Saturday, February 12, 2011

Season Preview

Pitchers and catchers are just a little ways off now, so here's the rundown of what we're considering for this year. If we're coming to your part of the world, represent!

1. An amuse bouche of New England games in early April:
  • Boston Red Sox: My childhood team, now just another Evil Empire
  • New Hampshire Fisher Cats: In my youth, I would have killed for a team in my own state. But a fisher cat appears to be some sort of weasel.

2. A Southwest swing in late April or early May: 
  • Las Vegas 51s: Shouldn't this be the Area 51s? As it is, it seems too easy to confuse them with the 49ers.
    • Arizona Diamondbacks: Now that the Devil Rays are firmly established as the Rays, isn't it time to retitle baseball's other poisonous name? Given the political idiocy rampant there, would anyone object to the Arizona Teabags?

    • Tucson Padres: Baseball returns to Tucson, just in time for... uh, never mind.

    3. A Chicago-to-Omaha round trip:
    • Peoria Chiefs: Saw them in 2003 as the Peoria Cardinals, when they had a pugnacious-looking mascot who has apparently vanished from the Internet. [Edit: Apparently they were not called the Peoria Cardinals at all, though they were a Cardinals affiliate at the time and did have a pissed-off-looking bird for a mascot, I swear.]
    • Quad Cities River Bandits: When they were the Quad Cities Swing, they had the most awesomely off-kilter uniforms (as featured in Sugar, which you really ought to see if you haven't).
    MWLguide /
    • Burlington Bees: I got nothing here.
    • Clinton Lumber Kings: Ditto.
    • Cedar Rapids Kernels: One of the best team names in baseball?
    • Iowa Cubs: I saw them a few years ago with my pal the Shuff Dawg, who takes a bite out of medieval literature at a small Midwestern college.
    • Omaha Stormchasers: We both saw them, along with our old pal Red, in 2004 when they were the Omaha Royals, but this is the debut season for their new digs.

         with possible appearances by the
    • Lincoln Saltdogs: No word on where things stand with their conceptual archrival, the Platte Watercats.
    • Sioux City Explorers: Sioux City seems to spend an awful lot of time playing Sioux Falls, which is probably less confusing than it seems, if you live there.

    4. A 13-game homestand in Chicago, spread out over the year. I've never gone in for a whole package like this, but it's been a tiny bit of an aspiration for a long time:
    • 4/4 vs. Diamondbacks
    • 4/19 vs. Padres
    • 4/24 vs. Dodgers
    • 5/13 vs. Giants
    • 5/25 vs. Mets
    • 6/19 vs. Yankees
    • 7/3 vs. White Sox
    • 7/14 vs. Marlins
    • 8/8 vs. Nationals
    • 8/22 vs. Braves
    • 8/25 vs. Braves
    • 9/5 vs. Reds
    • 9/20 vs. Brewers
    Play ball already!

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