Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Photographers' Blog:

How ’bout them Yankees?

Bradenton, Florida

By Steve Nesius

As a photographer you often don’t know what to expect when covering MLB spring training baseball games - especially covering the Yankees.

After several games of being crammed into ridiculously tight photo wells at other stadiums with still photographers, TV crews and team interns shooting videos of batters and pitchers, it was nice to be assigned to a game at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Florida. Most photographers choose to shoot on the walkway behind the seats with clean fields of view. I wanted to shoot in the third base well, which is low to ground level, during the first inning to get the starting right-handed pitchers before heading up to the walkway.

It turned out to be a good decision. The Yankees batted first. Lead-off batter Eduardo Nunez singled, then stole second base. Brennan Boesch, in his second game since joining the Yankees after his release by the Tigers, was batting second. Boesch broke his bat on an infield single. Nunez advanced to third and scored on a throwing error. Kevin Youkilis batted third and hit a two-run homer, scoring Boesch. Yankees were up 3-0. Good action to start the game.

I felt I had some decent frames but couldn’t see the back of my camera very well to "chimp" (edit images in camera) in the bright sunshine. It wasn’t until later in the game, as I was editing, I could see I made some good images. In particular, the frame of the barrel of the broken bat smacking the face of Boesch. In the six-frame sequence, Boesch’s bat cracked as he struck the ball. On the follow-through of the swing, the bat brook in two pieces, smacked into his face, knocked his helmet ajar and flew out of the frame as Boesch raced to first base with an infield single.

from Photographers' Blog:

The moment Jeter fell

By Mike Segar

Firstly, let me say I am most definitely NOT a New York Yankees fan. I grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and have been a devoted Boston Red Sox fan my entire life. The Yankees are our sworn enemies as Red Sox fans and that never changes.

However, in my job as a photographer for Reuters I have covered the Yankees in the MLB playoffs since 1996, when I covered my first New York Yankees World Series championship.

from Photographers' Blog:

When baseballs attack

By Darryl Webb

"I was really glad I saw it coming."

I know that statement above sounds a little confusing so allow me to explain.

I don't know how many professional sporting events I've covered in the last 20 years. Let's just say it's been a lot and in all that time I've never been hurt. There have been a couple of close calls here and there, but nothing serious until earlier this week.

Had I not seen this sphere coming toward me at a blistering speed, the end result could have been a lot worse. I'm not saying it would have been as bad as Sports Illustrated's photographer John Iacono, who was hit by an overthrown ball in 1999, shattering his jaw which resulted in two titanium plates, some wire mess and something like 20 screws. But it definitely would have been worse than a headache, a bump on the head and two hours spent at Urgent Care.

A break from reality: Why Cardinals fans wish the ride didn’t have to end

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St. Louis Cardinals celebrate advancing to the World Series after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 6 of the MLB NLCS baseball playoffs in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Sunday. (REUTERS/Jeff Haynes)A personal view from St.Louis Cardinals fan Brett Wolf.

The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series this year. Or, to be more accurate, they won four “World Series” this year, at least that is how it felt to many in Cardinal Nation. Oddly, the final victory – the actual Commissioner’s Trophy winner – was in a sense the least thrilling because it meant the, at times surreal, run was over and it was time to return to the bleak reality we as Americans have become accustomed to.

Cliff Lee’s best curve ball yet

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BASEBALL/Cliff Lee threw his best curve ball of the year this week, freezing the anxious New York Yankees and Texas Rangers in their tracks by deciding to rejoin the Philadelphia Phillies.

The decision came out of left field, as the Rangers and Yankees did all the public wooing of the 2008 American League Cy Young winner, while the Phillies worked the back channels.

Jeter’s exquisite timing fails him as Yankees play hardball

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BASEBALL/One might have expected a cordial meeting of the minds between a grateful Yankees ownership and the classy face of baseball’s bellweather franchise when it came to agreeing one last contract for captain Derek Jeter.

One would be wrong.

The spendthrift Yankees, whose $200 million-plus annual payroll is far and away the most in Major League Baseball, are playing hardball with the 36-year-old shortstop.

Is more really better when it comes to baseball?

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USA/More is better, but how much more and how to dole it out appears to be the last detail before an expected expansion of the postseason playoffs in Major League Baseball.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig told reporters at the end of the recent general managers’ meeting in Florida that adding two more wildcard teams — one from each league — to bump up the postseason field from the current eight, was pretty much a fait accompli.

Do breaches of sporting etiquette matter?

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BASEBALL/Baseball etiquette, or the so-called “unwritten rules” of the Summer Game, has elbowed its way into the sport’s headlines this early season.

We’re not talking about pedestrian infractions of Emily Post protocol like admiring a home run off your bat for a couple of extra seconds, or taking too languorous a home run trot around the bases, or stealing a base with a big lead.

If no one shows up for a baseball game…

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Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow follows through on a pitch against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto April 14, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Cassese

In North America sports culture summer is the time for baseball. The MLB season kicks off in early April and for the most part flies under the radar for the first few months as fans’ attention is focused on the NBA playoffs, the NFL draft and to a lesser extend the NHL playoffs.

By the middle of June an NBA champion is crowned, (sorry LeBron, maybe next year with your new team) the NFL is as far removed from the ever watchful media’s eye as it ever is, (thank you Brian Cushing, OTA’s were still a few weeks away) and the NHL playoff run receives unprecedented media coverage…in Canada.

A warm, fuzzy feeling and a short, sharp shock

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USA/The past week in baseball gave some fans a warm glow about their relationship with the game, and sent shivers down the spines of others worried about unruly fan behavior and the aggressive reaction to it.

The passing of 92-year-old Ernie Harwell, who broadcast Detroit Tigers games for 42 years, brought an outpouring of affection from fans, while the tasering of a teenager who disrupted a Phillies game with a frolic in the outfield raised disturbing questions about ballpark security.

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