Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

In The Daytime, I'm Mr. Natural

If you're a granola-crunching, tree-hugging dirt worshipper, meet what could be your new favorite baseball team: the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the soon-to-be Double-A Texas League affiliate (née the Wichita Wranglers) of the Kansas City Royals (link via the ever-lovin' Ballpark Digest).

Representatives of the team, which will play in Springdale, Arkansas starting in 2008, say, "The team’s logo is designed around a theme of natural waterfalls in the area." Sounds like cowpies to me.

As bad as the name "Naturals" is, I guess I can be thankful that some other similar-but-different alternatives weren't considered-- like the "Au Naturels", or the "Natural Lights", for instance.

"Gimme a Natch'al Light, Mac, and
step on it!"

Meanwhile, the Springdale, Ark., mayor's name is Jerre Van Hoose, but (thankfully for the rest of you) I'm going to leave that one alone for now.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Under The Influence of Liquor Giants

Ward Dotson and Mike McNally, Liquor Giants

Not being a Gun Club aficianado, I first heard of Ward Dotson (ex-Gun Club) through a Pontiac Brothers interview in Conflict, where Dotson cracked, "We probably should've just given ourselves some dipshit name, like the Rave-Ups or something."

After the Pontiac Brothers came Dotson's next project, the Liquor Giants, who were (to paraphrase one wag) "the perfect mix of craft and thuggery". I'm not going to bother making up a list of artists whose recent output seems to owe a debt to the Liquor Giants, but Tommy Stinson, Ken Stringfellow, and Jon Auer should all be checking their messages right about now.

In any case, here are the Liquor Giants' first four records; "You're Always Welcome" was released overseas as "America's #1 Recording Artists". After these four came "Something Special for the Kids" (an album of all covers), and two other albums-- "Up With People" and a best-of package called "Back In A Flash"-- that were Australian-only.

Liquor Giants - You're Always Welcome (1992)

Over The Hill (listen)
Mrs. Griffith
Greatest Hit
Paint The Whole Town Blue (listen)
Middle Of Nowhere
Just Might Cry (listen)
(I Wanna) Get Drunk With You
The Little Song
Lost On Mars
My Teeth and Tongue
The Jokes On You
Fine Line (listen)
My World hidden track "Movin' On" (Bad Co.) (listen)

Liquor Giants - Here (1994)

67 East 2nd Street (listen)
An Arm Around You Too
Stick Around
Now That
Disgusted (listen)
This Paper Cup
Something's Always on Fire (listen)
Everybody's a Genius
I Don't Mind
Play Along
Here's to You (listen)
Hold My Hand
Wanna Belong
Happy New Year

Liquor Giants - Liquor Giants (1996)

Chocolate Clown (listen)
Fake Love
Cranium (listen)
100 Dollar Car (listen)
Bastanchury Park (listen)
Awful Good
Hideous Pleasure
Hey You
Jerked Around (listen)
All I Get (listen)
Thanksgiving in Zuma (listen)
Hold Tight Dave Dee - hidden track

Liquor Giants - Every Other Day At A Time (1998)

It's Raining Butterflies (listen)
Beautiful Flo
What's the New Mofo
Dearest Darling (listen)
Kentucky Lounge
I'll Never Mind
Medicine Ball Game
Multicoloured Hipshake
Meaningless (listen)
It Only Hurts When I Smile
Riverdale High (listen)
I Know I'm Wrong (listen)
Summer School
Fire Brigade The Move - hidden track
I Don't Know Why Sons of Thunder - hidden track

Generic Sports Blog Disclaimer: Hockey season blah blah blah, a few of my favorite records here and there blah blah blah. Enjoy.

Tracks have reverted to listen-only files

Wolf Pack Sign On For Six More Years

"This hockey shirt is wonderful. I wonder which one of these
guys is Wayne Gretzky?" (Chris Rutsch photo)

The future of the Wolf Pack in Hartford-- put into serious jeopardy when Madison Square Garden was dumped as the managers of the Hartford Civic Center in favor of AEG/Northland two months ago-- was given a breath of life today when the Rangers signed a multi-year affiliation deal (said to be for six years) for the Wolf Pack with AEG/Northland.

Per the agreement, AEG/Northland will assume responsibility for the day-to-day business operations of the Wolf Pack (marketing, sponsorship and ticket sales), while MSG and the Rangers will retain ownership of the Wolf Pack and continue to be responsible for on-ice team decisions, including coaching and player movement.

The deal is rumored to include a provision that terminates the agreement if an NHL team is ever brought to Hartford. Information about similar provisions involving the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Thomas Pöck's checking ability remains as yet not leaked to the public.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Alex Westlund Signs With Amur

Alex Westlund (Chris Rutsch photo)

Hartford Wolf Pack/Charlotte Checkers goaltender Alex Westlund has signed to play with Amur Tigers (Khabarovsk) of the Russian Super League, according to a report that was posted earlier today by Sport Express.

In seven games for the Wolf Pack last season, Westlund went 1-2-0-1, with a 2.39 GAA and .912 save percentage. Westlund also played 25 games with Charlotte, posting a 16-7-1 record with 3 shutouts.

This will be Westlund's second go-round in Khabarovsk, having played for the Amur Tigers between '02-'04 during a previous stint in Russia.

The CFL Is Even Meaner Than It Looks

Russ Jackson, QB, Ottawa Rough Riders '58-'69

The CFL's B.C. Lions, winner of the Grey Cup in 2006, are about to unveil a season ticket ad campaign with the following tagline:

Since the BC Lions had such amazing season in 2006, we thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at all those dedicated opposition fans who made the long trek out to BC Place only to watch their team get slaughtered.

Each separate ad goes on to show a fan from one of the seven other CFL teams, watching in general agony as the terrifying 13-5 B.C. Lions rip their team to shreds-- only, each "fan" is pictured in presumably the worst stereotypical light possible.

So I ask the good-natured people of Canada-- inventors of hockey, shitty-tasting Carling Black Label, and bacon that is round-- do the fans from each of these cities actually look like this? (Except for the fruity-looking Montreal Alouettes fan; that one seems believable to me, for whatever reason.)

Calgary Stampeders

Edmonton Eskimos

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Montreal Alouettes

Saskatchewan Roughriders

Toronto Argonauts

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

My only other question is, Hey, Winnipeg guy-- are friggin' Blue Bombers shirts (never mind pants with legs) really all that expensive where you live?

Bykov Gets His Bike Out

Vyacheslav Bykov

With the loquacious Andrei Nazarov now the head coach of Traktor Chelyabinsk, you'd think he'd have a corner on the market for controversy as far as Russian Super League coaches are concerned-- but I guess not...

Гаишники оштрафовали Быкова на 500 рублей

Revered Russian national team and CSKA-Moscow (Central Army) head coach Vyacheslav Bykov was pulled over in Moscow on Tuesday and cited for improperly operating his Mercedes, according to a story in the Russian paper Комсомольская правда (that's their fancy interactive headline widget-thingy above this paragraph).

The violation, of which I haven't specifically figured out yet, is said to usually involve the loss of driving privileges for two to four months; however, the next day Bykov settled out of court by merely paying a fine of only 500 rubles (less than $20).

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Ziggy Palffy Returns

Ziggy Palffy, retired now from the NHL for a season-and-a-half, is returning to the ice in his native Slovakia, according to a report that was posted earlier today on Sport Express and

The report says that the 35-year-old Palffy, no longer bothered by the injuries that caused him to retire back in January of 2006, is preparing to play for the Slovakian club Skalica for the upcoming regular season, with the hopes of playing for the Slovak national team at the '08 World Championships.

In the article, Palffy is quoted as saying, "I was going crazy from boredom without hockey. When I returned to the ice for the first time, I was excited. If all goes well this season, look for me in Canada at the World Championships."

Andrei Markov goal for Dynamo Moscow, 1999

Before Andrei Markov came over to play in the NHL for the Montreal Canadiens, he started his pro career with Khimik and then Dynamo Moscow in the Russia Super League, where he was voted the league's top defenseman for the '99-'00 season.

This video (which I've also put on my YouTube account) is a goal that Markov scored for Dynamo in Feb. 1999-- sending the puck the full length of the ice and through the pads of the stunned Metallurg goalie with 9 seconds left. Assist to Maxim Afinogenov!

Here's a description I found of Markov's goal:

In the final of the prestigious Euroleague tournament, Markov scored against Metallurg Magnitogorsk the most curious and astonishing goal ever seen in the world of hockey.

Metallurg led 1-0 with only eight seconds left in the third period. The Dynamo goalie was pulled and Markov, who was behind the net, took a pass from Maxim Afinogenov. Markov fired a tremendous slap shot, which crossed all the lines and squeezed into the net past the glove of goalie Boris Tortunov, forcing the game into overtime. The fans went into hysterics for several minutes.

Markov commented on his shot, "I never thought of scoring from such a tremendous distance. I got the puck and thought just of shooting it into the rival’s zone and then to fight for it there. Of course I aimed the puck for the goaltender simply not to allow icing."

Friday, May 25, 2007

Koshechkin Plans To Head For Tampa

Vasily Koshechkin, Lada Togliatti

Team Russia goalie Vasily Koshechkin is said to be close to signing a contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning and wants to have a deal in place before training camp, according to a report that was posted earlier today by Sport Express.

Koshechkin, 24, compiled a 2.08 GAA in 40 games in '06-'07, after finishing with a 1.56 GAA and .935 sv pct in '05-'06, for defensive-minded Lada Togliatti. Ranked high on the very short list of top Russian goalie prospects, he is said to be very quick laterally, with a flexible style that is said to be similar in some ways to Ilya Bryzgalov (Russian Prospects). One thing is obvious-- at 6'-6", Koshechkin can sure cover a lot of area.

Here's a look at Koshechkin's helmet, which he very recently updated-- the description in the corner in English that's too small to read is mine:

click to enlarge

Just so that I don't get a reputation of being only about stats and numbers. *ba-dump bump*

UPDATE 6/18/07 - Ak Bars Kazan announced today that they have signed Koshechkin, along with one of Lada's top defensemen, Alexei Emelin.

The Next Ovechkin

Nikolai Kulemin, Metallurg Magnitogorsk

By now there's been plenty of time for the news to get around of yesterday's signing by the Toronto Maple Leafs of star Russian forward Nikolai Kulemin.

Kulemin, still not yet 21, was drafted by Toronto in 2006 and then went on to score 37 goals for RSL champs Metallurg Magnitogorsk during the '06-'07 season, second in the league only to Danis Zaripov's (Ak Bars Kazan) 42 goals.

The good news for Metallurg fans is that Kulemin, who re-signed with Magnitogorsk back in April, will remain in Russia "to continue his development" after he reportedly attends Leafs training camp in the fall.

Pre-season preparations for most Russian Super League teams generally begin with a few international tournaments in July, with the regular season starting in early September.

While maybe not yet as flashy as an Ilya Kovalchuk or Alexander Ovechkin-- one early scouting report predicts that Kulemin won't be a first-line forward in the NHL and will be just a 20-goal scorer, nothing more-- Kulemin has impressed many with his all-around skills (forechecking, moving the puck ahead to teammates, keeping track of defensive responsibilities), while still showing plenty of offensive flair, as anyone who's watched all of the Kulemin highlight videos that have been circulating for the last month or two on YouTube can attest to.

I'm going to post a few of the best of those videos here; you can also go to Maestrosky's YouTube channel, which is where most of the others are posted.

Goal #27, March 6th '07 vs. Metallurg Novokuznetsk

Kulemin stick-handles past a defensman and scores.

Semi-finals against Avangard Omsk, March '07

In a totally sick move, Kulemin gets a rebound and, with his back to the net, spins around to shoot between a defenders legs and scores.

Semi-finals Game One against Avangard Omsk, March 29th '07

Kulemin jukes his way past a defender along the boards, then gets pulled down when the same defender comes back to hook him later, and still scores.

Goal #29, semi-finals against Sibir, March 20th '07

I've posted this one before, from my own YouTube channel; Kulemin splits two defenders and scores while falling down.

One last video, showing Kulemin can also handle the dirty work:

A booming check by Kulemin that levels Alexander Kharitonov of Dynamo Moscow, sending two players flying.

The last clip has sound-- "Ni-KOL-ee COOL-you-min!"

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hershey's Kip Brennan fights fan from penalty box

All of the links in this post were found on the Manchester Monarchs forum at AHL Boards. The above photo was taken by a forum member, 5 for Fighting.

From today's Lebanon (Pa.) Daily News:

Last night’s game between the Hershey Bears and the Manchester Monarchs took an ugly turn with time running out in the third period.

The Bears had things well in hand with their 4-1 lead when, with 19.8 seconds remaining, an altercation between a Manchester fan and Hershey’s Kip Brennan broke out.

Brennan was in the penalty box serving the final seconds of a fighting major when the Manchester fan attempted to throw a punch at Brennan through a space in the glass at the side of the penalty box. Brennan responded, finally reaching through and tearing the T-shirt the fan was wearing.

While security officials were rushing to grab the fan, the linesmen stepped into the box to restrain Brennan. Brennan was assessed a gross misconduct penalty before leaving the ice.

AHL President Dave Andrews and vice president of hockey operations Jim Mill were present at the game and met with Hershey president and general manager Doug Yingst and Boudreau following the game. Yingst, Andrews and Mill also accompanied Brennan to a security office following the game to meet with police.

Here's a link to some video-- a sports report from WHTM ABC-27 in Harrisburg. After going to the link, you'll have to click on "Watch the eVideo". Presuming that the link hasn't gone bad, the fight is shown at the very end.

Go to video

Jan Marek spurns Los Angeles

Jan Marek (in white), Metallurg Magnitogorsk

Metallurg Magnitogorsk forward Jan Marek recently turned down a contract offer from the Los Angeles Kings because the Kings would not guarantee him an NHL roster spot, according to a report that was posted today by Sport Express.

Marek's 63 points in 62 games this past season made him the leading scorer for Magnitogorsk, the Russian Super League champions.

The Sport Express report says that Kings GM Dean Lombardi met with the Czech-born Marek in Prague to try to persuade him into coming to North America, but in the end Marek declined the Kings' offer.

The L.A. Daily News' Rich Hammond has a great four-part interview with Dean Lombardi on his Inside The Kings blog, during which Lombardi discusses his trip to Europe. The interview is from a week-and-a-half ago, though, and doesn't cover the end result with Marek.

Here is some of what was Lombardi had to say regarding Jan Marek:

"The front end of the trip was seeing the kids for this year's draft. The first part was in Finland. We were seeing the '89-borns and most of the kids were there, so that was the first week. The second week was to go down and see that Marek kid, because we have to make a decision there, whether to take him or the draft pick." (As part of the Sean Avery deal, the Kings would get a third-round pick in 2008 from the Rangers if they're not able to sign Marek.)

"Now it's either Marek or a pick, so we went to see him play and we met with his agent to get a feel. The hard part is that they can get so much money in Russia, so there's the question of whether he even wants to try it and then there's the question of where he fits. He's a '79-born, so he's not old but we're still working through that process. He played OK. He's a talented guy, but the thing you run into is that he's small, so you have to look at that. So, we'll see how that works out.

"...There's the fact that they make a lot of money over there. They can make $2.5- or $3-million tax-free. That's one of the things with Marek right now. He can make more money over there right now and not have to play 80 games and not have to move across the ocean. It's not a money issue, because you can only pay so much under the cap. So it's not like you're bidding against the Russians. You can only pay so much, and the Russians don't have any limit. So that impacts the players' willingness to come over.

"You used to hear players say, "I want to play in the best league in the world." I'm sure a lot of them meant it, but the other thing is that they could make a lot more money. It's like Alexei Morozov. Does Morozov play over there, and not over here, if he's not making $3 million a year tax free? Probably not. That would never have happened 10 years ago, because the Russians couldn't pay him $3 million. So it does impact it."

The entirety of the interview that Hammond posted is excellent, and is well worth checking out.

As Long As We Have Opposable Thumbs, We Will Fight You

How many doofy-looking bear mascots does one hockey team need?

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl has apparently decided that six is way too many, and so for one week only they're holding a vote on their web site to decide which one of the furry critters will stay, and which ones will get the boot.

The six choices, each with their own varying degree of vacuity, are as follows. Note that one of the bears doesn't seem to need the job, since he's already got his own apartment, which has a nice futon. Not as if that should influence your vote or anything-- I'm just saying:

1. 2.

3. 4.

5. 6.

Just go to the home page of the Lokomotiv web site, and in the left-hand margin you'll see a ballot that looks like this:

Each of the six choices is also a link that will open up to a separate image of each bear.

I think the best part is the last option on the ballot, нет вариантов (no variants), which you can basically take to mean "none of the above". Do the Russians know how to hold an election, or what?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Maxim Kondratiev returning to Anaheim

Maxim Kondratiev

Defenseman Maxim Kondratiev is on his way back to North America, having signed a one-way deal with the Anaheim Ducks, according to a report posted today on

The report quotes Aleksander Chebotarev, the executive director of Lada Togliatti (Kondratiev's former team in Russia).

Kondratiev played for parts of two seasons with the Hartford Wolf Pack and New York Rangers, beginning in 2004, before being dealt by the Rangers to Anaheim for Petr Sykora midway through the '05-'06 season. A restricted free agent, Kondratiev had returned to Russia to play for Lada Togliatti prior to the '06-'07 season.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Corey Larose signs with Ak Bars

The Chicago Wolves' Corey Larose

Former Hartford Wolf Pack/New York Rangers forward Corey Larose, currently playing in the AHL Calder Cup semi-finals for the Chicago Wolves, has signed a contract to play with Ak Bars Kazan of the Russian Super League, according to Sport Express and the Ak Bars Kazan web site.

Larose, 32, racked up 83 points (22g, 61a) in 63 regular season games for the Wolves this season, while so far adding another 7 points (3g, 4a) in 12 games during the playoffs. Larose amassed 57 points in 109 games (playoffs and regular season combined) in two seasons for the Hartford Wolf Pack ('02-'04), appearing in 7 games with the New York Rangers during the '03-'04 season.

Larose isn't the first AHL player to sign with a Russian team while his current team was still involved in the Calder Cup playoffs; Hartford Wolf Pack goaltender Steve Valiquette, for one, did the same in 2005.

Ak Bars Kazan has already lost 9 players from this past season's team, including goaltender Alexander Eremenko, defensemen Vitaly Proshkin, Igor Shadilov, Gennady Razin, and Jan Novak, and forwards Alexei Tereshenko, Vladimir Vorobiev, and Alexei Badyukov.

Sergei Zinovjev (#42)

Listed among the re-signed players on the Ak Bars web site is forward Sergei Zinovjev, the 4th-leading scorer in the RSL last season, although two recent Boston Globe items say that the Boston Bruins are both actively pursuing Zinovjev (and his Russian agent) in hopes of bringing Zinovjev back to North America, as well as looking to trade Zinovjev to the Washington Capitals.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sayonara, Suglobov

Aleksander Suglobov (Graig Abel Photography)

Aleksander Suglobov, who in his days with the Albany River Rats was one of the most offensively talented players I'd ever seen, is on his way back to Russia, having signed with SKA-St. Petersburg.

The transaction was posted today on, but the signing had been announced over a week ago on two Russian sites, and

Despite a wealth of talent, Suglobov had one of the worst years imaginable in '06-'07. Aside from being a healthy scratch 27 times, Suglobov scored nary a point in 14 games this season for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team that acquired him from the New Jersey Devils in a trade in 2006. Suglobov didn't fare much better in the AHL in '06-'07, scoring a mere three goals in 32 games for the Toronto Marlies.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Tomas Mojzis signs with Sibir Novosibirsk

Tomas Mojzis (photo: Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen)

St. Louis Blues/Peoria Rivermen defenseman Tomas Mojzis, an unrestricted free agent, has signed to play in Russia next season with Sibir Novosibirsk, according to a report that was posted earlier today by Sport Express.

The Czech-born Mojzis, who has spent the last 7 seasons in North America between the WHL, AHL, and NHL, played mostly with the AHL Peoria Rivermen last season, notching 26 points and 112 penalty minutes in 69 games. Mojzis appeared in thirteen NHL games between St. Louis and Vancouver over the past two seasons, scoring his first NHL goal this past March with the Blues.

Springfield Falcons: Big Time Suck

Alert reader Calder (not to be confused with CC2K) recently spotted this on the Springfield Falcons web site:


Springfield, MA – The Springfield Falcons, proud members of the American Hockey League, announced today that they will host a “Name the Song Challenge” in search for a new Falcons’ theme song for the 2007-08 season. Fans will have an opportunity to submit their song choices through with the finalists to be announced at the team’s second annual summer barbeque on August 15.

"We wanted to give our fans a chance to help select a theme song for the team and be a part of this search," said Falcons manager of game night operations Jason Gonet. "Heading into a new season, we feel now is the perfect time to select a song that is associated only with the Falcons, to be used as the players return to the ice (and etc.)."

In light of Springfield's recent level of achievement-- namely finishing in last place this year and missing the playoffs for six of the last seven seasons-- I hereby present my suggestion for the Springfield Falcons Theme Song (click on link to play):

Even Worse, "We Suck"

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Greatest Duran Duran Cover Ever

Partly because they use the riff from Black Flag's "Nervous Breakdown" for the intro, but mostly because it's the fucking Nip Drivers.

Nip Drivers, "Rio" (click on link to play)

Check out more, and maybe you will get yourself back on the path of righteousness:

Nip Drivers, "Have You Never Been Mellow?"

Nip Drivers, "New Meiji Takeover"

Nip Drivers, "Talk About Cars"

(Part 9 of an annoyingly ongoing series. Visit the sidebar for the rest)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Minor League Baseball Is Slumping For Sure

From Billboard via Ballpark Digest, 5/18/07:

In a bill straight out of 1995, Counting Crows will tour minor-league baseball stadiums this summer with support from Live and Collective Soul. Third Eye Blind will also join the lineup for a handful of shows. The trek begins July 22 in Wilmington, Del., and will conclude Sept. 2 in Fargo, N.D.

Among the tour stops listed is an August 18th date at New Britain (Ct.) Stadium, home of the Rock Cats (AA-Eastern League).

The good news is, I predict an ensuing nose-dive in Minor League Baseball's popularity, which hopefully will mean that I'll be able to comfortably get a seat at a Rock Cats game on the weekends again.

On the other hand, while pairing up with the likes of Live, Collective Soul, and Counting Crows is almost certainly a dip in the road for any self-respecting governing body, Minor League Baseball is hopefully still far, far away from associating themselves with miserable crap like this.

Lokomotiv Signs Randy Robitaille

Randy Robitaille (#27)

...Islander fans yawn.

When reporting the signing earlier today, Sport Express noted that Robitaille already has somewhat of a connection with current Lokomotiv Yaroslavl head coach Paul Gardner, having played with the Nashville Predators back in '99-'01 when Gardner was the assistant coach in Nashville.

Robitaille, 31, posted 40 points (11g, 29a) in 78 games between the New York Islanders and Philadelphia last season. He was the AHL MVP back in '98-'99, when he had 102 points in 74 games with the Providence Bruins.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Earl Weaver Would Like To Have a Word With You

Helikopter were a Baltimore band, and their label, Hat Factory, was based in Baltimore. Other than that, there's no connection between Earl Weaver and Helikopter that I know of, but since I couldn't find anything about Helikopter on the web (much less a band photo), you get stuck with an Earl Weaver photo instead.

Much of the twisted, severely melodic noise kicked up on 1996's Sofa Charmer reminds me of the Lou Barlow songs on the first Dinosaur LP, while the calmer parts have an Honor Role feel to them (check out "Trigger Glo" and "Moth-ball", for starters). Pretty good for a band that didn't even stick around long enough to have a MySpace page.

Trigger Glo (listen)
Transister (listen)
Blaze (listen)
Triangle Sun (listen)
Call It
Moth-ball (listen)
Starbag Gazer
Airborne Cherry plus hidden track (listen)

Generic Sports Blog Disclaimer: Since this is kinda the "off season" for hockey blogging, blah blah blah, I'm going to keep myself awake by highlighting a few of my favorite records here and there. None of these will be especially rare or anything, though I may get to some really good stuff eventually.

Tracks have reverted to listen-only files

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Some weird-looking building in St. Louis

Greg of Post-Pessimist Association's recent ruminations on idle ways to kill time on the Internet got me to thinkin' about one of my own favorite Internet pastimes as of late: zooming in on ballparks, hockey arenas, old punk rock clubs, streets where I used to live, etc. using the satellite images on Mapquest.

Just type in any place or location into Mapquest (or any of the other sites, like Google Maps, that support satellite imagery), click the part of the map where it says "aerial image", and then you can zoom around, looking at all kinds of neat shit.

Yale Field in New Haven, where the New Haven Ravens used to play. The Ravens built a picnic area on top of the warning track in right field (white arrow), making a "short porch" that allowed cheap 290-foot home runs.

The Ballpark at Harbor Yard (Bridgeport Bluefish), with the "Corruption Dome"-- the Arena at Harbor Yard (Bridgeport Sound Tigers)-- just north of it. Beyond the fence in right field are the Amtrak train tracks; the trains roll by every few minutes, looking as if they're floating right above the fence.

The par-three 9th hole at Yale Golf Course. The green (which looks like a shoe print in this photo) is huge, but the tee shot is over water, and the green has a five-foot gully through the middle of it! Miss your shot on the wrong side of the gully and you're screwed.

HSBC Arena (Buffalo Sabres). When you zoom in on the arena, though...

...the roof mysteriously disappears.

Here are a few other places to check out (note that cityscapes tend to look a lot crisper than country settings):

New Britain Stadium, New Britain Rock Cats-- with the old stadium that it replaced, Beehive Field, just to the left of it
Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs
Tiger Stadium in Detroit, now abandoned
Xcel Energy Center, Minnesota Wild
RBC Center, Carolina Hurricanes
Commerce Bank Park, Harrisburg Senators-- the ballpark was built on a tiny island in the middle of the Susquehanna River
HP Pavilion, San Jose Sharks
25 Perry Ave, Stamford Ct.-- warehouse that used to be the second location of the semi-famous Anthrax punk rock club (I'm still working on finding the first)
Joe Louis Arena, Detroit Red Wings
Municipal Stadium, Waterbury Ct.-- the first minor-league stadium I ever went to. It used to be a horse track, which is why the stands are on only one side of the field
Madison Square Garden, New York Rangers
Wahcona Park, Pittsfield Ma. and Sam Lynn Ballpark, Bakersfield Ca.-- two minor-league baseball stadiums that were built facing the wrong way, so that the setting sun gets in the batter's eyes, causing "sun delays"
Lambeau Field, Green Bay Packers
America Airlines Arena, Dallas Stars