Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Baseball in the Snow

Here's a crazy thought: Baseball is a warm-weather sport. Baseball is not something that should ever be contested at, say, the Winter Olympics.

There is, in fact, a "winter meeting" for executives of Major League Baseball, but the phrase is not supposed to refer to the World Series. It snowed yesterday in Philadelphia. There's a foot of snow in the Poconos. Tonight it is supposed to be 40 degrees at gametime; one radio report this morning said it would be in the 30s. Yet here we are, still playing baseball, still trying to get through the 6th inning of Game 5 of the Rays-Phillies series.

The only people happy about this are the Global Cooling whack-jobs (someday I should write a piece saying that it's dumb to contaminate a scientifically valid climate change argument with references to specific weather events).

Did anyone see Monday night's baseball game? It was a whole new sport: Slap 'n' Slide. The runners were hydroplaning around the basepaths. The winning team was going to be the one that mastered the J-stroke.

What's happened here is baseball paying the price for its own greed. It wanted a longer playoff schedule, with all the TV revenue therein. Way back when, it added the league championship series, which was fine, but then it added yet another layer of playoffs. In good times this makes for lots of good baseball, though I wonder how many people were paying close attention this year when the Rays beat the ... [wait, Googling to see who the Rays played] ... Chicago White Sox in a series for the ages.

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 29, 2008; 8:34 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Palin to Endorse Obama?
Next: You Get What You Pay For

Comments

Indeed JA, sometimes less is more. The NFL seems to function quite well with a regular schedule that is what, shorter than baseball preseason?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 29, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Even though the TV contracts essentially forced the playoff schedule into its current frosty environs, the way the various series played out this year would have still brought us to this basic place.

*shrug*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 29, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

snuke-re your query on the last boodle. The ad is supposed to be mostly taped with live cut-ins from Obama, who will be in Florida.

An AP story:
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jKE7eUUmYAErFH0r1fEdVZexg2IQD943RP6G0

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 29, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

First I will admit I do not understand the concept that baseball must be played in warm weather - any parent in my area that has watched their child play early/late season baseball around here knows it can be chilly.

I was fortunate enough to watch the Series winning game for the Jays Second World Series, there was only was disappointment of the evening, it was a beautiful fall evening in Toronto, temps in the mid 50's (and stayed that way through the night) but the roof was closed order closed before the series began by the Commissioner. As you can tell I am still somewhat bitter about this.

If there is one thing less pleasant than inclimate weather it is being in an enclosed stadium when the weather is beautiful.

Posted by: dmd2 | October 29, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

On baseball - The extreme length of the season is one of the reasons I just can't be a real baseball fan. Way too many games.

On the Obama infomercial - It will be interesting to see how it plays with people. Like others, I'm a little concerned. Of course the only other person I can think of to do it over here is Ross Perot, so there are those connotations.

But I did live in Britain in 96/97 and was there as Blair and Labour took over for the first time in many, many years. I remember that BBC would show 30 min - 1 hr campaign commercials for each of the parties. (OK almost all. There was a controversy surrounding the neo-nazi party commercial and BBC didn't run it.) A decade later I can't tell you what was said, but I thought the idea was good.

I think it would be interesting if each party, and I'll throw in the Libertarians and Greens for good measure, were given the opportunity to do a half hour special free of charge. So much of the rhetoric is reduced to stump speeches and sound bites.

Posted by: astromom | October 29, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

On baseball - The extreme length of the season is one of the reasons I just can't be a real baseball fan. Way too many games.

On the Obama infomercial - It will be interesting to see how it plays with people. Like others, I'm a little concerned. Of course the only other person I can think of to do it over here is Ross Perot, so there are those connotations.

But I did live in Britain in 96/97 and was there as Blair and Labour took over for the first time in many, many years. I remember that BBC would show 30 min - 1 hr campaign commercials for each of the parties. (OK almost all. There was a controversy surrounding the neo-nazi party commercial and BBC didn't run it.) A decade later I can't tell you what was said, but I thought the idea was good.

I think it would be interesting if each party, and I'll throw in the Libertarians and Greens for good measure, were given the opportunity to do a half hour special free of charge. So much of the rhetoric is reduced to stump speeches and sound bites.

Posted by: astromom | October 29, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

sorry about the double post

Posted by: astromom | October 29, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I agree that the season has gotten too long. You shouldn't be playing baseball after the Christmas decorations have gone up in the stores. (Of course, the Christmas decorations shouldn't go up until after Haloween, but I digress.)

Posted by: ebtnut | October 29, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Kim1, my understanding of what sweating means is similar to sauteing. A little oil on very low heat. Whereas
saute is hot, sweat is very low heat.

I'll let Yoki chime in if I'm wrong.


Posted by: omnigood | October 29, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I suppose that if St Peter's Basilica were in the US, someone would be suggesting a moveable roof for the huge square in front of the church. Not good to leave crowds in the hot sun or the rain.

Thinking of moveable architecture, I guess no more inaugurals will be held on the east side of the Capitol, so the new underground visitor center won't have a section of pavement that rises to form a platform for the incoming President. Such a platform could even be set up to rise immediately before the swearing-in. A little Busby Berkeley touch.

So back to stadiums: if one stadium already has a moveable lawn, how about moveable half-time surfaces? Perhaps with pools of water and/or mud? Lots of interesting possibilities, from Busby Berkeely to motocross. Maybe both at the same time.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 29, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

oh ebtnut, Xmas decorations have been going up earlier and earlier for so long your mind is corrupt. Repeat after me three times:

No christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving.
No christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving.
No christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving.

Posted by: omnigood | October 29, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, one and all.

Yes, I watched that game, Joel, and it was a mess. The ones I felt sorriest for (naturally) were the poor umps, who were in a lose-lose situation no matter what they did. At least the players get to leave the field and sit in the dugout 50 percent of the times (plus they get some exercise once in a while). The umps get no such relief.

The most miserable game I ever umpired was under almost exactly the same conditions. It was a high school scrimmage game in mid-March at (IIRC) Chopticon High School in Southern Maryland, on a cold, raw, drizzly overcast day, and nobody prayed for rain more than me. I froze my butt off, the players were crabby and miserable, every time somebody hit a ball it stung their hands, and everybody wanted to go home. Seven miserable, meaningless innings, but it never actually broke into rain, and so I had no grounds to stop it. (Hint: "Just because" isn't in the rule book as a legitimate reason to stop the game, although I'd have approved it if it ever came up in a rules committee meeting.) Just really hated life that day.

So yeah, I know what it was like on that field the other night.

Of course, if the Rays were playing the Dodgers, nobody'd be complaining.

It really just boils down to the pointlessness of blaming the weather (dare I suggest, to paraphrase a noted author, that "it's dumb to contaminate a sports game argument with references to specific weather events?). Everybody knows football is a "fall/winter" event -- yet we've had that horrendous, legendary "Ice Bowl" playoff in Green Bay in 1967 (13 below zero, 15 mph winds,. wind chill -48 degrees). I think the worst NFL playoff game was the 1982 AFC Championship Game at Cleveland's Riverfront Stadium (Bengals vs. Charges) -9 degrees but wind chillof -59 degrees.

Football was never meant to be played in those conditions anymore than baseball was meant to be played like it was the other night.

The NFL attempts to "solve" this problem by holding Super Bowls in warmer climate cities-- but then people b1tch about the unfairness of never holding the Super Bowl in a cold city where football "ought" to be played, and there's merit in that argument. But the risk is that one day a Super Bowl will be played in the north and a blizzard or ice storm will come in.

I think most fans wouldn't object (I know I wouldn't) to eliminating 12 games off the baseball season, and moving everything up two weeks, though. The only objections would come from the owners, advertisers and TV stations-- the people who actually own the game, alas. (Proving yet again that "the Market" doesn't operate for the benefit of the customers, it operates only in its own self-interest, and eff the customer.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | October 29, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Regarding dmd's point about not wanting to waste a nice day in an covered stadium. Back when I was living in the Pacific Northwest, this was known as the "Kingdome" effect and nearly killed the Mariners. Which is why they blew the thing up.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 29, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Regarding dmd's point about not wanting to waste a nice day in an covered stadium. Back when I was living in the Pacific Northwest, this was known as the "Kingdome" effect and nearly killed the Mariners. Which is why they blew the thing up.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 29, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Regarding dmd's point about not wanting to waste a nice day in an covered stadium. Back when I was living in the Pacific Northwest, this was known as the "Kingdome" effect and nearly killed the Mariners. Which is why they blew the thing up.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 29, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I give up until they fix this stupid thing.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 29, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I give up until they fix this stupid thing.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 29, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I give up until they fix this stupid thing.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 29, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I give up until they fix this stupid thing.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 29, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Good point about putting a roof over St. Peter's, DaveotC. I've though for a long time they oughta knock some holes in the roof of the Cistine Chapel and put in some much-needed skylights. Kinda gloomy in there, yanno? Some natural light would let people see better.

And in myu own self-interest, I've always thought they oughta let umpires bring chairs out onto the field. You can call first base perfectly well from a comfy barcalounger. And third base-- pffffffff. You can call *that* one sound asleep on a Sealy Posture-Pedic mattress.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | October 29, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Has it gone haywire again. Let me kick it and see what happens...

Posted by: JoelAchenbach | October 29, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The Montreal Expos had some games delayed by snow in April. The seats of the old Jarry park had to be swept clear of snow before their very first game, back in the Spring of '68.
I think it would be possible to play baseball in cold weather; it's just a question of preparation. They would need caps with ear flaps, longjohns with the team logo, studded shoes, polar fleece shirts, pre-heated practice bats, battery-powered umpire shield, snow-machine style face-shield for the catcher and the ump, etc. That'd be cool but the main problem is the origin of the players. If they are not from Florida or California they are from Nicaragua or Cuba. They are not snow people. Even the frigging Canadians in MLB are mostly from British Columbia and we all know that is not really Canada.

Sweating is cooking something in a little fat at a temperature that ensures no grilling is happening and the veggies gets really soft but not colored. Onions and celery are prime candidates for seating, usually at medium-low to medium temperature. In French, it "faire tomber", i.e. collapse the veggie.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 29, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

My rather lackluster youth sports history was in climes like Florida (Palma Ceia Rec League) and the Philippines, so the whole concept of seasonable weather is foreign to me.

Watching NFL players sweat into stroke conditions in August and MLB guys in parkas in the outfield seems just strange. And hockey does not belong south of the Mason Dixon line. Sorry. It's just wrong.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 29, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Apologies if this shows up multiple times. The problem might be on my end. Although I click only once, clearly, the message is being accepted multiple times until I get a "too many messages" warning.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 29, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Omni, stores do wait until after Thanksgiving to put up Christmas decorations - Canadian Thanksgiving!

Last night had to take the kids winter clothes shopping, older child looked around and commented that she couldn't wait for christmas - not the presents but the decorations and lights and the spirit - I was so proud I have produced a child, who like me is the reasons stores decorate early - Sorry. hehehe

Posted by: dmd2 | October 29, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Penny: Old Thunderbolt's the greatest dog in the whole world.
Patch: He's even better than Dad.
Cadpig: No dog's better than Dad.


Pongo: Perdy, I've got an idea! [rolls around in soot]
Perdita: Pongo, what on Earth...?
Pongo: Look! I'm a Labrador! We'll all roll in the soot! We'll all be Labradors!
Labrador: Say! That is an idea!
Pongo: Come on, kids! Roll in the soot!
Penny: You mean you want us to get dirty?
Pepper: Did you hear that, Freckles? Dad wants us to get dirty.
Cadpig: Mother, should we?
Perdita: [sighs] Do as your father says.
Pepper: This'll be fun!
Cadpig: I always wanted to get good and dirty!

Posted by: omnigood | October 29, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Snowball(baseball in the snow) can be fun.I went to a couple of games at Memorial Stadium when it snowed.Also I do recall a world series game in Baltimore being called because of snow.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 29, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of "it's just wrong," this just in from the Going Out Guide on the home page:

Carve a pumpkin at happy hour

What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 29, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

this ones for mo: http://www.vet.cornell.edu/OGE/Pictures/White%20Winged%20Vampire%20bats%20Dan%20Riskin.jpg

Posted by: omnigood | October 29, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

dmd in west by god half the people leave the Christmas decorations up year round and year after year after year.

I usually leave mine up till Feb 2,groundhogs day in honor of my father and his birthday.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 29, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, your 11:10 made me spew coffee.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | October 29, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Just loved this quote:

"I'm pretty sure if I took my error rate and matched it against any other campaign or comparable nonprofit, you'd find we're doing very well," said Robert Bauer, a lawyer for the campaign. "I have not seen the McCain compliance staff ascending to heaven on a cloud."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/28/AR2008102803413.html?hpid=topnews

Percussive maintenance aside, verifying real-time transactions is complex, I run several systems which do just that for equities. In the future, I'd expect to see campaigns avoid the nightmare by using ASPs (application service providers) who do it on a daily basis.

At the same time, the statute is what it is and if upfront verification isn't required, who's going to make the donor sit there forever waiting for the transaction to clear (also giving them the option of cancelling the donation)?

fivethirtyeight calms me right down, but otherwise, I'm worried.

Posted by: -dbG- | October 29, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

If yer gonna spew, spew into THIS. *holding up Dixie cup*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 29, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

astromom: But I did live in Britain in 96/97 and was there as Blair and Labour took over for the first time in many, many years. I remember that BBC would show 30 min - 1 hr campaign commercials for each of the parties. (OK almost all. There was a controversy surrounding the neo-nazi party commercial and BBC didn't run it.)

I'm afraid your memory is a little faulty.
Party Political Broadcasts have seldom extended beyond 15 mins (often less). In 1997, the BNP did get their 5 mins (it's proportional to previous votes). I watched it (it was awful).

DC

Posted by: strum | October 29, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

But strum, you must admit PPBs can get rather exciting.

Just ask the Wood Party.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 29, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I watched the Kingdome implode, live, on my TV in Portland.

The season of nice days in the PNW may be relatively brief, but it's glorious. Even the less-than-fantastic days are kind of nice in that there's rarely a thunderstorm around. You didn't worry about being fried by a stray lightning bolt.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 29, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

strum - My memory probably is faulty. I was a college exchange student at the time, and as such was intoxicated for the better part of the year. :)

But given what passes for political discourse in this country, I thought the PPBs were a fascinating concept.

Posted by: astromom | October 29, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Since I know nuttin about baseball, I'll post about Melvin Koznowsky.

I saw him crossing the street.

Posted by: Braguine | October 29, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Brag, Always welcome your input.

PNW? Pinot Noir Wilderness? Port Naches Winery? Post Nasal Woodworking? Pre-Natal Wimpering? Pasta Noodle Weaponry? Partially Naked Wordsmithing (I know: ewwwwwwwwwwww)?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | October 29, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I'll be watching the Obama ad now I know my kid cousin has been sweating over it.

So nice to have a filmmaker in the family.

Now Wilbrodog says "to the trees, Tarzan!"

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 29, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Pine Nut Whacking, of course...

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 29, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Brag, Always welcome your input.

PNW? Pinot Noir Wilderness? Port Naches Winery? Post Nasal Woodworking? Pre-Natal Wimpering? Pasta Noodle Weaponry? Partially Naked Wordsmithing (I know: ewwwwwwwwwwww)?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | October 29, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

H-m-m-m. Interesting. When I posted this morning, I didn't have to sign in. Now I do. PNW = Pacific Northwest. The weather in that region really runs the gamut. If you are near or right on the coast, you get the "Seattle" weather - lots of clouds, rain, breezes, etc. However, back behind the Coast Range, it can be really semi-arid. Portland has very different weather than Seattle. Back in the Inland Empire, the climate is much like central Calfornia.

Posted by: ebtnut | October 29, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

H-m-m-m. Interesting. When I posted this morning, I didn't have to sign in. Now I do. PNW = Pacific Northwest. The weather in that region really runs the gamut. If you are near or right on the coast, you get the "Seattle" weather - lots of clouds, rain, breezes, etc. However, back behind the Coast Range, it can be really semi-arid. Portland has very different weather than Seattle. Back in the Inland Empire, the climate is much like central Calfornia.

Posted by: ebtnut | October 29, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't suppose anyone can explain to me why the WaPo front page link on "Interactive" (in the black band midway down) is labeled "Hard Times," has the following text: "Watch how the nation's financial woes are beginning to affact regular Americans and how they can affect the November vote" -- and shows the photo of a man and a woman kissing.

I can sorta see the link between the kissing and "hard times," but somehow I don't think we're all on the same page...

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | October 29, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

New kit over ------>

Posted by: nellie4 | October 29, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Why is there a headline on the home page as well as inside that says Wall Street is "giddy" after yesterday's rally -- and when you read Frank Ahrens' minimalist story, it just says Wall Street has been quiet all morning? I never thought "giddy" was a synonym for "quiet." (And there's no reference to yesterday's rally.)

Another headline claims "21 Victims Dead in Somalia Suicide Attacks" --but when you read the story you learn there were five separate attacks and an admittedly unknown number of suicidal bombers. So it isn't "21 victims" at all-- it's just 21 dead, some of whom are "victims" (i.e., innocent people), and somewhere between 1 and 5 (and possibly more) attackers. Attackers ain't "victims" in my book. (Actuially, they're still counting bodies, but that's not the point.)

I know Joel doesn't like it when I kvetch and kvell like this, but they used to teach this kinda stuff when I went to journalism school.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | October 29, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

LOL, Mudge-

The least safe text-to-voice post ever maybe

Posted by: omnigood | October 29, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company