Busy weekend in the ‘Ville

Black Cardinals vs. Red Cardinals

29150588283_4d9470422c_zJim Patterson Stadium-Louisville, KY:  This past weekend has to be one of the busiest in this town that I have seen since moving down this way, since the Derby weekend, anyway.  Since this is a baseball blog, I’ll be moving backwards and start with Sunday.  Brian and I decided to check out a little Louisville Cardinal fall ball scrimmage, and it was a lot of fun. Simply a beautiful day and there’s not too many places I’d rather be than a ballpark.  Granted, this was just an inter-squad scrimmage, and most may protest that these games don’t mean anything, but I disagree.  To the kids trying to either earn a walk-on position, or a spot in the starting lineup, there games can mean plenty.  I felt bad for the left fielder, who made a couple of errors, and we were within ear-shot to hear his frustrations loud and clear.  Take this for what it is, just something to do, watching something we love, spending time with my little buddy. Final: Black 10, Red 4.

29148286474_1580815908_z29150588043_c418590db9_z29663464912_7451f96c08_zNow, on Saturday, there was some kind of college football going on, and I guess this could be considered the busiest day of the weekend.  That’s probably why we stayed away from town.  I think the whole ESPN College Gameday crew was in town, also.  Although not a big football fan, I did watch some of the Louisville vs. Florida State game on TV, and was happy for a big Louisville win (63-20).  It’s always good for the town and the school, and I’ve never cared much for the Seminoles much in any sport, anyway.

29108810333_926131df20_zKFC Yum! Center-Louisville, KY:  Friday was a fun day for the boys and I, also.  This was both Trevor and Brian’s first WWE (I still call it WWF) show.  Brian was happy to see his two favorites Bayley and Roman Reigns fight.  It was a pretty good show, as the U.S. Championship, Tag-Team Championship, and Universal Championship belts were all defended.  I’d much rather attend a ‘house show’ than a TV event, as all they do is talk and you don’t see as much action.   We all had a great time, and will probably come again when the WWE is in town.  As well as baseball, Louisville is a decent place for a wrestling fan to live, also.  We have the local Ohio Valley Wrestling which is a lot of fun, and some other indy promotions in southern Indiana.

29108772143_96b51c53aa_z29108795333_920247c8fe_z29697842936_5a0f266474_zHere is a video of the introductions for the main event for the Universal Championship, Kevin Owens defending against Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn in a triple-threat match:

Video and photos property of Minoring In Baseball

Fueling up in Indy

Indy Fuel vs Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL)

25554560115_151f7081e4_zIndiana Farmer’s Coliseum-Indianapolis, IN: While driving back to Michigan last weekend, we decided to stop in Indy for fuel. I mean, Fuel.  Minor league hockey, like baseball, is a great family friendly affordable fun, so we were definitely lucky to catch this East Coast Hockey League game.  It was Racing Night, and Trevor was able to meet Indy car driver Conor Daly before the game.

25461815871_dea3c41554_zThe Indiana Farmer’s Coliseum is a nice venue to watch a game, and I have to admit, the Fuel entrance was pretty amazing.

25258948260_27a03289d8_z24934379144_b0a5376696_zThe game itself was fun, and they had a few fun things going on between periods.  The visiting Cyclones took it to the home team, though. Sam Jardine scored the lone goal for the Fuel in the loss. The number one star of the game was Cincy goalie Andy Iles with 30 saves. This is definitely a fun place to stop, and I’m sure we’ll be using Indy as a resting point many times on our trips between Kentucky and Michigan. Final: Fuel 1, Cyclones 5.

25538726536_4aa0f6827f_z25197315039_e4cb46aefd_z25538693096_aec04c1195_z25269227370_1e90e3c3e7_zPhotos property of Minoring In Baseball


A Hockey Holiday

Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Iowa Wild (American Hockey League)

thvanVan Andel Arena-Grand Rapids, MI: I hope this post finds that everyone had a safe and very Merry Christmas! To celebrate our holiday, we headed downstate to visit family, and to keep busy, took in a hockey game. There are really only two seasons in our eyes, baseball in summer, and hockey in winter, so we spend many nights at the rink when the ballparks are covered in snow. On this night, Brian and I went with Papa to see the Griffins host the Wild at the Van. Our first Griffs game of the season, and it was a good one. They wasted no time, as Andy Meile tickled the twine just 14 seconds into the game. The Wild tied the game shortly after, but not long after that Landon Ferraro re-established the lead for Grand Rapids. Teemu Pulkkinen scored with 43 seconds left in the period to give the Griffins at 3-1 lead going into the first intermission.

hockhol5hockhol1hockhol9During a break, I tried to take a few pics of Brian and I with my iPhone, but they didn’t turn out too great (still posted on Twitter). This one of Bri didn’t turn out too bad, though.

Brian loves watching the Zamboni
Brian loves watching the Zamboni

The second period was a good one for the home team. Mitch Callahan scored a power-play goal just 2:35 into the period to put the Griffins up by three. Grand Rapids kept pouring it on, as Tomas Nosek scored a highlight-reel goal, and Marek Tvrdon scored his first AHL goal shortly after. The scoring didn’t stop there, as defenseman Nathan Paetch scored on a laser from the left circle, and Nosek tapped in his second of the night to put an end to the second period. Brian and I tried to catch up with the mascots Griff and Finn, but they didn’t get out with the fans during the game or intermissions.

Griffins mascots Griff and Finn
Griffins mascots Griff and Finn

hockhol8hockhol10hockhol11The third period wasn’t as excited, but still held some very good stories. First, with the Wild getting beat up, they decided to finally pull their starting goalie, and replace him with David DeSandler. With the other netminder called back up to Minnesota, the Wild needed a back-up, and signed the west Michigan native to a one-day tryout. DeSandler did a fine job, too, only giving up one goal and making six saves in his one period of work. The only goal he gave up was to former Lake Superior State Laker Colin Campbell at the 5:53 mark. In net for the Griffs, Thomas McCollum, who was sent down from the Detroit Red Wings earlier in the day. He was stellar on the night, stopping 32 out of 34 shots for Grand Rapids.

The Red Wings top prospect Anthony Mantha
The Red Wings top prospect Anthony Mantha


Brian enjoying the game with his Papa
Brian enjoying the game with his Papa

Fight! Fight! Dropping the gloves!!!

hockhol15hockhol16This was a fun night with family, and we hope to make it down to another game this season. As the last post of 2014, it was a great year and we really look forward to the challenges that 2015 will bring us. I’m still hoping to get transferred to a warmer, more baseball friendly environment, so keeping my fingers crossed, and see where the new year takes us! Final: Griffins 9, Wild 2.

hockhol17Video from our YouTube channel:

All photos and video property of Minoring In Baseball

Minoring in Hockey, too

Grand Rapids Griffins vs. San Antonio Rampage

grg1Van Andel Arena-Grand Rapids, MI: After a fun afternoon at the West Michigan Whitecaps’ Open House, and a great meal at Enza’s Pizza, we made out way to the Van Andel Arena for an evening of AHL hockey featuring the home town Griffins taking on San Antonio. The Griffins won the Calder Cup last season, and were out to their best start ever in 2013, but injuries to parent club the Detroit Red Wings have depleted the roster here in GR. The Griffins still have a lot of fight in them, though, and it was fun to finally make it down to a game this season. The kids really like Van Andel Arena, also, as it’s the biggest one they’ve had a chance to visit so far. They also had a free hockey figure promotion, and we all know how much kids love getting free stuff. Brian finally got to meet one of the Griffins’ mascots, so he was all his glory at that point.

Last year's championship banner. This is what it's all about.
Last year’s championship banner. This is what it’s all about.

grg3grg4grg5grg6The game itself was a rough one for the hometown Griffins, as they got spanked 3-0 by San Antonio. They really just didn’t look like a typical Grand Rapids team, and made too many mistakes. The only stand out player was Petr Mrazek in net, who made 22 saves on the night, but was hung out to dry on the three Rampage goals. Head coach, and Sault Ste. Marie native, Jeff Blashill should have this team back to their winning ways by next weekend, though. The games are always a little more fun with a win like they did for us last season, but we still had a great time together. I’m not sure if we’ll make it down to another game this season, but if not we surely wish the Griffins luck on another championship run. Looking over the Whitecaps schedule, I was hoping to find a baseball/hockey double-header we could go to, but their games just don’t match up. All together, another day with the kids and my dad that I’m extremely thankful for.


This one was taken at the kiosk on the Van Andel concourse.
This one was taken at the kiosk on the Van Andel concourse.

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

Combining Hockey and Baseball is Brilliant

winterclassic1Baseball and hockey, the two sports loves of my life, going together like chocolate and peanut butter. And with this outdoor hockey thing really catching on, more teams and leagues are taking part in this type of event every year. So whoever decided to build a hockey rink in the middle of a frozen baseball park, is simply brilliant. Although this is not a new concept, this past weekend was the first outdoor game for our own Grand Rapids Griffins. The Griffins took on the Toronto Marlies at Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, in American Hockey League action. The game was part of Detroit’s Winter Festival, which featured in-state high school, NCAA, Ontario Hockey League, and the Griffs AHL game. The Comerica Park venue also hosted two alumni games from the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Griffins, the defending Calder Cup Champions, and off to the best start in franchise history, found themselves tied at three all after regulation and overtime against the Marlies, however. It looked like a great experience for all involved, and will hopefully lead to more events like this in the future. I would really like the Griffins to stay close to home, though, and maybe one day play at an outdoor game at Fifth Third Ballpark, home to the West Michigan Whitecaps. This would be another great venue for hockey, with many successful high school, college, and professional teams in the area. You can even look at what the Rochester Red Wings did with their Frozen Frontier this season, as a model of success. From what I’ve read, Frontier Field did a phenomenal job of hosting hockey of all levels last month, and the same could be done at other minor league stadiums in the north. Although a Frozen Fifth Third may be a pipe dream, I guess I’ll have to wait until April to see some action there. Until then, we plan on hitting a Griffins game very soon.

winterclassic2winterclassic3Photos courtesy of Brianne Bowen/MLive.com

Farewell to Lauren

Lauren's last day as a FSD Girl was July 31
Lauren’s last day as a FSD Girl was July 31

For the second time in the last eight months, we say goodbye to a Fox Sports Detroit Girl. While Allison departed last December, and now Lauren is leaving to pursue other endeavors. Apparently she wants to focus on modelling, and will still be living in the Detroit area. Here at M.I.B. we want to thank Lauren for representing the Detroit sport teams with dignity and class. She will be difficult to replace, but Fox Sports Net is having a contest to pick the next FSD Girl. It’s too bad we never got to meet Lauren, but we were lucky enough to meet Stephanie and Brittney back in February. Good luck to Lauren in the next step of her career. Here’s her ‘goodbye’ video on YouTube:


Photo courtesy of Fox Sports Detroit/FSD Girls