In Praise Of “Peculiarly Hypnotic Tedium”

Good news, baseball fans!

All your griping about long and slow baseball games has paid off.

Games are shorter!

Last year the length of the average baseball game dropped – dropped! – to 3 hours and 4 minutes. That’s a savings of 4 minutes per game over 2017.

I hate math, but check out this wizardry …

With a 162-game season, there were 2,430 regular season games scheduled in 2018. At 4 minutes saved per game, that comes out to 9,720 free minutes or – and this is going to blow your mind – 162 hours saved!

Pulitizer-winning novelist Philip Roth once called baseball’s pace “peculiarly hypnotic tedium” and, just to be clear, he meant that in a good way.

I’m sure you put your 4-minute-per-game savings to good use last season.

Maybe you used your free minutes to watch Bongo Cat play Africa

 

The average American shower takes 8 minutes – so you could have had half a shower, which is time enough to soap, but maybe not enough to rinse.

Fun Fact: The 3 hour, 4 minute average baseball game is almost identical to the length of an average NFL football game, but without all the brain-damaging concussions.

(It’s odd that some people who complain about baseball games being too long and slow are the same ones who complain that the off-season – without baseball – is also too long and slow. I watched the Orioles lose 115 games last season. What’s your hurry?) Continue reading

Babe Ruth Gave Up Reading, But I Didn’t

“[R]eading isn’t good for a ball player’s eyes and if my eyes went bad, even a little bit, I couldn’t hit home runs. So I gave up reading.” – Babe Ruth in the St. Louis Star

I never really trusted this old quote of Babe Ruth’s that floats around the internet. But, I snooped around and found it there in an old St. Louis Star.

“Bad Boy No Longer”

In a wide-ranging interview, given during a Yankees batting practice in the spring of 1929, Ruth also clears up the then-and-still prevalent myth that he was an orphan, promises that he no longer “plays the ponies,” notes that the President he admires most is Harding (along with Wilson), but, adds, “Al Smith is my favorite,” and tells his manager Miller Huggins to “go to hell.”

(Harding?)

It’s an interesting interview, but it requires reading, something Ruth was not fond of, but I think that, since you’re here and all, you might be.

I love reading. Continue reading

Season’s Greetings, Nationals Fans! (Finally.)

Dear Washington Nationals Fans,

So, look, I know you may have given up on your Nationals wishing you a Happy Holidays this year, what with their website linking – still … three days after Christmas – to the New York Mets holiday greeting.

oops.

Maybe I was a bit harsh when I kinda-sorta suggested in a recent post that a screw-up like that seemed like a perfect wrap-up of the 2018 Nationals … and so very, very Washington, DC.

But, that was uncalled for. And, I’m sorry if I made you sad.

I’m sure it was just a simple mistake. Let’s blame the interns.

But, I couldn’t stop thinking about you on the holidays – the only fans in baseball that weren’t greeted and thanked for being fans. Even the 115-loss Baltimore Orioles came through to wish me a happy holidays.

(Happy Holidays, Orioles fans. At least we didn’t lose 116!)

Surely, the Nationals couldn’t be that cold. Surely, they didn’t forget you.

They didn’t! Continue reading

Season’s Greetings From [Insert Team Name Here]: 2018 Edition

Many of you will be surrounded this week by family and friends, celebrating the holidays.

I’ve got Editor/Husband here and three cats. The sun is out. It’s pretty low key with the Baseball Bloggess.

I’ve got time on my hands. (And, I haven’t had my breakfast.)

So, as my gift to you, I have binge-watched all 30 Season’s Greeting videos from all 30 major league baseball teams.

I watched them all.  For you.  So you don’t have to.

(And, I’ve got links to every single one.)

Enjoy!

Spoiler Alert: The Dodgers may have lost the World Series, but they definitely won the Holidays. Continue reading

My Favorite Sports-Writing Words Of 2018

The world is on fire.

I mean that figuratively, of course. Or, maybe I don’t. I’m not even sure any more.

I’m just saying there’s just a lot of suck out there.

If only the Baltimore Orioles’ 115-loss season was the worst thing that happened this year. If only.

Can you find the worst team in baseball?

Maybe that’s why sports – and excellent sports writing – is such a joy and refuge when times are tough and the world seems unbearably ugly and mean, because it actually is unbearably ugly and mean.

Sure, you could just binge on cooking shows until spring training. That’s not a bad plan.

But, sometimes it feels good to read something sporty. A little balm for the soul. A little de-suck-ification of life.

When your favorite team wins just a lousy 47 games, poring over box scores doesn’t take much time.

So, here are some of my favorite sports-writing words of 2018. Continue reading

(You know who you are.)

A couple weeks ago, I reached out to let you know about last Saturday’s Open House at my Yoga Studio benefiting the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

I told you about the more than 3,000 animals they cared for this year. Including Cardinals. Blue Jays. Orioles. Cubs. (No Rays. Sorry, Tampa.)

I told you about last month’s destructive ice storm that did massive damage to the animal habitats, pens, and homes at the Center.

Alex the Screech Owl and the Center’s Outreach Director Amanda Nicholson came to the Open House. But, I knew that, because of place and distance, many of you couldn’t.

But, I asked you to donate to help this good cause anyway.

And, you did!

You really did!  My heart nearly burst with happiness when I learned of your generous and wonderful gifts.

Thank you.

But, for those who couldn’t attend, I promised more than just a thank you.

And, I’m keeping my promise. Continue reading

Open House To Benefit The Wildlife Center of Virginia Is Saturday, Dec. 1 In Orange

I’m taking off my Baseball Bloggess cap today to let you know about the damage that the recent ice storm did to the Wildlife Center of Virginia … and how we can help! I’m also delighted to invite you to my annual Wildlife Center Open House which will be at my Yoga Studio in Orange, Virginia next Saturday, December 1. Some of you are nearby enough to swing by — please do! And, for those folks who are a bit too far afield … but would still like to help … keep reading!  Thank you!

On November 15, a destructive ice storm hit Virginia. It did an enormous amount of damage at the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Just one of the many damaged animal enclosures.

Thanks to the quick and selfless actions of the Center staff in the midst of the storm, no animals were injured or escaped … although several had their habitats and homes severely damaged or destroyed. There’s quite a rebuild ahead for the Center, and so our annual Open House & Yoga Class to support the Center couldn’t come at a better time.

The Wildlife Center of Virginia depends on the generosity of individuals like us to support their life-saving work. They have cared for more than 3,000 wild animals this year … and new patients come in every single day. They need our help more than ever today.

Athena the barred owl at last year’s Open House Continue reading

Richmond’s Baseball Kid – “Granny” Hamner

Are you old?

Do you live with, work with, know young people?

Are they pretty sure they know more than you do?

Try this …

When you don’t want to do something, pretend like you’re too old to know how to do it. Look befuddled. “Gosh, this computering is hard. I just don’t get it.”

Young people love to know more than you.

“Here,” the young person will say impatiently, “Give it to me.”

Do not fight them on this. GIVE IT TO THEM.

The young person will then take over and do your work for you.

They will think you are stupid. But, you are very smart. Sit back and relax and let the youngster do your work.

Crazy kids.

Which brings me to the ballplayer kid they called Granny.

Granny Hamner was born Granville Wilbur Hamner in April 1927 in Richmond, Virginia – one of 35 major league players born there. Continue reading

Let’s Wrap This Up. (Plus, My Baseball Experts Were Awesome.)

I’ll be brief. (Brief-ish.)

Baseball Is Shorter Than You Think.

For those who believe that baseball games are too long, I have a gift for you … the postseason was shorter than it could have been.

Each World Series team takes a percentage of the profits from the games they play, which means that following this five-but-coulda-been-seven game Series, the Red Sox and Dodgers are each a little poorer this morning than they could have been had only the Dodgers been a little better and the Red Sox a little weaker.

And, while Game 3 took 18 innings, seven hours and 20 minutes, and was the longest game in World Series history, baseball still ended three days early. (I guess some of you “it’s too long” whiners are happy about that.)

Hooray For “Little Yankee.”

“You people have a little pet name for everybody.”

Whether he played for the Orioles (in stints over five seasons), the Rays, the Blue Jays, or the Red Sox, we always call Steve Pearce “Little Yankee.”

Continue reading

“All Up For The Lucky Seventh”

There are three lessons I hope you will learn from The Baseball Bloggess today:

1) The Seventh Inning Stretch has a special place in baseball history. It’s been around longer than you have. It’s what sets baseball apart from sports that make no demands of its fans.

2) The Seventh Inning Stretch is not a suggestion. It is not an invitation. It is a requirement. It is a job. Your job. All the instruction that you need can be found in its title. During the seventh inning, you stretch. It’s not hard to figure out. It’s not the balk rule, people. It’s simple.

Who – You.

What – Stretch.

Where – Are you here? Then, here.

When – The Seventh Inning.

Even a cat could figure it out.

3) Sitting can kill. Continue reading