Free Baseball!

I love that broadcasters call extra innings in a game “Free Baseball”. 

No one calls it “Free Basketball” or “Free Football”.  (Do they?)

Basketball has “overtime”, which is probably the dullest thing they could have come up with.

Football has its “sudden death”, which is appropriately violent, and, given the frightening increase in head injuries and permanent debilitating damage the game does to many players, is probably a fair-enough description.

But, “free baseball” is a gift.  You’ve sat through two … maybe three hours already … and still, the baseball gods shower you with more. Ten innings, 11, 12 … in the case of the Baltimore Orioles, don’t be surprised if you get to 18 innings before it’s all done (and the right fielder ends up pitching).

That the Orioles have a crazy major league record in consecutive wins in extra-inning games (16 in a row at last count, the most consecutive wins by a team in extras since 1949) makes it a bit sweeter, I know.

But still.  “Free Baseball.”  Yay!

My last blog post was way too long. Consider the last 200 words “Free Blog”. Even though the whole thing was free, the last 200 words was even more free … a little bonus gift to those of you who kindly slogged through the first 500 words.

So, I want some “Free Baseball” on this blog, too. So, here are some things floating around on the Internet that are free and perhaps even baseball related.

Just a few bonus innings this time.  Enjoy!

10th Inning ~ Shoeless Joe Jackson, 2012 Edition

Only A Game is a terrific NPR sports show. A few weeks back they did a story on ballplayer Joe Jackson, a many-times great nephew of Shoeless Joe Jackson. Jackson, the Shoeless one, is arguably the greatest ballplayer to ever swing a bat in Chicago. He, sadly, lost his legend when he got mixed up in the 1919 Black Sox scandal. This is one of those quirky, sweet baseball stories, that reminds you how important the rich lore and history of baseball is to the love of the game.  Click here to listen.

11th Inning ~ Charlie Mars

Charlie Mars is a Mississippi singer/songwriter. We saw him in concert last week and he was very, very good. His tie to baseball? Well, I was following the Oriole game on my phone at the show. OK, a tenuous tie at best. But, the Orioles won and I really like Charlie Mars, and his new song is currently free on Amazon. So there you go. Click here for the song.

12th Inning ~ Oakland A’s Do The Bernie Lean

I love teams that truly embrace and encourage their crazy fans. Those are the fans who love their team unconditionally, and will do whatever is necessary to cheer them on. This year, the Oakland A’s celebrate those fans who dance the “Bernie Lean” at games. The Bernie Lean is, if you don’t already know, the zombie-like, arm-flailing dance born from the “Weekend At Bernies” movie from 1989. Bernie was dead in the movie, by the way, which greatly influenced how he got around in the film. Here’s the video from Oakland … it’s crazy, stupid. But, the A’s get in on the joke, and I like that in a team. Click here to watch (Bernie Leaning, optional).

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