Thursday, May 26

Pitching Patience: Red Sox vs. Cubs

I don’t know anything about baseball, but my husband is a Red Sox fan and Saturday’s game against the Cubs was an historic moment. The Red Sox, members of the American League haven’t played the National League, Chicago Cubs since 1918. I tried very hard to pay close attention to all nine innings and I concluded that the sport of baseball could use a few changes.
Cubs Manager Mike Quade asking Carlos Zambrano if he was ok to continue pitching in the sixth inning is exactly like me asking my eight year old if she’s ok to go to a birthday party when she has a fever. Of course, Zambrano said yes and next at bat, Red Sox player Jacoby Ellsbury smashed a fast ball into the right field quickly followed with a hit by Dustin Pedroia. Quade finally removed Zambrano in the bottom of the sixth which was obviously needed two runs before.   
A general word of advice, from fashion to sports, if you have to ask, you already know the answer. To managers everywhere, if it’s the second time you find yourself running out to the mound, you already know what the pitcher is going to say. Unless of course you are working on a new secret strategy to fake out the batter or more likely you are just trying to waste time and giving the pitcher a rest.
The on field, time wasting, dilly dallying is a problem unto itself. In the eighth inning, no one was impressed or fooled (even me) when Red Sox pitcher Matt Albers tried to pick off the runner on first base with his first throw against Cubs batter Carlos Ramirez. On his seventh and tenth pitch to Ramirez, he tried to pick off runners again faking a throw to third and first. On his twelfth pitch, Albers walked Ramirez and I made some coffee. It took exactly 7 minutes and 20.5 seconds to complete Ramirez’s at bat. Pitch the ball to the batter and let’s get the game moving. That was just a lot of messing around and by the way, it was bed time for a lot of us. There was an amusing play in the eighth inning that included Soriano, Varitek, Youkilis and countless other Red Sox players that resembled the general melee at my son’s T-ball games. I missed most of it though, because I was trying to find some Kahlua for my coffee.
For goodness sake, someone call out the white elephant in the room. The game is just too darn slow. I do my best to watch the game with my husband, but it’s a lot of shuffling around with bursts of activity in between. There are moments of excitement, but potential suspense is slowly deflated as the players wander into position and everyone from the catcher to the manager takes a turn chatting on the field. By the time something interesting has happened I’ve lost interest and left the room.
There’s an obvious fix. A rule needs to be instituted that requires the pitcher to finish chatting and the batter to complete all rituals within a total of 3 1/2 minutes or they’re both off the field. Worst case scenario, that’s 30 seconds for each of the four balls and three strikes. Imagine a game of nine long innings. If all nine batters hit in all nine innings the game would last 31 ½ minutes making the whole game a whopping 283 ½ minutes. That’s 4 hours, 7 minutes and 25 seconds. No sport should require this much math. I had to use a calculator. Can you blame me for losing interest? 
I haven’t gone into the details of how the 3 ½ minutes is divided between the pitcher and the batter, someone who understands the sport should do that. If that idea flops then how about a time limit between pitches? It wouldn’t hurt the sport of baseball to make this small gesture to fans and especially moms, new to the game. Consider it a reward for shuttling children to baseball practice and patiently trying to sit through a game that lasts 4 hours, 7 minutes and 25 seconds.

Sunday, May 15

Top Reasons to Read This

I am now communicating exclusively in bulleted lists.  Apparently the American public can only read short articles that begin with 'Top 5 Best..' or 'Three Leading..' or 'Ten Cheapest..'

Top Three Reasons Americans only Read Top Bullet List Articles
1) These days writers are putting too many words in one sentence.  People just don't have the time to read and absorb all of those words at one time.
2) Long sentences strain the synapses
3)Any other reasons I come up with here are going to be disparaging to 1) the general public, 2) the media and 3) the current status of the American education system

Top 5 Articles Worth Reading Today

1) Sony Playstation3 is going back online after network security was breached in April with users personal information, including their credit card information compromised by hackers.  I'm pretty sure the mastermind behind this plan was a mom who was sick of telling little Timmy to stop playing playstation and do his homework - or - it was Timmy's nemesis; Jimmy who always lost to Timmy at Hulu and Vudu.  As final revenge, Jimmy spent months holed up in his room, Mark Zuckerberg style and then attacked Sony, bringing his nemesis Timmy down forever.  More importantly, we need to find the hackers and give them a job!  Jimmy or Timmy's mom could be assisting the United States efforts to shut down cyberspace terrorist attacks.

2)  6. 9", 245 lb. Charles Oakley, NBA star and Michael Jordan's bodyguard has sued a Vegas resort alleging that he was beaten and badly/permanently injured by a gang style beating by resort security.  I wasn't even there and I can tell you this is an open and shut case.  It isn't possible to cause bodily harm to a 6.9" 245 pound oak tree without help from a friend.  I'm sure it was obvious when the oak tree showed up in the emergency room with severe injuries that it took a team, much like a basketball team to cause the injuries.  What nimrod would participate in the Charles Oakley gang-style beat down?  Just a reminder to the nimrods; Charles Oakley has his own team - think the entire NBA - starting with his most recent employer, Michael Jordan - all of whom are over 6 feet tall and 200 lbs. and all of them have a brother that are looking for team nimrod the next time they visit Vegas.

3) May 14th is Garden naked day.  You are supposed to go in your garden and pull weeds or whatever you do in your garden in the buff.  Someone wrote a book about this and now it is a national day.  Seriously if this guy could get a book published and get this kind of press can you explain to me why I can't find an agent?

Bulls Forward & Oak Tree, Charles Oakley

(It would take more than one person to injure that guy <-  and at least ten nimrods.)