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 Post subject: Baseball in the Snow
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:12 pm 
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Sir or Dame Postalot

Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:33 am
Posts: 343
"You guys have to be smarter than I am," Doc Wakley complained to the rail at Big Itchy's. "For the life of me, I just can't figure it out."

"Whuzzat, Doc?" Mouse Hollow had just dug out from a seven inch snowstorm, and now fresh flakes were swirling over Main Street yet again, visible through the plate glass window in the front of the saloon. The Minnesota Twins were scheduled to face the Pittsburgh Pirates at 5 PM. Thankfully the game was being played in Pittsburgh.

"Have any of you seen the forecast through the next seven days? A minimum of two more snow events, and no daytime highs out of the thirties. How can Major League Baseball expect their product not to suffer by scheduling our hometown nine in conditions like this?"

"Don't they go back on the road after the Seattle series?"

"Hell, no!" Doc snorted. "They're here through April 19th. In fact, of the twenty-seven games scheduled for the Twins through the end of April, sixteen are at home and only eleven on the road."

Steve had started scrolling through his phone. "Beginning the 20th, the Twins go to Tampa Bay, then New York, and then they come back home through May 2nd. Then to Guaranteed Rate Field for a four game series."

"Guaranteed What?" asked Fiona.

"The Chicago White Sox."

"God is punishing us for regarding the name 'Comisky Park' as too poetic," Doc surmised.

"In May," Steve resumed, "the Twins' schedule is reversed. We're at home for eleven games and on the road for sixteen. We close out our season series against the Mariners before Memorial Day. Also the Cardinals. There's a home-and-away four game split in the middle of May."

"A crying shame that that's past the end of the snow season."

"No need to wax facetious, Doc. Leave that to the people who write these schedules."

"Visiting St Louis in may is fine, but how about putting the Cardinals in Minnesota in early August, when the Cards would be fine getting out of their sweat box for a two game series?"

"Four games against the Yanks in April. Then they come here in September for three," Steve observed, still studying his phone. "And the season ends on September 30th. Does that eliminate the need for November baseball?"

"We can only hope so. If the Twins improve this year as much as they did last year, they'll win over one hundred games and be playoff favorites."

"You know that's not going to happen, Doc."

"You don't know anything to the contrary. Your crystal ball is just as fractured as mine."

"What would happen if all the first few weeks of the season were played in the south?" Goldy asked.

"Bless your innocent heart, Goldy. The fans would revolt."

"There aren't enough venues in the south."

"I'm not sure that's true," Steve replied to this last. With only a moment's hesitation, he was able to declare that each league, American and National, had eight teams which either played their home baseball south of the Mason-Dixon Line, or on the Left Coast, where the Pacific breezes whisper moderation.

"The Mason-Dixon Line ended in Pennsylvania," came the objection.

"Thirty-nine degrees, forty-three minutes. The Mason-Dixon is a line of latitude. Those don't end anywhere," Steve defended. "Coors Field misses the cut. It's at 39.45, two minutes north."

"I'm with Goldy," Doc declared.

"Doc, I was just asking a simple question!"

"Fine, I'll defend it."

At this point Fox Sports North began its baseball broadcast from PNC Park. There was a close-up of Jake Odorizzi, the Twins starting pitcher, blinking in a light, swirling snow.

"Are you sure this game isn't being played here? Look outside. The weather's identical!"

"As I was about to say," Doc said loudly, "there is no reason whatsoever that a home opener has to occur in the first week of the season. It's a tradition? Fine, let's start a new tradition. Let's have a three day break between spring training and the regular season for exhibition games and conjugal visits. What's the minimum pay for a major league rookie these days?"

"This year, $545,000."

"For that kind of money, you can't fly your girlfriend to San Diego?"

"It would still be a tough sell," opined Theory. "It's not as though Minnesota sports fans don't have appropriate winter gear. Let's keep giving us the opportunity to show it off."

"And put the players in thermal undies?" Doc persisted. "They'll be pulling muscles regardless. You can stand in the outfield for three hours and never record a chance, or be obligated to sprint after a line drive to the gap in the eighth inning with the game on the line. The pitchers struggle to grip the ball, and can't hit their spots. They issue more walks in cold weather, slowing down the game. The hitters are sluggish."

Here Doc stopped for a breath. "So you try to play as many games as possible in moderate weather."

"Fine!" declared Theory, an outdoorsman to his core. "You've got me convinced, Doc. And since all the owners in the majors listen attentively to everything I have to say, I'll just send them a group e-mail, and we'll have your schedule in place next year."

Doc wasn't to be rattled. "Consider this scenario: the Commissioner's Office notifies each team that it is considering a schedule in which northern teams may, upon request, opt to play the first three weeks of their season in the southern tier. Do you really imagine there would be no takers?"

"Actually I don't."

Jake Odorizzi, who in his first start had thrown six shutout innings against Baltimore, was busy grooving a 432 foot, two run homer to Josh Bell. And it was only the first inning. You could see this on both screens surrounding the Buzztime quiz.

"You might be surprised, Theory," Fiona took up, once the groans had subsided. "This isn't the era of captains of industry starving their general managers for cash. Nowadays success is based on metrics and analytics, and it's inconceivable that there is a front office which wouldn't try to mine a warm weather schedule to advantage. A northern team plays in better weather, and then receives a back-loaded home schedule. A southern team, playing at home, can jump ahead of its divisional rivals, and play in less exhausting weather once it hits 90-90 on a daily basis. The number of road and home games remains the same. The difference in travel expenses is negligible..."

"And a pulled hamstring costing a $10 mill ballplayer six weeks of his season?" Doc inquired.

The group lapsed into silence. One or two or them had played Countdown through the polemics, a couple others took it up; and the remainder were content to watch the ball game, in which Eddie Rosario launched a high popup, a popup so high that it disappeared among the snowflakes descending on PNC Field.

Rosario was convinced that his pop fly was a foul ball. Discounting the wind, it might have been. But when it landed halfway between the pitcher's mound and the first base line, among a trio of puzzled infielders, Rosario was still in the batter's box. Someone picked up the ball and threw it to first base, retiring the Twins' left fielder on what was scored as a ground ball out.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball in the Snow
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:49 pm 
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Colt

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:42 pm
Posts: 45
Minnesota Twins home opener was a sellout.It was played a day after the snowy road game that they did
indeed rally and win the night before against Pittsburg.It actually was a sunsplashed day,very little wind and about 38 degrees.I wonder if it was 2nd game of year and only the season tickets sold as primary customers would the game have been played.They had to clear the snow that had fallen earlier in the week that totaled about 9 inches.Employees of the team were asked to bring shovels to work to help clear the snow.They give away hoodies to first 30,000 customers.Members from US gold medal curling team were there as part of the festivities.The hometown team scored all four runs on homeruns and came back from a 2-0 deficit to win 4-2 against Seattle.
It was revelry for our hearty Minnesota fans.Fortunately,the game was not the next day as it was an off day for the team and the temperature would struggle to get to 25 with brisk winds.It did give the fans an extra day to celebrate before the weekend games where the forecast calls for a high of 32 both days and a chance of snow on Sunday.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball in the Snow
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:21 pm 
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Ochocinco
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Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:13 pm
Posts: 85
Location: Chicago, IL
I was in Section 128, Row 24 for a Sox home game on April 18, 2007. I had brought my ex-boyfriend (he was already my ex at the time). Weather History says it was 39-50 degrees on that day, but it certainly did not reach approach that high during the game and the winds certainly did reach 35 MPH. Kevin bitched all the way through the sixth inning at how cold it was. Then he realized what he was watching.

April 18th, 2007. The Buehrle No-Hitter.

The next game I brought Kevin to, Buehrle no-hit to the seventh inning. We made a pact that day that, regardless of either of our relationship statuses, whenever Buehrle was pitching in town, we had to go to the game together. And he never complained about the weather again (during a game, anyway).

GYPSY


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball in the Snow
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:37 pm 
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Colt

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:42 pm
Posts: 45
How about his perfect game in July of 2009.His no hitter in 2007 was almost perfect.He walked a player,then picked him off.He only faced 27 batters,but it is not considered a perfect game if a batter gets on base .In the long history of baseball there have been only 23 perfect games.Contrast that with 296 no hitters.A pitcher needs help in the field as an error or passed ball leading to a baserunner takes away the perfect game.There was a bad call by an umpire in 2010 that cost Detroit pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game.He retired the first 26 batters.The 27 th batter was out ,but umpire Jim Joyce called him safe so it was not even a nohitter in the record books.Today,we have instant replay so it is less likely an umpire could take away a perfect game.As an aside the Minnesota Twins played today in frigid conditions.It was the coldest first pitch home game in their history.With TV such a dominant force and a healthy season ticket base it seems like attendance now may be in background when deciding not to play a game.I remember the past Winter Olympics.There were alot of empty seats.The huge media contracts made up for some of this.Media is a major driving force.I know the teams want fans,but it does seem to me alot of sports are now becoming studio sports to the fans and executives running the leagues.A few years ago most leagues went away from announcing actual attendance to paid attendance.There are all kinds of unused sold tickets at alot of games.However,there still are plenty of fans at most games as the world where banality rules people want their sports.It helps with the boredom and problems of everyday life.Of course there are other reasons there has been a huge increase worldwide interest in sports.I certainly do not have all the answers.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball in the Snow
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:47 am 
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Sir or Dame Postalot

Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:33 am
Posts: 343
Bugg wrote:
With TV such a dominant force and a healthy season ticket base it seems like attendance now may be in the background when deciding not to play a game.


Attendance for the Twins' home opener was 39,214. For their second home game? 18,416, a game played out in freezing sunshine at a leisurely 3:36. Last year the Twins had over 40,000 in attendance for their home opener. The next game only 15,000 tickets were sold. According to LaVelle Neal, the Twins beat writer, there were only 10,000 in the stands. The team had sold roughly 12,000 season tickets, a number which is assuredly up this year, possibly in the 14-15K range.

The thesis advanced by Doc and defended by Fiona, that early season games should all be played in southern venues, would be a radical departure from past practice. It would be MLB's third most dramatic change in the past fifty years, after the adoption of the Designated Hitter and Interleague Play.

I was past the "sports-nut" fanaticism of my youth when the American League adopted the DH rule in 1973. At the time there was a consensus among my friends that the DH wasn't a very good idea. All philosophical debate aside, regarding the purity of the game and such blather, the idea of the DH can't be dismissed if there is sufficient statistical evidence that it results in a better brand of baseball. On that evidence, my personal prejudice against the DH is difficult to justify.

Since 1976, when the National League was first obligated to play by American League rules in AL parks, the World Series has split 22-19, favoring the AL. There's no discernable difference. Again, from 1976, the NL won ten of the first twelve All-Star games. Since then, the AL has gone 23-6 against the NL. This suggests that the DH was initially a strategic disadvantage, but that the AL may have learned to leverage it.

Then, in 1997, MLB adopted interleague play. The first seven years of interleague, the NL won more games than it lost four times, the AL three. Since then the AL has rattled off 14 consecutive years in which it has won more games against the NL than it's lost. This is a far better statistical sampling than the World Series and All-Star games combined, and it suggests that the American League has fully assimilated the strategic advantage of the Designated Hitter: the AL is producing better team performances.

Most true fans want to see their teams as soon in the season as possible, I get that. Whether the Doc-Fiona Southern Strategy would produce a better brand of baseball cannot be dismissed without experimentation. Should our northern teams come back home on a more leisurely itinerary? Let them get acclimatized to places north of Phoenix or Orlando? Do contented cows give better milk?


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball in the Snow
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:01 am 
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Colt

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:42 pm
Posts: 45
Well,the view that the DH may have given the American league an advantage is one I had not thought about.I do beleive that the national league remains one of the last leagues involving college and professional teams where there is no designated hitter.The sports public wants offense.The NBA has the 3 point line.College basketball shortened the shot clock.The NFL changed rules to favour the offense.The NHL is trying to get goalie equipment smaller.The NHL ratings dwarf the other three.Soccer is growing in popularity and alot of that has to do with demographic changes,but it's ratings also trail the big three sports.They,now in some cases are allowing players back into the game after they have left.Another reason the National league won so many earlier all-star games I beleive they were quicker to integrate the black athlete.Willie Mays,Ernie Banks,Frank Robinson,Don Newcombe,Joe Black,Willie McCovey ,Roberto Clemente,and of course Jackie Robinson etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball in the Snow
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:33 pm 
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Sir or Dame Postalot

Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:33 am
Posts: 343
Complaining on Twitter, the preferred medium for the mentally deficient, the President of the Minnesota Twins, Dave St Peter, complained that attendance for Saturday's game, with a first pitch temperature of 27 F, was less than half the attendance for the Twins' opener on Thursday. "What happened to #Minnesota North?" Then he cancelled Sunday's game, which would have featured a first pitch temp of 32 F. Snow was forecast, and a few desultory flakes began to fall at 3 PM. "The team was pretty beat up by Saturday's game," St Peter admitted. This was unusual. We are not accustomed to our Presidents confessing personal error via Twitter, nor should we.

I was in my mid-40's and in excellent shape, when I went jogging on a snowless path in 0 F sunshine. Climbing a short rise, I hadn't even had time to cool off before I pulled a calf muscle. I spent the next week limping around the post office where I was setting up carriers. With a modified delivery, I threw the only errorless series I've ever bowled. The injury recurred each of the next two springs. My gal-pal Liz gave me a pair of ankle-warmers (she was no longer performing ballet), which I've worn at least once, every year since.

GONE D wrote:
"And a pulled hamstring costing a $10 mill ballplayer six weeks of his season?" Doc inquired.


Sunday April 8th, the Cleveland Indians played the coldest date in the 25 year history of Progressive Field. The Indians' right fielder, Lonnie Chisenhall, strained the same calf muscle in that game as he strained last year, which injury cost him the better part of two months in the 2017 season. Attentive fans may recall that Chisenhall, a first round draft choice, was hitting about .320 when the first injury occurred. He finished in the .280's.

Chisenhall is predicted to be sidelined 4-6 weeks with his current calf injury. He's not being paid $10M, but only about $5.6M, and so his injury may be calculated to cost the Indians a mere $1,000,000. More significantly, his calf has once again stalled Chisenhall's quest to become an all-star caliber player, which his talent and character suggest he might already have become.

There were only 14,000 tickets sold to Progressive Field on Sunday, to witness this most recent setback in the Cleveland Indians' quest for the Central Division championship predicted for them.

Luck, as Branch Rickey famously observed, is the residue of design.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball in the Snow
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:55 pm 
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Colt

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:42 pm
Posts: 45
Chicago white sox for a game on Monday announced a crowd of over 10,000 and according to reports only 974 fans were there .Cubs ,in the same city obviously cancelled since it was home openor and had snow on the field .So,because of the season ticket bases and media contracts alot of teams play whereas in the past they would have rescheduled the game.If the Twins game on Sunday was the home openor,it most likely would have been played.Economics rule.I liked the good old fashion double headers -two for the price of one .I remember Ernie Banks famous enthusiastic line,-Let's play two.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball in the Snow
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:59 pm 
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Sir or Dame Postalot

Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:33 am
Posts: 343
Before I posted the lead story on this thread, I asked KRISPY whether it was too dry. She scoffed at the question.

"You do dry. Dry is what you do."

This weekend the Twins are hosting the Chicago White Sox. GYPSY has defended her Sox in private correspondence as a team which takes advantage of inhospitable weather (confuting her White Sox with her Bearski's).

Tonight's Twins-Sox game has been cancelled, in advent of a snowstorm which is expected to drop 7-15 inches on Target Field, here in beautiful Minnesota, over the next 2-3 days. The local basketball team, the Timberwolves, bailed out early. They caught an early flight to Houston, for fear of being snowed in.

The Timberwolves played four games against Houston this regular season, and lost every game by double digits. The early flight out might allow them enough prep time to close the gap.

The Twins, being more or less snowed out this weekend, are the scheduled home team in a two game series to be played in Puerto Rico this upcoming Tuesday and Wednesday.

The five day forecast calls for rain in Puerto Rico both of those days.

As always, I'd be happy to be wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball in the Snow
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:28 pm 
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Colt

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:42 pm
Posts: 45
There was also a whiteout in Winnipeg.The tradition started in 1987. The fans wear white during the games.The smallest seating capacity in the NHL was of course full with all kind of fans outside the arena as they took a 2-0 lead against the Minnesota Wild in the best of seven series with a dominant 4-1 victory.The city,perhaps the coldest of the major cities in Canada with a total population of 600,000 +has last I knew one trivia place-Big Guys with the old boards and you could only play in bar area.I just checked trivia places in Winnipeg on website and they did not show up on listing.I would be very surprised if Twins play on Sunday.Too bad they do not have 2 for 1 doubleheaders very often.To show their appreciation to the fans they could do this with makeup games.As an aside,when the great Say Hey Kid as he was called,Willie Mays when he played for New York Giants apparently after games he played stick ball in the streets of New York with the locals.Now,that is what I call playing for the love of the game.Can you imagine that happening today.Players in that era had to take jobs in the off season to make ends meet.Times they are a changing.Winds are blowing,the snow is falling at this late hour.Vegas and the LA Kings are tied late in second period.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball in the Snow
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:20 pm 
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Lord or Lady Postsalot
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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:31 am
Posts: 635
Location: Michael's Sports Pub & Grill, Westminster, CA
Big Guys is still around, I see them on the boards often. The site finder is all messed up.

_________________
The best way to a woman's heart is through a man's wallet.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball in the Snow
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:23 am 
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Sir or Dame Postalot

Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:33 am
Posts: 343
Gogetem wrote:
Big Guys is still around, I see them on the boards often.


I don't know if POX and MADMAN might be the same player, but Big Guys has at least one, possibly two guys whose conversation would be worth pursuing.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball in the Snow
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:02 pm 
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Lord or Lady Postsalot
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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:31 am
Posts: 635
Location: Michael's Sports Pub & Grill, Westminster, CA
Here is the evidence on Countdown:

https://www.buzztime.com/site/859/gameh ... gameid/135

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The best way to a woman's heart is through a man's wallet.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball in the Snow
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:00 am 
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Sir or Dame Postalot

Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:33 am
Posts: 343
Three of the four games scheduled against the White Sox here this weekend were snowed out. The storm pretty well covered Minnesota. This is a metro area with a lot of Buzztime activity. Last night Buzztime hosted four log-ins for Ask It Already, eight log-ins for Spotlight, and three log-ins for Speed Freaks. Those were all the players in the entire state.

Locally, it was our second 10+ inch snowfall of the month. We may not be in RICHTE's class (cf. his comments regarding New England weather on ANON's McCarthy Cup thread), but we're ambitious - and persistent.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball in the Snow
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:16 pm 
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Colt

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:42 pm
Posts: 45
Another whiteout,but in hockey again.They have expanded the celebration in Winnipeg to four blocks outside the arena.The inside arena is covered in white as is much of the outside fan base.This is the second smallest major league market of the 4 major sports.Green Bay is the smallest.And it is being called a whitewash as score is 4-0 late in first period for the hometown jets.It is an elimination game for the Minnesota wild.Unless they storm back the whiteout conditions will remain in Winnipeg as the jets will advance to the quarterfinals.


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