Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Baseball questions that spring to mind.

I will rarely watch a baseball game during the regular season. I have little patience for a game where the ball is actually moving and literally in play for somewhere between 10 and 12 minutes during the entire game.

I will, however, stage my own rally during the post season and support my super-fan husband when his beloved and erstwhile Phillies are involved. He has his own ridiculous rituals when it comes to doing his part to bring about victory, rituals that will go unexplained at this point. Suffice it to say, they are pointless and I guarantee you they will influence exactly nothing that's taking place in the City of Brotherly Love tonight. He also has a lot of opinions, especially about pitching, that he'd be happy to share with Charlie Manual should he place a call to us one night.

But here are my questions:

Why would Joe Torre, the Dodgers' manager, hold a mini-interview with the TBS commentators during the game? I know this is more of a TV thing, not necessarily a Torre thing, but shouldn't the manager of a major league baseball team, a team playing for a spot in the World Series, push that mike away and explain, "Can't talk to you now, I'm working." I mean, would a surgeon step away from an open chest cavity to take a couple of questions about the procedure taking place? Would an orchestra conductor step off the podium and speak to a reporter and let the musicians hold it together on their own? No, no they wouldn't.

I don't get players like Manny Ramirez. He not only left the dugout, he literally took a shower and was practically out the door before the game ended the other night, only to find that not only did his team lose the game, they lost it in quite dramatic fashion? Isn't he part of a team? Doesn't a team work together, and support each other during the disappointments? (This isn't the high school team, I get that, but still. These are grown men - extremely well-paid grown men, I grant you - playing a game they've adored since childhood. If there weren't at least a little leftover boy in each one them, I don't think they'd pursue the dream.) I guess his work day was done and regardless of the excitement swirling around him, he was out the door. That's camaraderie. That's brotherhood. Very impressive stuff from Ramiriz.

Since when do managers put pitchers in a game to pitch to one batter? This idea of a specific kind of pitcher to face a specific kind of batter is nonsense. Aren't these guys professional ball players? Don't they pitch to all kinds of batters all season long? Doesn't Charlie Manuel remember that this is the kind of poor management that lost the game in Colorado a week ago? (This is one of the reasons the mister wants Manuel to call him. He can remind him.)

Are the umpires nervous about that little box that indicates where all the pitches land? If they can be tracked accurately through this "cyber-ump," why does the game need these guys? Is it the human factor and the idea that ballplayers and managers love to look aggravated and argue with umps whenever they can? That baseball wouldn't be baseball unless fans could complain the next day (and for the next thirty, forty years or so) about the calls that went against them during that fateful game?

Okay, I think that's it for tonight's baseball mysteries.

Oh - one more thing. This isn't a question, it's an observation. I have personally witnessed the sign of a true Phillies fan: he can find misery in a game where his team holds a six-run lead. Should the Phillies win tonight, I've learned that there is too much time between now and the start of the World Series. Why? The Phillies will cool off and no one will cool off faster than Ryan Howard. What the heck is that about? Only a real Phillies fan could find the crumb of torment lurking inside a possible victory for the National League pennant.

You gotta love it.

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