The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘opening day’

It begins

Posted by keithosaunders on March 29, 2018

Well that off season went by pretty fast.  Another baseball season is upon us and the Mets are 1-0.  Extrapolated to a full season that comes to…[gets calculator]…162-0!  Who am I kidding,  I’ll be happy if Syndergaard and Cespedes can stay healthy for a full season.

This year, in a herculean effort to speed up the game, baseball had limited catchers trips to the mound to 6 per game.  If this is successful the time of game may decrease to that of what it was in the pre-replay review era.  In other words, not much.

In an era where teams carry 13-15 men pitching staffs and relief pitchers are expected to pitch no more than one inning, the idea of having ballgames last shorter than 3.5 hours is a pipe dream at best.

I would be happy, however, if baseball banned the playing of God Bless America in the 7th inning stretch.  If they must have this jingoistic nonsense at least move it to the 6th inning, leaving Take Me Out to the Ballgame to reclaim its rightful place in Americana.

Play ball!

 

Image result for baseball

 

 

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The dawn of the baseball season

Posted by keithosaunders on April 1, 2016

And so, after a long cold winter, or in the case of the Bay Area, a wet winter, the baseball season begins again this Sunday.  This year, instead of the traditional opening night game, there will be three Sunday games:  The Cardinals vs the Pirates, the Blue Jays vs the Rays, and my Mets will visit the reigning World Series champion Royals.

First of all:  Nice touch by baseball tweaking the opening day schedule.  It will be great to have the triple header to kick things off instead of the usual anti-climactic lone Sunday night game.  Plus, baseball feels better in the day, especially to open the season.  I don’t say this very often but…kudos to MLB!

Not only that, but we have three sexy match-ups.  I don’t know about you, but I loves me some NL Central division teams and the Pirates have long been one of my favorites.  So you have a classic match-up between two of the oldest teams followed by a game between two expansion teams.  The Blue Jays figure to be a lot of fun this year and they have earned their slot in the opening day spotlight.  Perhaps we’ll get a Joey Bautista bat flip which will insight another juicy Goose Gossage rant.

Finally we’ll have the Mets vs the Royals.  This is the first time in 30 years in which I’ve gone into the season expecting the Mets to win their division.  Usually the best I can hope for is for them not to embarrass themselves.  This year, with the signing of Cespedes, and the return of their young, stellar pitching staff, the immediate future looks bright.  By the way, when is the last time the two World Series teams from the previous season opened the season against each other?  Answer:  Never.  Yet another nice move by the schedule-maker: finding a clever new spin on a hackneyed inter-league format.

Play ball!metsbeagle

 

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Commencing countdown engines on

Posted by keithosaunders on March 6, 2011

When I lived in New York, like most Mets fans I hated everything about the Yankees.  Believe it or not, however, there was one thing about them I found likable.   

In those days I taught piano three days a week at a catholic school up in Yonkers, a town just north of the Bronx on the Hudson river.  On my drive there I had several routes, each more complicated than the last.  The idea was to avoid the Major Deegan Expressway (I 87) at all costs.  On the way home it didn’t save any time to avoid the Deegan since it was rush hour and all the roads were equally crowded.  I would grit my teeth and do battle with the Deegan.

Roughly halfway through the Bronx, just off the Deegan, sits Yankee Stadium.  There used to be this marquee perched on the top of the Stadium’s facade.  After the season was over the marquee read Thank you fans, a missive that would last a month or so, to be replaced with Happy Holidays for the bulk of December.

My favorite time of the winter was after the new year.  This was when the marquee began counting down the number of days until pitchers and catchers.  Then, in mid-February, when the pitchers and catchers reported, the countdown until opening day would commence.

I always looked forward to passing the marquee.  Somehow it made those long, cold winter nights a little more bearable to know exactly how many weeks and days until the beginning of baseball.  Rather than dwell on the sad reality that there was nothing to watch on TV except boring, meaningless mid-season NBA and NHL games, I would focus on the inexorable approach of a happier, warmer season.

I appreciated the fact that someone in the upper echelon of the Yankee brass — who knows, maybe even The Boss himself — took the time and trouble to update such a whimsical marker.  It was a childlike endeavor in the best sense of the word.  I felt like a kid passing that big ball orchard in the South Bronx, figuring out how many weeks the countdown translated into. 

When they built the new stadium and tore down the old one they neglected to include a marquee —  it wouldn’t have been visible from the Deegan anyhow.  There was an electronic bulletin board just to the right of the highway, but it was never used for any kind of countdown.  The era of whimsy had closed.

Oh, I almost forgot…there are 25 more days until opening day.

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Spring is here

Posted by keithosaunders on February 9, 2011

February in California.  The holidays are ancient history, football is over with, and the winter school break looms.   This can only mean one thing:  Spring is here. 

We’re breathing a sigh of relief now that the long, brutal winter has finally come to a close.  We’ve endured some rain, a little wind, and a few earthquakes that were too small to measure.  Us Californians are stolid people, however, and we endured the harsh winter weather in stoic silence as it wreaked havoc on jogging schedules and ruined outdoor wine-tasting events.

Blizzards in Chicago?  Ice storms in New York?  Snow in Dallas?!  That’s all well and good, but here in Berkeley, the cherry blossoms are in bloom and we’ve had nothing but clear 68 degree days for the past two weeks.   

With this kind of weather opening day of the 2011 baseball season must be right around the corner.  What’s that you say?  Seven weeks?!  D’oh!

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