Saturday, April 20, 2013


1. The "Twi-Night" Doubleheader

Growing up, this would show up every now and then on the regular schedule - the "twi-night" doubleheader.  First game would start about 4 or 5 PM, second game shortly after, usually about 7 or 8 PM.  It was like going to the cinema and watching a double feature, except you would go to the ballpark and watch a doubleheader.  Now you never see a doubleheader in the regular schedule, and if a game has to be made up, it's part of a "day-night" doubleheader (exactly that - one game at 1 PM, another at 7 PM), and it's two separate admissions.  Plus, what the hell are you going to do for three hours between games?
2. The singing of the National Anthem
I'm sure that still happens before every professional game.  However, unless it's some diva pulling a Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey out of his/her butt, it doesn't get aired on TV or radio.  It just goes right to a commercial.  Often times there wasn't even a singer, except for a special occasion.  It was just the ballpark organist playing it, and the crowd in the stands would stand and sing it.  Truthfully, I'd rather listen to the crowd in the stands sing the anthem.  Even the tone-deaf section can sing it better than that diva that will change the time signature, add melisma after melisma, and even change to a lower key when she realizes that the next line is high (I've heard THAT, too!).  As an added bonus (for our Canadian readers), if the Blue Jays or the then-Expos were on, you'd hear both anthems - Canadian and American.
3. Letting the pitcher finish
It's great that most teams can rely on a decent closer.  But one pet peeve of mine is that managers just don't let their pitchers finish their games anymore.  I'm not talking about the bum that can't get out of the third without falling behind 10-0.  I'm talking about the guy that's gone through seven strong innings, is holding a 4-0 lead, but gets yanked from the game because he's already thrown a wholesome grand total of 100 pitches.  His seventh inning was stronger than his first four.  Are you kidding me?  Let him finish!  Complete games are a premium these days.  When I was a young lad, there was at least one complete game pitched a day in the major league.  Now the manager wimps out after 100 pitches.  WTF?  It would be different if he was in a jam (back then, known as "running out of gas"), then you have to throw in your fireman (saves leaders in my day were known as "leading firemen") to get out of the inning.  Otherwise, he's fine.  Let him get his 130-pitch complete game for cripes sakes!
4. Almost-balanced schedules
Growing up, a ball club would play maybe 15 games against teams in their own divisions, and maybe 10-12 games against teams in the other division.  Now it's 18-19 games against their own division, and 6-8 games against the other divisions.  I can see your own division getting more exposure, but playing a whole month against the same damn teams can be overkill.  Makes me happy that there's now interleague play, and a little more of it this year.  I like the idea of the Red Sox playing the Cubs, the Rockies, and the Phillies every now and then.  I most certainly like to watch the Yankees play the Cubs and the White Sox play the Mets.  Why?  Because they're oddball games you don't see often enough.  And I have no problem watching the Cubs play any American League team because, until interleague play began, the Cubs did not play against an American League team since 1945 --- the last time they played in a World Series!
In the words of Archie and Edith, Those were the days!!!

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