Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Lost Art

When I started dating my beautiful bride a few years ago, I was hiding a dark secret. I have an addiction that I was afraid she wouldn't understand. When we started dating she wasn't a baseball fan, she knew Bobby Flay, not Bobby Abreu. She has come a long way. She now knows David Herndon was a Rule 5 acquisition and can talk about it intelligently. But at the time I didn't know how she would react to my antiquated hobby. "My name is DB29 and I'm a score keeping addict." I don't know if I'm just a baseball geek of a dinosaur. When an announcer says, "For those keeping score at home", he is talking about me. Score keeping is something my Dad introduced me to as a kid and I cling to it like a blankee. With modern technology it's only gotten worse, let me explain.

Years ago you had to pay hyper attention while keeping score. If your mind wandered and you missed something you were done. You had to fill out the frame like Phil Rizzuto used to when he was distracted, with a 'WW'...(which stands for “Wasn't Watching”). Now you have to fill you in on what you missed. The DVR is also a great tool, you can simply backup 10 seconds and get your book straight. Nothing fuels the addiction like an accurate book. The most annoying thing about some scrub swinging at the first pitch isn't that it's bad baseball. It’s that you didn't catch his number and you need to wait till his next at bat to record it.

You really know you have a problem when you are sitting in front of the TV waiting for the starting lineups for the Pirates vs. Diamond Backs. It doesn't matter who is playing, it's baseball. I'm in. As long as it's not that cheaters league they call the 'American League'. The number 9 spot should be filled with at least 3 names, starting pitcher and 2 pinch hitters. Anything else isn't baseball, unless it's Halladay or Lee pitching that day, then its fine to have just one name in the 9 hole. If you want to figure out why National League managers make 'Double Switches', keep score for a few games, it will become abundantly clear.

I have scorebooks somewhere in my parent’s basement with Dick Allen or Tommy Hutton playing first base for the Phillies. That's a question no one has ever been able to answer, when did Ritchie Allen become Dick? So you can see it's been a lifelong obsession. It's something I have handed down to my boys. People may say it's weird that your kids know the difference between a 'K' and a backwards 'K'. I don't think it's weird, I think its good parenting.

Keep It Classy Philly!