Like Barry Bonds, Baseball Widow hasn't retired; she's just not playing.
Enjoy the archives. . .

Friday, August 27, 2004

One more before I go
Stupidest play ever.
Giants vs. Braves in Atlanta.
Bottom 6th. Tied 3-3. 1 out.
Giants pitcher Matt Herges loads the bases.
Atlanta pitcher Jaret Wright at bat.
Wright bunts. (Runner on third is stationary; this is not a squeeze bunt.)
Herges grabs ball and throws to. . .first!
Runner scores when he should have been out by 20 feet. What should have been a inning-ending double play gives the lead to Atlanta.
Tie game, Giants in a wild card race. Go-ahead run scores on a brain fart?
Stupidest play ever.
Anyone following this Paul Hamm thing?
Here's Baseball Widow's take: there's no instant replay in gymnastics. A sport that relies upon subjective judging in any area (be it somersaults or strike zones) requires a willingness on the athlete's part to go with flow and realize that sometimes you get the calls and sometimes you don't. If you want computers and robots to judge your sport, then you might as well have computers and robots compete. This idea might have some merit, actually. Baseball Widow would like to see Curt Shilling face Questec in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded.

And that's all Baseball Widow has to say about that.

In other news, Baseball Widow is heading to London for a week. Go make other blog friends, and be sure to tell me about them. (Yeah, yeah, Baseball Widow vacations as often as Pedro Martinez pats himself on the back. Baseball Widow will send you mental postcards.)

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Baseball Widow couldn't have said it better herself

. . . well, she might be capable of it, but she's not going to bother. Check out this article at Braves Journal. Mac makes several great points, the chief of which is that no one is giving the Braves credit for their success during the second half of the season this year. Writers (and fans) tend to skew the story as "how the Phillies lost it."

It's no secret that Baseball Widow is a Braves fan. Still, Baseball Widow readers know that Baseball Widow is also an advocate of truth in media. Unfortunately, that's hard to come by, especially in the realm of sports reporting. It's easier to sell a line than to craft a piece of analysis. From payroll to performance-enhancing drugs, from interleague to international play, and from winners to whiners, issues in baseball are more complicated than your average Terrence Moore can comprehend. Many of those sports writers who probably could grasp the complexities of the various subjects are too entrenched in the business of selling columns to concern themselves with good thoughts (and good writing, but Baseball Widow can't hope for miracles).

Okay, so it's not just baseball; we're a sound-byte nation. We manage to take original ideas and corrupt them into cliches as fast as (insert tired simile here). How many times this week have you heard someone reference "thinking outside the box"? And how many times was that person truly engaging creative thinking processes? Baseball Widow says forget the box--just start thinking, people.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Olympic Edition
Baseball Widow loves the Olympics. They are the perfect collection of spectator sports: the events move quickly (especially thanks to TV editing), the average viewer can understand the action, and you always know who to root for. (Although Baseball Widow hasn't been rooting for Team USA in Basketball; she thinks they have attitude problems.)

That said, Baseball Widow thinks that some events just don't fit at the Summer Olympics. . .

Individual athletic events make sense, so do those team events that compile individual results to create a team medal. Likewise, relays, which are simply consecutive individual performances, should have homes at the Summer Olympics. It is the events that Baseball Widow characterizes as team sports that just don't seem to belong. Perhaps more specific than team sports, Baseball Widow should say team games. Soccer, Basketball, Softball, and Baseball seem particularly ill-suited for the venue.

The Olympics seek to glorify the grace and beauty of the showcased athletic events. Baseball is a sport whose style and power are best examined over the course of a season, incorporating the ability to rotate roster spots, the strategy of team trades, and the excitement of pennant races. You just can't condense the sport into a two-week tournament. The attempt to do so results in a mockery of the Olympic spirit of competition; what kind of international Olympic event limits itself to representation from only eight countries?

Quite simply, you can't judge a baseball team until you've seen long-term performance. If you haven't seen every starting pitcher play, then you really haven't seen what the team is.

The problem in trying to condense baseball into tourney-friendly bite-sized pieces isn't limited to the Olympics. The postseason suffers from time-crunch as well. Five game series are fundamentally different from seven game series, and they result in advancement for some teams who otherwise wouldn't have a prayer in a long series. Okay, Baseball Widow realizes that spectators demand a postseason. . . you just gotta have an identifiable champ, right? I'm not trying to say that we should score teams like we score fantasy baseball and declare a winner after the regular season, but I do feel that every postseason series should benefit from the same ground rules--and shorter series result in playing by different rules.

So that's what Baseball Widow thinks, and she's promises it's not (entirely) motivated by her fear of Randy Johnson.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Music to Everyone's Ears

ESPN has a great series of links and short blurbs about at-bat music in the major leagues.

Yes, this is a few days old--still thought it was worth passing on, especially as Baseball Widow has previously written about her interest in at-bat music.


Okay, folks, Baseball Widow is making an attempt to return to the semi-daily grind. I tried to post a few days ago but couldn't get Blogger to cooperate.

Thanks, as always, for your patience with me, and I'll try to write more later this afternoon.