NCAA: I just watched the Michigan Wolverines demolish Florida to get to the Final Four. We all know what Final Four that is as this is NCAA Tournament time and all eyes, well at least mine, are on every game available. This is true even when my wife schedules dinner with friends during the Ohio State game against Wichita State. my friend Tom Hull and I were sitting opposite each other thinking about the game and I pulled out my Galaxy Cell phone and liking to March Madness and we were then watching the game, although only exciting as Ohio State came to life near the end. My wife read to me this morning a Times column on ‘Digital Etiquette’ especially the part about never putting a device on the table, but you can’t read the score if it’s in your pocket.
The game was to determine which team would move to the Final Four. I saw a very interesting article on Brackets those branching diagrams of proposed winners and finally, after seventy two teams have been whittled to two, a championship game on April 8. it seems that 8,150,000 Brackets were submitted to someone like ESPN, however, before yesterdays games, only 19 remained unblemished. Of course, most of those can now be tossed unless the Bracket listed Wichita State over Ohio State and the other victors. This is highly unlikely. That is one reason why I stopped filling out Brackets. The other is that I can’t stand it when some fifteen year old asks how I could have possibly made the choices I made and not be able to present an intelligent argument.
My continuing observation is that there are lots to very good basketball players in colleges, an abundance, in fact, and that’s why this tournament is so good.
BASEBALL CULTURE: I have posted predictions for the Major League season and in those made mention of baseball culture. This is more than but includes properly referring to Clubhouses and not to locker rooms, the latter being in elementary school hallways, and places where the back and forth games are played. Not putting a hat on a bed is important too, do that and you will have your next line drive caught by the pitcher. You must respect each bat because it only has so many hits in it and if you waste those in batting practice, you may go 0 -20. This is why some players take their bats to the hotel with them or keep them in the trunk of the car so the hit capacity is not diminished by someone touching the bat improperly. There is much more, and I will add to the lore from time to time.
Today, however, I want to explain why each baseball game is two games in one. The first game is one that lasts six innings. It has its own cast of starting pitchers, regular players and such who play to get an advantage going into the three inning game. This is the seven eight and ninth innings and these innings have their own cast of set-up men, short relievers, and closers, as well as pinch hitters, pinch runners and defensive replacements.
Managers keep out of the six inning game as much as possible limiting their role to making out the line up and rescuing an inept starting pitcher. The manager’s proper role is maneuvering players into the game at the right time.
Baseball pennants are won by those teams that win the fifth game, both teams having lost two of the preceding four. Teams that win the fifth game finish with a .600 winning percentage and those that lose it are at .400. Look it up, its almost guaranteed
The season starts tonight. Let’ I can’t wait to see what happens after 1500 innings have been played by each of the 30 teams.