The World According to Keitho

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Replay is killing sports

Posted by keithosaunders on October 16, 2017

Replay reviews is the worst thing to happen to sports in the past ten years.  Fans of replay never tire of saying you have to get the call right.  Never mind that it makes a slow-moving sport slower, the truth must win out!   My response to that remains that the game is losing its soul.  A shortstop makes an error and so does an ump.  And you know what?  The umps usually get it right.  It’s not as if they’re on the take.  As for the close plays…who cares?!  That’s life.

In the 8th inning of the deciding NLDS game five between the Cubs and Nationals – a one run game – Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton was ruled safe on a close pick off play.  Let’s go to the video tape!  The review folks in the New York bunker proceeded to spend five minutes reviewing the play frame by frame, Zapruder-style, to discover that for 1/100 of a second Lobaton’s foot was off the bag.  He was ruled out.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post wrote, ‘For 100 years, Lobaton would have been safe, the original and seemingly obvious call, and everybody would have moved on to the next pitch, unbothered and riveted to the eighth inning of a one-run game. As Thursday night became Friday morning, a ballpark engaged in near-forensic video study, squinting to see if Lobaton’s leg had come off the base at a moment when Rizzo’s glove touched him.’ 

I’ve thought all along that replay is ruining sports and nothing has come along to change my opinion.  Between replay reviews, innumerable trips to the mound, and double digit pitching changes leading to five hour (9 inning) post season games, we’re stuck with a sport that is fast becoming unwatchable.

Say what you want about the other three major sports, they aren’t interminable to watch.  What’s the difference between a bunch of technocrats painstakingly making a call – that is still debatable – and an ump making a bang bang call in the moment?  The difference is that one is anti-climatic (and still sometimes wrong) and the other is exciting.

Image result for jose lobaton pickoff

Advertisements

Posted in baseball, sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mensa memory

Posted by keithosaunders on October 10, 2017

The Trump-train chugs on.  Last week it was reported that Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, referred to the president as a ‘moron.’  Donald J. Trump, ever the sportsman,  challenged Tillerson to an IQ contest.  Once the news of this reached the high IQ society known as Mensa, the international society offered to oblige by hosting the test.  You can’t make this up!

Mensa is in the news, possibly for the first time ever, and this jogged an old memory of mine.  Years ago I had a gig on a cruise ship. My band mate, with whom I shared a cabin, was a member of Mensa.  How did I know?  He had a Mensa t-shirt which he wore practically every day.

One day we played chess and somehow I beat him. He must have let his guard down, playing a non-genius. I couldn’t believe it, and neither could he. You’ve never seen an angrier sax player. I believe this was the last I saw of his Mensa T-shirt.

Image result for mensa tshirt

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Bring on the playoffs

Posted by keithosaunders on September 30, 2017

This was a terrible year to be a Mets fan.  The team suffered a barrage of injuries early on, unloading much of the 2015 World Series lineup by the trading deadline.  It appears that Matt Harvey, thanks to overuse during the 2015 post season, is all but washed up. Mea culpa:  I was one of those who supported pitching him during that post season, and I still believe it was the right thing to do.  You don’t get many shots at a World Series ring, especially if you’re a Met.

This was also a terrible year for pennant races.  The National League seemed all but decided by the All Star break, although the Brewers made a run for the Central, and at this writing are still alive for a wild card slot. (although the Rockie’s magic number is 1.) I really can’t get too excited about wild card races, however, especially when the Mets are not in it.

Much to my chagrin the Yankees are good again.  I’m hoping that the upstart Twins can take them out in the gimmicky one-game play-in, but who am I kidding – the Twins are the Yankee’s bitch.

In the junior circuit I’ll be pulling for either the Astros or Indians.  Houston has never won a World Series and has only played in one of them.  It would be nice to see them get through.

In the NL I’ll be rooting for the Dodgers.  I can’t stand the Cubs fans, who I find insufferable, so I’ll be content with their team bowing out.  The Cubs seem to be peaking at the right time, however, and I would be surprised if they do not make it back to the Series. The good thing about the Dodgers going deep into the post season would be to watch these idiot Giants fans up here suffer. (I live in the Bay Area)  Talk about front runners!

Well that’s it.  I don’t have a dog in this race so I’m hoping for some good games and a minimum of exposure to Joe Buck.

Let’s go!

Posted in baseball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Advantage Republicans

Posted by keithosaunders on September 28, 2017

Conventional thinking would be that this is a horrible time to be a Republican.  President Donald Trump is a disgrace to the office – a detestable, incurious, narcissist who likely is suffering from some form of dementia.  The Republican majority Congress has been ineffectual and, with few exceptions, unwilling to challenge the corrupt and incompetent executive office.

I will submit to you, however, that there has never been a better time to be a Republican. Thanks to decades of allowing our public education to go to seed the populace lacks the intelligence to understand relevant issues, and therefore are willing to vote against their interest.  Racism is rampant and has not been this blatant since the 1950s –  it’s not a stretch to envision a return to the days of Jim Crow.

This is a perfect storm.  We have a population that is too stupid and racist to understand that what is holding them back is the divide between rich and poor, and we have a ruling party willing to exploit their ignorance.  This is the outcome of years of capitalism run amok.

I hope I am wrong.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Fry it up

Posted by keithosaunders on September 16, 2017

I have noticed that nearly every person under 40 speaks with vocal fry – an affectation akin to a scratchy throat.  It’s millennial code for I am cool.

Vocal fry annoys me to no end, especially when I’m listening to the radio and the host seemingly does not have the ability to speak like a normal human being.  I have to wonder what is on the mind of the station’s management. Can’t they detect the fry, and if so, aren’t they bothered by it?  Walter Cronkite didn’t use vocal fry.  I’m wondering if vocal fry is so prevalent that it is next to impossible to find a decent radio voice.

The case in point is this Saturday NPR show called Invisibilia, whose troika of hostesses sound as if they were awoken at four in the morning after having undergone a tonsillectomy.  Suffice it to say that it is unlistenable, as is 90% of NPR’s weekend programming.  At least Keillor is gone.

Posted in media | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

I’d like to forget

Posted by keithosaunders on September 11, 2017

Sixteen years after the September 11th bombings we are still being told, dutifully and robotically, to ‘never forget.’  I have a problem with this.  It goes without saying that the hundreds of deaths suffered that morning is a tragedy.  But here’s the thing:  My mother’s death at the age of 67 from pancreatic cancer was also a tragedy.  So are the thousands of deaths each year from automobile accidents.

I am suspicious of the motives people who tell me not to forget the terrorist bombings. It feels like an invitation to hate and fear people of Arab descent.  I would prefer to turn the page and believe that we can learn from this and be better people in the future.

In fact, I also have not forgotten America’s unjust and illegal response to the September 11th attacks.  The hundreds of thousands of deaths in wake of the Iraq war, as well as the Afghanistan war which continues to this day.  I’d like to forget.

Posted in New York City, war | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Scrapple From the Apple

Posted by keithosaunders on August 30, 2017

Last night I played a gig at a bar in the Haight Ashbury section of San Francisco called Club Deluxe.  The band, which plays at Deluxe every Tuesday,  is led by a great saxophonist named Smith Dobson and includes Eric Markowitz on bass and Jimmy Gallagher on drums.  These are some of my favorite musicians.

Last night we paid tribute to Charlie Parker on the 97th anniversary of his birth.  I went live on Periscope for one song – Scrapple From the Apple.  Unfortunately there was no ideal placement for the phone so the only band member you’ll see will be me.  But you can hear everyone and I feel it’s a great representation of what we do.

Click through for some nice licks.

https://www.pscp.tv/w/bHW-fDFlVmpZZG9xTU13S0x8MWRSSlpubm1WelFKQhPbfhROCU-Ev8Rg2eXOHrLkvC6q3-OwlN31nAAQdrNK

 

Posted in jazz, San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Happy Bird’s Birthday!

Posted by keithosaunders on August 29, 2017

Today should be a holiday.  It is the birthday of one of the most important musicians of all time — Charlie Parker.  He was born on this date in 1920 which means had he lived, he would have been 97.  As it was he died at the tragically young age of 34.

He left us, however, with an ample discography, as well as this snippet of video footage of him playing live with Dizzy Gillespie.  They perform Tadd Dameron’s Hot House.

I would strongly recommend to anyone who has not heard of Charlie Parker, to Youtube him.  Your mind will be blown.

The New York radio station WKCR, as they do every year, is broadcasting a marathon Bird broadcast until tonight at midnight.  I highly recommend this.

https://www.cc-seas.columbia.edu/wkcr/#

In this dismal age of dangerous politicians and natural disasters why not take a few minutes to explore the beauty that exists in this world.  Happy Charlie Parker day.

 

 

 

Posted in jazz | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Baseball’s one percent

Posted by keithosaunders on August 19, 2017

Anyone who doubted that baseball, in its current form, is a soulless affair I offer you exhibit A:  The Los Angeles Dodgers.  Here is a team, arguably having their greatest regular season in their 134 year history, that felt the need, with 6 weeks remaining in the season, to add Curtis Granderson to their already stacked roster.

Exhibit B is the New York Mets, a team not two years removed from a World Series appearance, who are now in fire-sale mode.

Baseball as it exists today is a microcosm of our capitalist society. The best talent congeals to form super-teams such as the Dodgers, Redsox, Yankees, and Golden State Warriors.  Money begets money.  The rest of the league – the have-nots – can be content with playoff appearances and the occasional Cinderella season, to be followed by the inevitable selloff once their young talent reaches free-agent eligibility.

Enjoy.

Posted in baseball, sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Monday night baseball

Posted by keithosaunders on August 13, 2017

Last night, while browsing Twitter, I stumbled upon this VHS recording of a telecast of a 1979 ABC Monday Night Baseball game between the Angels and the Redsox.  The recording only contained the first inning and a few highlights, which was fine since the game ended up being a blowout.  It’s a great time capsule, however, and is worth watching for a few minutes.

The thing that struck me the most was how much more pleasant it was to watch a game in those days.  There are hardly any replays, stats are kept to a minimum, and the overall pace of the game is much quicker.

The announcing team was Keith Jackson, Howard Cosell, and Bob Eucker.  Jackson was known largely for college football but he did a professional job and was a good listen.  He didn’t get in the way of the game and you can tell that he did his homework.  Cosell, on the other hand, did get in the way of the game – he had a tremendous ego – but was still a much more compelling listen than today’s bland ex-jock color men, or robotic, colorless Joe Buck.

Check it out!

 

Posted in baseball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »