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Saturday, May 14, 2022

Major League Baseball has a lightning problem, study shows

During a night when every Major League Baseball team is in action, odds are that lightning activity is unsafely close to at least one of its stadiums, a recent study found.

Talk about a wide strike zone.

Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: May 14, 2022 at 12:19 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: baltimore, baltimore orioles, miami, miami marlins, mlb_rules, nationals park, rules, rules of play, rules of the game, safety, st. petersburg, tampa bay, tampa bay rays, umpires, weather

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   1. winnipegwhip Posted: May 14, 2022 at 10:11 AM (#6076695)
It is nothing compared to the Lightning problem in NHL according to Maple Leaf fans.
   2. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: May 14, 2022 at 11:41 AM (#6076705)
It is nothing compared to the Lightning problem in NHL according to Maple Leaf fans.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: May 14, 2022 at 04:38 PM (#6076720)
My lightning story ... no need to panic, it involves no lightning.

Upon a time, city boy here occasionally went for day hikes. Went out on a lovely day, got to the top of the ridge and due west were very nasty storm clouds. A short inner conversation ...

1. Are you from Chicago? Yes
2. Do you know jackshit about what to do now? Not much.
3. What do you know? Well, standing on top of a ridge being the highest point isn't a good idea. Being under a tree is bad.
4. What's between you and safety? Ummm ... a forest.

Having no real idea what I should have done, I decided to get back down to the bottom as quickly as I could (fat, bad knees, it wasn't quick) and hopefully beat the storm. Which I did, thunder and rain starting virtually the moment I closed the car door.

But here's the "interesting" part. Now let's be clear -- you should not take this as advice, to you this is second-hand info from a guy with a spotty memory remembering something he read on the internet almost 20 years ago, use at your own risk. Not that the non-advice is actually useful. Anyway, I looked up what the internet said I should have done when I got back. It amounted to this:

1. Lightning can strike (at least) 30 minutes before the storm hits or 30 minutes after it passes
2. The issue usually isn't you get directly hit but that it hits something near you, the electricity travels through the ground and up you. Still ouch.
3. So ... you don't want to be near tall stuff but you don't want to the highest thing around but you want to be off the ground if possible while minimizing your contact surface area with the ground.
4. Summarized in their advice ... find a rock to stand on (but not too high) and ... go into a catcher's crouch with only the balls of your feet in contact with the ground. (baseball content!)

Which almost sounds reasonable until you remember #1 ... you should be in this crouch for 30 minutes before the storm, during the storm and 30 minutes after the storm. Good luck with that ... even Salvador Perez doesn't crouch for 90 minutes straight. One storm and your career is ruined.

The real lesson -- don't be a ####### moron like me -- check the weather report before you leave.
   4. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 14, 2022 at 05:40 PM (#6076726)
My lightning story doesn't involve me directly, but I was there and it still cracks me up today.

Boy Scout summer camp, I was early high-school age or so. We're all hanging out at lunch under cover at our campsite while a typical South Louisiana afternoon thunderstorm is right on top of us, judging from how loud the thunder was and how the lightning and thunder were almost instantaneous.

One scout, a few years younger, a guy who had previously on an overnight canoeing campout snuck a pouch of tobacco in with his stuff and proceeded to eat some of it for us, grabs a rake from inside the shelter, runs out to the center of the campsite, away from any trees, holds it over his head and yells, "I'm a human lightning rod!" Scouts are all cracking up while the adults are yelling at him to put that down and get back under the roof.

And that's it. He didn't get struck or anything, but it sure was funny at the time while it lasted.
   5. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 14, 2022 at 05:45 PM (#6076728)
I looked up what the internet said I should have done when I got back.

PSA on lightning safety. (and some bonus baseball content here too!)
   6. The Duke Posted: May 14, 2022 at 10:18 PM (#6076751)
Here's my lightning story. I'm sitting on my chair reading the Sunday morning newspaper. It's a largely clear day with a few clouds. Out of nowhere, there's this mammoth thunderclap and the lights in the House go off and then back on. Hmmm

Well - a few minutes later the wife and I take the dogs out for a walk and we go up a side street uphill from our house. As we start walking up the street we see a bunch of water mains at each house on the left side of the street with water shooting up from the ground with homeowners on the phone to the water company. Then on the right side of the street about 1/4 mile from my house there's wood chips scattered all over the street.

So the boom had been a lightning strike that hit a transformer on an electric pole and completely destroyed it. It then crossed the street to the other side and traveled down the water main and blew each houses water main in succession coming all the way back down to the end of the street (across from where I live). Hmmmm. My only guess is that the water pipes were all copper.

Next morning on Monday I get ready for work and remember I have to get something from the basement to take to work. I go downstairs and the floor has an inch of water all over. That lightning strike had continued on across the street into my yard somehow, found my water lines, travelled through my house and on the backside loosened up a solder joint in one of my pipes such that a slow leak started.

Pretty amazing.
   7. The Duke Posted: May 14, 2022 at 10:18 PM (#6076752)
Double post
   8. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: May 14, 2022 at 10:22 PM (#6076754)
Here's my lightning story. I'm sitting on my chair reading the Sunday morning newspaper
tell me you're a boomer without telling me you're a boomer.
   9. The Duke Posted: May 14, 2022 at 10:25 PM (#6076757)
5. That pretty good advice. I used to rock climb and when storms would go through people would run into the small caves on the rocks which is ok if you can get 100 yards back. But if you are standing in the entrance that's a bad place to be. My climbing buddy taught me to grab a coil of rope, find a place on the hillside with as few trees as possible and then sit down on the rope and pray. Same concept - stay low and minimize contact with ground by putting a non conductive rope in between.

Sounds great but sitting in the open on a hillside in the middle of a raging lightning storm takes a lot of Cojones. It's an unnatural act. And you get really wet.
   10. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: May 14, 2022 at 10:46 PM (#6076760)
My lightning story:

I, a resident of Orlando, am with my then-girlfriend at Disney World, and as we're taking the tram to Animal Kingdom, a bolt hits a light pole about 50 feet from us.

When my head clears from the noise, we both realize I have wrapped myself around her like a cartoon cat spooked by a mouse popping a paper bag behind him.
   11. The Duke Posted: May 14, 2022 at 10:46 PM (#6076761)
8. It happened a long time ago, but I'm still a diehard hard copy guy. I lived in the UK for years and that's a newspaper Mecca. I still get the Wall Street journal hard copy - it's a much more fulfilling way to read the news if you ask me. I read many more varied things in hard copy than I do digitally.
   12. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: May 14, 2022 at 11:03 PM (#6076768)
tell me you're a boomer without telling me you're a boomer.
There must've been indignant harrumphing involved.

   13. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 14, 2022 at 11:18 PM (#6076770)
If we're talking lightning stories, this seems obligatory.

I had somehow not been aware of this until a non-sports fan friend brought it to my attention a week or so ago.
   14. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: May 14, 2022 at 11:37 PM (#6076773)
If we're talking lightning stories, this seems obligatory.
Mentioned in the Post's story!

I like Caldwell comparing it to a board to the head.

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