Down on the Farm: Montgomery Exudes Southern Charm

Riverwalk Stadium 8

I enjoyed my May visit to Birmingham’s Regions Field so much that upon a July return to Alabama, I headed 90 miles south to check out Southern League rival Montgomery’s yard. Capitalizing on unseasonably pleasant weather with temps in the low 80s didn’t bother this northerner either.

Down on the Farm: The Other Mayo Facility in Rochester

Mayo Field 6

A recent visit to southeast Minnesota wrapped up six days and 3,000 miles on the road during a pleasantly mild late July.

Mayo Field is the fourth and likely final Northwoods League I’ll visit and review this summer, marking six total going back to 2013.

Down on the Farm: A Visit to “MoonDog Country”

Franklin Rogers Park 1

As the baseball world observes Minnesota’s love affair with the sport this week, I continued my trip to amateur yards around the North Star State.

Down on the Farm: Fargo Lives up to Expectations

Newman Outdoor Field

When the Indianapolis Indians marked 15 years of baseball at beautiful Victory Field in 2011, the running local commentary was that few believed the ballpark was that old due to its magnificent condition. While perhaps not as grandiose at the Triple-A stadium in downtown Circle City, Newman Outdoor Field, also in existence since 1996, could boast similar claims.

Down on Farm: St. Paul Puts on a Show

Midway Stadium 3

The St. Paul Saints predate their big-time friends across America’s chief river by nearly a century. This is actually the fourth incarnation of the franchise, beginning briefly during the Benjamin Harrison administration, then returning a decade later through 1899, followed by a 1915-60 run, ending just before the Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins.

Down on the Farm: Anchors Away

Knute Nelson Memorial Park 2

The fourth season of Down on the Farm continues with a trip to Knute Nelson Memorial Park in Alexandria, Minnesota.

Down on the Farm: Stingers Reward Supporters

Taunton Stadium

As a resident for nearly a year now, I realize Minnesota is a hockey state. However, baseball is surprisingly well-funded across the Land of 10,000 Lakes too. This is particularly validated when traveling back roads through small Minnesota communities that seem to encompass one hidden gem of a ballpark after another. Considering the harsh winters, the immaculate conditions of fields by May is also rather impressive.

Pat Foley will finally be inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame

Pat-Foley

Announcers are like soundtracks to movies. If they are great, they become more than just background noise – they become an integral part of the larger whole. Pat Foley, longtime announcer for the Chicago Blackhawks, is they kind of announcer that adds a whole other level the game with his play-by-play and personality.

Jeff Samardzija’s winless streak broke records but it’s finally over

Jeff_Samardzija_on_March_12,_2012

Monday, May 26th, 2014. The date will live in Chicago Cubs history as the day the team didn’t suck enough to blow a 8-4 lead against the San Francisco Giants, and gave starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija his first victory in 16 starts.

Why you shouldn’t count the Chicago Blackhawks out just yet

Jonathan_Toews

Things are bad if you’re the Chicago Blackhawks.

After taking an early 1-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals, the ‘Hawks now find themselves down 3-1 and have been soundly beaten in every important aspect of the game. The Los Angeles Kings have outplayed the ‘Hawks defensively, in the face-off circle, and on the power play.

Down On the Farm, Season 4: A Birmingham Beauty

Regions Field

As a historically-cold Midwest winter finally wraps up near Memorial Day, we headed down south to kick off our 2014 campaign in Birmingham, Alabama. The state’s largest city opened a stellar new downtown ballpark in 2013 to replace suburban 25-year-old Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

NCAA Tournament Bracket Projections: Final

Virginia ACC Champions

After a busy Saturday on the hardwood, there’s still a lot to be decided, particularly on the two, three, and four lines of the bracket. Fourteen automatic bids were handed out, which leaves just five more to be awarded on Selection Sunday.

Why Chicago Bears would be idiots to not re-sign Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler

It was another brutal and disappointing season for the Chicago Bears. For the second year in a row the team has choked when given the opportunity to make the playoffs by winning one of its last two games. Yet, only a day after the loss, the fact the Bears will not be in the playoffs is old news. What everyone wants to know now is whether or not free agent quarterback Jay Cutler will be a Bear next season.

Jürgen Klinsmann: My 2013 Sportsman of the Year

This year, my Sportsman of the Year award goes to Jürgen Klinsmann, who guided the U.S. Men’s National Team to a 16-4-3 record in 2013, including a 12-game winning streak. By the way, the 12-game winning streak included a Gold Cup championship (the bi-annual continental title that determines who is the best team in the CONCACAF region).

Nick Saban vs. Mack Brown: It’s all about the hair

They were both born in 1951. Mack Brown, the soon-to-be former head coach at the University of Texas, is three months older than Nick Saban, the head coach at the University of Alabama.