Saturday, June 27, 2015

Blame it on the Rain

I need to rant a little bit about tonight's Mets game. June 27, 2015. Mets hosting the Reds in the 2nd game of a 3 game weekend series, with a post-game concert featuring the Steve Miller Band. And it rained.

And it rained. And that's where the day went to hell. I went to the game, taking the trains in from New Jersey, because it was in my ticket plan (a flex plan, and I selected the game because of the post-game concert). I did want to see the Steve Miller Band. I had a lot of fun at the Huey Lewis and the News and Boyz II Men post-game concerts last season. And it rained. They played 6 innings, in the rain, and stopped tied 1-1. After about an hour in a rain delay, the decision was made to suspend the game, making it up the next day (tomorrow). And the post-game concert would be moved to tomorrow, taking place after the regularly scheduled game (I had joked that they should have done after the completion of tonight's game, which would be between the two games).

And it rained. You can't help mother nature. But you can certainly plan around it. Of course, the Mets didn't, for whatever reason (which we can speculate). The forecast was for rain starting mid-afternoon and getting heavier into the evening. Translation...if they tried to play, it wouldn't be pretty, and if they stopped, there really wouldn't be any way to start back up until tomorrow. And if they didn't try to play, they would have to reschedule the entire game either for tomorrow or on a mutual off day (I didn't look to see if there even was one). As the home team, the Mets own the decision whether or not to even start playing. And once they did start, the decision stop and continue playing belongs to the umpires.

And it rained. They knew it was going to rain. They never should have tried to play the game. It wasn't fair to the fans to start playing in the rain knowing they wouldn't be able to finish, and it was technically a hazard to the players. By all accounts, the game never should have been started. But, I guess for the teams, it was better to play 5 or 6 innings tonight and the last 3 or 4 tomorrow (plus the regularly scheduled 9 innings, plus any potential extra innings) than to try to play 18 (plus potential extra innings) tomorrow. But there was one additional thing. A heavily promoted post-game concert. And there were fans coming out either specifically for the concert or at least because of the concert (like me). So they played the game.

And it rained. They played 6 innings. The infield conditions got worse and worse (no puddles, but more and more drying agent every half inning as the game went on). And went into a rain delay before starting the 7th. We all knew that this game wouldn't resume. I was joking about the Mets having the concert inside the Caesars Club after the game would be called. The Mets finally announced, after about an hour of a rain delay, that the game had been suspended, and would resume tomorrow before the regularly scheduled game, and that the concert would take place after baseball was complete tomorrow. There were some groans. Fans with tonight's ticket were welcome to come back tomorrow and exchange it for a ticket to Sunday's games and then get to see the concert.

I think it was both the right thing to do (better than not being able to have the concert at all) and an empty gesture to the fans who were in attendance on Saturday. I'm leaving the game on Saturday feeling completely empty inside. Not only did I not get to attend the post-game concert, but I didn't even get to see a complete (or decided) baseball game. I could come back tomorrow, and spend the extra travel expenses and ballpark concessions to use a free ticket. But I don't have the time to commit to going to the game (for me, with travel, it really could be a 10 hour day), and I also have other plans late in the afternoon, so I couldn't go even if the time and money were in a vaccuum. So the Mets are, for lack of a better term, gifting me with a ticket exchange for tomorrow's game, but I can't use it, so I get nothing (and less than nothing if you count tonight). At least if the game was rained out, I would have a rain check ticket free to exchange for any other game I wanted. And for that matter, with my flex ticket plan, had I NOT gone to the game (which I kind of regret, even thought I got to see some people), I would be able to exchange it for another game. But I went, saw 6 innings of baseball, and won't get to see the other 3 innings or the concert, which was why I bought the ticket in the first place.

And it rained. Mother nature caused the last 3 innings of the game not to be played tonight, and mother nature caused the post-game concert not to take place tonight. But somehow, I feel like this is the Mets fault.

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Banner Day 2015

Banner Day 2015 is here!

In honor of Casey Stengel, who was born 125 years ago this summer, this is the "Stengelese Dictionary". If you don't know who Casey Stengel was look him up, or if you don't know what "Stengelese" is, look it up in a dictionary. {laughs}

So basically, "Stengelese" was its own language, and that warrants it having its own dictionary to define these weird words that Casey Stengel would use. My first thought was "placard", a word he used to describe the banners at the old Polo Grounds, which became the genesis of Banner Day over 50 years ago. So define "placard" in the context of Casey Stengel. Then in the design, I saw that I needed to fill out some more room on the banner, so I added a few more words.

I tried to keep it true to a dictionary in that the words are alphabetically close to one another and listed in alphabetical order, and it worked out when the other words I came up with were directly related to Casey Stengel - "Perfesser" (the Ol' Perfesser) and "Stengelese" - and close to "placard". I also tried to keep the design true to what a dictionary looked like (I used a layout similar to because it didn't try to compact many words on a single page, which I didn't want to try to do). That layout looked better when trying to view the words from a distance. The cover was modeled after a Merriam-Webster Dictionary cover that I found online. It worked better than some of the others I found since I realized that I had to have the cover take up as much space as the dictionary page itself.

Sizing of everything was a challenge. I was somewhat constrained by the physical sizes of the posterboards I could find at Staples, and I knew there wouldn't be a lot of content. I went with a 20x30 foam posterboard where the 30 inch side was split into the dictionary cover and the dictionary page. Any larger size would just make it seem too big and/or require more content. But I wanted a size where the judges could judge from a distance of several feet away. I also didn't want to put too much on there for them to have to look at in such a short time.

Now, I did have dreams for something more elaborate using this design and content, but was advised that it would be too much for the judges to judge. I wanted to have a folding cover with an open/close mechanism, which would essentially double the amount of space to fill (there was a front cover and there would have been a back cover; there was a single page of defined words and there would have been a second). I also wanted to have the page(es) look like the pages of an open book where it would look like this was one page of many that the book was open to. I didn't do these things beause they would have been doing too much.

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