Friday, March 07, 2008


Every year marks a celebration for someone about something. Sometimes it's forced, other times it's legitimate. 2008 is no different. Here are the milestones (or just inchstones, if you will) being marked by different teams in baseball in 2008 - from the somewhat interesting to the downright ridiculous.

Let's start with a celebration - the Arizona Diamondbacks are celebrating their 10-year anniversary - and they have a decent amount to celebrate.

I've written about this before, but Chase Field (then Bank One Ballpark), when I visited, really flaunts its history - a credit to them, and a strike against a team like the Pittsburgh Pirates, who, based on the amount of history in their ballpark, you would think would be celebrating their 10th anniversary as an expansion team, instead of a team with a history that should be celebrated more than it is.

The Diamondbacks will have a celebration the first weekend of the season, where they will recognize their first-ever team.

Incidentally, the Tampa Bay Rays (whose biggest accomplishment for 2008 is dropping "Devil" from their name) are not advertising anything recognizing their 10 years in the league.

This is less a celebration than just something that caught my eye - but the Seattle Mariners' slogan this year is "MoJo Rising". It should be "Bedard Pitching". I wonder if Robin Ventura was involved in selecting that slogan for the Mariners, or if they just flat-out stole his idea from the Mets' post-season in 1999.

Also of note, Jacobs Field is no more. The Cleveland Indians now play their home games at "Progressive Field".

2008 marks 50 years since the Dodgers moved out west, leaving their Brooklyn fans in a lurch. They're celebrating their 50th anniversary of playing baseball in Los Angeles.

The San Francisco Giants are celebrating 50 years of following the Dodgers out west.

On a related note, the A's are celebrating 40 years in Oakland.Just about everything else being recognized in baseball in 2008 is stadium-related. The Mets, as we all know, are recognizing their last year at Shea Stadium with a patch on their sleeves. There will also be constant reminders of the new stadium that is taking shape right over the left field wall, towering over the visitors' bullpen.

The Washington Nationals have a new ballpark this year, and they're celebrating the opening of Nationals Park with the slogan, "Welcome Home!"

While we're on the subject of slogans, the Texas Rangers are going with "You could use some baseball" this year. My impression is that Texas Rangers fans could use some "winning" baseball. If not, the Rangers' slogan should read "Only ____ more days until high school football."

The Yankees have a sort of dual celebration going. Not only are they recognizing their last year at Yankee Stadium, but they're sending it off with a bang - by hosting the 2008 All Star Game. So I'm not sure how those are being recognized - something tells me the pinstripes don't get covered by commemorative patches, but they have two logos - one for each occasion.

And finally, it may not surprise you to learn that the Florida Marlins are touting something new, but it has nothing to do with baseball (because the brand that will be played in 2008 in south Florida won't be anything to shout about). They will march out the first-ever dance/cheer team in Major League Baseball (I wonder what exactly I saw in Cincinnati last year then - maybe they weren't a team, but a bunch of individuals), and they're called the Marlins Mermaids. Wonder if they stay out on the tarp for the frequent rain delays.

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