Lebanon Reporter

Columns

May 13, 2014

In a sports league of her own

My wife was watching the news story about a Yankee pitcher who violated game rules by smearing some pine tar on his neck that he could then apply to the ball before each delivery. “Why did he do that?” asked Mary Ellen.“It gives him an advantage in controlling the pitch,” I explained.“Why is that bad? Wouldn’t it cut down on crazy pitches?”“You mean wild pitches. Yes, it might. But it’s illegal because…“Can the batter use this pine tar?”“Yes, the batter can but, but…”I was a stumped. Rules in sports are arbitrary and inconsistent. When the ball hits the sideline in basketball, it’s out of bounds. In baseball, it’s fair — keep running. Here are some more baseball questions from Mary Ellen last October that I couldn’t field:“Who is winning the World Series?”“It’s tied, two games apiece.”“Why do they play so many games? Why not play just one big one, like the Super Game?”“It’s the Super Bowl. It’s different with football.”“Why?”“I have no idea. Just trust me.”“Now which group are the Yankees in?“Not groups, leagues. American and National. Teams are in leagues.”“Who decides which team goes in which league?”“It’s hard to explain.”“Why should that be hard to explain? Saks and Kohl’s are in different leagues. Any fan of shopping knows this. Shall I explain the difference?”“NO, please! I give up. Here’s one difference: The American League has a DH, a designated hitter.”“Huh?”“That means that the pitcher does not bat. Someone bats for him.”“That doesn’t seem very fair to the pitcher.”“The pitcher doesn’t care.”“Well, if he doesn’t care, he shouldn’t be playing. Can’t they find people who do care? I have another question. Why do they call it a strike when the guy doesn’t strike it, but in bowling they call it a strike when he does?”“No clue.”“And why are there four balls and only three strikes?”“I don’t know. Hey, this is starting to sound like a Bob Newhart routine.”“Can you explain anything in baseball, Dick?”“Sure. I can explain the infield fly rule.”“Go for it.”“Okay! An infield fly is a fair fly ball that can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases, are occupied, before two are out and…”ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz…“Now, I have one more question, Dick. When I ask you how much time is left in a football game so we can finally sit down to dinner, you sometimes say 5 minutes. Then 10 minutes later, it still says 4 minutes on the clock. Please explain that.”“Okay, Mary Ellen, how come when I ask you if you are ready to head out for a movie, you say 2 more minutes, and 20 minutes later, you say, ‘Almost ready’”?I had her speechless. But now she was more determined than ever to stump me. So the other night on TV there was a story about a family of champion Lacrosse players at the University of Albany. Mary Ellen asked me to explain a little about the rules of the game to her. I was ashamed to admit that I knew absolutely nothing about the sport, so I quickly distracted her by suggesting that instead of the news we should watch that one episode of Downton Abbey she missed last season. She quickly fired up the DVR and found the show. I knew this would get me off the hook.

Just my luck. They were all playing cricket.

1
Text Only
Columns

Featured items
Click below to browse and order photos


Photos from June 2014

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide