Role playing for a self-esteem boost

After all, what are dads for?

If only I could get this to work on the field for my teams.

Family circus baseball.jpg


“Casey @ the Bat Analytics,” by Mitchell Nathanson

This parody of Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s “Casey At the Bat” was published in 2019 by Mitchell Nathanson, author of A People’s History of Baseball.  Not only does it incorporate modern-day metrics like WAR, PitchTrax, and exit velocity, the poem also paints a frighteningly accurate picture of today’s in-stadium crowds.  The piece is very well done, and in spite of shaking my head in recognition, I find that I rather enjoy it.

*

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;
The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney whiffed again, the eighteenth K that night,
A sickly silence fell, for somehow baseball wasn’t right.

A straggling few got up and left, annoyed they even came;
And most who stayed were kind of drunk or wagered on the game.
Yet still to come was Casey, whom the fans had long extolled,
Though at the age of 31 the metrics deemed him old.

But first ahead was Flynn, a player much accursed;
His BABIP was atrocious, and his WAR was even worse.
Another guy came up as well, his name recalled by few;
Confusion sowed by double switches made in hour two.

But Flynn defied the numbers, making contact with the ball;
And sent it on a mighty arc — it caromed off the wall.
—The guy should be on third,— a salty graybeard spat and cursed,
As Flynn removed his batting gloves, a jogger still at first.

The other guy, as well, reached base, a waiver-wire addition;
Dropped by a last place club dumping salary without contrition;
And when the blaring music stopped, fans noticed what occurred,
Instead of crossing o’er the plate, young Flynn just jogged to third.

As Casey stepped into the box, the scoreboard roared “Make Noise!”;
Which the crowd most surely would’ve done, if not for all their toys.
About 5,000 hometown fans were checking in on Twitter;
So most remained oblivious to Casey as the hitter.

Ten thousand eyes were somewhere else as he scratched upon the dirt;
And Velcro-strapped his batting gloves and touched six places on his shirt.
And kissed his bat, then tapped the plate nine times or maybe 10;
Then from the box did Casey step, and start it all again.

The pitcher’s antics on the mound were also quite a show;
Whole seasons seemed to pass before he hinted at a throw.
Yet here it came, the cowhide sphere, arriving at great speed;
‘strike one,— the umpire firmly called. But PitchTrax disagreed.

The fans who watched upon their phones could see it plain: outside;
Unless their phones had zero bars, or batteries had died.
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” the fans all stood and roared;
At least so roared the older ones, the younger ones seemed bored.

Two strikes remained. The oldsters, fretting, began to wring their hands;
While younger fans, in hour four, sped toward concession stands.
Then Casey dug in once again; the second spheroid flew,
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, ‘strike Two.’

“Fraud!” cried the maddened few at all the blue-clad, rulebound fools,
While waving off the heady clouds sent up from nearby Juuls.
Now Casey’s face grew stern and cold, the fans all rose as one;
As midnight neared their hope was clear: just let the game be done.

As Casey runs the metrics, and adjusts his swing for lift;
The fielders check their little cards, and drift into a shift.
And now the pitcher fires a rocket off, despite his ample gut;
And now the air is shattered by great Casey’s uppercut.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sport is as it used to be;
And fans still hang on Casey’s fate, not exit velocity.
But that era’s gone — don’t cry into your $15 beer;
While all the laughing children shout, “Football season’s here!”


Double runs

So long as the 2020 season is already twisted, maybe we can just play ball the Calvin & Hobbes way this year.  Scoring this play would be interesting.  Do you think this counts as two RBIs?  Two hits in one at-bat?

Double runs.jpg

Bill Watterson


Road kill

I’m not sure I 100% agree with these vultures.  Putrid is putrid, no matter the venue.  I will say, though, that while I enjoy hot dogs at home, they do somehow manage to taste even better at the ballpark.

Road Kill comic

Steve Moore


Home run trot

Clearly, this coach needs to re-evaluate their priorities.  You just never know when you might need to break out the home run trot, especially at the Little League level.  It’s best to stay prepared at all times.  Hopefully coach is at least allowing the team to practice the bat flip?  Because nothing teaches sportsmanship like perfecting the art of showing off.

Family Circus home run trot


Moses’s autograph

This is a lot like that Abraham Lincoln quote about not trusting quotes you find on the internet.

Dilbert Moses autograph


Detour

This comic feels a lot like this entire baseball season, doesn’t it?

Baseball Detour comic


Washing the world

It may be Thursday and there might not be baseball right now, but I find myself identifying with this sentiment right now.  It is currently raining in my city, with the forecast showing rain and storms throughout the day, meaning that I’m going to have a hard time squeezing my run in.

Family Circus baseball rain


Quote of the day

I was the greenest rookie that ever was. One evening I was standing out on the sidewalk when a stranger approached and said, ‘You’re famous already kid. See, they’ve named a hotel for you.’ I looked across the street and sure enough, there was a big illuminated sign that read ‘Johnson Hotel.’ Well, do you know that I was so green that I actually believed the man!

~Walter Johnson

800px-Walter_Johnson_1924

Walter Johnson (Library of Congress)


Roman Colosseum

It’s been a minute since I posted a good Peanuts strip.  The pressure Charlie Brown feels on the mound in this one is classic.

baseball_Peanuts