Re-defining the national pastime, part II

Pre-match musings now that I have my ticket in hand:

1. Why does the match start at 7.05pm? Does this mean it will start precisely at five minutes past 7? Is there any cosmic, historical, social, arbitrary reason for it to start at 7.05pm and not at 7pm or even 7.30 pm as other sporting events usually do? Wikipedia is of not much help there. I have to remember to ask baseball fans (of whom there are sure to be many at the match tomorrow) about this.* Maybe it's a television thing, rather like Premiership matches nowadays being played at noon (that's 7am DC time, you lot and, yes, I do often go watch those matches too).

2. The ticket is a page off Tickets.com . In contrast to DC United tickets (DC United matches are played at the same venue) which are discreet and about one-tenth the size of this one, this ticket has graphics (with a picture of the stadium and "2006 Washington Nationals" in large blue and white letterings) and logos. I miss footy already.

3. I have an assigned seat. I don't know if this means I will be in close proximity to various people I know or if I can safely pretend not to know anyone. I am not sure which tactic to employ since the former would allow me to ask silly questions (since, really, despite Wikipedia, my knowledge of baseball rules is minimal) but the latter would allow my usual anti-social nature free rein. I'll have to decide when I get there.

4. How early is "get there early for a hat" I wonder? Since the temperature these days (first summer in Washington and I've not been too fond of it so far) has levels of humidity which would make a camel sweat, I'm not too keen on staying outside for much longer than I have to but now that I've heard of the hat, I want one. I'm even willing to trample many women and children for one.

5. The seat's in a section that I've never before been to. The highest numbers I have sat have been the 400s. This tells me that I will be in the "Upper view MVP" section. I have a sneaky feeling that basically means "where only eagles dare"** in American-English. Too bad I left my bird-watching binos at my Uncle's.

6. And, for your amusement, a snippet of baseball news from the Washington Nationals' web site: "Right-hander Livan Hernandez will man the mound as the Nationals return home from a six-game road trip..."

Man the mound? Single-handedly? I thought baseball was a team sport?

So, there yous have it, dear PTSD readers. Expect a full report tomorrow. There shall be pre and post-match analyses, observations on people and clothing and (perhaps, if yous are lucky) some comments on the match itself. Though if I were yous, I wouldn't hold my breath for that last part.

* A quick look at the schedule tells me that all matches start at odd hours--7.05pm, 1.20pm and so on. Curiouser and curiouser.

** Any of yous seen that film? Where Eagles Dare? Great stuff with Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, evil Nazis and a cable-car in the Swiss (I think?) mountains.


At 7/21/2006 9:09 AM, Anonymous Weberman said...

See, basbeall is the perfect American sport precisely because it's only secondarily a team sport. Yes, the team's overall record is the thing that ultimately matters in terms of getting you into the World Series or the playoffs in general, but a team's record is produced only by individual players doing their thing. Particularly the pitcher, who basically controls the game, and faces batters in sequence -- it's more like cricket in that way. But the unique structure of the basbeall season, particularly its length, permits fine (and statistically significant) discrimination among individual performances.

Baseball games at the Rogers Center in Toronto invariably start at seven minutes past the hour: 1:07, 7:07. I have no idea why this is the case.

At 7/21/2006 9:18 AM, Anonymous serena said...

odd times, ridiculous salaries, and yet we continue to watch...america's past-time appears to also be a comment on America's values...LOL

At 7/21/2006 10:51 AM, Blogger Priya said...

I should have done this before the cross-cultural relations classes, not after!

I'll have to get more data to see if the structure is similar to cricket's but from what I can gather, it's not since cricket usually limits the time a bowler can bowl (unless it's a Test match) and there're two bowlers bowling at any one time (on either ends of the pitch).

Google tells me some baseball matches last longer than 3 hours!!! I am not sure I can last that long (and some Americans have the gall to call football long boring! :-))

At 7/21/2006 4:20 PM, Anonymous serena said...

yup you can have extra innings...lol have fun at the game.

At 7/23/2006 11:54 PM, Blogger peter said...

Baseball usually starts at 5 past the hour for radio broadcast. Unlike other US-sports, such as football, which emerged in the Television era and are very tele friendly, Baseball emerged in the Radio era, and as any true aficianado will tell you, baseball is best experienced through radio. So, the start at 5 past is for the radio announcers to come on, set up the game, and get to it.

That's the other elegant thing about baseball, it has no clock. Its about getting the job done-- getting 27 outs-- and sitting around until its done. Some games can happen in under 2 hours, others take over 3. It all depends on who is pitching.

At 7/24/2006 11:28 PM, Blogger Priya said...

Tell me about it (actually, read about it in that long long post I just wrote). Nothing happens for minutes upon end while the bowler fiddles around with the ball (that just sounded dirty but wasn't meant that way), talks to his mates, the keeper takes his glove off/on, people mill around, etc etc etc etc etc. They should be penalised for time-wasting, like in footy or cricket.


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