UPDATE: Change of plans for this week’s installment

Aside

Originally, this week’s installment of Baseball Continuum Weekly was to be a Bizarre Baseball Culture. But after remembering that the WBC rosters will be released tonight, I’m changing course. Sometime later this week you’ll see an early WBC roster analysis, and NEXT WEEK you’ll see a Bizarre Baseball Culture.

Thank you.

A preview of what is coming up in the next few weeks and months

So, now that the Baseball Continuum is back, albeit on a weekly basis (more or less), what can you expect in the coming weeks an months? Here’s a preview:

  • World Baseball Classic coverage. There are some rumors that should this coming WBC not make enough money, it could be the last WBC, at least for a good long while. So, I will be making a case for the World Baseball Classic. This will be sometime in the next week.
  • Bizarre Baseball Culture will return with a tribute to something from my childhood: The Power Rangers! That will come in the lead-up to the gritty Power Rangers movie reboot nobody asked for but honestly doesn’t look as bad as I thought.
  • Finally finishing that Chicago travelogue, seeing as how it now feels like a half-year old.
  • And more!

So stayed tuned to the Baseball Continuum!

BLOG DEALINGS: The Return of the Baseball Continuum

Miss me?

Well, I’ve been gone awhile. But now I aim to get back to this blog. I won’t be able to do it as much as I once did- I have a job now, and other occasional responsibilities. That said, starting next week I hope to have at least one post every week, hopefully of a high quality.

That said, a few notes:

  • Sadly, I won’t be able to do another blogathon. For one thing, I wouldn’t have the time since I work weekends. For another, even if I did have the time it is way too late to get all of the pieces together for this weekend. Sorry!
  • I also will have to drastically scale back my WBC coverage, for similar reasons.
  • That said, I do hope to do features like Bizarre Baseball Culture, taking advantage of my new weekly format to put even more attention and effort into them!

So… welcome back to the Baseball Continuum, now in a weekly format!

There are changes coming to the Baseball Continuum

If you follow me on other sites, you’ll know that I have begun a job at a local TV network here in Rochester. And that means that my schedule and priorities have changed, and thus so must the Baseball Continuum.

No, it’s not closing. Far from it. But it is going to be less frequently updated, with longer pieces making up for the lack of daily updates. I’m totally ditching MVP of Yesterday (since I’m not sure anybody read it anyway) and by extension the Mr. Octobers tracking I’ve done in previous years. In addition, you’ll probably see less from me on days where I work, simply due to time constraints.

That said, the usual features, as well as WBC coverage, will continue! So please, make sure to keep visiting the Baseball Continuum.

A Note On The Advertisements On The Blog

You may have noticed an increase in political advertisements on the blog lately, primarily dealing with presidential candidates. I would like to disclose that while I do have a preferred candidate, this blog is meant (mostly) to be apolitical. The advertisements that are shown are from the network that WordPress subscribes to and are out of my control, and are not necessarily reflective of my own political stances.

Thank you.

“The Disappointment League, AKA The Mudville Faithful”, a baseball play I wrote in college

In 2011, while taking a drama class in college for some reason, I wrote a 5-page play that looked at how “Casey at the Bat” might have been perceived from the stands. It was then promptly forgotten, until it was found in the deepest depths of my computer in a file of old things. The following is that play. With the exception of two name changes (due to them being too close to the names of actual people I know) and a few small edits for grammar, format, or clarity, the following is exactly what was handed in in 2011, warts and all. All rights belong to me but if you absolutely positively want to put it on, let me know and I’ll probably give you the okay so long as you film it so I can see it and share it. So without further ado….

The Disappointment League (AKA The Mudville Faithful)

Characters:

Bill, a sports fan who is often disappointed by the poor performance of his teams.

Harold, Bill’s father.

June, a regular at the ballpark who is friendly but easily annoyed. Somewhat of a deadpan delivery.

Annie, a female fan whose love of the game is matched only by the power of her vocal cords, keeps a scorecard.

Benny, loud-mouthed, entitled, Italian-American fan of the opposing team. He is heavily intoxicated.

Announcer, off-stage PA announcer

Other fans are there, but do not have lines beyond the occasional crowd chant.

Setting: A raised stand full of seats at a stadium, we can’t see what is going on in the field, but the seats are filled with people in team jerseys- most of them in white and red (including Bill, Harold, June and Annie). But there is one person who is in a black-pinstriped white jersey (Benny). There is a walkway behind the seats where the fans could exit and enter, and there is a railing on that walkway for standing room only crowds to lean on. A baseball team’s dugout can be placed in front of the front row, for things like sodas and food to be placed, but otherwise it can be just assumed to be there but invisible. While the seating can be anything from just one or two rows to a whole bleacher of it (the logical extreme would be to hold it in a actual baseball stadium), some things are important: Bill and Harold are sitting next to each other, Annie is as far away from Bill and Harold as possible while staying in the same section seating, June is either two seats to the right of Bill and Harold or is one seat over and one row up from them, Benny is sitting either next to or kitty-corner to June. The rest of the seats are filled out with others, but they aren’t really important. The crowd should be jostling in their seats, the occasional “C’mon Nine!” and “Get a hit!” echoing from the extras, but now, it is a quiet murmur.

Announcer: Due up in the bottom of the ninth for Mudville- Cooney, Barrows and Flynn. Coming in for New York… Sparks Hagen.

(A grumble rises from the crowd.)

Bill: Well, this is it, dad. Down 4-2, one inning left.

Harold: Yeah, we’re in trouble. I mean, Hagen…. jeez.

Bill: Annie? How many people have to get in for Casey to come up?

(ANNIE looks at her scorecard for a second.)

Annie: Well, let’s see, Cooney, Barrows, Flynn, Jimmy Blake…. then there’s Casey.

June: There’s no way we’re getting there. Especially if…..

(Benny gets up and yells.)

Benny: Woooooah, Bombers! Let’s finish this thing, Hagen!

(JUNE turns to Benny and gives him a deathly glare, the ANNOUNCER then comes on the PA system.)

Announcer: Now batting for Mudville, Ernest Cooney….

(BILL claps.)

Bill: C’mon, Cooney!

(The sound of the crack of a bat. The crowd makes a brief rise in noise, but it then quickly goes down in disappointment, except for Benny, who stands and goes “YEEEEEEAAAAHHH!”)

Annie: (Looking down at scorecard, which she is annotating) Cooney… grounded out to short.

(Benny stands up again.)

Benny: WOOOOOOO! NEW YORK! TWO OUTS AWAY!

Bill: (turning) Shut up!

Benny: WOOOO! NEW YORK!

Harold: (under his breath) Drunken idiot.

(Everyone calms down for a second as the announcer comes up again.)

Announcer: Now batting for Mudville, Lawrence Barrow….

June: He better not swing at the first pitch.

(Sound of a bat hitting ball. A groan emanates from the crowd except for Benny, who cheers. ANNIE turns to her scorecard.)

Annie: Barrow lines out to first.

Benny: ONE OUT AWAY, BABY!

(JUNE turns around.)

June: (Grumpy) Uh-hum!

(Benny ignores her. Meanwhile one or two of the extras have gotten up and left early to beat traffic.)

Benny: WE’RE GONNA WIN AND YOU MUDVILLE LOSERS WILL FINALLY HAVE TO ADMIT HOW AWESOME WE ARE!

(BILL finally has had it, and gets up, as the ANNOUNCER calls the next batter.)

Announcer: Now batting for Mudville…. William Flynn!

Bill: (To Benny) Wait until the last out, butt-head!

Harold (putting hand on Bill’s shoulder): Calm down, son.

Benny: Oh yeah! What makes you think you can win this, kid?

Bill: Casey can still come to the plate, and he could end it with one swing!

(The sound of a baseball hitting a catcher’s mitt is heard.)

Annie (ignoring the argument between BILL and Benny): GOOD EYE, FLYNN! JUST GET ON BASE!

Benny (still talking to Bill): C’mon, Casey isn’t coming up. Your bench is empty, and Flynn is a has-been and Blake is a piece of cake!

Bill: This is baseball, anything can happen.

(Harold nods. The sound of bat hitting ball is heard and the crowd erupts.)

Harold: Get down, get down!

Annie: THAT’S A HIT! (Turns to her scorecard and marks it a hit.)

(The crowd is getting excited, more shouting of “C’mon Mudville!” and similar things.)

June: One more hit to Casey….

Benny: There ain’t gonna be a hit!

Harold: He doesn’t need a hit, he just need to get on.

Announcer: Now batting, Jimmy Blake!

Annie: C’MON BLAKE!

Bill: JUST GET ON BASE, BLAKE!

(The sound of a ball hitting a glove.)

Benny: YEAH! TWO MORE STRIKES!

Bill: Will you be quiet?

June: He isn’t gonna listen, Bill. Don’t even try.

(The sound of a ball hitting a glove.)

Annie: GOOD EYE, JIMMY!

Harold: He needs to wait for his pitch.

Benny: PLEASE, BLAKE COULDN’T HIT WAY OUT OF A PAPER-

(Benny is interrupted by the crack of the bat. The crowd goes wild.)

Annie: GO! GO! GO!

Harold: C’mon…

Bill: Send him! Send him! [beat] DON’T SEND HIM! DON’T SEND HIM!

June: He’s going to be out at third….

(The crowd erupts into a giant roar.)

Bill: SAFE!

Harold: SAFE!

Benny: C’MON! UMP! ARE YOU KIDDING ME! HE WAS OUT!

(The crowd starts to build in noise as the announcer again comes on the PA.)

Announcer: Now batting for Mudville…. Phineas Casey!

Annie: (Catching up on scorecard) Blake doubled, Flynn to third…

(The crowd begins to chant “CA-SEY! CA-SEY!” Except for Benny.)

Harold: A hit to tie, a homer to win…

Annie: JUST GET A HIT, CASEY!

Benny: YOU SUCK, CASEY!

(The pitcher throws the sphere, and everyone groans about the pitch as it hits the catcher’s mitt. Strike one.)

Harold: That was his pitch.

June: Ye-ep.

Benny: Ha! I bet the selfish bum just didn’t think that big fat pitch wasn’t his style.

Bill: Oh, be quiet!

(Another pitch. The sound of the ball hitting the glove. Everyone begins to boo and yell.)

Bill: OH, COME ON UMP! YOU ARE A FRAUD!

Annie: IF IT WEREN’T ILLEGAL, I’D KILL YOU UMP!

Benny: ONE STRIKE AWAY, BABY!

June: Settle down, all of you!

Harold: He’s got to swing at this, if it is at all close.

(The crowd gets to it’s feet, growing louder and louder….. and louder… and louder and then….)

(The lights go out, except for one, which is shown on Bill.)

Bill: Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.

(Bill slams a fist into his hand, in anger and disappointment, and walks off dejectedly.)

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