Baseball Begins!

All the teams are in first place. All the pitchers have a 0.00 ERA. My cellphone ringtone is the ESPN baseball theme music!

All the teams are in first place. All the pitchers have a 0.00 ERA. My cellphone ringtone is the ESPN baseball theme music!

Let the games begin. Baseball season begins tonight with the Yankees versus the Red Sox.

Baseball season used to begin in Cincinnati with the Reds playing a weekday game in the sunshine. Fat chance now. TV rules.

The Reds are in the Great Flyover. Yanks-Sox are big city draws and will play in primetime. The rest of you purists be damned.

“You know,” I said to Helaine. “At some time the Phils won’t make the playoffs. At some point they won’t get to the World Series.”

I got the type of scowl only a wife can give to her husband. I dropped the subject. Our marriage needs to be preserved.

One day last week Helaine sent me three emails in rapid succession. One Phillies pitcher was getting cortisone shots while another would start the season on the DL. I can’t remember what the third email was about, but it’s possible another pitcher had tied himself to the SEPTA tracks outside Suburban Station. Helaine implied the team would have to look for pitchers in the stands before each game.

Fans–bring your glove and spikes.

Once again I gave Helaine the package for her computer as a birthday gift. What a husband. I bought the companion app for my iPhone. It’s possible we can watch games on both simultaneously. The terms of service aren’t clear.

Oh, who am I kidding? Bank error in your favor only happens in Monopoly!

Stef, who returns to SoCal tomorrow has promised to watch tonight’s game with us. She wasn’t forced. She wants to watch. She is surely Helaine’s child!

Go Phils.

Why I Love My Wife

The isn’t preseason baseball. It’s pre-preseason baseball! No one’s playing with a jersey number lower than 85.

I got an instant message earlier this evening. It was Helaine. The message was just a link, nothing more. I clicked and saw:

3/3/2010 Baseball at Philadelphia Phillies 7:00 PM Listen

It was the Florida State Seminoles site. They played the Phils tonight. Helaine was looking to listen.
The isn’t preseason baseball. It’s pre-preseason baseball! No one’s playing with a jersey number lower than 85.

And you wonder why I love her so?

I used this as an excuse to buy the yearly Major League Baseball video package. We get it every year and it is well used!

major league baseball blackout map.jpgIt’s a great idea, but talk about a purchase limited by small print! If anyone’s game is nationally telecast the Phillies game is blacked out. If the Phils are playing in New York or Boston the game is blacked out (though we do get those games on cable).

There has been some kvetching recently from folks who are blacked out though they’re hundreds of miles from the nearest team and on-air or cable telecasts aren’t available. That’s just wrong.

I scrolled down the MLB.TV page looking for dirty tricks. Sure enough well below ‘the fold’ there was a pre-checked space expressing my desire to automatically renew next March 1. I unchecked it, as I had last year. Persistent bastards, aren’t they?

I love baseball. It means spring is right around the corner.

When Do Pitchers And Catchers Report?

The Yankees outplayed them and deserved to win. They are the best team money can buy–but all teams are bought to a certain extent.

Baseball is finished for 2009. Even though the Phillies went farther than all the teams but one, it’s still a disappointment.

Is losing when your’re so close more heartbreaking than being, for instance, a Washington Nationals fan? God, I hope I don’t get to know.

In the end the Phils pitching fell apart. That’s every team’s weakest link.

The Yankees outplayed them and deserved to win. They are the best team money can buy–but all teams are bought to a certain extent.

Two years ago one of this blog’s commenters posted Bart Giammatti’s quote that goes to the very root of rooting:

“Baseball is a game inherently designed to break your heart.”

This morning we are heartbroken. We are sad. We are disappointed.

In late February the cycle begins anew. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Guys with uniform numbers in the 80s and 90s have a chance. Everyone’s tied for first.

Maybe that’s why we look forward to spring?

It’s All Roxie’s Doing!

It wasn’t all a bed of kibbles. The Phils had some rough patches along the way, but Roxie held tough and the team responded.

phillies fan roxie.jpgWho was the Phillies most valuable addition this season? I believe a case can be maded for a sweet and spunky mini dachshund!

Roxie came home with us July 3. The Phils began that day having lost seven of their last ten games. Tied for first, they were 40-36 with a .513 win percentage. They were in the midst of losing their mojo.

By July 17th here’s what I was writing:

Since her arrival the Phillies have gone 10-1. They’ve even begun to win at home, the low hanging fruit of baseball which had evaded them until Roxie’s arrival.

“Chance,” you might say. “Luck, it’s all just luck.”

I asked Roxie. She totally takes credit… and asked for some Citizens Bank Park crab fries.

Case closed.

It wasn’t all a bed of kibbles. The Phils had some rough patches along the way, but Roxie held tough and the team responded. They ended the season 93-69 for a .574 winning percentage.

Let’s do the math:

pre-Roxie    40 wins   36 losses

post-Roxie   53 wins   33 losses

Post-Roxie the Phils had a .616 winning percentage! They played ten more games and managed to lose three less!

When it comes to the dogged determination necessary to reach your goal what you need is a dog. They are truly man’s best friend–just not Manny’s!

Harry Kalas

His voice was deep and multi-tonal with the syrup of a southern accent, though he was from Naperville, Illinois. He did not have the precise pronunciation classically associated with the big v/o talent. He had excitement. His call was always in-the-game.

Harry_kalas_with_whitey_1980.JPGI am obsessed with voices. It’s an insecurity thing. When I was in radio the tone of my voice was often called into question. My station in Philadelphia considered electronically lowering the pitch when I moved to mornings so I’d sound like an adult.

I follow voices. I listen to commercials and promos and know who I am listening to. Oh–Randy Thomas, or Will Lyman, or Hal Douglas, or Rick Allison. I recognize their work.

We lost one of those voices yesterday when Harry Kalas collapsed in the Washington National’s press box and later died. Kalas was the voice of Notre Dame football, NFL Films, Campbell’s Chunky Soup and most importantly, the Phillies. He’d been called the games nearly 40 years.

His voice was deep and multi-tonal with the syrup of a southern accent, though he was from Naperville, Illinois. He did not have the precise pronunciation classically associated with the big v/o talent. He had excitement. His call was always in-the-game.

Baseball play-by-play must be a great job. Those who do it often do it long past the point others have retired. Kalas was 73.

I used to enjoy listening to the Phillies games as Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn would chat-it-up. Often the Phil’s had less than a stellar team, but the conversations (sometimes only peripherally attached to baseball) that surounded the balls-and-strikes made it interesting and kept me involved.

Every baseball broadcaster seems to have a signature call. For Kalas it was, “Swing…and a long drive, watch this baby, outta here! Home run .” I wish I could have written those words as spoken. When Kalas said them they were a brightly lit, oversize exclamation point.

Harry Kalas will be missed. I don’t like change.

World Series Game Three With Helaine

As you can imagine, tonight is pretty special. The Phils are in the World Series and Helaine is hanging on every pitch.


Sebastian knew there are certain things in life that are indescribable–you talk about them anyway. Such is Helaine’s love of sports. She will watch any NFL game and most baseball games. She roots Philadelphia exclusively and the Eagles and Phillies religiously.

She understands the minutiae that goes on–the game within the game. I’m not sure any other friend has ever had her deep grasp. She’s always ahead of the announcers on strategy–always.

As you can imagine, tonight is pretty special. The Phils are in the World Series and Helaine is hanging on every pitch. It is very intense.

Being with her on a night like tonight is a lot of fun. Her love of sports is one of her most endearing qualities.

The Perfect Sunday

Her perfect Sunday is spent wearing pajamas, sitting on the sofa watching the NFL.

“Fine.” That was Helaine’s answer when asked if her sports expectations were answered today. The Phillies won big. The Eagles won bigger.

Helaine has said, and I have often repeated, her perfect Sunday is spent wearing pajamas, sitting on the sofa watching the NFL. Wish granted. She was down here when I came downstairs and has remained on the sofa “with limited commercial interruptions&#135” ever since.

Because of yesterday’s inclement weather the Phils play a second game against the Mets tonight. Remember when baseball used to have single admission Sunday doubleheaders? I do too. MLB seems to have forgotten. They make the schedules.

If the Phils win tonight they will be tied with the Mets–again. Helaine will sleep like a baby.

&#135–Helaine reminds me she did two loads of laundry and made dinner while the games were on. I stand corrected, in clean clothes, well fed.

Vin Scully On My PC

There’s no way you could listen to him and guess his age. He hasn’t missed on a play.

vin-scully.gifThe Phillies are playing the Dodgers in Los Angeles. is providing the home team video tonight which I’m watching. Though I miss the ‘homer’ calls of the Phil’s announcers, I’m getting the opportunity to listen to Vin Scully. That’s a rare treat.

Scully, who will be 81 this fall, started with the Dodgers in 1950–the year I was born. He’s still got it. There’s no way you could listen to him and guess his age. He hasn’t missed on a play. He even managed to use the word “behoove” seamlessly in his on-air monologue. Nowadays Scully works alone.

I’m not totally surprised he has stayed with play-by-play so long. Judging by the longevity of other baseball announcers it must be a very enjoyable job. Of course, like the players he covers, he needs to stay healthy. That’s got to be tougher at 80.

The Dodgers just won. Even Vin Scully can’t make that less painful.

Blogger’s note: Jon Miller (ESPN, SF Giants) does an amazing impression of Vin Scully doing play-by-play in Japanese. I can’t find it here on the net. If you’ve got a copy, please let me know.

Baseball That Doesn’t Sound Right

I’m not sure what it is the Atlanta broadcasters have done, but every time the ball hits the bat, it sounds like a home run.

Helaine and I are watching the Phillies-Braves game on the computer. If we had our druthers, we’d be watching the Phillies play-by-play team. Major League Baseball doesn’t give you that option. We’ve got the “Peachtree TV” Atlanta oriented broadcast instead, as we had last night.

Baseball isn’t always action packed, so I’m doing other things on the computer, and bringing up the baseball window when warranted. The sound stays on 100%.

I’m not sure what it is the Atlanta broadcasters have done, but every time the ball hits the bat, it sounds like a home run. Crack!. Pop fly, grounder to second, line drive… It makes no difference. Crack!.

It is disconcerting, to say the least. Does the baseball experience really need to be hyped this way?

Speaking of sound. For the first time, play-by-play announcer Skip Caray sounds really old. There’s a weakness and quiver in his voice. I wonder if he’s not well?

Freezecam Debuts

We’re watching ‘the’ game on TV – New England vs. Indianapolis on CBS. So far, this battle of undefeated teams, both led by charismatic quarterbacks, is everything promised.

Not a sports fan? Don’t stop reading up yet.

CBS added a new feature to today’s coverage – FreezeCam. Remember when two words actually had a space between them?

I’ve tried to find as much info as I could, but there’s really not much available.

FreezeCam manipulates a high resolution, wide angle image of the field. There are enough pixels to allow zooming into small areas without the image getting ratty. It looks spectacular, though it’s probably not as amazing as it seems. Even in high definition, a television screen has significantly less resolution than a cheap digital camera.

Still, this is a major breakthrough, allowing a view of quick events happening away from the action where a camera would not normally be looking.

FreezeCam comes from Sportvision, the company responsible for many of the best sports video innovations. They provide the virtual 1st down line in football games, car tracking in NASCAR and pitc trajectory in Major League Baseball games.

I think they also provide the technology for the virtual ads behind home plate you see during baseball games. I’m considering giving them a pass on that, all things considered.

These are my type of geeks!

I’ve only seen Freezecam used a few times so far, to isolate a runner’s feet in possible out-of-bounds plays. Very impressive. It’s a gadget with a real purpose and value.

In a few years, we’ll probably be as blas

Waiting Up For Me

Usually, when I come home from work, Helaine is already asleep. I understand her plight. Light sleeping Helaine needs to get some quality pillow time before “Snoring Geoff” comes to bed.

Last night, as I pulled in front of our house, I noticed a light on in the family room. She was awake, and I knew why.

Sitting on the sofa, Helaine had her laptop running with the Phillies game on. As is often her custom in a close game, the sound was down.

Just in case you’re not a baseball fan, let me get you caught up. The Phils began the season by losing nearly a month’s worth of games. As spring progressed, it was easy to see the Phils weren’t going to have a good year.

As poorly as the Phillies played, the Mets were their opposite. They were steamrolling through the regular season and by the first days of summer, post season play seemed inevitable.

And then it changed!

I’m not sure how, but the Phillies have clawed their way back. It’s obviously been done with smoke and mirrors, because they don’t have any relief pitching. I say that and I’m a fan!

So, as we stand now, the Phillies are tantalizingly close to catching the Mets, but the season is dwindling. That’s why last night’s game against St. Louis was keeping Helaine up.

The Phillies went ahead in the top of the 9th only to give up the lead in the bottom of the inning. The 9th became the 10th and then the 11th. With every Cardinal batter we feared… no, we knew, the wheels would come off the cart and the Phillies would lose.

They didn’t.

In the 14th inning and out of position players, the Phillies scored three, held on and won! Jose Mesa, the General Custer of closers, pitched two flawless innings.

Poor Helaine. For her, it was the middle of the night!

Odds are we’ll end the season disappointed. The Phils are still 1&#189 games out of first and 1&#189 games behind the San Diego Padres for the Wild Card. They need to catch up to play on, and with other teams in front, it’s might be out of their control.

Right now, it’s just fun rooting for them. They seem to want to win.

It was also very nice to see my wife when I got home. Thanks Phils.

Yankees Versus Angels – At Yankee Stadium

Last weekend, I took in a Phillies game. It was the first major league baseball game I’d seen in at least fifteen years. Yesterday I took in my second.

I got the call early in the week from my friend Steve. A friend of his, a Yankee season ticket hold, had an extra ticket. Would I like to go?

Later it came out, Steve knew I wasn’t a Yankee fan, but thought of this as a photo safari for me. Good thinking! Our seats were down low in right field, beyond the dugout.

I met Steve at 8:50 and we drove to our rendezvous point where Norm, the ticket holder, picked us up.

The drive to the Bronx was a breeze. We made one stop on the Hutch (see my previous entry) and then headed past Fordham University and the Bronx Zoo to a stop on the #4 train.

This was a great idea. I haven’t been to Yankee Stadium in nearly 50 years, but I’ve heard traffic is horrendous. Taking the train for the last few minutes eliminates the crush of traffic going into and out of the stadium. Anyway, I love the subway and can’t remember the last time I was on this classic elevated line.

Looking down the tracks from the Fordham Road station, all I could think of was a roller coaster. The tracks went downhill, not steadily, but with few little bumps along the way. Finally, they took a dip and disappeared.

Getting off the train put us right next to the stadium. We were too close to have any perspective of its physical size. There are majestic views of Yankee Stadium from the Major Deegan Expressway, but none from our vantage point.

Norm’s daughter joined us here and the four of us walked around the outer edge of the park and into the Stadium Club. The Stadium Club is a very nice restaurant. In a venue where a beer can cost $8.50, the Stadium Club’s prices keep pace! We sat down for brunch.

Norm had celebrated his birthday on Tuesday, like me. Part of what he wanted had to do with Yankees and he had made arrangements to get us down to the edge of the dugout before the game started.

Unfortunately, being that wasn’t quite enough. The players never showed and we retreated up the foul line to our seats.

Let’s talk a little about Yankee Stadium. I have been there before. It was some time in the late 50s or early 60s. My dad had somehow gotten tickets to a football Giants game.

It was a day as cold as I can remember. We sat under an overhang, in the end zone with an unobstructed view. The smell of cigar smoke was thick enough to cut with a knife.

I don’t remember anything about the football game. Nothing.

Sitting in our seats a few minutes before game time gave me a chance to look around. The stadium itself (as opposed to the field of play) was smaller than I expected. Though the paint and fixtures seemed to be in good repair, the stadium looked old and tired.

The field itself was spectacular. We had come early enough to watch the ritual as the lines were carefully painted up the base paths, along with the batter’s and coaches boxes. The infield dirt was gently raked and then lightly sprayed, turning it a beautiful brown.

I’m sorry I’m not a Yankee fan, because this was an amazing win for them. Trailing all game, and looking sad doing it, they rallied in the bottom of the ninth and won as Hideki Matsui lined a double into left field.

A few sections up, a group of Japanese fans celebrated in a way I haven’t seen since I saw my grandparents celebrate at my Bar Mitzvah!

All I could think about was the pitcher, Francisco Rodriguez – aka “K-Rod.” He’s on my fantasy league team. He had just given up two runs, four walks and picked up the loss! Ouch.

I must admit, the vast majority of the game was seen by me through the lens of my camera. I brought the Canon, both lenses and nearly 2 gb of memory. Nothing was wasted.

In fact, it wasn’t until after the game and a chance to thumb through my photos that I realized how awkward and stressful a pitcher’s motion is. This is the kind of thing you just don’t get to appreciate unless the motion is stopped.

Having seen the Phillies last week, I was ready to try some new and improved techniques. My timing on fly balls and swinging bats is better. I also decided to sacrifice ‘noise’ (the digital cameras equivalent of graininess in an old fashioned photo) in order to shoot with a very fast shutter and open aperture.

For most of the game I was capturing images at 1/3200 second. That was enough to freeze every bit of action I saw. Opening the lens a little less increased my depth of field, making it easier to get sharper pictures.

When men were on first, I turned the autofocus off, focused on 2nd base and hoped for a play there. A few times that move paid off. Mostly it didn’t.

My favorite shot came as Juan Rivera of the Angels chased down a home run to right. I caught him as he jumped, hoping to find he ball. He didn’t get it but I did… well, at least I got the shot.

As the game ended, we poured out of the stadium and headed back to the “el.” This strategy of Norm’s worked again. In ten minutes we were in the car and faced no traffic all the way home to Connecticut.

Isn’t this strange? After all these years I get to see baseball games on consecutive weekends. And, there’s the possibility of more. My friend Bob is coming up from Charlotte, North Carolina in a few weeks. We’re not totally set in our plans, but he’d like to see the Red Sox play the Angels at Fenway.

I’m ready.

The Rest of Our Philadelphia Trip

One of the prime reasons for going to Philadelphia was to go the see a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park.

Before we go on, let me say how displeased I am with naming rights to stadiums and arenas. It’s a shame there’s no longer a Veteran’s Stadium in Philadelphia or Oakdale Theater near me in Wallingford, CT. Maybe there is a benefit to me by having Citizens Bank or Chevy (in the case of the Oakdale Theater) kick in some cash… though I don’t see it.

I am tilting at windmills. It’s never going back.

My friend Peter picked us up at the hotel and it didn’t take long to drive to South Philly and the stadium. Citizens Bank Park, Lincoln Financial Field and the Core State Arena (it’s hurting me to write this) are all located on the same tract of land that held the Vet, Franklin Field and the Spectrum (still there, but now with a corporate name preceding the word Spectrum).

I paid the $10 to park and we found a space fairly close to the entrance. Helaine had bought four tickets from a broker – though they were only marked up $4. We walked into the stadium.

Since this was my birthday trip, Helaine had arranged for my name and age to be flashed on the scoreboard with the other 11 year olds. We went and signed in. There was a charge, but I got a very nice Phillies hat.

The ballpark itself is a very nice place. Whereas the Vet was all concrete and steel with no thought of aesthetics, there’s lots of exposed brick and other warm touches now. And, Vet Stadium’s turf – possibly the worst playing surface in all of professional sports, has been replaced by beautiful real grass.

Beyond the outfield is a huge food court – Ashburn’s Alley. That’s where we headed first.

Steffie wanted to have a genuine Philly Cheesesteak, and Geno’s of South Philadelphia fame is represented. This is not ‘old school’ baseball food. It wasn’t soggy. It was hot. It was delicious. We found a place to sit and ate our lunch.

The game was scheduled for 3:15, so we headed down and took our seats. I was surprised that there had been no hassle when I brought my camera and two lenses in. The Phillies web site said it would be OK, but I had a sneaking suspicion there would be scrutiny over any camera with a removable lens.

These were probably the best baseball seats I’d ever had. We were behind the Phillies dugout, in the sun, 25 rows from the field. We were in foul ball territory. We were very close to the action.

The Phils were playing the San Diego Padres… and the Phils had gotten hot! The night before, Chase Utley ended the game with a walk off homer. Is there a more macho act?

For us, the game began slowly. It seemed like Robinson Tejeda, the Phillie starter wasn’t in control. I say ‘seemed’, because when you see the box score, you see a pitcher totally dominating the opposition. It’s funny how those two elements don’t always match up.

I took a lot of pictures at the game. Some might say I took too many pictures. Here’s my favorite, Bobby Abreu ducking out of the way of a Pedro Astascio fastball. Judging by the catcher’s glove, this pitch was traveling where it was aimed.

We stayed until the very last out, anticipated the worst when Real Cormier was called in, but getting a one inning gem instead. Billy Wagner picked up the save.

After a short stop back at the hotel, the four of us (Peter included) went out searching for dinner and the sights. We hit South Street first, but realizing that wasn’t the right spot for dinner, headed to Market Street and the Penn’s Landing area.

Again, we found Italian food. Again, it was very good. But we were very tired.

Our walk back to the hotel was uneventful, but left me uneasy. There were too many places which seemed sinister.

Tonight, I sent an email message to Mayor Street. It’s attached to the link at the bottom of this entry. Whether this kind of message makes any difference or not is beyond me, but I am always willing to write and make my opinions felt.

We finished up our stay Sunday with brunch on the Moshulu.

Since the launching of the Moshulu (pronounced Mo-shoe’-loo) in 1904, she has had a long and exciting career on the seas working the ports of Europe, South America, Australia, America and Africa. She was confiscated by the Americans in one war and by the Germans in the next. She has traveled around Cape Horn 54 times. She has hauled coal and coke, copper ore and nitrate, lumber and grain. In lesser days, she has served as a floating warehouse. In grander days, she won the last great grain race in 1939. Today, the Moshulu is the largest four-masted sailing ship in the world still afloat.

I once heard someone say you should never go out to dinner at a revolving restaurant. I think the same applies to converted sailing ships. The food was OK – nothing special. The ship was OK too… but just OK.

The interior of the ship was larger than I expected. I know that because of the schlep from our table to the buffet!

By 1:30 we were heading home. We headed north on I-95, over the Delaware via the Betsy Ross Bridge (A white elephant when it was built, I hope it’s more useful now), Route 90 to Route 73 to I-295 and then the New Jersey Turnpike.

We waited as long as we could before getting off I-295 and onto the Turnpike. It made no difference. We were stuck in stop-and-go traffic for the better part of an hour before things opened up. The rest of the trip was uneventful.

Oh – there was that sign on the George Washington Bridge that I captured. I’m hoping it’s legal to take photos before you get to the sign, as I did.

So, what have we learned? We were surprised and pleased that Steffie enjoyed the game. Yes, she got a shirt and excellent junk food… but she bought another shirt with her own money and seemed to be interested in the game.

We also enjoyed visiting Philadelphia, the place where we met 25 years ago, as tourists. There are rough edges that need to be smoothed for Philadelphia to become a better tourist destination, but so much is in place right now.

Continue reading “The Rest of Our Philadelphia Trip”

Baseball For Math Geeks

I am in a fantasy baseball league with some others from work. There are ten teams and though I started slowly, The Meat Thermometers, my team is now making a move.

I don’t know anything about baseball.

OK – maybe that’s an oversimplification. I do understand baseball, but I don’t know much about today’s players. Too many teams. Too little time. I can’t get excited when Kansas City plays Seattle.

The reason I like these fantasy leagues is it allows me to break baseball down to stats. I’ve taken that to the extreme.

When I told one of the other managers my team had gone 6 for 10 early last night, and then rattled off how many of the hits were double or homers, he said I was a little obsessed. Though the league is free to play, I spent $9.95 to buy a stat package, allowing me to follow each player pitch-for-pitch in near real time.

In the past Helaine has said this is sports betting and I fought her on that. But, it really does have little to do with the actual games these players are in. I’m rooting for stats and situations and individual achievement – not real team wins and losses.

I don’t know anything about my players that isn’t necessary. I avoid talking with the other fantasy managers about specifics, lest I show that I don’t know first names or past history or how any of my guys fits into their reality baseball team’s framework.

I have learned how often players sit out, for no apparent reason (to me at least) and how fluky injuries are.

May 26 Durham missed Sunday’s game against the A’s with a sprained middle finger on his left hand, but returned to the Giants’ lineup for Tuesday’s action. However, he was back on the bench on Wednesday, this time due to an ingrown nail on his right big toe. The veteran second baseman, who currently claims a 13-game hitting streak, has been listed as day-to-day.

Advice: Durham will be a game-time decision on Thursday. If he cannot go, Brian Dallimore likely will get the nod in his absence. During his current streak, Durham is batting .396 with eight doubles, two RBI and eight runs scored.

Ingrown toenail injury! I hope he doesn’t get put on the 15 day DL.

Everyday it’s a grid of numbers. How hot are they? How many singles, doubles, triples, homers? Does he have speed? Can he steal? I weigh all the factors. But, I have no idea who is leading the AL West, nor do I care.

This is sports for those who can’t play. It is perfectly suited for me. Go Meat Thermometers.

Online Poker Tournament

A few weeks ago I felt I could do no wrong playing poker. Now I feel I can do no right!

Poker is amazingly fickle. Skill controls some, luck controls more. And, like a baseball player in a slump, it’s possible to slip into bad habits.

With my recent run of bad luck and skill, I thought I’d write tonight while I’m playing in a tournament. There is a rule of thumb for me: The earlier I have to be up in the morning, the later I am held in the tournament. In this case the tournament has been going a little over four hours.

My investment was small, only $9. Originally there were 666 players. Now we’re down to 44. Of those, 31 will be paid $215 and the 32nd will get $70.

Numbers 33 through 44 will get nothing. At the moment I am 33rd.

In fact, as I am typing, I have just pushed all my chips to the center with an Ace/King.

Everyone folded. Now I’m 28th.

If I end up in the top-31, I will feel good and write about it later. If I’m out before then, I will curse loudly.

Back to 32nd of 42. I hate this part.

Now 36th of 41. It’s only $9. Why am I sweating?