Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Something for the Hockey Fans!

A couple of gamedayritual staffers came across this re-cap of the recently 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Here's one highlight amongst many:

"Good God, it's Wayne Gretzky! I didn't even recognize him. His face filled out. He looks older and more serious. He stole Al Gore's haircut. ... I mean, he suddenly looks like a wealthy importer/exporter or something. Whatever happened to the happy-go-lucky guy who wasn't afraid to break out blond perms and middle parts? He picks center Kyle Turris, who's so young-looking that I kept expecting the Great One to hand him an ice cream cone and an autographed box of hockey cards. Will we see one pick with chest hair in this draft? I wish I could bet Janet Gretzky on this."

For the record, I agree with the author's sentiments - Bettman's time has come and gone.

Enjoy!

The Young Wayne Gretzky...

(Image: http://www.kskssports.com/ksks_sports/hockey_news/images/hn_8_02.jpg)

Friday, June 22, 2007

For the love of the game?

On September 14, 1963 Floyd Rood set out on a sporting adventure that would land him in the Guinness Book of World Records. But more on that later...

I'm not a fan of the expression, "in this day in age..."; it smacks of, "what I'm about to say is right because I know it now...", as though it was completely unknown in previous ages. That said, in this day in age, with the increasing interconnection between countries around the world and the challenges of bridging cultural gaps the role of sports cannot be overlooked. The modern Olympic movement has become a Juggernaut, cruising into town somewhere in the world every two years to measure the best of nations against one another. The PGA Tour is increasingly international (hey, an Argentinian won the US Open! Who knew?) and Professional Tennis circles the globe 12 months a year.

Of course there's Soccer - self proclaimed (and current belt holder) as the "World Game". And a sack full of "Alternate World Games": Cricket (World Cup in early 2007); Rugby (World Cup in September-October 2007); Basketball (Olympics are the big international show); Hockey (World Cup every year, or whenever Canada decides one should be held and the Olympics); and Baseball. Sports provide a way for people from different cultural backgrounds and life experiences to measure one another against a common set of rules.

So, how does Baseball fit into the world of sports? Baseball is fundamentally international - being loosely derived from Cricket, developing in small towns across both the United Stats and Canada and growing well beyond its original bounds to hot beds like Japan, Korea, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and others. Of the players that currently appear in the MLB.com gamedayritual player database, 72% were born in the United States and 28% born outside.

But pick up a newspaper in Sydney Australia (5 active major leaguers, 2004 Olympic Baseball silver medalists), London England (1 active major leaguer) or Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam (1 active major leaguer) and you'll be lucky to get any more then the Major League standings in small print on page 15 of the sports section. Not to mention the wrath you will incur when trying to rationalize with your typical Rugby fan why the World Series includes the word World. After all its often said that all politics is local - and I'd mirror that by saying that all sports are also local too.

Sport it seems all comes down to what you know. You grew up watching Lawn Bowling, so you love Lawn Bowling. (After all, Lawn Bowling has major Championships too.) You open the back page of the Sunday paper and what you read about is what you love and what you love is what you read about. In 1968 while he was the Chief Justice of the United States, Sports Illustrated quoted Earl Warren as saying, "I always turn to the sports section first. The sports section records people's accomplishments; the front page nothing but man's failures." Sport is about accomplishment, sport is local news, sport provides us with clear victories to celebrate and a release from the day-to-day; and Baseball is no exception.

So, when Floyd Rood finished his journey on October 3, 1964 - more then a year after he started it - he had played 114,737 strokes, lost 3,511 balls and covered 3,397.7 miles. He became the first (and only?!?) person to play the United Stats - from Pacific to Atlantic - as a golf course. And he must have done it for the love of the game!


Northfield Mount Hermon School - Silliman Fire 1965


(Photo Credit: http://www.nmhschool.org/about/history/archives.php)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Baseball 2007 Sales Closed

Note that as the behind the scenes preparations for Football 2007 begin to ramp up, we've closed Baseball 2007 sales. Thank you for your support of Baseball 2007 - we hope you've enjoyed the enhancements were we able to add for the Baseball 2007 season, and we look forward to seeing you back in the future.

At this point, we're working towards a mid-to-late July launch of Football 2007, and will provide updates as they become available. For now... who's going to start the Baseball All Star game?!?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Facebook Group for GDR

For any users who are active in the Facebook community (www.facebook.com) and are looking for another group to join, search the Facebook groups for a group called, "gamedayritual: I like it!" and feel free to join!

=======
George Dyke
Sent from Blackberry

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Who's On First?

Through the ages baseball has produced some great comic moments both on the field and on big and small screens alike. After some browsing, I've lifted a couple of the absolute classics from our friends at YouTube.

If you've never watched the Who's On First bit in its entirety - which I hadn't - then its time. It is truly a timeless classic. (Catch it before YouTube pulls it!)




In a slightly more modern effort - and a nod to those puck-junkies out there - "Clark, the Canadian Hockey Goalie" is a classic in the making.




And our (very brief) review of baseball comedy wouldn't be complete without a nod to the classic, Major League.



Now, back to work before you boss catches you! See our complete YouTube play list here: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=8044A765BDB9A491

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Poll: Favourite Ballpark Snacks

Partially as an experiment of a polling service, we've added a poll below asking readers to vote for their favourite Ballpark snacks. Of course, the question of favourite ballpark snacks is on the minds of all our users, and so we hope to get an answer ASAP!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

At ballparks around the majors, Take Me Out to the Ball Game has been played and sung by baseball fans young and old. The Baseball Almanac and Wikipedia agree that the song was written by Jack Norworth and set to music by Albert Von Tilzer in 1908 in New York City. The verse which is sung at the ballpark these days is actually the chorus of a longer song.

"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game."
(Full Song Text)

The tradition of singing the song during MLB games did not immediately follow the writing of the song, and is said to have been started by Harry Carey in 1971.



Harry Carey's Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Growing up in Toronto as a Blue Jay's fan and attending many Blue Jay's games I 'came up' knowing nothing of Take Me Out to the Ballgame. During the 7th Inning Stretch at Jay's games, Ok Blue Jays! was played (and sung, and danced), and Take Me Out to the Ballgame didn't get a spin. That's since changed, and now they play both the traditional tune and a funked up version of Ok Blue Jays! immediately afterwards.

You can catch a selection of related musical highlights on YouTube by following this link, or check out the Video Playlist below.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Prospects Draft Resources

For those of you who are sharpening pencils and revising draft sheets for the upcoming Prospects Draft, here are a few online resources that might help you in your search for the gems in the next generation.

(Note that while we consider these to be valuable sources of information, we cannot be responsible for, provide support for, nor endorse content on these pages.)

Baseball America
http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/

Baseball Prospectus
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/

On Deck Baseball - Future 500
http://www.ondeckbaseball.com/future500.html

Fantasy Baseball Hub - "Prospects Clearinghouse"
http://www.fantasybaseballhub.com/minor_league_prospects.html

Minor League Baseball Home
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/index.jsp

If you've got any you'd like to share, feel free to drop them in a comment to this post!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Prospects Page Up

MLB.com gamedayritual is proud to announce that the 2007 Baseball Prospects Draft page has been launched. The Prospects Draft page can be found under the Front Office area of the Baseball site.

In response to user feedback, for the first time this season the Prospects Draft will be conducted as a live draft! In addition, leagues will be able to schedule their Prospects draft for any day in the month following June 14 kick-off. A complete listing of the definition of MLB.com gamedayritual prospects and the draft overview can be found in our user guide. You can see an overview of the Prospects Draft page functionality in the video below.



Time to get read-up on the literature, shake the bushes and find this season's diamonds in the diamond!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Batting Robot!

Just when you thought they'd thought of everything, along comes a batting robot. Personally I think its swing needs a little work, I have concerns about power to the opposite field, and it looks a little slow out of the box. But eventually this is the kind of technology that may be required to catch the current day sluggers season and career records!


And no, we won't be adding this 'thing' to the GDR player DB until its played a Major League Game...