View From The Skybox: The Chicago Cubs Are For Real, by Chuck Strom

My brother, who works in San Francisco, got an invitation to see the Giants play the Chicago Cubs Tuesday night from a luxury skybox. The accommodations were nice: no standing in line for bathrooms or concessions here. The play on the field, at least for Giants fans, was not. Pitcher Matt Cain didn’t have . . . → Read More: View From The Skybox: The Chicago Cubs Are For Real, by Chuck Strom

Frank Gifford, RIP, by Chuck Strom

This post was a nice surprise. Not just that someone would have had the presence of mind to mention Freddy Exley, but that apparently Gifford and Exley came to know each other after A Fan’s Notes, and that Gifford even hosted a party for Exley when his last book came out.

http://news.yahoo.com/frank-gifford-death-fred-exley-a-fans-notes-220404916.html

One . . . → Read More: Frank Gifford, RIP, by Chuck Strom

A “Where Are They Now?” Moment at Raley Field, by Chuck Strom

Triple-A baseball produces a lot of “Where are they now?” moments. In a recent Sacramento River Cats game, I saw a player, Brooks Conrad, who played a brief but important part in the San Francisco Giants’ recent history. Currently a member of the Las Vegas 51s, he was with the Atlanta Braves when they . . . → Read More: A “Where Are They Now?” Moment at Raley Field, by Chuck Strom

Have the wheels fallen off for Sounders FC? by Claude Iosso

How did Seattle Sounders FC lose their mojo the season they looked poised to finally seize the MLS Cup? Forget the injuries and attrition from national team callups. With an appalling 3-0 loss at home Saturday to the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Sounders looked as clueless and toothless as they’ve ever looked.

Clint Dempsey . . . → Read More: Have the wheels fallen off for Sounders FC? by Claude Iosso

Damien Lillard – Soldier in the Game

One sick jam from charismatic Portland Trailblazers point guard Damien Lillard aka Dame Dolla:

The Sacramento River Cats: 85 Miles From the Major Leagues, by Chuck Strom

Game Action

At the end of last season, the baseball Triple-A Sacramento River Cats changed their major league affiliate from the Oakland A’s to the San Francisco Giants. Naturally, this enhanced their appeal greatly for me, so I paid them a visit. Raley Field, a 10,000-seat ballpark, gets good online reviews, and I rated . . . → Read More: The Sacramento River Cats: 85 Miles From the Major Leagues, by Chuck Strom

Throw Day for Madison Bumgarner, by Chuck Strom

Madison Bumgarner

One of the benefits of arriving early at the ballpark is that sometimes you get treated to a little extra entertainment for the price of your ticket. Yesterday was Madison Bumgarner’s between-starts throwing day. There weren’t many fans in the park yet, but most of those who were crowded near the Giants . . . → Read More: Throw Day for Madison Bumgarner, by Chuck Strom

An Uncharacteristic Day at AT&T Park, by Chuck Strom

James Shields

Lately, the San Francisco Giants have followed their usual script of good pitching and weak hitting, as illustrated by the last three starts by Madison Bumgarner, losses by scores of 2-0, 1-0, and 3-2. They are doing much better in the standings than they should, mostly because they have owned the NL . . . → Read More: An Uncharacteristic Day at AT&T Park, by Chuck Strom

Your 2015 NBA Champions: The Golden State Warriors, by Chuck Strom

On first glance, the above title requires a suspension of disbelief. Though the San Francisco Giants endured a longer journey in the wilderness than the Golden State Warriors, the Warriors were an even less likely prospect to arrive in the promised land. The Giants at least teased their fans occasionally with the possibility of . . . → Read More: Your 2015 NBA Champions: The Golden State Warriors, by Chuck Strom

Charles Pierce – FIFA and the Sports Crime of the Century, by Chuck Strom

I’ve referenced articles from Charles Pierce before. This one, with the quote below, is another reason to admire him as perhaps the most insightful and entertaining writer on sports today:

And what we also have learned is that FIFA’s corruption wasn’t in the least covert. It was lying out there, like a mackerel in . . . → Read More: Charles Pierce – FIFA and the Sports Crime of the Century, by Chuck Strom

The State of Music in Midwestern Baseball, by Mark Erickson

Within the last decade or so major league baseball stadiums have piped in player-selected songs when the batter approaches the batters box. The practice then spread to the high school level. When my son played varsity ball as a junior I noticed to my chagrin that all but two of the players chose a . . . → Read More: The State of Music in Midwestern Baseball, by Mark Erickson

62 Feet Later, Golden State Warriors Reach Conference Finals, By Chuck Strom

The Memphis Grizzlies made the series far too interesting, but last night the Golden State Warriors closed it out and reached the NBA Western Conference Finals for the first time since Rick Barry shot granny-style at the foul line. As to how the Warriors managed it, this video of Stephen Curry’s 62-ft basket last . . . → Read More: 62 Feet Later, Golden State Warriors Reach Conference Finals, By Chuck Strom

Stephen Curry – Your 2015 NBA Most Valuable Player, by Chuck Strom

After the Blazer-Warrior game I attended back in March, I spent some time in the hallway outside the Warrior locker room with Steph Curry and some of his friends, just being a fly on the wall and listening to their conversation. One of the comments I remember was one of Curry’s friends telling him, . . . → Read More: Stephen Curry – Your 2015 NBA Most Valuable Player, by Chuck Strom

World peace might be a stretch, but Oba’s magic on the pitch, by Knute Rimkus

SEATTLE – Obafemi Martins may not wear a cape, but he is most certainly a superhero for the Seattle Sounders FC. The Nigerian striker can snare long passes on his feet and juke defenders into submission. Bringing peace to his troubled homeland might be a stretch, but Oba racks up goals and assists that . . . → Read More: World peace might be a stretch, but Oba’s magic on the pitch, by Knute Rimkus

Grantland Article – The Odd Year Hangover‏, by Chuck Strom

Here’s a pretty good Grantland piece on the Giants’ recent fall from grace. Jonah Keri zeroes in pretty accurately on their problems. He is , if anything, too optimistic on their season prospects. They play like a banged-up collection of spare parts, which in fact they were in 2014, and their championship seems all . . . → Read More: Grantland Article – The Odd Year Hangover‏, by Chuck Strom

Opening Day 2015: Prelude to Garbage Time? by Chuck Strom

Success often breeds higher prices, and Opening Day at AT&T Park was no exception. Up to the day of the game, I waited for online ticket prices to drop to a level I was willing to pay, but despite some late movement by a few desperate sellers, they never did, with the cheapest seats . . . → Read More: Opening Day 2015: Prelude to Garbage Time? by Chuck Strom

A New Master’s Champion, by Chuck Strom

I’m one of the few who actually likes watching golf on television, at least when it’s a major. It offers a lot of interesting psychology and body language, especially when the ball misses a cup or finds its way into a hazard. I happened to see some of yesterday’s Master’s Tournament when the leaders . . . → Read More: A New Master’s Champion, by Chuck Strom

The Golden State Warriors Bring Their “A” Game To Rip City, by Chuck Strom

Steph Curry at pregame warmup

Recently, the Portland Trail Blazers graciously issued me a media pass for their game against the Golden State Warriors. It is the greatest benefit I have received for what is essentially a writing hobby, and if I never receive any other compensation, it will all have been worth it . . . → Read More: The Golden State Warriors Bring Their “A” Game To Rip City, by Chuck Strom

Wrigley Field: Billionaire’s Playground, by Mark Erickson

The current owner of the Chicago Cubs, the ultra-wealthy Ricketts family, defied an existing legal contract signed by the former owner of the Cubs, i.e., the Chicago Tribune Company, with Wrigley rooftop businesses by significantly expanding bleacher space in right and left field. The expansion also includes the addition of video screens. These improvements . . . → Read More: Wrigley Field: Billionaire’s Playground, by Mark Erickson

Graig Markel Composes Soundtrack to Run Free Documentary

The soundtrack of Run Free, a documentary based on the true story of Caballo Blanco, is now available. The beautiful collection consists of thirteen original tracks from accomplished Seattle producer, Graig Markel.

Markel is a songwriter, producer and sound designer credited with creating the genre ‘Broken Soul,’ a mixture of downtempo rock, and R&B . . . → Read More: Graig Markel Composes Soundtrack to Run Free Documentary