Why, yes, it has been an obnoxious month. How did you guess?
Something about the missed posts, right? Yeah, sorry about that. Too much going on, not enough sleep. It adds up to a lack of focus and ability to concentrate. And you know what that leads to.
Starting with a follow-up thought on the new MLB rules.
Now that I’ve watched a couple of games with those rules in effect, I have to say they’re not having as big an effect as I’d thought they would. Yes, the pitch clock is keeping things moving; I still have mixed feelings about that, but I’m leaning a little more toward the positive. The psychological battle between pitcher and batter can be exciting, but too often it degenerates into a rote call-and-response. So I favor anything that forces the players to find new ways to unsettle each other–though I have to admit, I do wonder how Ichiro would have coped with the pitch clock.
My biggest concern around the pitch clock and its associated rule changes is the limitation on how many times the pitcher can attempt a pickoff. Sure, unlimited tosses got abused from time to time. But I do worry that limiting the pitcher to no more than two attempts will put too much power on the batter’s side. Pitchers and catchers are either going to have to find other ways to hold the runner on–quick pitch and a snap throw from the plate, anyone?–or speed up their routine even further so the runner doesn’t have time to set himself and steal.
And, while I’m not looking forward to a game being decided on a clock violation, I have to admit it’s really not that different from a game-ending balk*. I expect we’ll see several clock-offs this year, but the numbers should drop quickly as players get more accustomed to the clock.
* That’s happened less than two dozen times in MLB history, by the way.
You may have noticed that St. Patrick’s Day was last week. As usual, America celebrated–if you can call it that–the occasion with green clothing, alcohol, and sales on “traditionally Irish” merchandise. Our local supermarket got into the act, of course, but it seems their ad crew started the celebration a little too early. By the look of things, the entire staff was either drunk or working through a hangover:
“Green Cabage” is a steal at 39 cents a pound, and ten pounds of “Patatoes” for five bucks isn’t bad either.
But I have to wonder about that “Guines Pub Draught”. We exclusively use Guinness in soups and stews; I don’t think I’m ready to try replacing it with a brew whose name sounds like a cheap copycat product, even at the remarkably low price of fifteen dollars.
Moving on one more time.
Saturday will be the tenth anniversary of this blog.
It’s traditional to mark significant anniversaries with noise and spectacle. I don’t think I’m going to do that. For one thing, the 25th is a work day. For another, Sunday is a far more important anniversary: the 44th anniversary of the day Maggie and I met. Forty-four isn’t one of those “significant” numbers, but since the blog anniversary never could have happened without her support, I’d rather devote what time I have available this weekend to her.