Tag Archives: sports fans

The Game

It was exciting and agonizing and really cold and I hate Buchholz and Punto, though Punto made it better at the end and it was tiring and aggravating and thrilling and and and and…

I want to go again.

A longer write-up…whenever. I’m too tired now to do it right.

This’ll do for now.

-D-

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The Vernacular of Sports

In advance, I would like to apologize for the amount of profanity that you’re about to encounter. It was unavoidable.

When watching baseball, especially when watching a Red Sox game, it becomes clear that a certain language is adopted that one might otherwise not use in a social situation. Certain words become commonplace and are sprinkled throughout a conversation with an exuberance that is not seen outside of conversations with sailors or surly gentleman in more unrefined watering holes.

For instance, today the Red Sox opened their season with a friendly game played against the Detroit Tigers. Over the course of the game, it developed that it was turning into a pitcher’s duel; with Verlander and Lester exchanging volleys with a free-spirited competitiveness that defines baseball.

But as the Red Sox fell behind by first one and then two runs, my fellows and I exchanged a boisterous interchange of wordsmithing:

“Dude! What the fuck! Dude!”

“Goddamn it! God….damn….it.”

Whereupon, the Red Sox then attempted to put away the persistent Tigers with two runs of their own in the top of the ninth. Whereupon, when the Tigers went to bat at the bottom of the ninth, our tensions were, perhaps, higher than they were in previous innings.

“Aceves, you son of a bitch, don’t you fuck this up.”

HE HIT HIM WITH THE FUCKING BALL AND LOADED THE FUCKING BASES! ACEVES! YOU…”

At which point, the air hummed with the most adversarial, adjective-laden, incandescent, invective that we could find at our disposal.

Such is the passion that baseball inspires in its fans; truly a sport for young gentleman and an indicator of our National Character.

Burn in Hell, Aceves.

Dylan Charles

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The First Pitch

Baseball season starts in two days and I’m pretty excited.

I’ve watched some Spring Training games. I’ve watched a few games from last year. I’ve watched (basically) a highlight reel from the 2004 World Series. I’ve read baseball books, baseball articles, baseball magazines. I’ve watched press clippings from Valentine and interviews with the players.

I’ve basically done everything I can to get ready for this season and now it’s almost here.

Pretty soon, they’re going to set everything in motion. The games are going to be real and immediate, as opposed to the old ones from years ago. They’re going to matter in the long run, unlike the Spring Training games.

And I’m excited for it to start and I’m ready.

Baseball!

Dylan Charles

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The Obsession

I’ve started to mentally break up The Baseball Project into segments. The first segment is, obviously, Spring Training. For the last few weeks, I’ve read, watched, absorbed and analyzed nothing but baseball. I’ve watched Ken Burns Baseball. I’ve read baseball books about the various players. I’ve read articles about the up-coming season. I’ve even started watching this TV show from the early ’90’s called “Talking Baseball

Every bit of free time I have has become devoted to baseball, in one form or another. When I think about writing something, I always have my baseball on hand, so I have something to play with while I think. I think about going to Fenway constantly, which I can’t believe spellcheck isn’t recognizing right now. I’m trying to calculate how many games I’ll actually be able to attend, once the season starts. And that’s the thing, the scary thing; the season hasn’t even started yet and it’s already started to take over what and how I think.

I’ve had (another) nightmare about Ty Cobb. How many nightmares can a person have about Ty Cobb before that’s deemed an abnormal thing? I’m at two. And he SCARES me. I haven’t even read his biography yet, though it’s on my kitchen table. Waiting. Waiting for me.

On the one hand, I’m worried for my mental health. I have a constant stream of ERAs and WHIP’s and OPS flying through my head. So many numbers and so many names. I have the whole of baseball (almost two century’s worth) and I’m trying to cram it all into my brain in a two month period.

And you want to know the scary thing?

I’m loving it.

Dylan Charles

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The Numbers

.406 56 714 1.82 511 61 73

I knew there were numbers in Baseball. That’s kind of Baseball’s thing. It even has its own math associated with it. But, holy moley, I’m starting to get a little overwhelmed.

For the pitcher alone there are dozens of stats that you can follow. There’s the pitcher’s ERA (Earned Run Average), which measures how many runs he lets in per inning played. Simple enough. BUT, there’s the Adjusted ERA (or ERA+), which measures the pitcher’s performance based on the ballpark he’s pitching in. Since ballparks aren’t created equal, some of them favor pitchers and some favor hitters. If a pitcher does poorly in a ballpark that favors the pitcher, his Adjusted ERA will fall below 100.

So for his ERA, the lower the better. For his Adjusted ERA, the higher the better.

Moving on, there’s WHIP (Walks plus Hits per Inning Pitched), which measures hits AND walked batters. It’s a more rigorous stat than the ERA and counts every batter that gets to base, not just the earned runs.

There’s the pitcher’s win/loss record, the complete game stat (number of games where the pitcher was the only one to pitch), balks, blown saves, innings pitched, pitches thrown, strike-outs, wild pitches, hits allowed and home runs allowed.

And this is just for one position.

I’m in danger of being overwhelmed here. So many numbers being thrown around (ha! pun). But I will march through the numbers by golly. By the time I watch my first major league game, I will know what’s going on.

Or die trying.

Or…more likely, be kind of confused occasionally.

Dylan Charles

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Filed under Sporting: Baseball, Boxing and Sports Not Starting with a B