Category Archives: Baseball

TGFB

I’ve had a lot of things going on in my life lately. Health, family, work, home — nothing seems to be going smoothly right now on a lot of different fronts, even multiple fronts in each of those categories. You might say I’m carrying a lot of stress around. I’m trying to take time for me–you know: read a book, watch some TV, knit for a while, work on a Sudoku puzzle–but a lot of the time I haven’t had the ability to concentrate on any of that because my mind is racing too much.

There are a couple of things that are helping, though. When I can’t get to sleep, sometimes a few levels of Angry Birds will distract me enough to get my mind off unpleasant stuff and in a place where sleep is easier.

But I can’t sleep my whole life away, you know? So thank goodness for baseball.

It doesn’t require all of my attention to enjoy it, but watching a good ballgame will suck me in long enough to put aside my problems and allow me to relax for a while. Well, right up until I get nervous when suddenly the other team has a bunch of guys on base. But that kind of nerves I can handle.

Catching Up

I knew it had been a while since I posted here, but I had no idea it had been nearly so long. Sheesh. I do have a blog elsewhere that I’ve been using more for my adventures in knitting, but there’s just no way I can keep up with two blogs, so I’ll have to decide what to do about that.

In my last post, I mentioned that I had started knitting recently. It’s been about 10 months now, and I’m still loving it. As of today, I’ve completed 19 projects. I currently have four works in progress (WIPs), two of which are very close to being done, and four unfinished objects (UFOs). Naturally I have a bunch of projects that I want to start soon too, but I’m only planning on a couple of them in the immediate near future. One is a gift for a friend, the other something I’d like to have as sort of a housewarming gift for myself if I actually buy a home this fall (a little more on that below).

I don’t yet have photos uploaded to Flickr for everything, but here a few of my favorites.

haruhascarfpic3

I knitted this for a scarf exchange through Facebook, and it uses a fingering-weight yarn. I started knitting it only about six weeks after I started knitting, and loved how it turned out. I loved the colors too, but have the same yarn in a different colorway in my stash ready to knit a second one I can keep.

mithangingtowel1

I’m knitting a bunch of these this year as gifts, but this is the first one, which I made for an exchange on Ravelry. I can probably knit this in a couple of days pretty easily, but when the kitchen cotton ends up doubled at the top, I have to take breaks from it.

wrapmeupblock1

This is actually the very first part of a wrap, which I knit in February. The wrap is sort of a sampler of different techniques (these are mitered squares), without about 19 more parts if I remember correctly, plus a crocheted border (it’s been quite a number of years since I did any crochet), so it’ll be a fun learning experience. Other things keep coming up, but I hope to get back to this wrap this fall.

I actually have a couple of things going on in the rest of my life, which is usually not the case. Last week I started actually going to see homes (townhouses and condos) I might be interested in buying, rather than just looking at them online. I’m going to see one or two more this evening that are more in the area I’d prefer, and one is ridiculously close to the yarn shop I hang out at a bit. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing — less mileage for getting there (and if I got it back in condition, I could probably bike there), but so, so close for making purchases. But then again, when I have a mortgage, I’m going to really need to outline a knitting budget and stick to it. It’s not like I don’t have enough yarn for probably at least 20 projects already!

A week from tomorrow I’m heading out to upstate New York to visit my friend Jessica for about 10 days. We’re still working on an itinerary, but our plans include going up to Rochester to see a Red Wings game (probably on Sunday the 30th), spending a day at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, heading to Saratoga Springs for a day to sightsee and check out the horse racing; seeing the new Harry Potter movie (I’ve seen it, but certainly don’t mind seeing it again with Jessica, who has not yet), and taking an afternoon or two to check out the yarn shops around her area. Of course I’ll also be seeing at least one performance at the Glimmerglass Opera, which is where Jessica works, probably La Traviata on the 25th.

Baseball’s Here!

Once again, this post was started over a week ago as “Opening Day Draws Near” or something to that effect, but I just haven’t felt like doing much of anything for the last few weeks. I’m still getting over this cold or flu I came down with three weeks ago, but it’s finally nearly gone. I’m hopeful that I’ll get back on track with posting more often.

Sure, the signs of Spring are nice and all, but that isn’t what makes this one of my favorite times of year. No, it’s really because baseball season is here.

It seems strange to me now that less than ten years ago, I didn’t really care much about baseball. Sure, I considered myself a Twins fan and I’d attend a game now and then, maybe one or two a year, but I was essentially as casual a fan as they come.

But then eight years ago I made a bit of a fateful decision: I decided to join a fantasy baseball league with (mostly) a bunch of folks I work with. I really had no idea what I was doing or what I was getting myself into, but is was sort of one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It allowed me to get to know some of my coworkers in a more social setting, which has been a great thing, but it also started me on a path to learning more and more about the sport I have come to love.

There have been a lot of things to learn: stats, who the players are, who the good players are, how to handle a fantasy draft, how to manage a fantasy team. There are a lot more things I still need to learn though, because while I feel relatively confident about my fantasy play these days, I don’t feel like I have much to contribute to real baseball discussions.

The main problem is that I just don’t watch enough games. Sure, I know the basics well enough to understand what happened by reading about it, but if I haven’t seen the game, I can’t really say much about what happened during it. And because I don’t watch enough, I don’t know as much as I should about, say, different pitches, or the history of the game.

So my first baseball-related goal for 2008 is to just simply watch more games, even if it means having them playing on my computer (I love having a TV tuner in the desktop I got last August) while I’m doing other things. I hope to have more time over the summer, though, to just sit and watch games, and not just Twins games, but whatever game I happen upon on ESPN or WGN or whatever.

My second goal is to do some more reading. I’ve started reading Watching Baseball Smarter by Zack Hample, which was pretty engaging for the first 50 pages or so, but then I got bogged down in things I can’t help but take issue with, like writing “less than two outs” rather than “fewer than two outs.” I’m taking a break from it, but still intend to finish it. This summer I’m planning to read a book that caught my attention at the bookstore, Crazy ’08 by Cait Murphy, about the 1908 baseball season.

Any other suggestions?

Keeping Score

As I was walking toward the Metrodome to attend last Saturday’s Twins game, on a whim I purchased a GameDay program, thinking it might be fun to read and perhaps I’d try my hand at keeping score. At least in part I thought it might be a good distraction from not being able to keep reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which I had received only in time to read about 50 pages before I left for the game.

I’ve been intrigued by the idea of keeping score at baseball games, but it always seemed intimidating, like it would be too complicated or confusing. I’ve watched people doing it and it seemed almost a foreign language. However, I’ve been attending more and more games over the years, and I follow things more closely playing fantasy baseball, so I figured it was about time to let my geeky side have a shot at it.

So I filled in the lineups after Barb and I finished dinner in the season ticket holder-only Mirassou Winery Sun Room for the first time (a benefit we plan to take advantage of in the future). Before we sat down we decided to get some ice cream, so I wasn’t able to really keep score until sometime in the second inning or so. I quickly read the simple instructions included in the program, and got started.

It wasn’t too bad! It certainly required me to pay just a little more attention than I usually do, which is probably a good thing (my mind does tend to wander now and then). I didn’t do it entirely correctly, but I blame lack of instruction or research ahead of time. I still have a few things to learn or figure out how I want to do them if I decide to keep score in the future.

To aid me in this, I ordered The Joy of Keeping Score from Amazon.com on Monday, and it arrived today. Just as soon as I finish the book I mentioned in my last post, I plan to pick this one up.

Twins Game 4/11/07

It’s always nice when the Twins win the first game you attend in a season, but it’s also nice to take a few fun pictures. Here’s what was probably my shot of the night, though not the clearest. Doug Mientkiewicz is always fun to watch, no matter the uniform.

And then Dougie landed (sadly, this is even blurrier than the first).

I just like this one of White and Casilla.

I didn’t realize Morneau did this thing with his face, but perhaps I just haven’t been paying attention.

Morneau again, holding up to get back to second base.