Sunday, September 28, 2008

My sincere apologies to White Sox and D'backs fans

Dear White Sox and D'Backs fans,

I am sorry. Things were going so well for you guys and then I had to jump on the wagon and say I was rooting for a White Sox-D'backs World Series to see Ken Griffey, Jr. and Adam Dunn finally get a chance at a ring. I have cursed you all. Every team I ever root for seems to stink. Your decline started when I changed my banner to reflect my support for you.

The baseball gods hate me.

I promise I won't root for your teams any more. I'm not really all that interested in them, anyway. Dunner won't be back in Arizona next year, and who knows where Junior will be (Seattle?), so I won't have any reason to root for you all. I just wish I hadn't blown it for you this year.

I'm also not going to say I am rooting for the Sausages today, because I don't want their playoff chances destroyed. Suffice it to say that any Chub$ loss these days makes me happy. I hope the Chub$ get blown out of the Division Series in three games.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dear Asstros and Asstros Fans:

Waaah. You all are whining about the Chub$ having an unfair advantage in the game you played while a hurricane ravaged your state. You claim Bud Selig ruined your chances for the playoffs. What a big, fat bunch of whiners you are.

Three teams in the NL Central - the Sausages, the Deadbirds, and my own beloved Reds have to put up with Chub$ crowds at our home ballparks SIX to NINE games a year. You did it once. You don't hear us whining except to say that Chub$ fans are annoying. We don't blame our losing on playing as the visiting team in our own ballparks. We lose because our teams stink, and we win because our teams are good. Nothing else.

Do you know why you aren't going to the playoffs? Your team stinks! Did you see that idiotic baserunning move by Michael Bourne tonight? Winning teams don't make idiotic blunders like that!

I'm sure the questionable call at the end of the game has you up in arms right now. I'm sure there will be more whining about the umpires ruining your chances for the playoffs. The fact is, your bats were shut down by Edinson Volquez. You even had a call given to you by the umps - Joey Votto's homer only counted as a single. We should have beaten you 4-1.

Face it - your team is just not good enough to be in the playoffs, so QUIT YOUR WHINING!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A bit of baseball history

If you are a history buff, if you are fascinated by the way something that happened hundreds of years ago still affects us today, then you probably are a baseball fan.

Many may have missed this little tidbit in this week's SI:
Found In Surrey, England, a reference to baseball in a diary entry dated March 31, 1755 - the earliest known reference to the sport. Previously the earliest known mention of baseball was a law banning the game in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 1791. But last week, a Surrey historian said he had authenticated a diary in which lawyer William Bray [any relation to our own Bill?] mentioned the sport 36 years earlier: "After Dinner Went to Miss Jeale's to play at Base Ball...Drank Tea and stayed till 8." Bray, who died in 1832, never again mentioned the game in his writings.
Interesting, not only because it was found in England, but also because it was written in a world in which America did not exist as an independent entity.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A big, fat DUH

One of the reasons I am taking the GMAT to get into business school tomorrow is because business has become stupid and needs thinking people involved. The business world is so focused on formulas and boxes and "the way things are done" that there is no common sense in business anymore. Case in point: the Washington Nationals.

Today's WAPO had an article about Nationals Park Revenue Falls Short of Mark. To generate projected attendance figures, the Nationals and the DC government used past attendance figures from other new parks around the country. The variable they did not consider?

The Nationals have been in existence for 4 years in a transitional city where much of the baseball going population only remains in the city for four or five years. There are a few devoted followers of the Nats, but for the most part, the fanbase is not established. You can't compare that to a team that's been around for twenty, thirty, or one hundred thirty-nine years.

If the Nats had played good ball, this factor would be neglible. But the team stinks. The team stinks royally. This is one of the worst teams in baseball. Who the heck wants to become a fan of a losing team? Yeah, there are a few of us diehard baseball fans who would watch a baseball game between teams with number one draft picks who never made the majors, but we're a dying breed.

I'm not saying the Nationals were wrong to build a new stadium. I'm saying the Nationals (and the DC government) were wrong to assume they would have great attendance this year. A little common sense could have helped them greatly.

One other thing - any thinking person knows that the economy has been tanking for the past few years. One of the reasons given for low Nats attendance (aside from the fact that the Nats stink) is there is nothing to do around the stadium. Restaurants and bars don't want to open up around the stadium because the economy stinks. Why whine about something so obvious?

Can we say common sense? Apparently, not in 2008 American business.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm gonna miss this

I went to the Reds game last night.

I haven't been to a game since June - two games in Cleveland. I haven't been to a game for several reasons, but when I said I wasn't going to a game while Patterson was on the team, I was serious. The Dunn trade solidified my desire to boycott.

But when someone gives you free tix in section 135, well...

I stopped watching the Reds, too, since the Dunn trade. I have hardly listened to any games in the past month. But when I found out I had some tickets, somehow, I became excited to go to the game. Perhaps my break had been long enough. I got up in the morning and put my Reds shirt on and was excited throughout the day. That first sighting of the stadium when entering the city from the highway felt like Opening Day. I enjoyed every tiny little detail of the game, from the way the ball gets tiny on a popup and then grows as gravity pulls it into a fielders glove to the red shine of the helmets under the stadium lights. I enjoyed that "by the numbers" thing they put up on the scoreboard that reminded me that Hal Morris once wore 23. I loved that crack of the bat.

It will all be gone soon.

Last night, the heartache was so bad I once had to fight back a tear. It's the heartache that comes from the death of a season, knowing that come Tuesday, I won't be able to see the Reds for half a year. The season may seem long, especially when your team plays itself out of the race in April. Yet that half a year of no Reds baseball is eternal, no matter how pitiful the team plays during the season.

Bob, sign Dunn in the off season. Get rid of Patterson. Make Barry Larkin the bench coach, Eric Davis the hitting coach, and Tom Browning the pitching coach. Get rid of Mark Berry. Find a catcher - if you have to trade Homer for Jared Saltamacchia, do it. Don't steal 2009 from us, too.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Where I've been

Directions: The following question presents a sentence, part or all of which is in italics. Below each sentence you will find five ways to phrase the italics portion. Choice (A) repeats the original version, while the other four choices are different. If the original seems best, choose (A).

The newly elected baseball commissioner has asked that a federal arbitrator would mediate negotiations between representatives of the umpire's union, which has threatened to go on strike, and the lawyers representing major league franchise owners.

A. that a federal arbitrator would mediate negotiations between representatives of the umpire's union, which has threatened to go on strike

B. that a federal arbitrator mediate negotiations between representatives of the umpire's union, which have threatened

C. of a federal arbitrator that he mediate negotiations between representatives of the umpire's union, which have threatened

D. a federal arbitrator that he mediate negotiations between representatives of the umpire's union, which has threatened

E. a federal arbitrator to mediate negotiations between representatives of the umpire's union, which has threatened

Yes, I am studying for the GMAT to be taken on September 20. In the meantime, if you wonder why the Reds' offense has tanked this season and why they always swing at the first pitch, look no further:

"I hear people in the stands say, 'Take a pitch,'" Baker continued. "For what? That could be the best pitch to hit because most times they're going to throw you something hard and away, and then they'll start messing with you."

Monday, September 01, 2008

Three wins...a sweep. A crappy team beats another crappy team. Whoopdedoo.

I hate not caring. But I haven't even checked the MLB standings in a week. Maybe two. Thanks Bob.

I checked the news for callups - seeing Todd Frazier in a Reds uni could pique my curiosity enough to watch a game - but alas, no one, nothing. Of course, the Bats are in the playoffs, so we can't steal their players right now. Dragons are in the playoffs, too. Nice to see. I could get excited. But then there's this:
Corey Patterson made a nearly costly baserunning blunder in Saturday night's victory when he didn't cross home plate prior to the completion of an inning-ending 3-6 double play in the eighth inning. With Patterson on third and the Reds leading, 7-6, Javier Valentin grounded sharply to first. The first baseman stepped on first, eliminating the force play, and threw to second to complete the double play. If Patterson would've scored ahead of the putout at second, his run would've counted, giving the Reds a key insurance run. Instead, he stopped. Prior to Sunday's game, Baker recanted his initial statement that Patterson wasn't alert on the basepaths and offered this explanation: "A more accomplished first baseman would've stepped on first and thrown home," Baker said. "That was an important run. I thought more about it afterwards. That's why he stopped."
In case anyone was wondering why I haven't been to a Reds game since June.