Kansas vs. Texas Tech, 04.07.2018

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Yesterday afternoon, a friend and I attended the baseball game between Kansas and Texas Tech Universities.  I had previously been to games at the Little League, high school, and even minor league levels (plus MLB games, of course), but this was the first-ever college game for either of us.

Unlike this year’s Royals, the Kansas Jayhawks actually have a winning record (17-12 going into yesterday’s game), so I was looking forward to seeing them play in person.  What I didn’t realize before we bought the tickets was that Texas Tech has an even better record at 25-6 prior to yesterday.  Even so, I had a hint that it would be a tough game, considering the Jayhawks lost 15-6 to this Texas Tech team on Friday.

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I’m sorry to say that yesterday’s game was quite the slaughter.  Long story short, KU lost 10-0.  Even in spite of loading the bases with no one out in the sixth inning, KU didn’t manage to score a run, proceeding to blow the opportunity with two strikeouts and a groundout to short.

On the plus side, there was a hot dog race.  Even better, my favorite condiment, ketchup, won this game’s race.

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Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence is a very nice facility.  It would have been nicer had the weather been warmer than 40 degrees and breezy.  General admission tickets were only $10, which has me thinking this is too good an opportunity for cheap baseball to not take advantage of in the future.  There just might have to be more KU baseball in the future, including (hopefully) a win or two.


Infographic: Big Data & Baseball Statistics

Someone (unknown) once commented, “Baseball is an island of activity amidst a sea of statistics.”  There’s no doubt statistics drive the game.  Here’s a good general timeline on how that has played out over the years.

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“The Spirit of Opening Day,” by Greg Shea

Technically a couple days late, but I would argue it’s still early enough for this to count.  I stumbled across this piece last night.  It’s full of baseball metaphors being applied to business.  Apparently in 2014, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle shared this poem with Pirates staff on Opening Day that year.  That day, the Pirates won 1-0 in ten innings over the Cubs.

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Today you’ll dig in the closet for your glove and snap a ball into it while sipping your morning coffee.

Today you’ll drive to work and admonish yourself to “keep your head down” and your eye on the road.

Today your team will be in first and planning to stay there. Today you’ll wonder about developing and selling tobacco-flavored toothpaste, as you spit into the sink.

Today you’ll still be able to turn the double play.

Today you’ll end your contract holdout.

Today you won’t lose a business deal in the sun. Today you’ll find yourself rotating your arm around your head to stretch the shoulder and keep it loose.

Today sunflower seeds strangely find their way into your back pocket.

Today you’ll think of wearing a black suit to match the eye black.

Today you’ll have the steal sign.

Today you slip up in a meeting and mention “our sales team vs. lefties.”

Today as the toast comes out of the toaster, you’ll still remember how to execute a perfect “pop-up” slide.

Today a hot dog and peanuts for lunch will sound about right.

Today you tell a co-worker to “get loose.”

Today the only strike you’ll know about is above the knees and below the armpits.

Today you’ll wear your jacket only on your pitching arm.

Today you’ll buy two packs of gum and stuff them in the side of your mouth to look like a player.

Today, during lunch, you’ll wonder why Coke doesn’t come in a wood can.

Today you’ll scratch yourself and spit for no apparent reason.

Today you’ll wonder why stirrup socks never caught on as a fashion rage.

Today you’ll be the rookie looking to make it big.

Today you’ll be the wily vet with just a little something left.

Today you’ll look for the AM dial on your radio.

Today mom’s watching.

Today dad’s in the backyard with his glove.

Today will be hopeful.

Today it’ll still be a kids’ game.

Today you’ll be a kid.

Today is Opening Day!


Tomorrow is Opening Day!

We made it!

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Visiting Cooperstown

I spent much of the last week visiting an old friend who now lives in New York state.  Though I was only there for a few days, we managed to cram a lot into our limited time together.  We spent a full day in Manhattan — my first time ever in New York City.  Another day, we went on a five-mile hike up a mountain in the Hudson River Valley.  I also insisted, so long as I was making the trip halfway across the country, that we had to visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The day we reserved for visiting the Hall of Fame came the day after our NYC day, and we didn’t get to bed until about 2:00 a.m. that night before.  Cooperstown is about a three-hour drive from my friend’s home, and as late as we were out the previous night, there was no way we were going to be on the road by 6:00 am to be there in time for the 9:00 open time.  Instead we pulled into town a bit after noon, and we stopped for sandwiches and coffee at a nice little café called Stagecoach Coffee (which I highly recommend, by the way, if you’re ever in Cooperstown).

We finished our lunch and arrived at the Hall of Fame around 1:00, leaving us about four hours to explore before closing time.  There ended up being a couple of exhibits we didn’t get to see (pro tip: don’t go out the night before so you can get there earlier than we did), but we did see most of it, and I took an insane number of pictures in the process.  For sanity’s sake, I’ll just post a few of the highlights here, but if you are somehow just morbidly curious, I’ve created a public album including all my photos here.

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One week!

Get your ballcaps and your jerseys ready.  Opening Day is just a week away!!

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This day in baseball: YES network debut

The Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES) made its debut on March 19, 2002.  As a team-owned network, YES would carry Yankees ball games as well as New Jersey Nets NBA games.

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