Saturday, July 31, 2010

Games 103 and 104: On White Flags, and Grand Slams, and the 2000th Post, and The End Of Something

In Boston last night, the Red Sox fell behind 6-1, Jon Lester getting roughed up for a pair of homers from new Tiger Jhonny Peralta before storming back, David Ortiz hitting a grand slam that brought Boston up to, but not even with, the Tigers, losing 6-5.

Today, Boston fell behind again, trailing 4-2 in the 9th, Dice K giving up 10 hits and walks over 6 innings. However, this time Ortiz' hit was the winner, a 3 run double giving Boston a 5-4 win.

Off the field, the trading deadline was today, Boston dealing a pair of lower level prospects for throwing impaired catcher and former prospect Jerrod Saltalamacchia, and also sending Ramon Ramirez out of town for a prospect. Boston GM Theo Epstein, delusional as always, still claims the Red Sox are going to be competitive this year. Yeah. The Yankees get Austin Kearns, Lance Berkman, and Kerry Wood, and we get a rusty batting cage? Yeah, we're competitive.


ESPN's Bill Simmons has a pretty good column up about the 2010 Red Sox, and, towards the end, Simmons takes on one of the big problems with baseball at present, the times of the games.

"What a nightmare. I'm the same guy who once created the 150-Minute Rule for all movies, sporting events, concerts, even sex -- if you edge past 150 minutes for anything, you better have a really good reason. The 2010 Boston Red Sox have played one game in four months that ended in less than 150 minutes. 

I'll write that again: The 2010 Boston Red Sox have played one game in four months that ended in less than 150 minutes.
Nearly 60 percent of the Red Sox's games have dragged past three hours. Twenty-four of their games have gone 3:30 or longer (nearly 25 percent). And no, it's not just them: Fifty-eight percent of 2010 Yankees games have extended past three hours. When these two meandering monoliths collide, look out: This year's snoozefests clocked in at 3:46, 3:48, 3:21, 3:01, 3:56, 3:05, 3:47 and 4:09 (a nine-inning game!). Are those baseball games or Boston Marathon times?"

Bill James wrote about the same problem in the Historical Baseball Abstract, years ago, noting that other sports change their rules all the time, in order to force players and teams to quit messing around and just play the game. There are probably a dozen changes baseball could make tomorrow-limit throws to first, no warmups on the mound, pitch clocks and batter clocks- that would take 30 minutes off the game times immediately.

I love baseball-always have. If you can't keep the attention of a fan like me, your sport is doomed.


This is my 2000th post in this space. Nearly 5 of them have been interesting, useful, or in some way helpful to anyone anywhere. In October, it will be 7 years.

In our culture, we love big, fat numbers like that. 2000.

I don't think anyone but me has been here from the very beginning, way back in 2003. Remember that? It was all so simple then. It wasn't, really, but that's what people say. I've talked a lot about politics, and sports, and most of it has just been talking to myself. I don't think it's been much more than a year or two that I've had more than even a couple of readers.

I see what other people do with this form (like her ), and I just want to cry with how worthless and stupid my efforts here seem. There's no art here, just chatter.

But if you're here, I thank you, and hopefully we can make each other a little less crazy.

I'm going to end the 2000th post with some words from one of my idols, the late Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

"Anyway-because we are readers, we don't have to wait for some communications executive to decide what we should think about next-and how we should think about it. We can fill our heads with anything from aardvarks to zucchinis-at any time of night or day.

Even more magically, perhaps, we readers can communicate with each other across space and time so cheaply. Ink and paper are as cheap as sand or water, almost. No board of directors has to convene in order to decide whether we can afford to write down this or that. "

No comments:

Post a Comment

I apologize for making you sign in, but I'm trying to cut down on spam.