Sunday, July 1, 2012

An Education in Baseball

In the past, I would typically go to a baseball game or two each season. My attention was usually focused on which snacks that I would want, and determining what would be considered a reasonable amount of time before going to get the next one. When I lived in Iowa, we only had a minor league team, and so going to a game was more about the atmosphere than the game itself. On the other hand, people in St. Louis take their baseball very seriously. That made it really fun to go with friends, as long as they were not playing the Brewers.

Now that I am back in Milwaukee, Chris and I have already gone to 5 Brewers games this season, plus we have traveled to Chicago to see a White Sox/Red Sox game, and have taken the VIP tour of Miller Park. And I own two more shirts than I ever have before. At least since I was a little kid. Plus an Italian Sausage Racer Bobblehead!

I have found that when you date someone who loves baseball, you can either sit bored through a lot of games, or you can try to love the sport too and ask lots of questions. I have chosen route B, and boy have I learned a lot about the sport.

10 Baseball Things I Have Learned

1. The difference between a designated hitter and a pinch hitter, why teams use them, and which leagues use each.

2. What a pitching rotation is, and why players typically play every 5 days.

3. What a player's On Base Percentage (OBP) means and how it is calculated. (Ex. Ryan Braun's is really good. Rickie Week's is really bad.

4. What Fielder's Choice means.

5. Why a pitcher may intentionally walk a player and/or hit them with a pitch. Which just seems too mean to do on purpose. But I guess it happens.

6. When it is useful to use a pinch runner. Like when you have a slow runner on base in the bottom of the 9th and can sub in a fast one. Ex. Gomez in today's game.

7. What counts as an error. We had a few of those today.

8. How players are awarded an extra base when a ball is thrown past the base and out into the stands. Yeah Gomez!

9. The differences between starting pitchers, relief pitchers and closers.

10. It is really cool to see a pitcher's major league debut, but getting called up does not always mean they will get to stay. Thornburg is a young, talented pitcher, but he probably needs to develop more in Triple-A.

Plus 10 More For Fun.... 

1. I prefer the old Brewers logo to the current ones. How can you not love the ball and glove that also are an "m" and a "b"? Amazing!

2. Ryan Braun has a really great butt, so if you can get a seat behind left field, it is totally worth it.

3. Miller Park has a number of great snacks that come in plastic helmets - nachos, ice cream, cheese fries, and cheese curds. Why eat food in a regular container when you can get a nice helmet collection going?

4. Ryan Braun is a Nervous Nelly. He wears out the grass where he stands, and they have to replace it between each home series. There was some brand new sod on the day we were there for our tour.

5. The club house for the visiting team has a sign warning them not to get on Bernie's slide. When I asked, the tour guide said they would not have the sign up if there hadn't been attempts in the past. Apparently the visiting team players must like to get into some mischief!

6. It is more fun to go to games where they give you free stuff. Like bobbleheads. Or free tickets to Festa Italiana.

7. It is a good idea to be cautious about buying a jersey with a player's name on the back. You never know when they will be traded. And those things aren't cheap!

8. It is really fun to watch baseball games with Canadians. Well, drunk Canadians.

9. The players hit foul balls into the press box a lot. Rather than constantly repair the damage, they just started marking them.

10. You can leave a game a little early thinking the team has a safe lead, and it can totally change course. It's so unpredictable, with its highs and lows.

What do you love most about baseball?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...