The 2018 World Series begins

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The World Series begins tonight!  I think this will be an interesting one, featuring two old, old franchises currently located at opposite ends of the country.  There’s going to be a lot of flying going on during this Series.

It could be an interesting Halloween night in Boston if this thing goes to Game Seven.

Full World Series schedule

Game Date Day TV Time Location
Game 1 Oct. 23 Tuesday Fox 8:09 p.m. Boston
Game 2 Oct. 24 Wednesday Fox 8:09 p.m. Boston
Game 3 Oct. 26 Friday Fox 8:09 p.m. LA
Game 4 Oct. 27 Saturday Fox 8:09 p.m. LA
Game 5* Oct. 28 Sunday Fox 8:15 p.m. LA
Game 6* Oct. 30 Tuesday Fox 8:09 p.m. Boston
Game 7* Oct. 31 Wednesday Fox 8:09 p.m. Boston

*If necessary.


“Sandlot World Series,” by Daniel Turner

This poem was published in 2017 through Poetry Soup.  I love how this piece captures the fun details of playing sandlot baseball.  Leave it to the parents to force the game to end in a tie.

*

Some walked, others biked
As we gathered at the park
There was Jimmy, Peewee
Ricky, Billy and Mark
Neighborhood boys
From blocks around, they’d descend
For the Sandlot World Series
It was friend against friend

There were seven to a side
The bat was tossed to Bob
It was fist top of fist
’til a thumb crossed the knob
Back and forth went the score
Our pride made us care
The other team would storm back
And the tempers would flare

I was Mickey Mantle
Stuck out in right field
With a gun for an arm
Two bare feet for wheels
In inning number seven
And getting quite late
The tying run once again
Strode across the plate

After Tommy struck out
It was our turn to bat
We were cheering and yelling
Shaking our rally hats
Peewee lined a single
He was always big trouble
Then Steve, my brother
Lucked out with a double

It was second and third
With nobody out
When I stepped to the plate
Jimmy’s mom gave a shout
Then I heard my dad
Holler,”Time to eat”
The game ended in a tie
As none wanted to get beat.

In nineteen sixty six
On a hot August day
There were fourteen friends
Who gathered to play
Not the first nor the last
That ended a little teary
As supper time brought a tie
To the Sandlot World Series


Trick plays in baseball

Here’s a nice collection of trick plays to bring a smile to your face.  Some of these plays are downright genius in their conception and flawless in their execution.  Most took place at the major league level, but there are a handful of college ones in there, too.


Socializing versus baseball

Every now and then, I’ll go out and do things with other people, whether it be for a work function or just hanging out with friends or colleagues in general.  Certainly this partaking in social rituals is a normal part of being a member of society and the human race, although, introvert that I am, I often do so begrudgingly and with a sense of discomfort and dread.

I went out for dinner on Friday evening with some folks from work, though I was actually looking forward to this particular outing.  It had been a high stress week on the job, so the thought of some good food and a cocktail out with some company struck me as appealing.

The catch to this, I realize in retrospect, is that I am not the kind of person who can go out with just anybody solely for the sake of going out with somebody.  Granted, this is not a brand new epiphany that has only occurred to me in the last couple days — when it comes to dating, for example, I won’t just go out with anyone who happens to be available.  There has to be some level of interest already established, and my date certainly won’t be reaching any metaphorical bases until I deem an appropriate level of worthiness.  In non-dating scenarios, ironically, it becomes a bit more complicated.  Agreeing to go out for a casual not-date drink with a colleague or acquaintance does not generally come with the implication that someone might be looking for more.  It’s just about “hanging out” or “blowing off steam” or whatever-you-want-to-call-it.

The reason I find this more difficult is because it makes it harder to say no.  Saying no to a proposed date is socially acceptable.  If you don’t meet my standards, then I won’t date you, period.  Most people respect that equation.  Simply hanging out, however, comes with a more lax set of expectations.  It is a societal norm to hang out with folks even when we aren’t all that close to them.  We meet old acquaintances for lunch or we go out with co-workers during happy hour, even though we may not even like them.  If you say no to these invitations, you are dubbed “antisocial” or “unfriendly” or, most confusing of all, “stuck up.”

All that said, I agreed to this outing on Friday evening primarily due to the appeal of potentially letting go of the tensions brought about by the workweek.  I should have known better than to go out with a couple of co-workers in the attempt to accomplish this.  I wish I could say there was a high point to the conversation that commenced, but there really wasn’t.  I’ll own up to the fact that I didn’t do much to help matters: I made no effort to try to redirect the conversation, merely eating my food and sipping on my whiskey and Coke in relative silence.  As a quiet individual, I find that trying to steer a conversation being dominated by two or more other, louder people often feels like more effort than it’s worth.

Fortunately for me, we had decided on meeting at a local sports bar, which meant that Game Two of the NLDS was playing soundlessly on all the televisions in the establishment.  So while the conversation devolved from the exasperations of online dating to an all-out gossip/bitchfest about work (that topic I was hoping so much to avoid), I frequently glanced over to see how the Rockies and the Brewers were doing.  I confess that I had largely stopped watching the Royals as their 58-104 season dragged on — even as things started to pick up for them in September, I couldn’t bring myself to watch.  But no matter how distant my relationship with the game might seem at times, baseball always holds a greater appeal for me than listening to negativity from other humans.

I have family members living in Wisconsin.  Combine that with the opportunity to watch former Royals Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas, I defaulted to rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers.  I was pleased to see that they were up 1-0, and the score remained that way until our dinner outing (thankfully) ended.  It made me smile a little to see that they did go on to win the game, and it was good to see both Cain and Moustakas at the plate again.  I miss having them in Kansas City, but I can’t help but be happy for them and their opportunity to play some more October baseball.  I hope the Brewers continue to do well.

All this, I guess, is just a long way of me saying that I like baseball infinitely better than I like most people, even though baseball obviously wouldn’t exist without people.  I meant to write a lot more about baseball itself here, which clearly did not happen, but at least I can still say that the “moral” of this post is that baseball continues to provide a nice escape whenever our lives throw us into these somewhat uncomfortable situations, no matter how distant we might feel from the game.


Mean runs per game through the history of baseball

I posted another graphic several weeks ago that included the same information that can be found in this one.  I do think that this chart is easier to read than the last one, however, which is what makes it worth the added share.  I think this one better depicts things like the dip in runs scored through the Dead Ball era and the relative leveling-off of run production in more recent years.

I’m not sure of the author of this chart, other than it is posted somewhere on a statistical software site, JMP.com.  Click on the image below to link to a larger version.

Mean-Runs-Per-Game-Through-the-History-of-Baseball


Last play from every World Series 1980-2016

In honor of postseason baseball, here is a video compilation showing the last play of every World Series from 1980 until the making of the video in 2016.  Many of these ended with some pretty routine plays, but there are also some peppered in there that ended in rather exciting fashion.

It’s also amazing to think that in my lifetime, we have seen the two biggest World Series curses in baseball get broken.


Post-season baseball begins

From CBS Sports, here is the 2018 MLB post-season bracket:

2018-mlb-playoff-bracket.jpg

 

Wild card games are slotted to take place as follows:

DATE TIME MATCHUP TV SCORE/RECAP
Tue., Oct. 2 8 p.m. ET NL: L.A. Dodgers/Colorado loser at Chi. Cubs/Milwaukee loser ESPN
Wed., Oct. 3 8 p.m. ET AL: Oakland at N.Y. Yankees TBS

 

Hello, October!