Results tagged ‘ Dave Raymond ’

Saturday notes: Social Media Night, Astros Twitter handles and some good eatin’ at Marlins Park.

Social Media Nights have become a staple at Minute Maid Park since we first introduced them in 2010, and with nearly half the team now regularly tweeting, it’s only fitting that we keep the tradition going this year.

One of our most active tweeters, pitcher Bud Norris (@budnorris20), will be the featured guest for our first Social Media Night, set for this Saturday (April 21). The event takes place in the Budweiser Patio behind center field and includes batting practice viewing, dinner, a game ticket, a t-shirt and the opportunity to win prizes through Twitter trivia. The prizes will be signed by Norris, and he will present them, in person, to the winners.

(NOTE: You must be on Twitter to participate in the trivia contest.)


Tickets for Social Media Night cost $45. The program begins at 3 p.m., in advance of the 6:05 game time. We’ll meet in the lobby of Union Station and the group will be escorted to the seats just behind the Astros dugout, where you’ll watch the Astros take batting practice. At 5 p.m., we’ll gather at the Budweiser Patio, and soon after, the Twitter trivia contest will begin. We’ll ask a question over the mic, and the first person to tweet me the correct answer will win a signed baseball.

Dinner (we’ll vote on what to serve in the next few days) will be served close to gametime. Everyone will receive a Social Media Night t-shirt, which includes the Twitter handles of all participating Astros.

You can order tickets here. Hope to see you Saturday!

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A lot of you have asked for a full rundown of Astros players on Twitter. Here you go:

@cjastros23 Chris Johnson
@brianbogusevic Brian Bogusevic
@budnorris20 Bud Norris
@downstown16 Matt Downs
@JordanSchafer Jordan Schafer
@JDMartinez14 J.D Martinez
@J_Castro15 Jason Castro
@lucasharrell34 Lucas Harrell
@Carlos45Lee Carlos Lee
@realweswright Wesley Wright

And a few others who you’re familiar with as well:

@brettwallace29 Brett Wallace
@JB_SHUCK J.B. Shuck
@jordanlyles41 Jordan Lyles

And more:

@jluhnow Jeff Luhnow, General Manager
@astros Astros Twitter
@losastros Astros Spanish Twitter
@Astrosradio Brett Dolan, radio announcer
@FRomeroAstros Francisco Romero, Spanish radio announcer
@daveraymond4 Dave Raymond, Radio announcer
Hind_snatcher12 catching coordinator Danny Sheaffer

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The hospitable folks who run the Miami Marlins culinary operation were kind enough to introduce a few of us to new food items served at Marlins Park this year. By “introduce us,” of course, I really mean “stuff our faces,” and we’re ever so grateful for their hospitality.

I would never post video on the internet of me shoveling food into my mouth, so instead, I solicited help from two friends from the broadcasting side: TV analyst Jim Deshaies and radio announcer Dave Raymond, each of whom have experience with food dribbling on their ties while on camera.

We’re putting the finishing touches on a future blog detailing the new eats at Minute Maid Park, but in the interim, take a look at a few Miami-centric food items that they’ve got cooking at the Marlins games. In a word: delicious.

The Mahi Tacos were unanimously voted by our panel of four as the most delicious item on the menu. Dave called them "stupid good."

The "Steak and Wedge": beef tenderloin, a dash of steak sauce, bleu cheese dressing, caramelized onion. Delish!

J.D. finishing off the Mahi: "I'm trying to pace myself, but I can't. So I'll keep eating."

Me: "Now, what's this called again?" Them: "Uh, Helmet Nachos." Ah. Right. Makes sense.

Lobster rolls, with the coolest baseball toothpicks holding everything together. A great touch for a delicious dish.

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Astros Opening Day celebrates the past and looks ahead to the future. The day in pictures.

Owner Jim Crane and general manager Jeff Luhnow

Opening Day is special, and you instantly can feel the vibe. It’s festive, it’s fun and everyone’s in a good mood. And, least importantly, it’s the one game of the year where people get all gussied up.

On Opening Day, just about everyone who covers baseball, or broadcasts baseball, or signs free agents, or helps design bobbleheads, or sits in a suite with other like-minded very important people, is dressed to the nines. The men look a little like secret service agents (without the ear buds and scowls worn by the real secret service agents who are there to protect Minute Maid Park regulars George and Barbara Bush).

Opening Day means something. The ballpark is the place to be. Even if it’s just one game of 162 played every year, what Opening Day symbolizes is recognized, and respected.

That doesn’t mean Opening Day is some stuffy cocktail party. No, quite the contrary. Opening Day is a big party, and that was never more apparent than in the nearly seven hours leading up to first pitch, when the streets surrounding Minute Maid Park were closed off and transformed into the annual rite of passage known as Street Fest.

The festival on the streets by the ballpark (hence the name Street Fest) included a little bit of everything — bands, food, beverages, fans and appearances by significant members of the team, both from the front office and the uniformed staff.

Street Fest started early and ended late and featured visits from some of the most recognizable members of the team. Two groups of Astros dropped by for two separate pep rallies.

Unsurprisingly, the second crowd, on hand for the appearance by Jose Altuve, J.D. Martinez and Bud Norris at 4:30-ish, was slightly more spirited and, shall we say, less inhibited than the fans who moseyed over to the stage for the 12:30 show with Jeff Luhnow, Brad Mills and Larry Dierker. Hey, certain libations just flow more freely in the late afternoon hours.

Pep rallies were just one element of the Opening Day celebration. Pregame ceremonies included trotting Budweiser Clydesdales, an anthem-singing country music star (Clay Walker), ceremonial first pitches by those who contributed to the Astros’ storied history (Jimmy Wynn, Dierker and Jose Cruz) and those who are ready to usher in a brand new era of Astros baseball, including owner Jim Crane and his many board members.

Crane’s afternoon began with a lengthy visit to batting practice and brief remarks to the team assembled in the locker room a couple of hours before first pitch.

We have lots of pictures and videos to share from the day. We’ll start with Crane’s remarks to the team:

Highlights:

“Congrats on making the team. I know for a lot of you guys it’s your first time making the team, your first Opening Day. Have some fun.

“There’s a lot of opportunity here. We’re going to try to do things right and try to make this a fun place to be. This should be a fun team to be on so anything we can help you with, you’re part of my family now.

“One thing you’ve got to remember — those people outside (in the stands) pay the bills. We put up the money to buy the team, and we need to engage the fans, stay close to the fans. We need to be nice to the fans. We’ve worked hard at that. I’m going to ask a lot of you throughout the season when you’ve got the time. We won’t take away from your work.”

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The dugout scene before the game always includes plenty of hugs and handshakes among teammates. This is the one game of the year where the sense of brotherhood is front and center. Although the camaraderie doesn’t dim through the season, you don’t see a lot of outward affection between teammates from day to day. That’s mainly saved for the opener.

Enjoy the photos from an eventful day at Minute Maid Park:

Pep rally: Dave Raymond, Bud Norris, Brett Dolan

Pep rally: broadcasters with J.D. Martinez

Batting practice: Brad Mills has his daily meeting with the media. Most days, the contingent is a little smaller.

BP: Strength and conditioning coach Gene Coleman with Jose Altuve.

BP: two great players from our history, Art Howe and Enos Cabell.

BP: the TV gang -- Steve Sparks, Kevin Eschenfelder, Jim Deshaies.

BP: Kyle Weiland.

BP: J.D. Martinez.

Pregame ceremony: Jeff Luhnow and the Clydesdales.

Pregame ceremony: Jimmy Wynn, Larry Dierker, Jose Cruz.

First pitch: Jim Crane and several board members.

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