Daily Archives: April 18, 2005

April 18, 2005

Introduction to the Human League

There are lots of valid ways to enjoy a baseball game. It seems like the current trend is toward the statistical approach to the game, where every person, park, play, and match-up is an equation to be solved; an element to be added to the set. While I agree that a good rigorous workout of a mathematical matrix can be a fascinating exercise, for me, nothing compares to the human experience of the settings, characters, and real-life drama that unfolds over the course of nine innings.

I wouldn’t say that it’s a womanly approach to baseball; it’s a human approach to baseball, so called because it puts humans first. Still, I suspect that most women would approach it that way, if they were approaching the game at all. Unfortunately, the priority of Major League Baseball doesn’t seem to be attracting the woman viewer, though I think there’s a lot for women to enjoy, and it really would be a healthy shift for the game. The human approach doesn’t encourage strikes, steriod use, or an enormous economic divide between large and small markets.

But while the statistics fanatics can turn to newspaper, Web sites, entire communities to contribute more data to the number-crunching they find so engaging, where can I go to learn more about the personalities that engage me in the game? Bits and pieces from the odd human-interest baseball newspaper article, the goofy television pre-game time fillers, and mostly my own careful observation of the way a player moves, the expression on a coach’s face, the words between the words of the prevalent sound bites.

And so, Red Hot Mama was born. Providing a fun and irreverant view of the characters of the Cincinnati Reds is the primary reason for her creation. Well, maybe secondary to giving me a place to stretch my ego by being a smart alec in a public forum. And, to be honest, all purposes are subsidiary to the distant possibility that the blog could be noticed and fully financially backed by some billionairre benefactor. But since I don’t see that one happening any time soon, we’ll bump the promotion-of-the-human-approach back up to second. Second ain’t bad.

To that end, I’m introducing a new category called Human League, where I will go on to some length about the parts of the game that I think are important. Possibly, no one else in all of Reds’ cyberdom will agree that it’s at all interesting, and I’ll be shunned and laughed at. Or maybe I’ll get picked up and backed by the Lifetime network.

If nothing else, it ought to be a fascinating exercise.

April 18, 2005

Offense Wakes Up to Rescue Belisle

Young Matt Belisle took the mound again today after Ramon Ortiz was officially put on the DL yesterday. Belisle got battered around a bit. Well, more than a bit. He gave up four runs in the first inning, three of them homeruns. Truly a testament to the power of a kid having too much time to overanalyze his last, excellent start.

But for me, those numbers were secondary to the way he handled himself on the mound. For a guy who's 24, four months younger than my younger brother, I was impressed with his composure. No freaking out, no tantrums, no winging the ball at batters' heads.

In fact, upon closer introspection, I realize that I have the same sort of pride in Belisle's behavior that I would have if he actually were my little brother. And it seemed to be going around, since the Reds' offense slowly rumbled to life to eventually spare Belisle the loss.

Adam Dunn hit a couple of homeruns, like a true big brother shoving back a bully. Ken Griffey Jr. demonstrated some of that clutch hitting that I hear he used to do so well by singling in Ryan Freel. Rich Aurilia gave his detractors something to shut up about when he singled in Dunn and Wily Mo Penña. And the catcher, the consummate protector of the pitcher, Jason LaRue, came up big to double in Peña and Aurilia for the runs that would eventually win the game.

Maybe I imagined it, but it seemed to me that the whole game had a brotherly feel to it. If tomorrow the Enquirer says that the team gave Belisle a swirly after the game, we'll know for sure.

April 18, 2005

A Message from The Man

Every day my corporation sends an email message to all of its employees with links to news stories that are relevant to us in our fields or daily activities. Today, this was one of the links.


I think I'm OK for now, but should the big-wigs hand down a pro-Cardinals policy, I'm going to be looking for work real quick.