Baseball Toaster Humbug Journal
Monthly archives: October 2008


'Rays in Seven'
2008-10-20 17:14
by Ember Nickel

All teams know comebacks. Some know comebacks well.
Those that know them best know it's hard to tell
What kind of comeback any game is till
Its series ends, as every series will.

Because not every comeback is the same,
A miracle game is merely one day's
Compilation of improbable plays.
Some games stand alone, set against defeat
Where bitter and sweet connect and produce
Forgotten innings, just there to reduce
To the final moments-a mob, a scream
And a star-crossed team, a desperate wave
Halfway between. The walk-off heroes stave
Elimination off a game or four.
Their feats make us roar, but make us forget
The championship's not decided yet.
Of course, sometimes reality's unreal.
The rallies that feel too strange to be true
Take place game by game. Not often. They do
Just enough, however. We don't discount
Even an amount of games that seems high.
Not when old records so frequently fly
Out of the park. Not with this team. To see
What one game will be, a week down the line,
Isn't a skill I think of as mine.
So of game five, I had nothing to say.
Not until today. But in game six, though,
I made my prediction how it would all go.

Humbug TV programming note
2008-10-07 07:33
by dianagramr

A friend of mine from my tournament Scrabble scene, Zack Hample, also happens to be the fellow who caught homerun balls at Yankee Stadium on consecutive days last month, as well as the last Mets homer at Shea Stadium.

Zack has "snagged" 3,816 baseballs at 44 different ballparks, and is now getting a lot of national attention. His "highlights" have been shown on SportsCenter, and tomorrow night, he's scheduled to appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

He's a pretty cool guy .... so check him out.

Playoff preview ... of the grass at each stadium
2008-10-01 19:05
by dianagramr

Yes, even the mowing patterns of the grass at each stadium gets examined prior to the playoffs, as detailed in this New York Times article.

As an example, here's the lowdown on Fenway Park and their "director of grounds", David Mellor:

"Mellor planned a relatively sedate backdrop to start the playoffs, with large squares and triangles, and none of his well-known hose-drawn flourishes like a capital “B” or the two-socks Red Sox logo. But if Boston advances, stay tuned."

Here is a highlight from another article featuring Mellor.

Such designs adorn and distinguish nearly every major league ballpark these days, but no one takes as keen an interest in mowing patterns as Mellor. He has written a book on the subject (“Picture Perfect: Mowing Techniques for Lawns, Landscapes, and Sports”), and is generally considered the top grass-cutting artist in the game. High-school geometry classes visit him at Fenway Park to study ways that an odd-shaped field can be divided and subdivided by straight lines and sharp angles.

“I’m not looking for more work,” Mellor said on a recent afternoon at Fenway Park. “But the grass has to be mowed anyway. So why not do it well, with straight lines, or checkerboards, or something more festive?”

Mellor, 45, gets most of the credit from his groundskeeping cohorts for kick-starting the trend, and forcing countless fans arriving at parks and tuning in to television to wonder: How do they do that?



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