Billy-Ball Daily: 2007-7-27

Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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The only spin here is on my screwball

Friday, July 27, 2007

Top of the 1st
In Joseph Heller’s masterwork, “Catch 22”, lead character Yossarian was always trying to explain to anyone who would listen that it was insane to continue as a bomber in World War II. The doctors viewed that perspective as a mark of sanity hence ordering Yossarian on more bombing runs.

As a result, Yossarian would feign illness in order to be hospitalized and avoid further flying. During one such visit he encountered a patient who seemed to be getting everything he wanted by asserting that he saw everything twice.

” Without warning, the patient sat up in bed and shouted.

‘I see everything twice!’

A nurse screamed and an orderly fainted. Doctors came running up from every direction with needles, lights, tubes, rubber mallets and oscillating metal tines. They rolled up complicated instruments on wheels. There was not enough of the patient to go around, and specialists pushed forward in line with raw tempers and snapped at their colleagues in front to hurry up and give somebody else a chance.”

Ultimately, all the doctors agreed they had no idea what was wrong with the soldier who saw everything twice, and quarantined everyone else in the ward for fourteen days. When the quarantine period was over, Yossarian sat up in bed and shouted, ‘I see everything twice!’

I bring this up because if Alex Rodriguez, who has 499 homers, hits a homer in “the first game” tonight, you will see homer #493…again and we will all be yelling, “I see everything twice!”

The “first game” in Baltimore tonight is not really the first game at all but the completion of the June 28 suspended game between the Yankees and Orioles. The Yankees were leading, 8-6, with two outs in the top of the 8th when the heavens opened up. Derek Jeter had just hit a two-run single against Chris Ray to put the New Yorkers ahead, but Ray will not be on the mound when the game starts, as he was placed on the disabled list this week during the “extended rain delay.”

On the mound for the Yanks is Mike Myers, with Chien-Ming Wang and Luis Vizcaino already having pitched. Torre wouldn’t say whether Myers would pitch the bottom of the 8th, so we’ll simply have to see who the pitcher is.

Alan Schwarz in today’s New York Times writes of a similar incident when Barry B*nds was Barry Bonds, a 21-year-old rookie for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who was called up from the minor leagues in May, 1986. On August 11, the Pirates played in the resumption of a game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field that was suspended April 20. Bonds pinch-hit in the 17th inning and singled in the deciding run in the Pirates’ 10-8 victory. This was retroactively recorded as having happened on April 20, when Bonds was actually playing for the Hawaii Islanders of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League.

As for A-Rod, he’s the on-deck batter when the suspended game resumes, so he is guaranteed to get at least one more at-bat. Hideki Matsui is at the plate and Jeter ison second. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the league’s official statistician, all individual numbers from the June 28 game have already counted; Rodriguez was 0 for 3 with one run batted in. But because of baseball Rule 10.23, all performance records from the part of the game tonight will be officially coded as having occurred on June 28 as well. That means if Rodriguez goes deep, it would officially be the 493rd homer of his career, making Wednesday night’s homer against Gil Meche his 500th in the record books, but celebrated as his 500th.

This brings us back to Yossarian who was put in the same quarantined room as his role model. Heller wrote:

‘I see everything twice!’ the soldier who saw everything twice shouted when they rolled Yossarian in.

‘I see everything twice!’ Yossarian shouted back at him just as loudly, with a secret wink.

‘The walls! The walls!’ the other soldier cried. ‘Move back the walls.’

‘The walls! The walls!’ Yossarian cried. ‘Move back the walls.’

One the doctors pretended to shove the wall back. ‘Is that far enough?’

The soldier who saw everything twice nodded weakly and sank back on his bed. Yossarian nodded weakly too, eyeing his talented roommate with great humility and admiration. He knew he was in the presence of a master. His talented roommate was
obviously a person to be studied and emulated. During the night, his talented roommate died, and Yossarian decided that he had followed him far enough.

‘I see everything once!’ he cried quickly.”

Top of the 2nd
Chase Utley, Philadelphia’s All-Star second baseman, broke his right hand in Thursday’s 7-6 defeat to the Washington Nationals.

Utley was hit in the fifth inning by John Lannan, who was making his major league debut. Utley finished the game, going 2-for-4, but X-rays afterward showed he broke a bone in the hand.

Utley, batting .336 with 17 homers and 82 RBI, didn’t think he’d be sidelined for a month.
“I think it will be sooner than that,” he said.

Lannan was ejected after hitting Utley and Ryan Howard with pitches in consecutive at-bats in the 5th. Nats manager Manny Acta also was ejected by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt. It was Acta’s first ejection.

Top of the 3rd
Ballclubs are implementing services such as Tickets@Phone, at stadiums throughout MLB. The Nationals, Athletics, Pirates, and Rangers are examples of the clubs that now offer the service which allows those clubs to deliver tickets to a cell phone via a standard multimedia text message, allowing fans to use their cell phone as a ticket. The message contains a unique barcode and the usual ticket information. The fan then saves the message in their in-box, and presents it as their “ticket” to the game.

By making tickets paperless, the ability to transfer that purchase to another by way of scalping or a legal secondary ticket service such as StubHub, becomes far more difficult. Short of selling your phone, or loaning your phone to another, the mobile phone electronic ticket ties the purchaser directly to the use of that electronic ticket.

It may be just a matter of time before the paper ticket becomes obsolete.

Top of the 4th
“I see everything twice!” Wait, I used that already. How about it’s d