baseball

USF Religious Studies Club

The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7 to 3 on Opening Day Sunday, perhaps fueling the optimism of fans in the team's 20th year.

The beginning of a new baseball season is one of the times that proves the statement, "hope springs eternal." The similarities between the tenets of religion and baseball are the subject of a Monday afternoon event sponsored by the University of South Florida's Religious Studies Club. 

Cathy Carter / WUSF

MLB spring training is well underway, and there's a lot of talk about multimillion dollar renovations at Tampa Bay area stadiums. They're supported in part by local tax dollars.

The Detroit Tigers have unveiled a revamped facility in Lakeland. The New York Yankees have done the same in Tampa, and Dunedin is planning upgrades for the Toronto Blue Jays. Sarasota County is opting to start from ground zero, potentially investing in a new $75 million facility for the Atlanta Braves.

Cathy Carter/WUSF News

For baseball fans, spring training means winter is almost over and pennant dreams can be renewed.  But in Florida, baseball’s six week warm-up means big business.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Imagine a baseball park that is free and open to the public when no games are scheduled. Imagine real grass but with a roof to shield you from Florida’s frequent rain storms.

Those are just a few of the ideas and innovations Tampa Bay Rays President Brian Auld has in mind for a new stadium no matter where it gets built.

History was made in Baltimore today: The Orioles played in what the league says is the first Major League Baseball game to be closed to the public.

That meant that players came on the field to no cheers and a home run was marked by the crack of a bat and only a few isolated claps.

Here's video of the first pitch:

And video of a three-run home run by Orioles first-baseman Chris Davis:

NPR's Don Gonyea is at Camden Yards this afternoon and he reports that he saw just a small amount of police presence outside the stadium.

In 204 days, two teams will face off in the World Series. Until then, fans can dream about their team winning it all, as Major League Baseball's regular season gets going. St. Louis and Chicago played the first game Sunday night; the Cubs lost, 3-0.

Along with that loss, Chicago's fans also endured restroom wait times of up to 30 minutes. Blaming the problem on at least two bathrooms being closed, the club has apologized, Chicago news TV WGN says.

Charlie Riedel / Associated Press

International Baseball will make its return to St. Petersburg this Friday for its fifth season. 

Mayor Rick Kriseman held a news conference Tuesday afternoon with Tampa Bay Rays president Brian Auld and representatives from the Canadian Junior National Team and All Stars from the Puerto Rican Development Program to announce the 2015 schedule of St. Petersburg International Baseball

The 2017 MLB All-Star Game Will Be Played At Marlins Park

Feb 14, 2015

  Marlins Park will host the 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star game.

Only 20 days into his new position, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made the official announcement alongside Gov. Scott and local leaders at Marlins Park on Friday.

The MLB All-Star game means more to Miami than just revenue.

Celebrating the Life of Buck O'Neil as Sarasota's Newtown Turns 100

Oct 30, 2014
Associated Press archive / Charlie Riede

Buck O'Neil rose from humble beginnings in Sarasota's Newtown neighborhood to become the first black coach in the major leagues. He was able to tell stories spanning almost the whole history of baseball, from Babe Ruth to the Negro Leagues, to Bo Jackson.  As Newtown celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, Ian Cummings of The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports he was the most famous public figure to ever come from their neighborhood.

StoryCorps

Every Monday, WUSF 89.7 presents Story Corps Tampa Bay, and this week’s story comes from a recording at the John F. Germany Public Library in Tampa as part of the “StoryCorps @ your library” series.

Today we meet two professional baseball players who played in the Negro Leagues in the 1940's, Clifford "Quack" Brown and Walter "Dirk" Gibbons. Both men grew up in Tampa and they sat down with their friend, Neil J. Armstrong, who asked about those colorful nicknames.

This week's StoryCorps Tampa Bay was produced by Marc Haze.

Motus Global

There is an innovation in sports science now being tested that some say could change the future of baseball. With arm injuries rampant across all levels of baseball, the Motus Sports Sleeve is being touted to give the feedback pitchers need to help prevent arm injuries.

 

His big-league career began in the 1950s and included the most recent Yankees dynasty. Along the way, the word "beloved" was often attached to his name. Baseball — the players, the fans, seemingly the sport itself — is mourning Don Zimmer today, after he died at age 83 Wednesday.

The tributes to the feisty guy with a good sense of humor and a bottomless love for the game are pouring out from all over, proof that he didn't waste any time during his 66 years in baseball. In recent years, Zimmer had been suffering from kidney and heart problems.

Nathan Powell

The renovations that will turn the childhood home of baseball Hall of Fame member Al Lopez into a baseball museum began Wednesday.

Tampa Bay has a rich history in baseball, with more than 80 major leaguers coming from the area.

The Tampa Bay Baseball Museum will encompass the entire history of local baseball, from Little League all the way up to the big leagues.

According to several news reports, Major League Baseball has given the players union a list of those facing suspensions because of doping.

In truth, this is another pit stop in the long march toward what is rumored to be the suspension of some of baseball's A-listers. Of course, the biggest target is rumored to be Alex Rodriguez.

Polk County commissioners approved Tuesday almost $14.6 million in tourist tax funds to renovate and expand the Detroit Tigers' spring training complex.

The Detroit Tigers have made Lakeland their spring training home for 77 years. That relationship is the longest of its kind in Major League Baseball.

To keep that relationship going past the agreement end date of 2016, Polk County commissioners approved the money to renovate and expand the Tigertown complex.

University of Tampa

For the sixth time, the University of Tampa baseball team reigns supreme, winning the Division II championship over Minnesota State Mankato 8-2 Saturday night.

The Tampa Bay Times reports the Spartans (47-12) outscored their opponents 40-14 in the five games they played during the tournament in Cary, N.C.

screen shot

Some things turn us to mush every time: Cute animals. Sappy Publix commercials. And most of all, surprise military reunions.

Nine-year-old Alayna Adams was chosen to throw out the first pitch at Thursday night's Rays game. What the Dunedin girl didn't know was that the catcher wasn't a pro ball player. It was her dad, Lt. Col. Will Adams, just home from Afghanistan.

After Alayna threw the ball, her father caught it. Then he lifted his catcher's mask. Alayna raced toward him and leaped into his arms.

And yes, the crowd went wild.

Yoselis Ramos

At the Tampa Bay Rays-New York Yankees game Monday night will be triple amputee Sergeant Mike Nicholson - to throw the first pitch from his wheelchair.

Nicholson, 23, was medically discharged from the Marines. During an improvised explosive device - or IED- attack in Afghanistan in 2011, Nicholson lost both legs and his left arm.

mlb.com

The Tampa Bay Rays have made the Forbes list -- but not in a Bill Gates sort of way.

For the second straight year, the Rays rank at the bottom of Forbes.com's list of the most valuable Major League Baseball teams. Read it and weep:

If you have ever dreamed of playing big-league baseball, chances are the dream started to fade sometime in high school.

It gradually becomes clear: You won't be starting in Game 7 of the World Series, and tipping your cap after hitting a walk-off homer. So at some point you go from player to fan — watching others chase greatness on the diamond.

But not every baseball dreamer is willing to give up so early. And in Bradenton, Fla., there's a place that lies somewhere between the Little League field and Yankee Stadium.

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