Saturday, August 08, 2009

...I'm Not Gonna Watch Soccer And You Can't Make Me!!!

Oh, they're sneaky. Just when I think a rebroadcast of the just-concluded Seattle Mariners' game is gonna air, what does Fox Sports Network Do? They sneak in a SOCCER game. Soccer, as in, "I went to a fight, and a Soccer Game broke out." FSN thinks I'm gonna watch the Soccer Game 'cos I'm too lazy to get up and change the channel...FSN must know my remote's broken (do they?) There's just something awfully confining about watching guys run all over the place, trying to kick the ball, or failing that, trying to kick Each Other, since they can't use their arms. Arms were meant to use, only you can't use your arms unless you're the goalie or if you toss the ball from the sidelines. (Or, if the ref's not looking, you can sucker-punch the player who's covering ya...)

SPEAKING OF UMPIRES...AN ISSUE THAT REALLY STEAMS ME: Sometimes I think that Major League Baseball UMPIRES have way too much power. If they wanna see a pitcher fail, all the home plate ump has to do is reduce his strike zone to the size of a postage stamp, as was the case between tonight's Mariners/Tampa Bay Rays game. The Radio Announcers kept pointing out, over and over (as radio announcers are prone to do) that "the pitcher didn't throw all that badly; it's just that tonight's ump has a Very Small Strike Zone."Huh? What? I know that an Ump's judgments, to a point, will be subjective, but I must ask, why is one Ump's strike zone different than that of another Ump? Shouldn't there be more uniformity in Judging things? This actually STEAMS ME UP SEVERELY! I think the main qualifications for being a Major League Ump are":

1. You have to have a huge, monstrous, menacing image. (Umps on steroids?)
2. Be able to mis-call any pitch you so desire, 'cos you have absolute authority.
3. Have strong vocal cords so you can out-shout anyone who disagrees with you.

I've seen Major League Umps kick a player out of the game for something that player said when he was in the dugout...nowhere near home plate. I don't like Umps At All. In my book, if someone wants respect, they have to earn it. And Umps don't earn it. They just bully the players into stupefying submission. Your day is coming, Umps...'Instant-Replay' is already being used to review some home-run calls, and just about everyone who broadcasts baseball games has a little device that can actually pinpoint if the ball was a strike or not. The Fox Sports Northwest network's version of that is the "FSN Tracer". Finally: The Police have what is known as "The Thin Blue Line"...well, Umps have "The Thick Black Line". In other words, "Hey, Boy, that pitch was a STEEEEE-RIKE even though it was half-a-foot over your head! Why? BECAUSE I SAID SO!!!" (I admit that last bit of distorted logic is 'begging the question', but you get my drift...)

MAYBE I'M TOTALLY OFF-BASE HERE: Something else I've just started wondering about: Every NBA Basketball Court is the same size. Every Football Field is 100 yards long. So, why are Major League Parks all different sizes? Some parks are smaller ("Hitter's Parks"), and some parks, like Safeco Field in Seattle are Gargantuan ("Pitchers' Parks", although M's opponents don't have a whole lot of problems hitting home runs there...). And since Seattle never has that many consistent home-run-hitters in any given year, the size of Their Home Field tends to work against them. Everything else in baseball is standardized; for example, it's 60 feet, 6 inches from home plate to the rubber dealie on the pitcher's mound in every ballpark. All the bases are the same distance apart in every ballpark...

So why not work out some sort of "Average" set of Ballpark Dimensions? Add up the measurements of all the ballparks, divide by the number of ballparks, and there ya have it. Oh, wait...the air's thinner in Colorado where the Rockies play, and the ball really sails. Up thar in the thin air of Colorado, it's been found that Baseballs Dry Out altogether; the baseballs used in Colorado games are now actually kept in a humidifier! (Something about mimicking the 'natural moisture content' of baseballs used at lower elevations...) Maybe MLB should employ a meteorologist to help compute park dimensions? Anyway, I think all ballparks should be the same size; where the variables come in would be in all the differing elevations of all the ballfields. And that variable would (hopefully) even itself out over the course of a season. Or not...
That grand old man of the game, Yogi Berra, once said, "It ain't over 'til it's over". And so it is. This post is done. Although, I cheated a get my two posts a week, I had to post my unfinished portion of what I typed here, and I did that at 5 minutes 'til midnight. Then I went back to add the finishing touches...the photo above and this paragraph. I suppose if there were a 'posting zone', an ump would call me out. Or not...


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