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Thursday, June 25, 2020

The part of fan-free baseball nobody is talking about

Welcome to a very subtle alteration that would seem to be coming in the new world of fan-free big league baseball. (Note: There still may be some teams who host fans at some point during the 2020 season, but the vast majority of clubs will be playing front of empty ballparks to begin with.)

“I think stolen bases in Major League Baseball will be down because guys can hear,” the pitcher explained.

“When I was playing Little League or Pony Ball and it’s just your parents in the stands, literally the first baseman was like, ‘Hey, he’s about to steal.’ And you step off. But in the big leagues you have to be screaming it and the first baseman is the one looking like an idiot yelling, ‘His lead is big! His lead is big!’ Now it’s going to be like, ‘It’s big. It’s bigger. Are you going step off?’ It will be great. Growing up, communication in baseball …You don’t think people communicate. You watch a soccer game and you don’t know anything. Now you watch a soccer game without fans and you can hear guys talking. ‘One on you!’ ‘Left, left, left.’ Like pickup basketball. … You can’t hear in the NBA when music is playing and crowds are going. Now that part of the game is going to be so much smoother, so much easier. Communication in baseball is actually going to matter. Before it didn’t matter. It was more hand gestures and stuff. Now you can talk.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2020 at 02:04 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: fans

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Empty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird

So, with the very likely possibility that baseball and basketball — at minimum — will be played to empty stadiums, it begs the question: Will it be as fun?

And before you answer, think about it for a second. No crowd noise. No intensity that builds for the home team or against the away team. Yes, the scoreboard will tell the tale, but the pressure is cranked up when you have a building full of crazy fans screaming their lungs out.

Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 28, 2020 at 10:17 AM | 9745 comment(s)
  Beats: business, fans, stadiums

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Pirates fans really aren’t happy with owner Bob Nutting

The Pirates finished 69-93 last year, capping off another disappointing season. It marked their third sub-.500 season in four years and their third consecutive season finishing fourth or worse in the NL Central. Things were once bright in Pittsburgh as the Pirates reached the playoffs in 2013, but were nudged out of the NLDS by the Cardinals in five games. They reached the NL Wild Card game in the ensuing two years but lost both times. They haven’t come close since.

After the 2019 season, the Pirates went on to fire team president Frank Coonelly, GM Neal Huntington, manager Clint Hurdle, and pitching coach Ray Searage. They would go on to be replaced, respectively, by Travis Williams, Ben Cherington, Derek Shelton, and Oscar Marin. The Pirates were attempting to start a new chapter for the 2020 season.

The Atheltic’s Stephen J. Nesbitt polled 1,117 Pirates fans about a wide range of topics, including their enthusiasm for the 2020 season (if and when it begins) and their approval of the job owner Bob Nutting has done with the team. Most of the prompts called respondents to assign a numerical value to the question. For example, for the question, “What is your excitement level for the Pirates in 2020?” fans responded with a 1 for “I don’t care” all the way up to a 5 for “I’m extremely excited.” 22.7 percent of respondents put down a 1 and another 32.5 percent felt they were a 2. Together, ones and twos accounted for over half of the respondents.

Mind you, it’s not like we can blame them in the slightest…...

 

QLE Posted: April 16, 2020 at 02:24 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: bob nutting, fans, pirates

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Baseball Question of the Day: Have you ever permanently changed your rooting interests?

Oscar Wilde once wrote, on the subject of loyalty, “My dear boy, the people who only love once in their lives are really the shallow people. What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity, I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination.”

He was talking about young love, but I think the concept applies to broader conceptions of loyalty. A concept that, while noble and respectable, is often mistakenly considered irrevocable. There’s this notion out there that loyalty must be blind and never-ending. Which, frankly, is bullcrap.

Loyalty is earned — or at least it should be — and loyalty that is taken for granted or even abused is misguided in the extreme. When the facts and circumstances which gave rise to that loyalty change, it’s entirely reasonable to question the very basis for that loyalty.

I won’t get into matters of love, but I will apply it to sports.

I’ve been following the same team for over a quarter of a century now, and my loyalties are pretty set- how are they for the rest of you?

 

QLE Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:08 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, loyalty, questions

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

When the Game Cannot Go On

It’s becoming clear that leaving your jacket behind was a mistake.

The sun has been giving this mid-March day a Fourth of July tint all afternoon, and you’ve been waiting all winter to brave the outdoors free from layers. That sun was still out when you got to the ballpark just before 5 pm, and the air felt mild, so you left your jacket in the car. You should have known better. The high school baseball game you’re watching probably wasn’t going to end until 7:30, when the sun was nearly gone — along with whatever lies it promised you about warmth.

Now, that 7:30 final out is beginning to feel wildly optimistic. One of the starting pitchers had trouble throwing strikes in the first inning, needing 33 pitches to get through it, according to your count. The second inning is shaping up to be even worse. The same pitcher hit the first batter, and has walked three more to force home a run.

Really, it isn’t his fault. He isn’t going to pitch in the majors, or even in college. He isn’t a baseball player at all, really. He’s just playing the part, like so many other kids you’ve seen, happy for any chance to be outside with his friends.

 

 

QLE Posted: April 01, 2020 at 01:31 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, high school baseball

 

 

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