39 thoughts on “June 10, 2021: Annular”

  1. Minor Details has been posted. It will take tomorrow off, as I leave this afternoon for United Methodist Annual Conference. If nothing unexpected happens, the feature will return Saturday.

      1. Zero, because they postponed it until next year. And next year, the chances are only very, very, very slightly greater than zero. I suppose you could, in theory, pay me enough to go to General Conference, but it would have to be a pretty substantial sum.

    1. They are slightly above average in runs scored per game. They unfortunately also lead the league in runs allowed per game. The plus side is the relievers are no longer the worst in the league, now only 13th.

  2. I had my first usher shift last night and it was fairly interesting if not exciting. I was assigned to an elevator lobby on the service level (basement) checking credentials. The elevators there are mostly used by workers - food service, security, TV field crew, etc., but guests with mobility issues can use it to access the club level seats. Before the game Justin Morneau came by on his way from the field to the TV booth. I said hello and we exchanged some short pleasantries. After the game he and Dick and Glen Perkins came through on their way out. Over the course of the night I talked to some of the camera guys and grounds crew and Delaware North folk, security and police. Everyone was very friendly and nice. On my way to the staff room for my break I ran into TC in the tunnel and he gave me a fist bump. There was some excitement before the game when a storm cell popped up and the wind was blowing so hard it knocked over one of the big cooling stations and a couple of ticket scanners, blew around some of the portable food stands and I heard it knocked down a flagpole out on the plaza. Of course, I didn't have a view of the game but I was in the air conditioning and they said I could follow the game on my phone, so I was not about to complain about the assignment. I work again Friday when there's a fair chance of rain and they have postgame fireworks and we face the Astros offense so it could be a long night. I'm also working Saturday and then they go on the road so after this weekend I won't work again until the Reds are in town. I did sign up for about ten games in July, including the whole Angels series because Ohtani.

    1. The father of one of the kids on the peperoncino's baseball team is on the grounds crew for the Twins. Apparently he works every day for 8 months and then has 4 months off.

      1. They were scrambling last night when the storm hit because they'd put the tarp back on and the wind was threatening to pick it up and blow it away. They had to park some of their carts on it to hold it in place.

    2. The behind the scenes stuff is great. I'm reminded of being a high schooler working events at the Target Center. Usually I was just in a concession stand, but every once in a while I got to do something different. The coolest was probably riding in an elevator with Goldberg. I look forward to hearing more.

      Are you working July 7th? (White Sox day game)

      1. I once had some connections and was able to watch batting practice from the field before a game at the Metrodome. You got to the field via a stairway by the dugout. In the stairway Tony Olivia was just chillin' in a folding chair. On the way out, we came across Torii and exchanged fist bumps.

        1. I once had connections like that, too, only we went on the field after batting practice. I said hi to Joe Mauer and Pat Neshek on those stairs and ran across Matt Lecroy chilling at the bottom. Kent Hrbek (post playing days) used to sneak a cigarette there as well.

        2. I threw out the first pitch at a game in 1991. About halfway down those steps Kirby Pucket was doing the splits. That was one of the cooler experiences of my life.

    3. Back in the mid-80s, we were able to take the elevator at Jack Murphy Stadium due to my friend's mother being older, and it allowed us to see several players; Steve Garvey, Kent Hrbek, and a few others, as well as the strange opportunity to chat with Calvin Griffith in the parking lot on the way to our vehicles.

  3. On Tuesday, Dan Barriero had some New York baseball writer on to talk about the Yankees and besides pissing all over the Yanks, he went full get off my lawn about how "the nerds" (his word) have ruined baseball. "Everyone is swinging for the fences and don't know how to move a runner." Also this is because homeruns get the big contracts (surprised he didn't mention chicks too). Barriero for the most part was there right next to him, but did bring up the "some people say that pitchers are so nasty now, hitters have no chance but to swing for the fences," which this guy completely dismissed. He basically said that some team is going to go back to the old way of playing baseball and clean up. Of course old school Tony LaRussa and the first place White Sox where brought up to support his view.

    Now I get that baseball has issues and offense has suffered and it's harder to watch a game the way its played these days. But to ignore way the shift is being used now (some 1/3 of all plays have a shift) and the fact that pitchers throw harder and have nastier stuff (spider goo or no spider goo) can't be that easily dismissed. Batters are hitting .247 this year, the lowest since 1968 and striking out 1/4 of the time. I would posit that has a lot more to do with todays pitchers than with sabermetric analysis impacting hitting strategy.

    1. I thought I read somewhere that BABIP hasn't really changed since shifts were implemented, but maybe if it weren't for the shift, BABIP would be higher due to higher exit velocity.

    2. seems to me that "today's pitchers" and "sabermetric analysis impacting hitting strategy" have co-evolved. So, a comment more than a question.

      the GOML crap about "kids these days" is just the laziest sort of opinionating. Retire already, old codgers. The nerds haven't ruined baseball at all.

    3. One of the things that always puzzles me about this sort of "hitters these days" analysis is how many of the same commenters also lament starting pitchers not pitching so long. The modern bullpen has so much more impact on hitting than trying to hit homers does. Their own narrative gives them a scapegoat and they blast right past it to lament "the nerds". I dunno, maybe these commenters care more about attacking people who are different than they do about helping baseball...?

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