Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I was watching the Tigers play the Pits the other evening. I noticed that there were a few moments of true excitement when someone hit a home run. After that, it was just a bunch of people throwing balls around and sometimes catching them. Then someone would throw a ball in the direction of the umpire where he could not possibly misjudge its trajectory, but he would. Sometimes someone occasionally hit that ball, although not often.
Then I saw a guy --- well, this guy, dressed like a medieval knight --- supposedly get hit in the gonads, and the whole game came to a standstill for five minutes while he clutched at his nuts and pretended to be hurt. The camera concentrated on the umpire talking to the pitcher for no discernible reason whatever, a conversation that seemed to go on endlessly. Meanwhile, a couple of guys jabbered in the background about this and that. Then, after a minute or two of commercials, the game "resumed".
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Umpires have been ingrained in major-league baseball since the inception of the National League in 1876, somewhere approaching 200,000 games ago, and it’s likely that the umps have botched a call or two in every one of them since then. Somehow this has not eroded the fan base or undermined the integrity of the competition, which is something that the players and the owners have periodically done.
That reality, in fact, should tell us something about the nature of baseball, which is the least programmatic, the least technological of games. It doesn’t even have a clock. The fields have widely varying shapes and sizes, and the primary battleground between offense and defense — i.e., the strike zone — is a box of air with dimensions that have proven impossible to specify. There is a lot less science in baseball, a lot more art, than in any other sport you can name. (Golf and soccer nuts, just pipe down.) It’s an irony that only in baseball do there exist perfect games.
This is the main reason that so many baseball fans are so gaga over statistics, because the game’s ambiguities create a hunger for measurement, for exactitude where it doesn’t exist, and it’s the main reason that baseball is the most written about, most discussed, most intellectually parsed game there is.
It’s also the main reason that instant replay feels more like an intrusion in baseball than it does in tennis or football or basketball or hockey, each of which has adopted some form of video review to re-evaluate some officials’ calls. But the prime responsibilities of officials in those other sports have always been to recognize infractions and assign blame, and umpires don’t do that. And it’s worth noting that those responsibilities — calling penalties, faults and fouls — are largely unaffected by instant-replay rules.
The role of umpires in baseball is much more integral. They aren’t observers passing judgment on the legality of given actions so much as filters through which the action passes; nothing can happen — a strike, an out, a run scored — without their imprimatur. They have no prime responsibilities, just the responsibility to see and acknowledge everything, which is why the technological usurping of any one of them feels especially sullying.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
From STEVEN: He is a trained "burner" and firefighter for the Nature Conservancy, and he sent this evaluation of his new found skills as a father.
See my fire training can be applied to real life situations
- Keep informed on
fire weatherbaby’s conditions and forecasts.
- Know what your
firebaby is doing at all times.
- Base all actions on current and expected behavior of the
- Identify escape routes and safety zones and make them known.
- Post lookouts when there is possible danger.
- Be alert. Keep calm. Think clearly. Act decisively.
- Maintain prompt communications with your
forceswife, your supervisormother-in-law, and adjoining forcesmoms.
- Give clear instructions and insure they are understood.
- Maintain control of your
forcesyourself at all times.
firediapers aggressively, having provided for safety first.