Baseball is back!
I can’t count that 60 game joke of last year.
Now that reality has returned I have reposted a blog from 2017.
IT LOOKS LIKE SPRINGTIME IS FINALLY HERE. I see robins and cardinals and they don’t look worried about frostbite. There are giant Vs overhead going north and there are new baseball stars on the horizon.
Major League Baseball teams have been heavy into Spring Training for over a month and just like the new flowers that pop up in the spring so do new young players.
I’m not very athletic. No, let’s face it – I’m not at all athletic in any way shape or form. It’s not that I haven’t tried. As a kid I played baseball with the other kids. I played touch football in the streets. I was embarrassingly bad at basketball, but I tried.
As an adult I tried to play golf. It is supposed to be a very sociable game, except the way I played it I was always off by myself limping through the shrubbery looking for my ball. I gave up on golf and other Sports in favor of Games. Games don’t require any physical skill or talents of me.
Of course, it is important to know the difference between Sports and Games. Getting them mixed up can be both shameful and dangerous. If you aren’t sure which is which, there is a simple way to differentiate between the two.
If you have to say, “Hold my beer” before playing – it is a Sport. If the activity is one that you can do while still holding your beer – it is a Game. Can you play Basketball while holding onto your bottle of Bud? Of course not – ergo, Basketball is a Sport. But there is no problem holding onto your Brewski when it is your turn in Chess. Chess is a Game.
This bit of knowledge has really helped to cut down on my pain of public embarrassment as well as my pain of pulled muscles and scraped knees. I’m never the last one picked to be on the team when playing Games. When I was still trying to play Sports most of the time teams were being chosen I got picked last just so both teams could have the same number of players.
These days it’s all Games for me. I played on a Dart team for three years. I wasn’t any good, but that was my role. I helped to mess with the team handicap, so I contributed in my own special inept way.
Lately I have been playing on a Trivia team. Monday nights at a local watering hole I call upon my trash bin of a brain to come up with obscure bits of information from deep within my nooks and crannies of gray matter. If I come up with the right answer I can do my own end zone dance and hoist my Diet Pepsi (I don’t drink alcohol any longer). If my Random Access Memory Software comes up with the wrong answer (Oh, the Humanity!), I can just shrug and move on. I have never pulled a muscle playing on Trivia Night. I came close one time when I chug-a-lugged my soft drink and had a serious episode of Brain Freeze.
As Clint Eastwood said in his Dirty Harry movie, “Magnum Force,” –
“A MAN’S GOT TO KNOW HIS LIMITATIONS.”
It has taken me most of my lifetime, but I know that I am a man who knows his limitations. I know that I can only eat so much chili before I turn into a gaseous fire hazard. I know that I can stay up only so late before I fall asleep in front of the TV curled up in the Rip Van Winkle Memorial Chair.
I know my limitations….and I also know a lot of useless information and I can hold my drink while playing.
When it comes to the bits and pieces of Life things have actually gone well. It’s the big stuff that’s got me down. By BIG STUFF I mean the things that get me up in the morning and keep me up late at night.
You know – BASEBALL.
Baseball this year has been a tortuous exercise. It has been even more upsetting because I cheer for the San Francisco Giants and I live three time zones away. That means that more than half of the games don’t even begin until 9 PM or later. That can make for some extremely late nights and my aging body gets it’s revenge the next day. I do not recommend grocery shopping after an extra inning game from the West Coast.
Throwback Thursday – “100 Years Of Turning Left”
AUTO RACING IS BIG, VERY BIG IN INDIANA. This year it is even bigger.
“Why, Oh, why?” I hear someone ask.
The reason is that this year is the 100th edition of the Indianapolis 500 race. This year, as in every other year, 33 cars will tear around the 2.5 mile track for 500 miles – turning left the entire time.
UH, OH! I SEE A CHALLENGE AHEAD. At least it is not directly involving me.
I learned the other day that one of the Usual Suspects is going under the knife in a few days. It’s nothing life threatening, but according to him it’s worse – he is going to have his golf game taken away for a year.
Why not just cut out his heart?
ONE ADVANTAGE TO LIVING IN A “COLLEGE TOWN” is all of the activities that are open to the “Townies” – That’s us. There are Concerts, Plays and Recitals all the time. And Sporting events too. It’s the last item there that has just swung into action.
Football Season is here!
The other night after a hearty workout of watching my SF Giants on TV I was just exhausted. It was quite a workout and my cardio goals had been achieved – I still had a cardio.
It was getting late as I crawled up the stairs and stumbled into bed. I flipped on the TV and, still feeling the Muse of Sports calling my name, I did my digital exercises and tuned the tube to ESPN.
I don’t think I’ll ever be the same.
My timing was off by just a nanosecond or I would have been able to catch the broadcast of a major Pickle Ball tournament.
Pickle Ball = Tennis for the Pacemaker Set.
One of the regulars every morning at St. Arbucks is into Pickle Ball. He is 80 years old and a National Champion. I kid you not.
WE HAVE BEEN WATCHING A LOT OF THE OLYMPICS LATELY. Well, not a lot – “some” would be more accurate. “Some” of the Olympics, the part that involves watching people slip, slide, and fall over. I can do that, but nobody offers to give me a Gold Medal.
I’m lucky if I can get a helping hand to get up from the ground. When I slip, slide, and fall over people either laugh and point or pretend to ignore me. I have yet to hear anyone say, “That will cost him at least one and a half points.” I’m just thankful it doesn’t cost me a broken hip. At my age when you break a hip the world starts to measure you for a pine box. Maybe I’d get more respect if I started to wear some Spandex and too much Make-up.
Maybe a little glitter.
I KNOW…I KNOW. WE ARE STILL IN WINTER. There is snow on the ground and the first Robin of Spring is still frozen solid, but I just gotta talk about Baseball.
Spring Training is underway as players descend on Florida and Arizona to get into condition and to fight for their jobs against up and coming youngsters and newly acquired veterans holding on for dear life.
Thus has it ever been in the world of Baseball.
The Indiana State University football team goes by the fearsome name of “The Fighting Sycamores.” Doesn’t that just put a tremor loose in your heart? No. Me neither.
Their football stadium is about a minute away from our front door. We can hear the bands at halftime and the oohing and ahhhing of the crowds. When the Fighting Sycamores score a touchdown they fire off a cannon in sheer delight. We haven’t heard the cannon much lately.
For the first time since the 1980s they have a chance to lose 100 games this season. That hurts.
I remember going out to games at the old Candlestick Park and watching them lose day after day. It was not easy to be a witness to that. Since then they have had some glorious years – winning three World Series rings in a three year period. But that was then and this is now.
PICKLE BALL? I’VE HEARD OF IT. I’ve never played it. I have no desire to play it. It sounds strenuous and I don’t do strenuous any more. I’ve seen pictures of people playing Pickle Ball and at first glance it looks like a combination of Tennis – Ping Pong – and Cardiac Arrest.
The only reason I’m looking at it at all is that I know someone who is into Pickle Ball in a big way. He is always heading off to play here in Terre Haute (That’s French for “I’d like a Gherkin, please.”) or to take part in some National Championship tournament.
Terre Haute (That’s French for, “Hit the gas and turn left!”) is just about 70 miles from Indianapolis and when several hundred thousand fans show up for the race they tend to spill over all the way to Terre Haute.
Indianapolis is a big city, but even it does not have sufficient hotel space to accommodate that many people coming into town at one time. So, they start looking around and end up in Terre Haute for the weekend, commuting up Interstate 70 for the race itself.
IF THERE IS ONE THING YOU CAN SAY about Terre Haute (That’s French for “What time does the game start?”) it is that this town loves Sports. Basketball is the King of Sports around here. It is as close to a secular religion as one can get without taking vows. After basketball you can always find an organized football game going on any time of year.
Terre Haute is the home of the Terre Haute Rex minor league baseball team. Just about any sport you can name will find avid aficionados here along the banks of the Wabash, but now a newcomer has joined the list of sports being enjoyed here: Cricket.
I know a man whose love of the game makes me look like a casual observer. Let’s call him “Ron,” mainly because that’s his name.
One of the Usual Suspects handed me a clipping from last Sunday’s paper about a popular therapy being used on athletes to help them heal quicker:“Cryotherapy.”
We’re not talking about putting an icepack on your head to sooth a headache. Nope. We’re talking some serious cold here.
The town was filled to overflowing with grads coming in from all over the country to revisit a burgeoning campus and attend the Big Game. There is always a Big Game for Homecoming. It must be a law or something.