Let’s See Three

I can remember the day I did this, only because I heard someone threw a no-hitter (Matt Young) and lost: April 12, 1992. On that day, I went to see three Florida State League games in one day.

Before we had the Devil Rays, and later the Rays, if you wanted to see baseball in the Tampa Bay area, you went to see minor league games. Several cities in my area had teams back then: Clearwater, Dunedin, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Lakeland, and Sarasota. St. Petersburg would lose their team when the Devil Rays came to be, but all of the other teams are still around, hoping you can catch some FSL ball.

I drove from my home in Largo to catch a 2pm Clearwater Phillies game, as they played the Osceola Astros. From there, I drove down US 19 (long before it became the highway without traffic lights it is now down to Pinellas Park), hung a left on Central Avenue and entered Al Lang Field to watch a St. Pete Cardinals doubleheader with the Charlotte Rangers that began at 5pm, making it there about 5:30pm.

In minor league baseball, doubleheader games only go seven innings. The first Rangers-Cards game goes the distance, but the second game would go on and on into the night, tied after inning after inning, but I stayed and watch the game to it’s finish.

In the FSL, they used the designated hitter the American League uses, so pitchers don’t usually hit. But, the DH can go into the field and play a position, but in doing so, a team loses the “privilege” of having a designated hitter and the pitcher has to bat. This would happen to the Cardinals as the attrition of an extra-inning game takes its toll around the 14th or 15th inning or so.

The game would go 16 innings before the Cards finally won it. For hanging in there and watching the game conclude, the Cardinals handed me tickets to an upcoming game. Work would keep me from going to that game, so I gave the tickets to my mother who worked at Largo Medical Center. I’d figure she’d give the tickets to someone deserving of them.

By the time I made it home, it was almost 1am in the morning. Needless to say, I never tried to go see three games again.


Be Careful What You Wish For


Back on November 1st, I said this on Twitter:

Well, I must not have been alone feeling that way, because now a Florida legislator wants to make Daylight Savings Time a year long thing, kind of the opposite of how most of Arizona does not have DST year around.

That’s not the way I envisioned DST becoming the thing of the past, because I wanted it done on a national level. Otherwise, Daylight Savings Time becomes to the calendar what the designated hitter has been to baseball: an excuse to foul things up beyond recognition.

If Florida has Daylight Savings Time all year long, then you have a certain part of the year when Florida is one hour ahead of the rest of the Eastern Time zone. Even if you traveled on I-10 from Florida westward to Alabama, you’d have to fiddle with time because the part of Florida in the Central Time Zone would be an hour ahead of Alabama’s non-DST clock if this ever came to pass.

Yet again, a politican takes a good idea and ruins it by co-opting into public opinion. I guess that’s what they are there for, right?

Put ‘Em Up!

I’ve found myself watching a lot of the Olympic boxing so far.

You don’t see a lot of prizefighting on TV these days, or cable TV for that matter outside of HBO or Showtime. But the networks of NBC have done a good job capturing the boxing tournament over London way.

I enjoy watching it, although the computerized system they use rewards true boxers, not guys who can get in close quarters and slug their way through a fight. Because if you fight on the inside, you better have the power to knock your opponent out, and in a three round fight, a fighter doesn’t have the time for all the power shots to pay dividends.

It’s like watching college or amateur baseball. A hitter who makes contact with the ball with the barrel of the bat is going to see the hit ball go farther faster than you see in Major League Baseball.  It’s baseball, not just baseball we’re used to.  Ditto the formula for Olympic boxing.

The NFL-ing Of The Major Leagues

The biggest problem MLB has, if you ask me, is that it tries too hard to be a baseball version of the NFL.

I was watching the Atlanta-Tampa Bay game last night and thinking of what MLB was like 20 short years ago in 1992. If you lived in a major city in Florida and wanted to see a real game that counted, it meant going to Atlanta.

Continue reading →

If Tim McCarver Is A Genius, What Does That Say For The Rest Of The Geniuses?

Ed Berliner over at Sports Media Masters reminded me of this gem I heard over the weekend from ace FOX Sports baseball analyst Tim McCarver:

During the sixth inning of a Milwaukee Brewers-St. Louis Cardinals game at Busch Stadium, McCarver made the observation that climate changes are the cause for the explosion of home runs in recent years.  Watching this at home made me think two things.

Continue reading →