🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Finish Line Scene 🏃♂️
Baseball’s Better ⚾
M-I-Z! Z-O-UC-H! 🏈
I have never understood the modern-day purpose of running for the sake of running. Sure, I understand it’s a great form of cardiovascular exercise and it’s a convenient way to get from Point A to Point B, yet the desire to strap on a pair of sneakers and pound the pavement for no other reason than it’s something to do has always eluded me.
Evolutionarily speaking, I get it. Running was once the fastest way to travel and a great way to both catch dinner and avoid becoming it. Yet of all the runners I’ve ever known, exactly none of them ever run down their meals or haul ass to beat out a predator, and all of them own cars.
Which makes the fact that I have a child in cross country somewhat peculiar. And no, he didn’t get this running gene from Wifey Poo.
This is Year 2 of cross country for Boy The Younger, and yesterday was the first meet of the season, down in lovely Forest Park in St. Louis, Missourah. The day turned out much hotter than forecasted, and by the time the middle school boys started their 3K trek, it was upwards of 85 to 90 degrees. The only running I would ever do in such a situation is if you told me there were a few million dollars waiting for me exactly 3K away — and even then I’d see if BTY could go grab it for me and I’d give him half. Or a quarter. It’s negotiable.
Yet there was BTY yesterday, charging through the field after his typical slow start to finish 35th out of a kabazillion middle schoolers, knocking 47 seconds off his time from the same meet last year. His team finished third overall.
The scene at the finish line reminded me why I don’t run unless I have to. I have never finished a baseball game and barfed all over my coach. I have never pitched the final out of a game and been unable to control my body such that I need to sit down and be reminded to breathe. I have never completely lost my shit and crumbled into tears and hysterics because I managed to make it to the end of a baseball game.
I’m sure there’s something to that whole “runners high” thing. I’ve been around regular high people, and they’re either super chill or super happy. I’ll take that over uncontrollable sobs and a lack of control over bodily functions any day.
I wrote in early August about how baseball was being ruined by data and offered three suggestions I thought would have the biggest impact on fixing the game I love so much:
- Limit the size of pitching staffs to promote starters going deeper into games.
- Eliminate the shift by mandating two infielders have their feet on the left side of second base and two on the right side of second base.
- Enforce a pitch clock.
Baseball done went and did the last two — and more! While they didn’t limit pitching staffs, they did go further than just those two recommendations. Included in their other fixes, they are limiting the number of times a pitcher can attempt a pickoff during an at-bat without being penalized.
I love this for two reasons.
- It’ll promote stolen bases, which, for those who remember how fun the days of Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines and Vince Coleman tearing up the basepaths were, is a very good things.
- It’ll save dumb baseball fans from themselves. My biggest baseball pet peeve is when fans boo pitchers attempting to pick a runner off a base. I get it if a pitcher has thrown over, like, 10 consecutive times. But one or two? It’s part of the game! Now, more than that one or two is an automatic balk unless the pitcher is successful. Fans can keep their pie-holes shut for a few throws over, right?
Living in Missourah is funny for a lot of reasons. One of them is the unwarranted annual hope shown by Mizzou football fans. Every year, the Tiger fans in my life chart out a path to either an SEC title or a major bowl game. Every year, by the second or third game of the season, they’ve been reminded that the Tigers just aren’t good and aren’t getting any better.
Yesterday, the team got stomped by Kansas State, not exactly a football powerhouse. The Wildcats are picked to finish fifth in the Big 12, but if you judged them solely on how well they handled Mizzou yesterday, they’re going to win the national championship.
Mizzou stinks. Its move from the Big 12 to the SEC has been a disaster. Each successive coach has been seen as a savior, and each has been just plain awful. The team is undersized and outcoached regularly.
Yet I’m sure the 2023 version of the team will be loudly promoted as a contender for something come next August. They won’t be a contender for anything worthwhile.
And let’s not even get started on the basketball team …
Welcome to Issue No. 6 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. The rock band Shinedown burst on the scene early in the new century and made its mark…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- I get to see Mizzou in person next weekend at Parents Weekend … vs. Abiline Christian. No word on how big a favorite that powerhouse AC team will be.
- A cool and rainy Sunday ahead.
- Gotta stay alive so the turrurists don’t win.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Beautiful Skies ⛅Two Terms For 2022 ✌️ Back in our early days at Pound Ridge Elementary School, Sarah was the fastest girl runner in the class, which bought her some serious playground cred. There were only a few of us boys who could hang with Sarah in the 50-meter dash…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Ear Flushing👂Grunge God🎶Tech Guy📺 If you have to have a doctor tell you a body part or yours is small, I suppose one of the least offensive would be the ear canal. That’s what a doctor told me this morning, after I finally broke down and actually went to said doctor’s…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Toys in the Hall🪅Idiot Governors🗳️Flopping FedEx✈️ Last night in my hotel in Springfield, Missourah, I set out a glass of milk and a plate of cookies before going to bed. It’s not that I don’t know how to read a calendar or have any particular belief in a fat man in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Which One?🗺️Leave Introverts Alone🤫Oxford Commas🤪 I’m on the road for work this week, in Springfield. Ahhh, but Springfield what? There currently are 35 populated places in the United States named Springfield, spread out over 25 states, including five in Wisconsin. In addition, there are 35 Springfield Townships, and Ohio owns 11…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Surrounded 😷Wood Splitter 🌲Morons 🤪 I’ve had COVID. Twice. The first time fucked up my life for a year. I’m still not back to the me I was before it came into my home, and I’m pretty sure that now, nearly two years later, that’s not going to change. The second…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sunday audible🤒Fantasy Failure 🏈Anal Chess♟️ Sunday was supposed to be a romantic day spent in a canoe with Wifey Poo, the two of us paddling leisurely down the Meramec River. Mother Nature was not in the mood to play wingman and decided to pick the one day in the midst of…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Book Guy 📚Queen Stuff 👑Bernard Shaw 📺 I’ve decided I want to own a copy of every Stephen King book ever written. That’s about 75 books at the moment. I have a built-in bookcase in my mancave/home office. I don’t think it would hold all 75 in hardcover, but perhaps it…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Beginnings 📚School Start 🚌Real Baseball ⚾ I was thinking this morning on my drive to work how we rarely know when the significant times in our lives begin. So frequently, the most important things that happen to us start with nothing noteworthy. Of course, there are exceptions, the “love-at-first-sight” moments or…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Fallin’ Thoughts 🤕Shinedown 🎸Sleepy 😴 The brain can be surprisingly efficient when the meatsack it’s attached to is in the middle of falling off a ladder while holding a revved-up chainsaw. This, I learned yesterday morning while attempting to saw a limb off a tree that was getting way too close…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Overview📅Fantasy Football🏈Elite Bonding🤼♂️ Days that start with chainsaws and lighter fluid and end with four hours of really good professional wrestling are bound to be added to the “good” column for review when the scales are weighed at the end of a life. Yesterday was such a day for me. In…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Funeral 😢Glimmers ☁️Meat 🥩 If you’re lucky, you’ve had a second mother. Whether your first mother was or is an amazing person who nurtured you and raised you among calm consistency or if she was lacking in certain maternal fundamentals, having a second mother is a blessing. Today, we were there…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩We’re Dumber 👎OnlyFans Thrives 🍑Shinedown 🎵 Official statistics put the COVID death toll in the United States at 1.04 million, with another 713 deaths yesterday. More than 4,000 people are in the ICU right now suffering from what the former Moron-in-Chief called that one person coming from China and a situation…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dethroned Queen 👑Gravy Wrestling 🤼♂️Dog Talk 🐕 Don’t fuck with the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival board. That’s a message Abigail Brocwell is learning the hard way. Brocwell was expected to be inaugurated as the queen of the festival in the northern Ohio town earlier this month, but she was stripped of the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩3, Unassisted ⚾A Sad Day 📅Tracking Your Vagina 🌸 The last time Boy The Younger was on a baseball field, the “coach” of his team removed him from a game in the middle of an inning because I had privately messaged him to not attempt to steal home with my kid…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hydrogen Issue 🚀Karting 🏎️Lake Life 😌 I was all excited to watch the launch of the moon-bound Artemis 1 rocket this morning, only to see the clock stopped at T-minus 40 minutes because of a “hydrogen issue.” Don’t know about you, but I’m thinking having an issue with hydrogen is a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Karen in Control ⌚Karting 🏎️What podcast? 🎧 In the winter of 1993, I went to a comedy club with a friend and, in the spur of the moment, decided to be one of those who came forward to join the fun and be hypnotized. This was decidedly out of character for…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Little League Flap ⚾Grandpa Joe 🤦Psychedelics 🍄 Boys are interesting creatures who aren’t easily understood. One of the many, many weird things boys do is mercilessly make fun of their best friends. My closest friends in middle school and early in high school were affectionately nicknamed Goon, Tree Frog, Butt and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩 Death Cometh Sooner 💀Twitter Security 🔓Game Over 🌑 Average life expectancy in the United States dropped in 2020 by almost two years in 2020, the biggest decline since World War II. Every state and the District of Columbia saw a drop. Guess it was a little bit more than that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Worm brain 🧠Chicken Big Mac 🐔Eye Twitch 👁️ Caenorhabditis elegans is probably too elegant of a name for something that is really just a disgusting little worm about a millimeter long and most easily found in rotting fruit. It is more commonly known as a lab roundworm and was the first…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩The Agliata Homeschool Academy 🚌Hypnosis 😳Sunburn 🌞🔥 When you tell people you homeschool your children, you typically receive one of three responses: An enthusiastic: “Oh, that’s so cool!”An I’d-rather-be-dipped-in-acid: “Oh wow! I could never do that!” A you’re-one-of-those-weirdos: “Oh… really… homeschooling, huh?” The percentage for each has changed in the wake…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Indycar 🏎️Best Friends 😎Baseball Irony ⚾ There are certain people who look at car racing as an endless series of left turns. These people are idiots on whom nuance is lost. Boy The Elder and I crossed the border yesterday late-morning to head just past the fine city of East St.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Swine Inflation 🐖Swamp Thing 🎥Phone Calls 📱 Life was different when I went to college in Iowa after growing up in suburban New York City. This isn’t to suggest I was a city kid. I wasn’t. The city was a place we went to a few times a year, and where…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Triple-Threat 🖥️🖥️🖥️Tasmanian Tiger 🐅Video Work 📹 Humans were not meant to stare at laptop screens. At least, humans of a certain age were not meant to stare at laptop screens. I say this after successfully lobbying for a second monitor at work, which effectively turned my laptop screen into a third…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Look Before Brewing ☕Hoop Construction 🏀Nuclear War ☢️ If you’d like an indication of how much of a Monday yesterday was for me, know that I ended up with an orange in my coffee. Well, to be fair, it wasn’t a full-blown orange. It was something called a Cutie, which is…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Weird Date 🪦Nature Walk🌳Bulldog Bath 🐶 If you have a date walking around a cemetery, you’re either weird or goth, and neither Wifey Poo nor I were wearing black today, which I guess tells you all you need to know about us. Old cemeteries are something of a fascination for us,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩So Long, Kid 👨👦Steak Celebration🥩Chip & Joanna 🪚 Regular readers of my drivel know that I’m kind of an emotional guy, which is like saying that Jack kind of could have fit on the spacious floating door with Rose in Titanic. So it should come as no surprise when I say…Keep reading