Friday, June 27, 2008

To Play or Not to Play

I have recently noticed that Barry Bonds, despite his willingness to play for next to nothing, is still without a team to play for. This seems utterly ludicrous to me, even though I know that he did use steroids (allegedly), and I am certainly against cheating in baseball. But with all of the continued scrutiny on his position, the chances of him continuing to use steroids under the shadow of his indictment are slim. There are many good reasons to put him back onto a major league team at least until his trial and it wouldn't be a terrible distraction for the remainder of his season since his trial isn't until 2009.

Since every homerun ball he hits from now until eternity is a record-breaking homerun and thus potentially priceless, I firmly believe that overall attendance at any baseball games he attends would greatly pad the pocket books of those in power. At a time where offense seems to be waning (odd how this happens right in the wake of the steroids controversy), it seems to me that baseball needs attendance. It is even possible that the people who come solely to see Barry Bonds might even rekindle some lost kernel of passion for the game and start to go to more of their teams' games. Either way, it seems very unlikely that the game will lose money with the reinstatement of Bonds (especially since he has agreed to be paid the league minimum, which is around 300k!!!!), but the game stands to make a great deal of money in ticket sales as well as corresponding concession sales.

This may sound odd, but his steroids usage doesn't matter to me right now because one person does not a team make. I don't agree with it, but I am not so alarmist that I believe that it is so incredibly pervasive as to give one team a tremendous boost over a 162 game season. I would certainly be more inclined to go to a game if given the option to see the all-time homerun king, even with his tainted record. It is still a record until a decision is made to strike him from the record which I don't see happening. The worst I could see happening is an asterisk put to his record, a la Roger Maris with his historic homerun season. Maybe someone will read this in the right position and give this poor (:() guy a break. Or perhaps not.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Night at the Indians Game

Yesterday was alot of fun as my buddy Potts and I went to go see an Indians game at Progressive field (You shall always be Jacob's field in my heart). We got there exceptionally early, over 2 hours prior to game time because I wanted to camp out on the homerun porch and snag homeruns during batting practice. Unfortunately, my carefully crafted plans went awry as the majority of the ballpark was closed until six so we were forced to sit in the right field seats to have any hope whatsoever of catching a batting practice homerun. It was exceptionally hot there, but it was quite close to the baseball players down on the field.

We sat there in the sun, munching on peanuts for about an hour. It was definitely not boring though as there was an older woman leaning over the wall and shouting down onto the field for Omar Vizquel to, and I quote (though I would rather not) "get his sweet bod over here". This woman was yelling so loudly that I could have sworn that the entire stadium could probably here her. Before the giants got into the outfield, they were stretching near their dugout on the first base line and to a man they all looked over when she yelled at them from the outfield. She was definitely not shy about welcoming Omar back to the ballpark for the first time since he was traded.

Prior to the game, there was a tribute to Omar that was actually quite touching. As someone who grew up watching the Indians in their heyday in the nineties, Omar and his fellow teammates from those years embodied what baseball truly meant. They really played as a team, which I am sad to say is sorely lacking not only in the current Tribe but also throughout baseball. Unfortunately, there are far too many people who seem to be hitting to get their personal numbers up that they negatively impact the team. It is amazing that the Indians this year have scored three runs or less in half of their games! That is an absolutely astounding number for major league hitters. Especially in the American league with the DH rule.

This game ended with a 3-2 win for the Giants, but the Indians had plenty of opportunities yet failed to capitalize. A strange thing occurred in Giants ninth when Omar came up to bat with men on first and third. He performed one of the best squeeze bunts down third base that I have ever seen, and all kudos to him. He performed it with such alacrity that the man from third scored and he was also safe at first base. The strange part of this incidence is that probably half of the stadium cheered because Omar did his job. I have a feeling that Omar was probably a little bit saddened by the lack in compassion for the modern incarnation of the Tribe. When he was playing, during a five year stretch that saw daily sellouts, this would never have happened. To have half of the park cheer when the opposing team scores a run is just very strange. I mean, I was happy to see Omar play, and the tribute before the game was really nice, but once that game starts he is the enemy for the majority of the park. We are a long way from San Francisco, so there really weren't that many Giants fans in the crowd.

So this was yet another loss for the struggling Indians. I am fast losing my patience with this team, and really don't see any way for them to come out of this hole unless they completely change the ways in which they have been playing baseball. They need to drop their pride and start playing together as a team. The talent is definitely there, but I fear that the motivation is missing. If I had bet in Vegas before this season started that both the Indians and Tigers would be playing sub-500 baseball this late into the season I could probably retire quite easily to some nice beach house down in the Caribbean with half of the attendance at last night's game.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Fresh Beginning

For those of you counting, though at this rate I wouldn't blame any of you for not reading this anymore, it has been over two months since my last post. Starting to sound a bit like I'm in a confessional. I confess my sins to thee, and hope that thou doth forgive me. Forgive my strange speech, but I am been reveling in Shakespeare of late thanks to a wonderful new device called Librivox. This website consists of a collection of audiobooks, read by real fans none of whom are getting paid. All of the books are those that are no longer subject to the long arm of copyright law, and thus William Shakespeare is a part of this. I urge anyone who likes literature to check this out. The talent is mixed, but the enthusiasm for the literature is something that has inspired me to lend my voice to this wonderful project.

This is just one of the many things that I have been doing to alleviate the boredom that I find myself in. It is a strange thing that the more time I have free, and thus the more things that could occupy my time, the less I inevitably get done. Instead, I have been in the habit of lying about like a bum for too many hours on end. Luckily, I have just enough motivation left in me right now to finish my thesis and look for a job. Speaking of my thesis, just 20 minutes ago I dropped off the latest draft en route to my adviser in New Mexico. *Fingers-crossed*

My job hunt has been oftentimes frustrating so far because it has been very difficult to find jobs in GIS (Geographic Information Systems). I have been going farther and farther afield until it seems that I am not fully using the degree for which I have labored much and given much over the past two years. Then I sit back and realize that nothing can ever replace the experiences and the friendships that I had over those two years. Even my relationship with Jess, which was in many ways put on hold for that time, is stronger for these experiences. As such, I am confident that even if I don't get a job that is specifically in my field it will all be worth it in the end.

I pledge to all of you faithful readers that I will make more use of this blog now that my life has settled somewhat. The stability that having a job and a steady source of income brings will allow me to focus all of my creativity and keep writing. I pray to God that I never lose my compassion for the written word and that I am always comfortable enough in myself to never fear writing what I feel needs to be written. Stay tuned, for even I never know what will flow from my rapidly typing fingers and through all the circuits onto the monitor. Wondrous things may be ahead for us all.