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HumpLinks: Baseball Food for Thought

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More stadiums are revealing their Menus of Death as Opening Day nears. We here at Halos Heaven need to get in on the act.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Ballpark food menus are devolving into train wreck mashups promoting little more than excess for the sake of it. They sound fun, in a let's wait in line for 40 minutes in order to do something horrible to our stomachs like a day at Disneyland sort of way. Some are actually pretty clever, such as the Milwaukee Brewers' Pulled Pork Parfait. That's a logical combo of tasty items not normally experienced in a stadium setting, and presented in a manageable packaging. But that is neither new, nor original.

When you get all the way down to Cracker Jack on hot dogs you can pretty much be assured Aramark has run out of creative juices.

We can do better. I have read enough from you people. I know the creativity is out there. Let's tap into it. Let's build our own virtual food stand. Our pretend location in Angels Stadium is, unfortunately, right next to a new pretend In N' Out stand so we have to be brilliant if we want to make sales.

So no meatballs on a string wrapped around egg salad stuffed dill pickles. Nothing that you cannot eat on your lap. And only things that can be made fast enough to keep up with traffic demands between innings. I want chili-cheese corn dog kinds of ideas (had that not already been invented long ago). Thai Chicken Pizza Nachos. Spicy fish balls & chips with chipotle-garlic dip. Taco flatbread. Real stuff. Good stuff. Stuff that would make you think about going back for seconds.

So whatcha got?

While you mull it over, have some Cheesy Pork Links:

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MIKE TROUT WATCH

Things to watch out for with Mike Trout in 2016

Still sticking with bWAR (which is all week), Mike Trout is currently 4th on the LA Angeles Franchise list in Career oWAR according to BBR calculation methods. Tim Salmon leads all with 44.3, Jim Fregosi is second at 44.1 and Brian Downing is third with 39.8.

The vast majority of Trout's value comes from his offense, so his WAR totals are extremely weighted by his oWAR. This means that his oWAR climbs precipitously every season. And Trout currently stands at 36.7.

This season, Mike Trout will take over the Franchise Crown for Career oWAR. And he will still be only 24 years old.

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Everywhere In Baseball

Trout Luck: When I read this article on Mike Trout and how good fortune follows him naturally, two things come to mind. The first is that I know guys like that, to whom fortune just smiles. One guy I know was walking out of a casino after Sunday breakfast as we headed to the parking lot for the long drive home when he found a lost $5 chip at the bottom of his pant pocket. As it happened, we were close to the door but still passing next to an active roulette table. So he paused and plopped down that chip and I'll be damned if he didn't hit that number. Trout is like that, too. The other thought that comes to mind is that Mike Trout is totally old school and one day he will be long retired. And when that day comes, his ain't the kind of approach to his game that is gonna be too kind to sabre specialists...........

Chew on this: Yes, we have a growing number of civic organizations banding together in an effort to outlaw chewing tobacco from baseball stadiums. I could go on all day about this topic, but I don't have a dog in this particular fight. What I do find curious enough to question, however, is how it is that the use of chew is some kind of "right"?.............

Risky Business: If nothing else, baseball fans have the Angels at the very top of the charts as the most risky roster in baseball..........

Unwritten Rulers: The KC Royals, not content with riding their magic carpet over all of MLB and defeating the Mets to win the World Series, are still thinking they need to carry a grudge for a brush back pitch. So I wonder...Ben Zobrist was in that KC dugout last October. Now he plays for the Cubs. Certainly he will face Noah Syndergaard at least once this season when the Cubs face the Mets. So do the gods of unwritten rules mandate that Zobrist charge the mound or something, on behalf of brethren from which he is now divorced?..........

More Unwritten Rulers: When Jose Bautista nailed his epic bat flip last year in the ALCS, the one thing the old guard could not waggle their fingers at was the notion that Bautista had yet to hit enough homers in order to earn any privilege of home run celebrations. So they wagged their fingers at everything else. The other day Carlos Gomez hit what was for him a rather rare home run and celebrated a bit too much for the taste of oldster Rob Dribble. Dribble tried to fire up a Twitter rant using the cheap shot of exploiting Gomez' scant home run history. Fortunately, Gomez brushed him aside pretty quickly and diffused the idiocy...........

Bunting: Here is why that Mike Trout bunt last week was so magical. It sets up the ever popular fake-bunt-home-run..........

Patience is a Virtue: But so is signing up with an immediate favorite.  Such is the case with Jeff Samardzija. He kept being tasked with patience while with the Cubs, waiting for them to become relevant again. One could say that he blew it, since the Cubs are now odds-on favorites to win the World Series. But Samardzija is still swimming with the Sharks, having signed with another potential World Series favorite - the Giants...........

Promo Oddities: The SBN Mothership has an article up encouraging everyone to chime in with the weirdest giveaway you have ever gotten at a ballgame. By now you should all know that my not-nearly-humble-enough opinion is that the majority of LAA promo giveaways could be snarked onto any such list, so I will hold my keyboard. If you folks have something of merit, post it over there. But it will be tough to defeat that bobble-finger for prostate cancer awareness!..........

Sore Loser: This is one of those sores that seems to get slightly more painful as time goes by. It's not healing itself. I thought we might have made a trip to the Left Field doctor this past Winter, but no. For any of you who are under the false belief that I am a Dipoto butt-sniffer, pay close attention: Dipoto made a huge damned mistake by trading away Randal Grichuk! I hated it then and I was pissed at Dipoto and I said so. And I hate it now, even more so. And that mistake looks like it's only going to hurt worse and worse. With my luck, someday Grichuk will end up in Seattle. (And, yes, I am aware that the more modern spin is to call that trade Grichuk for Freese with Bourjos the throw-in on our side and Salas the thrown-in on their side. Even Dipoto now does this. But that's not how the deal was sold at the time.)..........

Fun with Theories: Here is an interesting aside. Click over toe FanGraphs and learn about ball movement and arm slots and pronation in their effort to invent of a brand new type of pitch. using math as their guide...........

Derby Day: Browsing clips to share I tripped over this review of Big Name home runs from Monday. So I went checking and found that the video only scratched the surface. I count 44 home runs clobbered in 14 games played. It turns out that there were too many homers to show, and there were too many of them to showcase from the Big Names in baseball. I'd say that the hitters have caught up with the pitchers by now..........

Great Scott!: Major League Baseball has announced plans to team up with Scotts Company - the lawn seed and lawn care company - and range across America renovating youth ballparks everywhere.And by everywhere I mean, well, not everywhere. A lot of "wheres". Probably mostly around existing Major League ballparks and a few in those states without any team of their own to justify their blackout zone. But when they do roll into town, it sounds pretty neat: MLB and Scotts will "...identify and renovate diamonds in need of upgrades or repair. New grass will be planted and grown, fences will be built, and other enhancements will be added such as scoreboards and dugouts."

The WAR ahead: I know that this is not a basketball site, but it's still meaningful to point out when MSM sports observers pull some warm and fuzzy notion out of their ass and then get blown up by actual facts. As with the now diminishing number of old guard resistance fighters within the baseball press, the basketball press has the same stodgy-brained nincompoops who go beserk at the notion that readers can find the truth without them. And the reactions from basketball knuckleheads is precisely the same as we have endured from the baseball knuckleheads..........

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