15 To Go

With only fifteen games left in the 2022 season, the White Sox find themselves in second place in the AL Central, 3.5 games behind the surprising Guardians.  While they start a pivotal three game series with the Guardians tomorrow, the White Sox face an uphill battle to make their third straight postseason appearance.  If the Guardians go .500 over their remaining games, the White Sox would have to win a minimum of twelve of their fifteen games to win the division.  And, based on what we’ve seen in the prior 147 games, the odds of the White Sox ripping off a 12-3 record over the next two weeks is very unlikely.

Playoffs?

On Friday, with the White Sox sitting in third place, the team sent out post-season invoices to their season ticket holders.  For the low, low price of $2549, I will receive two tickets to all three potential Wild Card games, three potential Division Series games, one League Championship Series game, and one World Series game, along with parking for all games.  My seats are on the opposite side of the field and 15 rows closer than my normal seats, but I’m not sure how aligned they are to my needs.

I assume only electronic tickets will be issued.  I would hope commemorative tickets will be sent out should a good run occur late into October.

FB8 – Week 33

Another mildly successful week kept me above 30,000 for the second week in a row.  Things got off to a slow start on Sunday, where I finished with 2500 steps while dealing with sore feet and an afternoon spent at a family BBQ.  Monday saw a slight increase, coming 21 steps shy of 3200.  Another nice jump on Tuesday put me up over 4300 steps.  Wednesday was even better, rising up to 5400 steps.  Things fell off a bit on Thursday, finishing with 4200 steps.  A couple of laps around Armour Square Park on Friday left me with 6900 steps, my best day of the week.  The week wrapped up on Saturday with 4100 steps.

Total steps: 30,805

Daily average: 4400.7

Travelling The 50 States – District Of Columbia

Over my 47 years, I’ve done my fair share of travelling across these United States.  I thought it would be an interesting experiment go look back at those trips to each of the 31 states I have visited (62% isn’t bad, is it?) and see if, and when, I may be returning.  Working in alphabetical order, we continue today with the, umm… well, it isn’t really a state, but rather the seat of our federal government.  Founded in 1791 to house our nation’s capital, we present the District of Columbia.

StateDistrict: Columbia
Recognized as a federal district: 1801
Visits: 1

My one trip to Washington, DC came in June of 2019 to celebrate Michael’s graduation from junior high.  After arriving on Sunday night after an afternoon in nearby Baltimore, the week in DC was spent taking in most, if not all, of the tourist and historical sites.

We started things off on Monday with a trip to the Smithsonian Zoo, after which we headed towards the White House to check out the sites.  We followed that up on Tuesday with trips to the Smithsonian Museum of American History, Supreme Court Building, and the US Capitol, where we took a tour which led us out through the Library of Congress. We also spent some time on the National Mall, where we saw the Washington Monument

History and culture was put on hold on Wednesday in exchange for some Americana as we traveled to Nationals Park to see the hometown Nationals take on the White Sox.  A trip to the Newseum and the Jefferson Memorial, where we saw a half-dressed Big Bird in-between filming, returned us to the main thrust of the trip on Thursday.  Friday returned to the Mall, where we saw the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial, before heading to the National Air and Space Museum and then taking a tour of the White House.  After that, the plan called for a “show” at Ford’s Theatre, but a fire alarm cut that short.  Before heading to the airport on Saturday, we took another trip to the Mall to check out the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, and the Vietnam War Memorial.

Changes Are Coming

Major League Baseball is going to look different when it returns for the 2023 season.  The league’s competition committee voted yesterday to introduce a pitch clock and larger bases while banning the shift, among other changes.

The pitch clock will give pitchers either 15 or 20 seconds to deliver the next pitch, depending on if there is a runner on base.  The timer will start when the pitcher has the ball and both the catcher and the batter are in the dirt near home plate and play is ready to resume.  The catcher must be in the catcher’s box with nine seconds left, while the batter must have both feet set in the batter’s box and be “alert to the pitcher” within eight seconds.  Pitchers or catchers who violate the clock will be charged with an automatic ball.  Hitters in violation will receive an automatic strike.  Umpires will have the discretion to award a ball or strike if they determine a player is circumventing the clocks.

Pitchers can step off the mound for a pickoff or any other reason twice per plate appearance if there is a runner on base.  If the runner advances during the same plate appearance, the pitcher gets another two step-offs.  Stepping off resets the clock to its full time.  If the pitcher steps off a third time, the penalty depends on the outcome of the play: if the runners are safe, the pitchers are charged with a balk.  If an out is recorded or the runner advances, no balk is charged.

Hitters will be allowed to ask for and be granted time once per plate appearance, resetting the pitch clock.  A hitter who requests time a second (or more) time in the same plate appearance will be charged with a strike, unless the batter stays in the batter’s box, in which case the umpire has discretion as to whether to charge a strike.

A minimum of four players, besides the pitcher and catcher, must have both feet completely in front of the outer boundary of the dirt, with two fielders entirely on either side of second base, when the pitcher releases the ball.  The penalty for a violation is a ball and the ball is dead, unless the hitter reaches base, in which case the play stands.  If any other play occurs, the manager of the hitting team can choose to accept the outcome of the play.  Umpires will have the discretion to penalize the fielding team with a ball if the umpire determines players are attempting to circumvent the rules.

The bases will increase in size to 18 inches square, from the present 15 inches.

The players, who have four seats on the eleven-person panel, were united in voting against the shift ban and the pitch clock.  Players who were asked for direct feedback in the process felt that not enough of it was listened to or ultimately acted upon, people with knowledge of the process said.

 

Book 40 (of 52) – Die For Me

Die For Me – Luke Jennings

In Die For Me, the third and final entry in the Killing Eve series, picks up with Eve and Villanelle on the run before being captured by The Twelve for one final mission.  Can they find a way to stay alive long enough to build a life together?

I’m two seasons behind on the television version of Killing Eve, but I have a pretty good feeling that that the storylines have diverged pretty far by now.  Luke Jennings ties up the story into a nice little bow in this final chapter, wrapping up their story.

 

Book 39 (of 52) – The Truth Hurts

The Truth Hurts – Jimmy Piersall with Richard Whittingham

In The Truth Hurts, Jimmy Piersall, with help from Richard Whittingham, tells the story of his major league career starting in 1953 with his return from “nervous exhaustion” through his tumultuous broadcast career with the White Sox in the late 70s and early 80s.  Of course, my interest was in the later parts, working with Harry Caray and his battles with Bill Veeck, Eddie Einhorn, Jerry Reinsdorf, and Tony LaRussa.

Piersall’s tenure in the White Sox booth was just before my time, so all I knew were a few highlights here and there and stories.  If even half of what he says about Tony LaRussa is true, then it is surprising that he ever became the “Hall of Famer baseball person” that he turned out to be.  Piersall’s association with the White Sox ended in 1983, but he continued to be a Chicago-area presence until his 2017 death.

FB8 – Week 32

A trip down to some old haunts helped put me will over 30,000 for the week.  Things got off to a slow start on Sunday, where I finished with 3400 steps.  A slight increase on Monday saw a jump up to 4300 steps.  Tuesday was the low point of the week, falling down to 2900 steps.  Wednesday rebounded a but, rising back up to 3600 steps.  A trip down to West Lafayette for a Thursday night football game helped me surpass my daily goal, finishing with 8600 steps.  Breakfast with Danny combined with a Purdue volleyball game on Friday, not to mention the end of the previous night’s football game, left me with 6600 steps.  A thrilling White Sox game on Saturday left me 24 steps shy of 5700.

Total steps: 35,188

Daily average: 5026.9