15 May 2009

Mobile Blogging and Late Night Baseball

I set up my phone for mobile blogging, but it's simply too hard to type and send any kind of meaningful blog post that way.  It's great for Twitter, but a blog entry should be more fleshed out than a few hundred characters permit.  Plus, there's simply no way I'm using a nine-character keypad to type up anything relevant.

Anyway, as I mentioned in my experimental mobile blog post, I have always loved staying up for the Reds' west coast trips.  I can still remember being about ten or eleven, staying up way later than usual to watch the Reds and Dodgers.  In those days, we had two TV's in the house; the main one in the living room and a portable, black and white TV in the kitchen.  I remember curling up on the couch in the living room with the volume turned down as low as it would go (which wasn't quite silent, because the volume control was somehow jammed and wouldn't go down all the way).  I can't remember now whether that series was over the weekend, or if school had let out for the summer, but I know that not having school the next day was the only reason my mom permitted me this late night game.

When you're young, any chance to violate any of your normal rules is exciting; staying up late to watch a baseball game?  Simply sublime.  I was used to games starting around seven and ending right around my bedtime; drawn out games (or, God help me, extra innings affairs) were always dicey.  Sometimes I could hem and haw my way to the end--if the players cooperated and wrapped things up within a half hour of my bedtime.  Othertimes, I simply had to wait until the next day to find out how my Redlegs had fared.

The last few years, west coast trips have not favored my team.  I blame the schedule makers; it seemed that the Reds were expected to make a road trip starting on the east coast and ending on a tour of half the west coast, while every other team in the National League got to have more sensibly planned road trips.  In any event, I have been thrilled to stay up late so far.  The Reds completed a three game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks (made even sweeter by Brandon Phillips's strong outing in the series, as I am not only a big fan of his, but have him on one of my fantasy teams as well).  Tonight, they start a set against the San Diego Padres and I'm hopeful that the day off between series won't have a cooling effect on them.

I have just finished reading Julius Caesar's The Gallic War and began a new book last night.  I had it down to two, and decided to wait on Cold Mountain (which I scored in hardback from the library for a buck).  Instead, I'm finally reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir.  Political wonks will likely recognize her; she's been on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart several times.  Anyway, this is her recollection of her childhood in Brooklyn.  The impetus for this, as explained in her preface, was being interviewed by Ken Burns for his documentary, Baseball.

I often reflect on baseball and how it connected to my younger days, and I'm a sucker for reading how it connects to others.  I was surprised--and a bit jealous--that she was instructed in scorekeeping by her father when she was just six years old.  (I wasn't introduced to it until about ten.)  It's vicariously thrilling to read these thoughts; even though our backgrounds are quite dissimilar (she grew up in New York forty years earlier than I did in Kentucky), the common thread of baseball is instantly recognizable.

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