I apologize for last week’s blog hiatus, and can only hope that absence did indeed make the heart grow fonder (as opposed to withered and discolored). My brief time spent abroad was a truly memorable and meaningful experience, and one I hope to blog about when time allows. Among (many) highlights, I made my French television debut!
But now it’s time to get back into the proverbial swing of things, via an even more proverbial headfirst dive into the frigid deep end of Minor League Baseball’s Olympic-sized swimming pool. The primary issue that we’re all dealing with right now is that the season is, in fact, over (save for the waning days of the playoffs, of course).
And when something ends, the natural instinct is to take a look back on what has transpired. This translates to season
postmortem highlight videos aplenty, in locales as diverse as Fresno, Brooklyn, and Tucson. But I’ll feature this one from the Binghamton Mets, who summarized not just the season but their entire franchise history in the span of 60 seconds.
But for a truly unique season wrap-up, let me direct you to this missive from the Tr-City Valleycats: Mayor’s Race Analytics. This post should do for regionally-specific mascot race analysis what Moneyball did for oversimplified and premature obituaries on the occupation of professional baseball scout.
In recent years, sabermetrics have revolutionized the study of baseball and other sports. Many other fields have also been influenced by statistical analysis, including politics and elections, to name a couple. But somehow, one very important area has been overlooked by the emerging field of analytics: politicians racing at sporting events.
Click the above link for more. And, for the record, I’ll always publicize blog entries that include apropos references to the 1876 Presidential election. Keep that in mind when emailing me.
But no matter how one parses the numbers, one fact about the Minor League life is universal: You’ve got to keep entertaining until the end. Nowhere was this more clear than in Gwinnett County, as the G-Braves kept things moving even in the midst of what turned out to be a season-ending rain delay.
And what is it about the Gwinnett Braves and end-of-season waterworks? It was just last season, after all, that loyal readers of this blog were thrilling to THIS.
The G-Braves finished just out of postseason contention, robbing them of the chance to participate in that most time-honored of playoff rituals: Politician Bets!
The Eastern League Finals are currently taking place, with the Richmond Flying Squirrels and New Hampshire Fisher Cats in a 1-1 series tie. And so much is on the line! Take it away, press release!
RICHMOND, VA – Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and New Hampshire Governor John Lynch have agreed to a friendly wager on the Richmond Flying Squirrels vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats Eastern League Championship Series. Governor Lynch has wagered that if Richmond wins, he will send Governor McDonnell a gallon of pure New Hampshire maple syrup. Should New Hampshire win, Governor McDonnell will send Governor Lynch a gift basket of Virginia Diner specialty peanuts, the official peanut of the Flying Squirrels.
But even enemies must sometimes put aside their differences and work together, as evidenced by this hilarious photo sent to me by an embedded Northwest League contact.
Yes, that would be an in-game ensemble of Boise Hawks jersey and Spokane Indians helmet. Apparently the Hawks flat-out “forgot” where their helmets were just prior to a late August ballgame. A search ensued, and in the meantime the hapless Boise batters were forced to go to the plate wearing the cranium-protecting duds of their avowed adversaries.
(And, pleasing only myself, I just included the phrase “In the Meantime” in a bit about helmets.)
I’ve got so much more to share, and of course I’ll be doing just that in the coming weeks/months/years/eternal re-incarnated existences. But for now I’ll close with this, which I wish I had known about in time to include in my final “Promotion Preview” column of the season.
2011’s first, best, and only transvestite bobblehead: