Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
Katie's boys, Drew and Jake, are part of a youth fitness for health group in Maryland and they race once a month or so. Today Drew took third in a big group of boys who were older than him. Jake just loves being a part of it all. Loves his big brother too.
Last night we watched the Cardinals opening day ceremonies on tv and it soon became evident that we were thankful to be at home. Lots of people we know who had tickets to the game found themselves in the longest, most massive entry lines imaginable. All this was due in large part to new Major League Baseball security rules.
One friend wrote on facebook she had been in line for an hour and it was mayhem. Here are a couple of pictures taken by KSDK reporter Casey Nolen.
Here is a link to a story on the new security measures and written as warning to those going to Spring Training games, but the same rules apply now. Also no backpacks, any bags are recommended to be see through. Bags will all be searched. Etc.
Hopefully the employees who work at the entrance will get used to the security rules and fans will keep this in mind and go earlier.
Someone finally did a little investigating into why baseball games go so long. The length of games is a reason why I'd never want to have season tickets and feel obligated to attend all those games. At least watching at home gives you an option to read something while watching or taking a time out to walk the dog, make dinner, whatever. At the stadium you're kind of stuck in your seat beyond bathroom breaks.
On April 13, 1984, the Mets played the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The home team won, 11-2. Both teams combined to throw 270 pitches. Both teams combined to allow 27 baserunners, and 74 batters came to the plate. There was exactly one mid-inning pitching change.
On April 17, 2014, the Brewers played the Pirates at PNC Park. The home team won, 11-2. Both teams combined to throw 268 pitches. Both teams combined to allow 27 baserunners, and 75 batters came to the plate. There was exactly one mid-inning pitching change.
The game from 1984 lasted two hours and 31 minutes.
The game from 2014 lasted three hours and six minutes.
The aim for this study was to find out what made the difference in the length of the two games.
You may believe the difference in time was due to more commercials, but no, that is not the case. This effort by SB nation is amazing, they watched both games with a stopwatch or some such and related the time and details for every inning even giving you quotes from the announcers. If you like baseball you'll like all this.
But in the end, the reason the current games are much longer is because of the length of time between pitches. Pitchers today are taking way more time to throw the ball after they receive it from the catcher.
The author of this piece said, "I tallied up all the pitches in both games that we’ll call inaction pitches — pitches that resulted in a ball, called strike, or swinging strike, but didn’t result in the end of an at-bat or the advancement of a runner. These are the pitches where the catcher caught the ball and threw it back to the pitcher, whose next step was to throw it back to the catcher."
The total time for the inaction pitches in 1984 — the elapsed time between a pitcher releasing one pitch and his release of the next pitch — was 32 minutes and 47 seconds.
The total time for inaction pitches in 2014 was 57 minutes and 41 seconds.
Pitchers are taking too much time to actually throw the ball! Keep your eyes on them when you next watch a game.
I've been part of a small group of family and friends who joined together to form a bracketology group and we all chose are picks for each game in the NCAA tournament. After each round the brackets showed how each person did and the order from first to last. Now that the tournament is down to 4 many of us are out, not having picked any of the 4 while others have 1 or two teams still standing. I have two, Gonzaga and North Carolina and luckily for me they don't have to play each other in the semi finals.
I keep thinking and re-thinking my bracket picks this morning. I certainly was influenced by college basketball experts when I chose Gonzaga as the eventual winner. Headlines like this put me over the edge: "Gonzaga is going to win it all and other big, bold Tournament predictions."
But today I don't know and have until 11 to change my mind.
Here's some trivia. Gonzaga is a private Catholic University named after a 1500's young man from a wealthy princely family who became a Jesuit and eventually was made a saint. When a plague struck Rome in 1591 Saint Aloysius Gonzaga stayed with the sick, nursing patients, washing them and making their beds, Aloysius caught the disease himself and died 3 months later. He is now the patron saint of Catholic youth and teen-agers.
Northfield Minnesota's Carleton College athletic department has decided to remove the scale from their gym area. This decision is a great exclamation point to the kind of society we're now living in. A sign where the scale used to be stated it was removed to encourage people to focus on other ways of measuring their health beyond just their weight.
One student who agrees with removing the scale said, "Scales are very triggering,” she said. “I think people are being insensitive because they simply don’t understand. They think eating disorders are a choice when they are actually a serious illness."
But another student wrote: "We shouldn’t remove something because some people abuse it,” he said. “If they can’t handle the number that shows up on the scale then don’t step on it."
Who knew scales would be triggering. Will scales in doctor's offices be next?
"The best places to watch: http://www.ncaa.com/marchmadness or the NCAA March Madness Live app. All the games will be there, regardless of where they are televised.
CBS is televising 24 games, including the national championship and the Final Four. These games won’t require a cable or satellite password through the app or website, but they are viewable only on phones, tablets and computers — not streaming devices such as Apple TV, Roku or Fire TV."
This is kind of a big deal, at least for me. Even though we have cable and the required apps on the iPad, I have not been able to make viewing work. For some reason Charter will not accept the password I set up a couple of years ago. I've tried everything, even going through the steps on their website and nothing works. They make it impossible. I've debated calling but anyone who calls a cable company knows how convoluted that is.
We have tv's to watch, but last year we were in Collinsville where we have one tv and I was tired and wanted to watch the end of the Syracuse regional final in bed but could not make that system work. A small thing I know, but this happened again here in St. Louis. We were watching one thing and I wanted to look in on something else and again, charter would not accept the password.
So to see that this won't be needed is good news. Great news for people who have cut the cable cord.
The NCAA tournament brackets were announced last night and fans are planning to fill theirs out to see how many results they can get right. it's a fun time of year. This year, however, the NIT is as interesting to me as the NCAA tournament because so many teams I like or are personal to me, will play in this one. I'd venture to say that this year's NIT is one of the best as far as teams involved.
Illinois, Illinois State, Valparaiso, Syracuse, Indiana, Iowa, Alabama, Clemson, all good teams.
My alma mater, Illinois State is the school which many felt were left out of the NCAA's unfairly yesterday. So they ended up with a number one seed in the NIT's. The biggest takeaway I noticed during the NCAA bracket announcements was the weird seeding. It's hard to know what to make of Wisconsin getting an 8 seed or Kansas a number one when they didn't get past the first round in their conference tournament. Michigan won the BIG tournament beating Minnesota but Michigan gets a 7 seed and Minnesota a 5.
I came across this picture of Comiskey Park from 1933 and one of the comments under the photo was: "Only see men and boys?"
I've long noticed old baseball pictures filled with mostly men and boys at the games in the decades before WWII. Baseball was hugely popular but women, for whatever reason, did not go to games. I wonder how they came to like baseball if they never got to see it. There wasn't television back then broadcasting every game. Sure there was radio and newspaper photos and stories of games, but that doesn't seem like much. Seeing only men and boys is kind of mindboggling these days.
The first baseball game I ever went to was at Comiskey Park, the original Comiskey, to watch the White Sox play. Our southside of Chicago family was always Sox fans, never Cubs. I can vividly remember my first view of the park as we walked inside. Huge bright swaths of green under a blue sky. It was unforgettable. But that time, many years ago, was part of the opening up of baseball to women and we went in big numbers. How weird it is to think there was a long period of time when women just didn't go to baseball games.