Tag Archives: baseball

The 2020 MLB Baseball Playoffs: Why We Should Keep This Format

I know I don’t talk about baseball that much. Please don’t misconstrue that as me saying I don’t care for it. I love baseball as much as any guy who grew up playing catch with his dad in the back yard. Some of my fondest memories are of watching ball games with my dad and eating peanuts.

While I tend to get more excited about football, I still enjoy a beer and a ball game. However, there are some other reasons why I don’t get as excited about baseball as I do with football.

Some of that has to do with the duration of the season and how often it seems certain teams clinch their playoff spots weeks ahead of time. Most of it has to do with the playoff format, itself. That’s the one part of Major League Baseball that I’ve always had a problem with.

Compared to other sports, baseball has always been much more limited in terms of which teams make the playoffs and how those games are structured. For me, the playoffs never got exciting until the ALCS and the NLCS. That’s usually when the drama happens. The divisional rounds before it are just too forgettable.

Then, two things happened. First, the pandemic struck and truncated the baseball season considerably and the MLB expanded the playoffs. Now, instead of just a handful of teams having a shot at the World Series, the playoffs is more a tournament with 16 teams.

This is what it looked like, just after the wild card rounds wrapped up.

Now, I know baseball is famous for having staunch traditionalists, but after following the wild card rounds, I have to say this.

The MLB should totally keep this format or, at the very least, keep most of it.

I love this new format. It really made the MLB playoffs feel exciting again. For once, I didn’t have to wait until the championship rounds to see some drama. As bad as 2020 has been for sports, this new tournament format might be the best thing that came out of it.

This new setup gives struggling teams a reason to keep playing in the regular season, even when they get into a skid. With this expanded format, there are more spots to fight for. The dominant teams will still get their spot, but now there are new opportunities for teams to sneak in and make an impact.

In baseball, that’s a big deal. I’ve been watching baseball long enough to know that any team can get hot at just the right time. Last year was a perfect example of it. The 2019 Washington Nationals are a perfect example of this. They had to get into the playoffs as a wild card team and go through heavyweights like the Dodgers en route to their first World Series title.

It can happen in baseball. Great teams can just have a bad day at the park or several. A wild card team can get hot and take that momentum to a championship. The Nationals sent a message to every team in the wild card round this year that it can happen to them, too.

Beyond the opportunity, it’s just more exciting. I know last year had a single-game elimination wild card, but I found that to be somewhat underwhelming. Like I said, any team can have a bad day at the ball park. Sometimes, quality teams just falter on a particular day. That sometimes means the lucky team wins instead of the better team.

I think a three-game playoff series fits perfectly. It helps ensure a team can win or lose on a single fluke. It also gives a team that falters in one game to make up for it the next. It’s a better way of determining who’s the better team in the long run.

Like the NCAA basketball tournament, more teams means more opportunities for a team to go on a historic run or land a historic upset. In a league that is legendary for having top-heavy teams who try to buy their way into a World Series, this can only help the sport.

Now, I know 2020 is a crazy year that has done lasting damage to the sports world. I don’t doubt that professional leagues are eager to go back to the way things were before the pandemic ruined so much.

However, I sincerely hope that Major League Baseball retains this new format for the postseason. I think it’ll do a lot of good for baseball and the sports world, in general. I know there are some logistical issues and I’m sure the players union will want to get their say. I believe there’s a way to do it and ensure everyone benefits.

Leave a comment

Filed under baseball, rants, sports

My (Early) Thoughts On Pandemic-Era Live Sports

This past weekend felt like a turning point for the world of sports. For sports lovers like me, it was a weekend we thought might never come. This past year and the global pandemic that has consumed it has ruined so many things, canceling so much of what we love. It got to a point where some of us seriously wondered if sports would go the way of concerns, indoor restaurants, and strip clubs.

As a lifelong lover sports who builds spring and summer afternoons around watching baseball games, this was a terrifying thought. I was already bracing myself for the worst, thinking that 2020 might become a year without sports. For once, the worst didn’t entirely come to pass. Baseball, hockey, and basketball all made a comeback and sports fans everywhere could breathe a bittersweet sigh of relief.

Having spent the past few days watching a little of everything, from late night ball games to the new NBA playoffs, I certainly share that relief. I am very happy to see sports return. It feels like a real sign that we’re navigating this pandemic. We’re making a genuine effort to get our lives back. That said, the experience of watching sports is very different during a pandemic.

The most jarring thing, at least for me, was watching a Red Sox vs. Yankees game with no fans. Even though the broadcast tried to pump in crowd noise, it just felt so off. This is one of the most heated rivalry in the history of sports. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the playoffs or the regular season. When these two teams play, it has real dramatic stakes.

You can hear it in the crowd.

You can feel it with every home run, lead change, and scoring opportunity.

It’s part of the experience, even if you’re watching from home. Without real fans and real visceral crowd noise, it just felt incomplete.

Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoyed watching the game. After several months with no sports outside of Korean Baseball, it was incredibly cathartic. You could just tell that this is an incomplete product, but for very good reasons. The subsequent outbreaks that followed opening day were proof of that. I have a feeling that won’t be the last outbreak before the season is done.

That season might even get cancelled. That’s a real possibility and one that doesn’t bode well for football season, which is just a month away.

It seems basketball and hockey are faring somewhat better. They still had the benefit of nearly being done with their season by the time the pandemic hit. I managed to watch a few basketball and hockey games. It wasn’t quite as jarring as baseball, but it still felt very incomplete.

If you’ve ever seen how the Las Vegas Golden Knights put together an opening show, you know why. It also changes the stakes, somewhat. When the both the NBA and NHL seasons were put on hold, teams were still fighting for playoff positions. Those positions matter because higher ranking means a chance at home field advantage.

Well, since both leagues are playing in a bubble in limited locations with no fans, there’s no such thing as home field advantage. There’s no crowd energy. There’s no real sense that any team has an advantage, besides the record they earned before all this happened. For some, that’s disappointing. At the same time, this might be the most level playing field these teams have ever had.

In those circumstances, how do we treat the team that ultimately wins it all? How can you judge any team that wins a championship when an entire season got disrupted by a global pandemic? Does that championship deserve an asterisk? Will people and players alike see it as legitimate? Will the fans even be able to celebrate it? It’s not like parades are conducive to social distancing.

These are sentiments I still find myself contemplating as I celebrate a return of sports. I’m sure those sentiments will change as the rest of the year unfolds. If baseball gets cancelled or football season gets delayed, that’ll be another sign of just how bad this pandemic is and how terrible we’ve been at dealing with it.

Again, I’m still bracing for the worst. For me, the worst-case scenario is the NFL season getting canceled or cut short, due to an outbreak. I suspect, with billions of dollars on the line, everyone involves will try to avoid that. However, if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the unthinkable is more possible than we care to admit.

I don’t know how it’s going to play out. I’m just glad sports are back, in some capacity. I just worry about what the end results will be when all is said and done.

1 Comment

Filed under Current Events, football, health, sports

Recounting The Dumbest Injury I Ever Got

We all like showing off scars. It doesn’t matter how big they are. We still use them as a catalyst to tell stories about ourselves. I don’t always get it. It’s just one of those weird things people do to make them seem tougher and more badass than they really are.

It’s not just a man thing, either. Women do this too. They just tend to be more subtle about it.

I have my share of scars from lingering injuries over the years. Each one of them has a story behind it. Some are more painful than others. There are a few I’d rather not share. Instead, I’m going to share a different kind of story about bodily injuries. Specifically, I’m going to tell the story about the dumbest injury I ever got.

It left no badass scar.

It didn’t make me tougher or stronger.

It was just a stupid fluke of an injury that taught me how hilariously frail the human body can be. More than anything else, I hope this story makes you laugh and appreciate the less foolish injuries we endure.

This particular injury occurred when I was playing little league baseball. For a time, it was a spring tradition. My dad would sign me up for little league and we’d build our weeks around it. For the most part, it was great. I loved baseball. I loved playing. I won’t say I was that good, but I certainly wasn’t that bad, either. I had fun, for the most part.

Like with any sport, you’re bound to get a few injuries here and there. I’d endured a few in that time. It was nothing I couldn’t handle. It was nothing that left a scar, either. I got lucky, compared to some of my teammates.

That changed one fateful day at practice. I think I was in the 4th or 5th grade at the time. I wasn’t doing very well that day. I don’t know why. My game was just off. I wasn’t hustling as much as I usual. I was content to just get through practice and prepare for the game.

Then, during fielding drills, the coach hits a ball my way while I’m playing outfield. Rather than glove it, I reach down to pick up the ball so that I can make a play at third base. In doing so, I badly jam my middle finger right against the ball.

It was the flukiest of fluke plays. I reached in and hit the ball with my finger at just the right angle to do some damage. I felt that damage too because I immediately whined about it. I still tried to shake it off, but by the end of practice, my middle finger was noticeably bruised. Part of it also started swelling. By the next day, my finger looked like it got stung by multiple bees.

It hurt like hell. On top of that, it was the same hand I used to write with. That made doing school work more painful than it already was. However, that wasn’t what made the injury so dumb. What truly made it stand out was that, for nearly a week, I could not bend my middle finger.

That meant that, for reasons beyond my control, it looked like I was giving everyone the finger. It was funny at times, but it hurt so much at the time that I don’t remember laughing much. I didn’t need a splint or anything. I just had to wait for it to heal. That was a long wait and there were plenty of embarrassing moments in between, especially at school.

I’m sure my parents remember some of those moments. I complained to them a lot and the best anyone could offer was a bag of ice. It was a miserable time, to say the least. I almost preferred a more serious injury. That would’ve made for a better story to tell. You just can’t tell a great story about picking up a baseball awkwardly and jamming your finger.

It did eventually heal. I did eventually go back to playing little league. I was just a lot more careful when it came to fielding ground balls. I endured more injuries over that time, but none were quite as dumb as that.

If you’ve got a dumber injury you’d like to share, please do so in the comments. Let’s not pretend every injury is epic. We’re all fallible human beings at the end of the day. We’re going to do stupid things and hurt ourselves in stupid ways. The best we can do is laugh about it and learn from it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Jack Fisher's Insights

Daily Sexy Musing: On Love and Baseball

8231c3c6cdbc7ee74f87d8c8270ba7cf

Baseball is often seen as a guy thing. Demographically speaking, it is for the most part. In terms of sex appeal, it’s hardly the first sport that comes to mind. The men aren’t walking around with their shirts off in skin-tight uniforms. There aren’t any scantily clad cheerleaders. That’s to say nothing about the quirky mascots that some teams have.

Those issues aside, I think baseball can be sexy in certain situations. It’s not just some sport guys watch while chugging beer on the couch. It can be like a day at the park, but with bigger crowds and more hot dogs. Having been to my share of baseball games, both as a kid and as an adult, I can attest that there’s a unique social value to the experience.

A ball game is an event and any event can be intimate with the right mentality. A woman, in that instance, doesn’t have to be a hardcore baseball fan. She just has to be happy spending a day with her lover and the guy has be willing to the experience with her. Excitement, no matter where it comes from, is a catalyst for greater passion and baseball can certainly provide that.

With the 2019 baseball season upon us, there are plenty of opportunities to share these experiences for the rest of the summer. Whether it’s at a game or at home, I encourage every couple with at least one sports fan to try it. Hopefully, this baseball-inspired version of my Daily Sexy Musing can inspire you.

The first pitch is thrown.

The first batter swings.

The ballpark erupts.

The game has begun.

Spring has arrived and we’re finally free. Heavy coats and multiple layers are gone. Today, we don more comfortable attire and venture into a warmer, more inviting sun. We are far from alone. Everywhere look, the ballpark is full of those who shared our sentiment.

Sitting side-by-side, we cheer and we laugh. With a cold beer in one hand and a hot dog in the other, we dare to cut loose and celebrate a day away from common drudgery. We’re surrounded by fun, games, and food. Our anxieties melt away. All that matters now is each other and whoever stands at home plate.

Every hit brings excitement.

Every play brings drama.

Every run brings exhilaration.

The rules are simple, but the ultimate goal is not. Through nine innings and twenty-seven outs, both sides have a chance to prove themselves. Only one can come out victorious. There are no ties or draws. One must win and one must lose.

In you, I already feel like I’ve won. Just being there, at the game, with you is a victory of hearts and minds. You show you’re willing to share an experience. I show that I want you to be in that experience. No matter who wins or loses, our love is still stronger. We make each other fee like all stars.

Sometimes, we’ll swing at a bad pitch.

Sometimes, we’ll fail to make a play.

Sometimes, we’ll get a call that goes against us.

Sometimes, we’ll leave runners stranded.

Sometimes, we’ll be outscored.

In the end, every hit counts and every pitch matters. How we play helps determine who we are. With you, on a sunny day at the ballpark, I feel like I’ve already won the World Series. Today, we hit for the cycle. Tonight, we intend to hit a home run.

Leave a comment

Filed under Daily Sexy Musings

Sexy Sunday Thoughts: Opening Day Edition

https://jackfisherbooks.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/d2a7c-sexy-philadelphia-phillies-fan-16.jpg

This weekend is a glorious weekend for a certain type of sports fans. Baseball, the great American past-time, has returned and for the first time since the days of the Ottoman Empire, the Chicago Cubs are defending world champions. That alone is something to marvel at.

I know it’s an odd combination, a man being a fan of both erotica/romance and sports. I love many kinds of sports. I certainly hope I’ve made my love of football abundantly clear. I also have a soft spot for baseball. One of my favorite summer activities is to come home from a long day of writing erotica/romance, pop open a cold beer, and watch a ballgame. I won’t say it’s as great as sex, but it’s still pretty darn great.

It’s also personal for me. I played baseball as a kid. I also loved playing catch with my dad in the back yard. Baseball is full of all sorts of fond, happy memories for me. That’s why I’m more than happy to dedicate this week’s edition of Sexy Sunday Thoughts to the new baseball season. Here’s to hoping we all hit a home run.


https://i.ytimg.com/vi/31-_6PYXyrc/maxresdefault.jpg

“A woman with a great butt appeals to many grown men. A woman with great tits appeals to both grown men and infants. Advantage: great tits.”

It’s a debate as old as civilization. Which is sexier, butts or breast? Many heated debates and bar fights have erupted over this debate. Men and women are so fond or proud of both. It may very well be an unwinnable argument.

That said, when it comes down to pure numbers, tits have the edge. A great butt is beautiful and all, but it won’t feed a crying infant. That’s an advantage that even the roundest, sexiest of butts can never match.


https://www.mazech.com/3[22].jpg

“In retrospect, we’re grateful that our parents had sex to make us. However, we still get queasy when we think about how much they enjoyed it. Does that make us hypocrites?”

It’s another instance where our built-in gag reflex keeps us from appreciating how we came to be. Face it, our parents had to have sex in order for us to exist. Chances are, they probably enjoyed it too. The fact that they enjoyed making us should make us feel proud and loved.

Even so, a part of us still twinges at the idea of our parents enjoying the beautiful act that gave us life. Does that count as hypocrisy? Given the reflexive nature of it all, I’m not sure. I just hope that my parents did enjoy making me. If my stomach hates me for that sentiment, then so be it.


https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1wyxoKFXXXXa2XXXXq6xXFXXXd/String-Underwear-Women-font-b-Pink-b-font-font-b-Sexy-b-font-font-b-Thong.jpg

“Most people tend not to wonder who invented thong underwear. We’re more curious about why it took so damn long in the first place.”

Some inventions aren’t a matter of necessity. Some aren’t even a matter of practicality either. They’re just a natural byproduct of human ingenuity. The rock, the hammer, and the nail certainly qualify as such. I would also put thong underwear in that category too.

For as long as there have been humans, there have been efforts to augment the sexier parts of our bodies. Sometimes it involved fancy gowns. Sometimes it involved cod-pieces. However, it’s easy to imagine someone in any era imagining something like thong underwear.


https://tomatoheart.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/fear-of-nudity-tomatoheart.jpg

“In a literal sense, we treat public nudity the same way we treat spam email. We’re eager to remove it the second we see it.”

I hate spam email. We all do. It deserves to be hated. It’s one of those things we instinctively attack the moment we see it. When it comes to nudity, though, I think those instincts are misguided.

I’ve said before that I’m a fan of nudity. I think the world would be a better place if we allowed and celebrated more nudity. At the moment, though, nudity triggers this instinct in all to be appalled by it. I don’t think that’s healthy or natural. I intend to fight that instinct as best I can with my novels.


https://i1.wp.com/www.themost10.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Women-Love-Money.jpg

“If money makes certain women horny, then do they consider large alimony checks a form of extended afterglow?”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying all women are gold-diggers looking to plunder a man’s wallet using the full force of draconian marriage/divorce laws. However, there are some women who take that practice to extreme levels.

The prize of those extremes are a fat alimony check from some rich guy who wanted to have sex with a beautiful woman and had the necessary resources to do so. By any measure, that’s not a bad prize. Considering sex was needed to get it, I do wonder how afterglow applies.


https://www.exposingtruth.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/pros232.jpg

“Men don’t like to think of themselves as whores, but still pride themselves on their ability to sell their skills.”

I find it odd, and a little ironic, that men use the term whore as an insult. However, when it comes to selling their skills and their abilities to the highest bidder, the only difference between them and a classic whore is the absence of boob jobs. When you think about it, being a whore and being successful go hand-in-hand. They both require the same skill. One just requires the exchange of more body fluids.


https://i2.wp.com/www.hooch.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/09/36hiddendirtydisney.jpg

“Softcore porn is to adults what Saturday morning cartoons are to kids. In addition, hardcore porn is to adults what classic Disney movies are to kids.”

I loved Saturday morning cartoons as a kid. They were a simple, basic pleasure that put a smile on my face. When I discovered softcore porn on premium cable, I discovered another simple, basic pleasure that gave me a similar smile.

Like many kids, I also enjoyed Disney movies. They always raised the bar for cartoons, story, and drama. In that sense, hardcore porn had a similar effect on me as an adult. It raised the bar for what put a smile on my face. It’s kind of poetic when you think about it.


https://cdn.shutterstock.com/shutterstock/videos/1321792/thumb/1.jpg

“When you think about it, a lesbian gynecologist is the most motivated doctor in all of medicine.”

We’re all motivated when it comes to our jobs. If we’re not, then chances are we won’t keep that job for very long. That’s why it’s important to find a job we’re highly motivated to do and do well.

By that standard, who could possibly be more motivated than a lesbian gynecologist? Seriously, I dare anyone to find a job where the incentives are that personal and that strong.


That’s it for now. Now get out there, buy yourself some peanuts and cracker jacks, and enjoy a ball game. If you’re alone at home, clothes are entirely optional. I think you all know which option I’ll be exercising.? Man

Leave a comment

Filed under Sexy Sunday Thoughts