Man Overboard

Calling All Pitchers and Catchers

In early February, from somewhere deep in Florida, near the principal’s office, a call comes out over the PA system: “Pitchers and catchers please report as soon as possible!” And from all over the land, they drop what they’re doing and head to the Sunshine State, the only people under 50 to arrive in large numbers without their grandparents first complaining that they don’t visit enough. The long baseball season has begun.

I see this annual event as a more significant weather harbinger than Groundhog Day. When I hear that pitchers and catchers have reported for spring training, I feel that warm weather is truly on its way. I start to picture myself lying in the sun on the beautiful black beaches of Santorini. I’m not sure why I was lying, I should have simply told the truth. By the way, have you ever been on the beautiful black beaches of Santorini? The Aegean Sea looks so inviting that you kick off your sandals and stroll toward the gently lapping waves. Then you smell something burning and you realize it’s your feet. The black volcanic stones have absorbed most of the sun’s heat. With no fire extinguisher handy, you sprint the remaining 15 yards in three steps and steam billows out of the water. As a team-building exercise, this coal-walking was a failure, since the rest of my team was laughing at me from the beach chair.

The second day of spring, training the Northeast gets 3 feet of snow and I’m jolted back into the reality of six more weeks of winter. The weatherman was kind enough to say that the snow blanketed the area, which made it seem a little cozier and preserved my little fantasy.

Sign Up for E-News

This year, as in every other year, they are trying to speed up the game to make it more palatable for younger viewers who only go to a baseball game so they can Snapchat themselves at a baseball game. Since the most interesting thing for them is the Snapchatting part, if they really wanted to be honest with themselves, they would Snapchat themselves Snapchatting and make all their friends jealous.

To make the game go faster, starting last year, you only had to tell the umpire that you were intentionally walking somebody and POOF, they were on first base. If they want to save even more time, they can institute a rule proclaiming that any Yankee batter with a 3-and-0 count is automatically out. It happens every time: The pitcher throws three straight balls and I get all excited that something is going to happen. Then the manager calls a “take” on the next pitch, which is an automatic strike. The 3-1 pitch is fouled off, and the next pitch is a called strike three. I’ve already predicted the whole sequence to my wife, who looks amazed, not at my prognostication skills, but that she’s still married to me.

You can put a backwards “K” on your scoresheet for the strikeout. If you’re scoring at home, congratulations, especially at your age. You used to get a scorecard when you bought a program, if they even still have programs. Your dad would teach you how to write in the outcome of each at-bat for each player. Thus, you were able to miss the entire game while your dad ate most of the Cracker Jacks.

If you have a calculator and you don’t feel like actually watching the game, you can crunch the numbers and figure out whether your players are any good or not. RBIs, ERA? No one cares about them any more. What is his OPS? That’s his on-base percentage plus slugging average. What is his RISP? Runners In Scoring Position. These don’t seem like “vital statistics.” I can take them or leave them. Kate Upton has vital statistics. Baseball players just have a bunch of numbers that only add up to something meaningful a third of the time, and that’s if he’s a Hall of Famer. Someone asked me whether I had seen Sonny Gray’s WHIP. I said I hadn’t seen it but he may have left it in the dungeon. Actually, it’s none of my business.

Please join Rick and the No Options band St. Patrick’s night, Saturday, 03-17-18, at Lucy’s Lounge, 446 Bedford Road in Pleasantville.

Say hello at: rlife8@hotmail.com

 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Somers

Momma's birds fled the nest

This year I was late in setting up my deck. Call it procrastination, muggy weather or whatever excuse, I finally got to it last week. With help from son, George, we set up the outdoor dining table and chairs; he methodically placed the flower boxes on the railing: “they have to be evenly spaced!”

We did have a concern: what about the nest the sweet little birds had built under the ...

Be-bop near the train stop

Last Friday was such a nice day we decided to head down to Tarrytown and take in some jazz in Pierson Park for the Friday Evening Concert Series. If you’re in the mood for it, a little jazz can be just the thing. Much of it is instrumental, so you don’t even have to sing along. Every time I see a rock band these days, they start the song, get to the chorus and then stick the mic out ...

Semantic revision of history

The latest fiasco I’ve read about is the renaming of the “Laura Ingalls Wilder Award” to the “Children’s Literature Legacy Award.” Why? Because the renowned author of Little House On The Prairie portrayed Native Americans (American Indians) in stereotypical language.

I must inject a personal experience here. A great friend of mine many years ago was Red ...

You’ll Get a Kick out of Musical Classic ‘Anything Goes’

I’ve loved Broadway musicals since I was smaller than a piano bench. That’s one reason I enjoy writing about local productions in this space. The more people who go to musicals, the happier it makes me.

I didn’t realize how old-fashioned about musicals I could be, though, until my wife Elyse and I at long last saw “Wicked.” It only took us 15 years to get there.

The Adventures of Superdog

I was always very impressed that my dog could bark on command and come when I called his name, until I read in the newspaper about a dog that saved his owner’s life by calling 9-1-1. Apparently, when his owner had a seizure, the dog pushed a speed-dial button for 9-1-1, barked into the receiver for help, and then opened the door when the responders arrived.

Honestly, though, it’s ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ac458cf35e59e7e799ad_postcard_bocceside

Tue, July 24, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights

BOCCE OPEN PLAY

Sports

Sat, July 28, 6:30 PM

Weil Preserve, North Salem

Jazz in the Meadow with Bill Evans

Arts & Entertainment Other

Carousel_image_ac458cf35e59e7e799ad_postcard_bocceside

Tue, July 31, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights

BOCCE OPEN PLAY

Sports