· · Baseball
· I was in New York last week, and got to make a call on MLBAM, a really smart customer of AWS, where I work. The first three letters in MLBAM mean baseball, of which I’m a devotee; and also a happy five-year subscribing customer of MLB.tv. So I was feeling sort of multi-level fannish. It was super-fun, and I got a cute picture ... [1 comment]
· I’m talking about the little status-readout thingies that they have up on the TV screen when a ball game is on. Here’s one ... [7 comments]
Good Internet Baseball
· I was in OpenID meetings at Microsoft all day Tuesday, and started driving home to Vancouver at 4PM. This a fairly painful route at that time, but the Blue Jays and White Sox, via MLB on the Nexus 7, reduced the pain considerably ... [4 comments]
· I watched more baseball this season than I have in years (partly due to having gotten into Roku and MLB.tv); now the fun part starts. Let’s have our own fun with predictions and opinions ... [7 comments]
· I’ve written before about our Little League’s opening day, but this is probably the last time; my 12-year-old son is graduating and my daughter shows no interest ...
· I mean our son’s little league, Vancouver’s own Little Mountain Baseball, Canada’s oldest Little League and, with 600+ players up through the age of 12, quite the going concern. The Little Mountain in question is a pretty big hill in the middle of Vancouver whose name constitutes part of my neighborhood’s ... [1 comment]
· At dinner after my son’s first game of the year, I proposed a toast, but I couldn’t help watering it down with a word of caution ... [2 comments]
It’s a Beautiful Day
· Opening Day, I mean. Around here that means Little Mountain Baseball, for boys and girls aged 4 to 12. That first number’s not a misprint; they have this thing called “Blast Ball” for the near-toddlers. The sun was up and the colours were bright ...
· One of those great summer days. Baseball, happy boys, good food, and sunlit flowers, all among friends ... [1 comment]
Vlad and the Mariners
· What with the weather good and the family home, the TV’s been mostly dark; but the other day I was too burnt-out to work, flipped it on and was captured by the Mariners (kind of the local team here) vs. the Angels. So I had to go back the next night, and now I’m watching the Mariners and the Red Sox. And it’s been some remarkably pleasurable baseball ... [1 comment]
· Ah, Tom died. Baseball broadcasts on radio are one of the few preserves of English oral poetry (The right-hander winds, works, deals... inside!) and Tom will go on those poets’ honour roll. Astoundingly, he called 4,306 consecutive games over 27 seasons without missing one. During the Blue Jays’ double-World-Series run in the early Nineties I was a serious enough fan that when I was watching the games on TV, I’d turn off the sound and listen to Tom and Jerry on the radio. Tom’s finest hour, they say, was Joe Carter’s game-six walk-off homer in ’93, but for the real fans, I think the day in ’92 when Alomar blew up Eckersley was a sweeter triumph; I remember the announcers’ visceral cry of joy like it was yesterday. We’ll miss ya.
Royals 8, Giants 1
· We took in the game Tuesday night; here are some notes on the occasion, a nice picture of the ballpark, and a recommendation for an online ticket seller ...
· For any fans who haven’t already, check out the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball offering (no Web site, hmm); it’s really pretty good. The broadcast is high-definition and well-produced too, with the screen chrome unobtrusive, informative, and attractive. The broadcast team—Jon Miller and Joe Morgan—is excellent; Morgan is maybe the best color-commentator currently working, which is a graceful sequel to having been the maybe the best player in the world for a while, thirty years back. Fortunately, the camera only visits the broadcast booth once or twice per game; Jon and Joe have faces made for radio. The “K-Zone” strike zone visualization works surprisingly well, and the between-inning visits with the managers are handled intelligently and have a lower cliché density than you might expect. The between-inning features where a rock band or a politician talks about how much they love baseball don’t do much for me; but ESPN is trying to freshen up a very old medium. Good on ’em.
Better than Theatre
· Everybody loves a story, everybody loves drama in a story, everybody likes the pain and anguish to be in the middle and the happiness at the end. It is ridiculous, just ridiculous, how worked up a couple of dozen people in the bar at a geek conference in rural Washington state can get over a baseball game three time-zones away. Let’s just all suspend our disbelief and our knowledge of the corruption and abuse and ugliness in professional sports, and just soak in that happy ending. Do the Red Sox have the best hair in pro sports or what? Recommended: Colby Cosh’s Keep telling yourself it’s just a game.
· July 1 is the kid’s birthday, he turned five this year. Canada’s too, one hundred thirty-seven, both the kid and the country are young specimens of their kind. Since I work (officially) for Sun Canada, I bailed out of Java One a day early to celebrate. Herewith notes on the birthdays and a dip into ecstasy ...
· I suspect I’m one of only 100 literate baseball fans in the world who hadn’t already read Michael Lewis’ Moneyball, but now I have, and if you’re one of the other 99, you should too. A few words on the book and on books and Lewis and the A’s and orthography and all that ...
· I’m going to be in the Bay Area a couple of days this week, and it looks like I might be able to get out a bit Tuesday evening. I was thinking about a geek dinner or something but then noticed that the A’s are hosting Texas that evening. I’ve never been to see them, but I’ve been told that it’s a nice park. On the other hand, on the map it looks like a long way to go; the game’s at 7:05. If I’m going to have to knock off real early to make the game, that’s not realistic. So... is this a practical idea? Anyone else interested?
A Cog in the Baseball Machine
· Last month I went to an all-day umpiring workshop, and today was the Little League Opening Day parade. As a side-effect, I’m feeling rather culturally well-rooted, not to mention erudite: two strikes on the batter, a foul-tip bounces off the catcher’s mask into the air, the third basemen charges in and catches it; is the batter out? Or... runners on first and second, pop fly to third, infield-fly rule called, the ball bounces off the third baseman’s glove through foul territory into the dugout, what happens? Then there’s the crash and howl of the bagpipe band as hundreds of bright-clad children march onto the immaculate infield grass... Opening Day! ...
· This is not a War story. Today is opening day; baseball is back. Below, a decent photo (if I say so myself, but then it wasn't the current anticamera) from early spring last year at Yankee stadium. Since I was corresponding earlier today with a reader from Murmansk (!), quite possibly many reading this are not baseball fans, for which my sympathy ...
By Tim Bray
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