkering with system. That’s worked really well for NASCAR and their “Chase” rules. I’d like a system that doesn’t involve any manager challenges, which will used for pure gamesmanship purposes in the playoffs, and just fixes the obvious blown calls and perhaps questionable plays directly effecting scoring. (No more Jeffery Maier.) It’s too much to ask for apparently.
Chihuahuas meet their new
arch-nemesis, the Albuquerque Isotopes, for the first time. According to Tim, Albuquerque fans and people around and on the
team, already hate the little dogs. From
a typing standpoint, let me tell you, I’m already sick of “ Chihuahuas” and “ Albuquerque.”
I don’t know how much longer I can keep this blog topic up.
I used to have an Albuquerque Dukes pennant from back when I lived there as a child. The Dukes were a great team (and easy to type too). Generations of Dodgers went through the
and they were a great tradition. New
fans may wonder why they’re called the Isotopes, a name which is, thanks to the
Duke City Chihuahuas,
now only the second dumbest name in
the PCL. Whatever you think of it, at
least there’s a story behind it. On an
episode of The Simpsons, their city
of Springfield lost their beloved Isotopes to Albuquerque. When Albuquerque
lost their franchise and acquired another Triple A team, the opportunity was
too ironic to pass up.
My listening was sporadic while at work. I learned that they use a humidor for the baseballs because of the high altitude (the thin air makes the baseballs more jumpy). This had no discernable effect on tonight’s game, 11-6 ‘Topes, which included several home runs. I don’t know what the attendance was, but they sounded numerous, loud, and enthusiastic.
Tim had to break out the rulebook again on a play that sent a ball into one of the dugouts. He did not question the umpire’s interpretation, but rather their view of events. Given that it would have involved an early run for the dogs, it was important. Replay? Meh. Don’t get me started on that again.
Once again I was able to listen to about the whole game between the dogs and the Isotopes. This joust was strangely something of a pitching duel compared to last night. The Isotopes would prevail 3-1. Swirling winds may have tempered the bats. I got the impression the weather may have been a bit threatening (I could be wrong), but the patrons were not dampened in spirits or attendance from what I could hear, particularly one girl, who in the 9th, screamed on every pitch. She must have had a decidedly personal interest in the outcome.
“Do you mind if I tell you a story?” Tim is so polite calling the game. I got busy and missed the subsequent story, but I did hear him talk about interviewing Tommy Lasorda. He also related the Simpsons’ angle to the Isotopes’ name and that there are statues of the cartoon characters around the stadium. I also learned that Bryan Cranston, star of Breaking Bad, was also a big fan of the team when they were shooting in
[I've tagged previous Chihuahua posts with a label, so you just click on that and see where I begged them not to pick that name a year ago.]