The Daily Dose/Saturday, September 7, 2019

The Daily Dose/September 7, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
Notes from around our human experience:

TAKE ME BACK OUT TO THE BALLGAME: Last week we chatted a bit about attending a couple of major league baseball games, our first in many years. In addition to taking advantage of free, club level seats, we wanted to see for ourselves the way the game has changed. 

On the field, we noted a game that had most people swinging for the fences. The two games produced nine home runs and 31 strikeouts, pedestrian figures for today, but numbers that would have been high a generation or two ago. It’s the way players choose to play the game right now. As soon as someone has sufficient brains to start hitting the ball the other way, the shifts will stop and batting averages will go up and strikeouts will stop outpacing hits. Baseball will survive this. 

Oh Yeah: In the stands, we saw a lot of fans arriving late and leaving early, but otherwise enjoying themselves. Most weren’t particularly interested in the nuances of the game, a night at the stadium being their revels for the evening, how they happened to choose to enjoy themselves that night.  

Fly In The Ointment: Our big complaint was the games are too long: we left early – once a treasonous offense – both nights. It takes more than three hours to play a major league baseball game nowadays and that is too long. The easiest way to shorten game times is to cut the time between innings from 2 minutes and 30 seconds to 1 minute and 30 seconds, but good luck with that. 

Let’s Try This: The next best way to do that is to call more strikes and the best way to do that is to actually use the strike one in the rule book. It’s actually pretty big, designed for any pitch that could reasonably be hit by the batter that is not swung at to be called a strike. 

Fly In The Ointment II: The strike zone has very little to do with those boxes you see on televised games. The boxes are one-dimensional and the strike zone is not. Home plate as five sides: one is 17 inches long, two are twelve inches long and the remaining two are 8.5 inches long. It runs from roughly the midpoint of the torso to the knees and it is entirely possible for a pitch to miss the TV box and still have part of the ball hit part of the strike zone, the rule book definition of a called strike. 

Oh Yeah: It is also entirely possible for a pitch to be both in and out of the strike zone at the same time. 

Dry, Technical Matter: Now, as a practical matter, most pitches call themselves and you do not want to call pitches that are out of the strike zone strikes. Nor do you want to call pitches in the strike zone balls. But every game there number of pitches that even the plate umpire isn’t too sure about. Call these strikes every time. You do that batters will be on their toes, swinging the bat and games will go quicker.

Final Answer: A bigger zone benefits everyone, especially the fan, who might well find themselves staying for the whole game. 

Today At The Site
The Diary of a NobodySparrow farts around with the cat’s canned yummies. Today’s Diary. 

The big news is I actually threw away some of the cat’s canned yummies…We get her the same brand, but recently I started buying individual cans instead of the 30-pack boxes simply for variety’s sake…Well, I made the mistake of getting some non-fish flavors, like chicken (which she actually liked), chicken and beef (which she ate under protest) and turkey and giblets, with gravy (which caused her to look at me as if I had given her an insecticide). 

I replaced them with a specially-selected assortment of fish-based rations and this morning she got one of the new Approved Flavors, not the one that has chunks of shrimp in it and looks like it would make a good sandwich, but it was still fish-based and she ate it right up…

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

More drivel!
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On This Date
In 1979 – Lee Iacocca, CEO of the Chrysler Corporation, asks the federal government for $1.5 billion in loan guarantees, to prevent the company from going out of business. Congress complied, while also requiring the company to rustle up $2 billion in concessions from employees, dealers and creditors, passing a loan guarantee act in December that was signed after the holidays by President Carter. Chrysler had the loan paid back by 1983 and Iacocca retired from Chrysler in in 1992.

In 1970 – Bill Shoemaker becomes horse racing’s all-time winningest jockey, winning the fourth race at Del Mar aboard Dares J. It was Shoemaker’s 6,033 win, eclipsing the record established by Johnny Longden. Shoemaker retired in 1990 with 8,833 wins and the record is now held by Russell Baze with 12,842 wins. Shoemaker’s now ranks third all-time behind Baze and Laffit Pincay, Jr (9,530) while Longden’s mark is now good for 18th on the all-time list. 

In 1946 – To Each His Own by Freddie Martin and His Orchestra is at #1 on Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart – a predecessor of the Hot 100 – for the second and final week. It was the third of four #1 songs for Martin, who would spend a total of 14 weeks at the top. Martin’s version of To Each His Own  was preceded at #1 for three weeks by a version by Eddy Howard and His Orchestra, the second and final time different versions of the same song followed each other at #1 on a Billboard pop chart. Later in the year the Ink Spots would also spend a week at #1 with the song.

Quotebook
…you cannot blame a mirror for what it shows.
Gore Vidal
Empire

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Diana Ross has hit #1 13 times on Billboard’s soul chart, eight times with the Supremes and five times as a solo act.  

Today’s Stumper
When was the other instance of different versions of the same song following each other at #1 on Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart? – Answer next time!

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