Late-nite rambling…

The trade deadline was good to me this year. The Mets sent Xavier Nady to the Pirates for Roberto Hernandez and Oliver Perez. Hernandez throws lots of balls into the crowd. Nady doesn’t. As for Perez, I’m hoping I can get a ball from him so I can add his name him to the mini-collection of Perezes on my list: Carlos, Eddie, Melido, Timo, and Yorkis. Right now, “Jones” and “Johnson” are leading “Perez” and a few other names by a slim margin of 6-5. Forget the AL Central; if Oliver comes through for me in the next few weeks, THIS will be the three-way race that has everyone talking–about what a geek I am…speaking of which…that was the insult thrown my way in a recent article on by some goofball who couldn’t even manage to spell my name right. People, It’s Z-A-C-K. See that last letter? It’s a kay, not an aitch. Why is this so difficult? It says “Zack” right at the top of this blog, and on my web site, and in my email address. I’m amazed at the number of people who write “Dear Zach…” to me at Enough about that. I’m happy with the Yankees’ trade, too, because it’ll give me a chance to get a ball from Bobby Abreu today. Yes, today. I’d been thinking about going to Baltimore, but that trip fell through, so I’m going to Yankee Stadium instead. I know there are gonna be 50,000 people, and I know I’ll have to sit through TWO national anthems, and I know I said I was done with that place for the year, and I know I’ll be putting my streak (442 consecutive games with at least one ball) in jeopardy, but I suddenly got the urge to go, for two reasons. First, I decided that I want to catch my 2,900th ball in San Diego. It’s not a major milestone, but it’d still be cool to reach it at a new stadium…and since there aren’t too many games left before my trip (August 12-18), I kind of need to take advantage of tonight’s game and pad my total. Let’s do a little math, shall we? Currently, I’m 33 balls away from 2,900. I’m planning to go to three games at Petco, which seems like a pretty good place to snag, but it IS the summer, and the Padres ARE in first place, and Barry Bonds WILL be there, so the stadium could be packed. Therefore, I can’t assume that I’ll get an obscene amount of balls. Let’s say I walk away with 20 in three games. That still leaves me 13 short. The only other games between now and then that I’d even consider attending (other than tonight’s) are the only two night games next week at Shea. Will I even go to both of those games? I don’t know. Shea is awful when there are more than 30,000 people, and lately, the crowds have all been around 45,000. I’d feel lucky to get even five balls per game there. Hopefully I can get at least three tonight in the Bronx and then average five per game next week at yankeestadiumB&W.jpgShea and then average almost seven per game in San Diego. Sounds reasonable, no? My other reason for wanting to go to Yankee Stadium is that I want to take dozens–if not hundreds–of photos of the place. (Don’t forget, the new Yankee Stadium is only a few years away.) Back in high school, I devoted part of a game to roaming and photographing, and I ended up with a bunch of artsy shots…but I’ve never roamed there with my digital camera, or when I’ve had the backdrop of a full stadium. And anyway, there are some places in Yankee Stadium where I’ve NEVER been, like way up in the corners of the upper deck beyond the foul poles. I want to see what that view looks like. To hell with chasing foul balls. All the good seats will be taken anyway. I just want to wander and not worry about the game and inspect the place from all angles. I’m going to photograph the ramps, concourses, concession stands, water fountains…everything…maybe even a bathroom or two, if no one’s around. The bathrooms there are awful. Totally cramped.



    Nice PR, dude.

    I’d like to see a pic from your shoot tonight that says: 1920s. Something that almost makes you see the Bambino, Iron Horse and three-piece business suits.



    What up Z?

    Man, I don’t give many updates now a days. I have been to a few games lately, but I have started to focus on getting autographs instead of balls. I’ve gotten one ball at each of the last 2 games. I used the simple ‘ask them by name’ method, and I got the hook up. Now, you don’t ask Alex Rodriguez, you ask the Yankees BULLPEN CATCHER in Spanish. I did it right in front of all these loud mouths from New York, too. I had on a generic baseball shirt, and I simply was the 1st to ask.

    BTW, people act like the Yank-mees are gods. I was at Ameriquest 2 hours before game time, and zillions of people waited fruitlessly for autographs from their hallowed Bombers. What the h ell ever man.

    By contrast, the Royals were in town at my last game. NO BP, they had a stupid father/son or daughter game on the field. I’m probably going to h ell for complaining about that. Well, there was tumbleweed blowing by the Royals dugout. I got 3 sigs and a ball from the greatness of Joe Nelson. What a generic ballplayer this guy is, but I tell you what, he is a very nice guy. I swear he was by the dugout OFFERING to sign autographs for people. Most guys walk by and you stop them, but Joe was almost stopping and offering. Pretty cool guy, I swear I would be like that if I had ever made the SHOW.

    OK well, peace out brotha man, and to all the blog readers!


    I know that most of ZacK’s readers know this, but this is for the random yellow web journalist who ducks into this blog and reads three lines before closing the window and assuming 95% of what ZacK does. He doesn’t take balls from little kids. He doesn’t come “swooping in” when balls are thrown to other people, especially kids. I’ve seen it.

    As for the “geek” comment, it amazes me that “journalists” think it’s okay to start a flame war just because a column is online. Long lost is the art of research. God forbid one of them actually get in touch with ZacK and go to a game with him, see how he prepares, studies, and calculates beforehand, and watch how polite he is to the players in comparison to the high-pitched screeching of “Over heeeere! Hey! Over heeeeeeeere!” that comes from most fans. Zack can judge a ball from 400 feet away and maneuver around seats, stairs, railings, and clueless people in order to snag a ball. That is skill. Geek or not, the man has skill. It is time these flame-throwers step out from behind their keyboards. ZacK is good for baseball. Period.

    Oh yeah, good PR anyway (haha)


    Hey Zack. Did you see the catch a fan made last night at last night’s Orioles game at Camden Yards? A foul ball was ripped down the right field line and curved into foul territory. It was coming down about 10 to 15 rows back and some guy (who brought his glove) hustled about two rows over, getting around people, in between rows, and reached out and made a nice catch. It was “Top Play #5” (or maybe it was #4) on “Cold Pizza” this morning.


    Good luck at Yankee stadium and hope you get a lotta balls from the Jays and hope the Jays rock the Yanks.


    Hey who are the worst and best autograph signers on Team USA BASKETBALL?

  7. Zack

    Despite the diss and the misspelling and my late-nite rant, I do need to admit that it’s good PR. As for tonight, I’ll see what I can do…


    Good to hear from you again. I’ve been wondering what you were up to. You’re right…sometimes it can be really easy to get a ball if you just use basic strategies: simple clothing and a polite request. That’s cool about Joe Nelson. From what I’ve read, it sems like Pat Neshek acts the same way. Be well. Hope you get to check back in soon. And keep in mind that “****” no longer gets bleeped. Woo-hoo!


    Good point. I appreciate it.


    You’re the best.


    Dammit. No. I missed it. But that’s a pretty nice description that you gave.


    Thanks. I’ll secretly be rooting for the Jays as well, but not when Jeter or A-Rod or Bernie are at bat…and not if Mariano comes in to pitch.


    Man, what’s up with my friend George? He told me on the phone that most basketball players are jerks, but that when they gather for a Team USA event, they suddenly become much nicer.


    Ah, that’s too bad. It was a nice catch, nothing spectacular. It’s not like he dove over seats and ripped up his face on the concrete or anything, and there wasn’t anybody around him to interfere, but it was a nice catch. Too bad you missed it. Oh well. I’m sure it would have been a routine play for you.


    ZAck-Nice post.Jimmy The jays got my support as I hate the yankees.YANKSFAN-look for the jays to take the yankees down.


    hey zack, i hate to be the bearer of bad news, but olly perez isnt gonna be on the mets roster, hes probably gonna finish the year out in AAA or unless a starter gets injured or maine or pelfrey starts messing up and gets sent down.


    Oliver Perez was not the point of the trade between the Mets and Pirates. The only reason the trade was made was for the Mets to make up for the loss of Duaner Sanchez. He won’t be up in the Majors until September call-ups.

    By the way, did anybody notice that everybody involved in the trade (including Duaner Sanchez) has a “Z” in his name? Very odd. Just an observation.


    Lets see what Burnett can do for the jays the sox pitcher is just giving up run after run!



    Thanks for going through all the trouble. I have recieved only two autographs in person, Kobe Bryant (at a Dodger game) and Hall of Famer Magic Johnson (at the mall).


    Why is everybody conceding the division to the yankees yeah the red sox lost TROT NIXON AND Jason Varitek to injuries but to concede the division that is giving up a little to early on the sox huh?


    Wow this ump is killing us. Keeps giving calls to the Yanks, looks like they paid off the umps 2, dam yanks. Still close game, dam as soon as i say its close its not.


    Kaylee, stop talking about the *******’ Jays and Red Sox. Nobody cares. You’re just making it harder to find the comments I actually want to read here. It’s really annoying.


    OKay GREG-Will it make you happy if I stop talking about the jays and red sox?!


    I’m gonna say Zack is gonna get 7 or 8 balls from tonights game. Maybe more cause most of the Jays are nice so we’ll see.

  19. Zack

    You think it would’ve been routine for me? Thanks. I’d have to see it before making that statement, though. ‘X’ and ‘Z’ are good letters.


    Thank you, too. How have you gotten all the balls?


    Why’d you have to ruin my day?


    You’re welcome. Those are some imPRESSive autographs.


    Update soon cause I love it when you go to Jays games cause its something I know and I always like learning something new about my favourite Jays players.


    my red sox didn’t counter the yankees trade for abreu, which they might regret come postseason


    Ramones-I know especially now that varitek is hurt that hurt the red sox!(sorry greg after this comments I will shut up about the red sox)I have been warned not to talk about them twice by greg!


    Zack-I assume you mean whoo threw them to me.Doug mirabelli gave me one.One came from some indians player It was their 3rd Baseman i think it was Luna.Then i got another on from Gabe kapler During Bp.And The other one came from another indians player…..I think it was Blake.

  24. Zack

    6am…is that soon enough? Ohmygod I’m tired.


    The Red Sox are in touble.


    Any interesting conversations with the players? What sections? What happened? Lots of competition? Any good stories?


    Not yeasterday didnt get there in time But……..I did get the 4 balls.More interesting stuff today will share later…Got to pay attention to the game now!

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