Wooden's World of Baseball

Saturday, November 15, 2008

2009 Plans Coming Into Shape, Redux

With the release of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs schedule yesterday, the 2009 Plans have taken their next step. They'll be complete once the game times are lined up. This is critical because in my new role, I have more time to make midweek, midday games. In fact, looking over the schedule, some of those dates may be my only chance, since the baseball gods have conspired to have my favorite road teams marching in lock-step with the P-Nats.

It's also a surprise to me to see how many more of these games are on the schedule. For years, I just chalked them up dates to avoid since in New England it was either bitterly cold (duh) or overrun with kids from daycamps (double duh). But they were usually two per season, one in July, one in August. Now, looking over the slate, it seems like four is the norm.

The other thing that I'm liking is that not all of these games are at noon; some are as early as 10:30am. This is cool because, in some ways, it perfectly plans my day: Drop the kidlings off, drive to the game, watch the game, drive home, pick up the kids.

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Normally, I don't comment much beyond baseball, but this week's Patriots game serves as yet another reminder of how retarded the NFL's overtime rules are. A game of 60 minutes is reduced to a coin toss? Now, as much as I love college football's overtime rules (which were in place in I-AA for decades before I-A finally saw the light), I can understand the "purists" take that that inflates statistics (maybe college shouldn't count those either) and reduces the game into who makes the first mistake.

But at least both teams get the ball. Is it really that hard to change the rules so that both teams get at least one possession? If anything, it would add to the drama. If the purists retort that that will create more ties (as if that were really bad), well, here's another radical solution. Require the winning team to score six points. That's what the the WLAF did in the '80s, and I don't recall much complaining back then.

Imagine how it would have been under my rules on Thursday night. Jets are up three, kicking off to the Patriots, who must score on this drive or the game is over. This wouldn't be good how?

In fact, this would be one of the very, very few times football would be better than baseball. The Jets wouldn't be trotting out 11 guys that hadn't played a down the entire night to shut down the Patriots. It'd be mano a mano, last chance boys. Can you tie this game up a fourth time?

Instead, we get a coin toss...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

2009 Plans Coming Into Shape

Earlier this week, the Potomac Nationals finally released the 2009 schedule. For a fan like me, this is my calendar for almost half the year. It also enables me to tell the Mrs. when we can plan our vacation next summer, as I now know when the PNats will be out of town.

I had forgotten the effect of the WBC has onb baseball, as the season does not start until April 9 next year, and like 2007, the PNats will begin the season in Lynchburg.

There's the first road trip...

After my jaunt to the Carolinas this past summer, I got the idea that a road trip to the two toughest stops on the circuit out of the way. The weekend after Mother's day, I'm heading south to catch games in Kinston and Myrtle Beach.

There's the second road trip...

Then I spotted a weekend game in late June, to the yet-to-be-renamed Winston-Salem team. I'd ordinarily cross it off, but after the 2007 "cold-out" I can't really say I've seen a game there.

There's the third road trip....

Then, a month later, the PNats will be in Salem, which will now be a Boston Red Sox affiliate. Granted, I've already been, but if the weather permits, and the team is good...

Now, the frustrating thing is waiting for all my other stops to release their schedules: Bowie, Southern Maryland, Hagerstown and Harrisburg. Once that happens, it's time to put 'em in a spreadsheet and line up the PNat road games to the respective team's home games. The goal is to make each at least once, though I suspect these days, I may be able to make a few more.