Tag Archives: United States

Your Friday AirHog update

The Grand Prairie AirHogs are in El Paso to begin a short roadtrip:

A three game set today, Saturday, and Sunday, then a three game series in Fort Worth starting Monday.

Let’s hear what Coach Ricky thinks about the upcoming series:

If you want to watch the game you can! Just log in to here!

Go AirHogs!

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Wake Up Call: Your AirHogs break the slide!

What a relief it is to end a 4 game losing streak right?

Meanwhile, I had a chance to sit down with AirHogs closer, Big John Hunton. Check out this interview.

And then I caught up with him after he got his uniform on.

He’s a good guy, and we AirHogs fans should be glad he’s here. Just a great guy.

Now, would you like to know who gets my vote for the best AirHogs fan?

Nathan is a great kid, he just passed the first grade. He loves coming to QuikTrip Park to get autographs. It doesn’t have to be just AirHog autographs either. He just loves being able to get any and all autographs of his big league heroes, no matter what team they play for. I’ve been watching Nathan do this for a year now, and it warms my heart that kids still see big league ball players as heroes. I still believe there is something honest and pure in that notion. Hats off to Lil Nathan!  Check out his pictures after the jump.

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This better not screw up my swim party

 

With the El Paso Diablos (independent; American Association) on the market and many in the city not wanting to put any money into Cohen Stadium unless affiliated ball is in the offing, the future of the team is far from assured.

Owner Mark Schuster and Ventura Sports have the team on the market. In the meantime, needed improvements to Cohen Stadium are on hold pending new owners. GM Matt LaBranche has some modest improvements in mind — upgraded restrooms, a better playing field — but for anything major, indy ball may be a hard sell for millions in ballpark changes funded by the city.

As this article makes clear, there are plenty in the city pining for the original Texas League Diablos, the affiliated team owned and run by Jim Paul. That team ended up in Springfield, Mo. after Brett Sports took over from Paul, and there’s perhaps a little mythologizing from some in the city about the affiliated days: Paul was an aggressive promoter — a visionary in that respect — who relied heavily on ticket and item giveaways to draw crowds. It was not a sustainable business model (there is a reason why Paul sold the team), and neither Brett Sports or Ventura Sports chose to follow that business model. It’s an approach that seems to be working: the team is a solid draw (3,738 fans a game in 2010), despite playing in a 10,000-seat ballpark way too big for their needs.

But affiliated ball isn’t coming back soon, at least to the current Cohen Stadium, There was some talk about El Paso landing the relocating Portland Beavers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) before the team landed in Tucson, but it’s hard to tell how serious that talk was. Officials say they’d love to bring in another Pacific Coast League or Texas League team, but we don’t see that happening anytime soon. Right now independent ball is the only game in town, and it’s being run in a credible manner, despite Paul’s opinion that indy ball will die in El Paso. “Independent baseball is a tough sell,” he told the El Paso Times. “It’s hard baseball to make money off of. It’s a long ways to go to try to sell the names of cities coming in.”

Part of the issue may be realistic expectations. Folks in El Paso argue that their city is actually the largest market in the United States without affiliated ball, outpacing the likes of Portland, Oregon. But that depends on a rather silly interpretation of the statistics, focusing on the core Portland population and ignoring the suburbs: the greater Portland Metropolitan Statistical Area (as ranked in U.S. Census figures) population comes in at 2,241,841 in 2009 rankings; El Paso comes in at 751,296. When you look at MSAs, there are other cities lacking any sort of baseball, much less affiliated ball, that are larger than El Paso: New Haven, Orlando, Honolulu. El Paso is a major market, to be sure, but it’s not perceived as being especially affluent and maybe not as alluring as locals assume.

The AirHogs will be playing the Diablos on 6/19 and I will be having a pool party at Porter’s Pool in center field. I am hoping the Diablos will put former AirHog Chad Gabriel in center field so we can all chat with him.

 

Diablos on market; will city support indy ball? (Ball Park Digest)

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Wakeup Call: Yes, the AirHogs were swept, so what?

Good morning you bright and beautiful sports fans. Welcome to another week of summer in the world of sports. Before I begin with today’s news, please be advised that the Grand Prairie AirHogs were swept in their 3 game series with the St. Paul Saints. All I have to say to that is, “so what?”

It’s just one series. It’s the first time the AirHogs lost a series this year, gimme a break. Last night’s game was the first time they were shut out this year. gimme a break. All I can say is, it was one series. The good news is, there is a different opponent tonight at QuikTrip Park. Amarillo makes its first trip to the city for tonight’s game, and YOU can be a part of it.

So ok, here is the bad news, but let me just say, sometimes the more you try to analyze something, sometimes it’s like micro-managing, it get’s worse. My suggestion is, just look at this past weekend as an freak of nature. It was out of the ordinary. The Grand Prairie AirHogs are still in first place, just like the Texas Rangers are.

By the way, I heard a lot of folks didn’t go to the game because you wanted to watch the Mavs last night. Now I’m a big Mavs fan too, but why spend 5 hours on a team only to lose in the last seconds by two points? Crazy. Could have seen that at the ball park after the baseball game was over. They televised it.

From AirHogsbaseball.com: Bats go quiet as AirHogs are swept

In the first two games of the series against the St. Paul Saints, the Grand Prairie AirHogs had plenty of opportunities to get victories, but could not get the big hit they needed. On Sunday, the AirHogs were simply overwhelmed at the plate by three Saints pitchers, as St. Paul won 7-0 to complete a three-game sweep in front of 1,552 fans at QuikTrip Park.

OK, so the AirHogs were swept. I’m looking out my window this morning and guess what? The sun came up! Let’s get on with the new day shall we?

I saw some funny things at the park over the weekend. Check this out:

So come on out to the park tonight and watch the AirHogs get back on track. It’s gonna be sweet!!!

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Random Pics from Memorial Day 2011

It occured to me that I take tons of photos and videos when I’m out and about. These pictures were taken on Memorial Day at the Dallas – Fort Worth National Cemetery. Click on the photo for a better view.

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Saturday Review: There’s more to a baseball game than just baseball

OK, let’s get the formalities out of the way:  St. Paul climbs out of early hole to beat Grand Prairie in 11.

The good news is that the Grand Prairie AirHogs are in first place in their division. They had just come back from a road trip and a 9 game winning streak. That’s the baseball side of things. The entertainment side of the game is equally as important.

Watching great baseball is fun. But let’s face it, we fans like to eat at ball games right? We also want to have fun at ball games as well. I’m just saying, for the money, I don’t know how to beat a fun night at QuikTrip Park in Grand Prairie.

AirHog player Greg Porter's wife Morgan, and their baby Dash, along with Ace Bacon and me

What lots of folks don’t realize is this is a business, like everything else. There are players out there that are real people, with real families, along with real dreams and desires, just like you and me. I get the feeling sometimes that because baseball is a game, that we fans don’t stop to consider that this isn’t a serious proposition for these players. If they (the players) don’t produce, they could be sent elsewhere. That’s not a knock on the AirHogs, that’s sports in general. I go to many ballgames in a season, and I see how much the players give of themselves.

And you know who else gives a lot of themselves at ball games? The staff and contractors at ball games. Watch this.

You see this young lady here in the video?

She’s an intern for the AirHogs. That means she doesn’t get paid directly from the organization. She is working on her Master’s degree from a local college, and gets educational credit for her volunteer work.

There are so many people involved to put this grand show on night after night. You might think this would take lots of money to go see a game right? Look at this.

Sooooooo much for sooooo little.

So let’s recap here.

1. A quality baseball team that is in first place in their division.

2. A beautiful ball park that is in the shade when game time rolls around. Did I mention there is a swimming pool in center field? (It’s called Porter’s Pool because Greg Porter was the first player to hit a home run in the pool).

3. Just about any kind of food and drink you need. Yes, a beer and a dog is standard here. Peanuts and cotton candy too.

4. Great entertainment between innings.

5. A beautiful Field of Dreams to watch the great game.

6. Make memories.

Yes, there is a lot more to a baseball game than just baseball. There are tons of things else.

Do yourselves a big favor. Come out and watch some baseball.

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U. of Montana’s Nate Montana arrested for DUI … in Montana

From Off The Bench

by Rick Chandler

In the most coincidental police booking since John Denver was accused of not paying for a Denver Omelet in Denver, the son of Joe Montana was arrested shortly before 4 a.m. Friday morning at an unknown location in Big Sky Country. He was released on $685 bail.

“Montana in February transferred from Notre Dame to the University of Montana where he is vying for the starting quarterback spot.”

This is not Nate Montana’s first encounter with the law and Demon Booze, which may place this incident in the category of ‘we have a real problem.’ Montana was arrested in July of last year for underage drinking at a house party while attending Notre Dame.

 

UM Quarterback Nate Montana Arrested For Suspected DUI [KTVM]

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Memorial Day – 2011

 

Just a note before I head out to the DFW National Cemetery, then enjoying the rest of the holiday.  Have a good holiday, and take a moment or two to remember the fallen heroes we honor today.

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Here come those Okies again

There is a new rivalry with the folks in Oklahoma again. Yes, the Oklahoma City Thunder come sneaking across the river again to try to represent the west in the NBA championship series.

You remember the Okies right? They come down here every year and steal our kids and then turn them against us in the original Red River Shootout as OU battles UT every year. It’s funny how kids go to OU beat UT, then come back to Texas expecting to be Texan again?

The same thing has happened in the pro ranks. The Thunder’s best player is Kevin Durant, and he is a UT alum. That’s the way Oklahoma does things. They come down to Texas, get our players, then brag about how they make a game of it against any Texas team.

If I had my choice of anyone to sweep, it would be the Thunder. Okies, go home.

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Opening Day 2011: Grand Prairie AirHogs baseball

There is just something magical about the Opening Day of baseball. This past weekend was the opening day for the Grand Prairie AirHogs, and there was much to see and do as we old baseball dogs reminisce about baseball everywhere.

Aaahh yeah, the sounds of fans at the park, people standing in line to buy tickets, little baseball players in all shapes and sizes, coming to the park to enjoy baseball!

A brand new team brings new hopes and new dreams of having a championship caliber team here in Grand Prairie. There are still some great players from previous teams here.

So do yourself a favor. Get out to QuikTrip Park as soon as you can and enjoy the fun, the food, and some great baseball. Live the dream!

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