Outside Looking In
In a normal year of viewing Major League Baseball games on television, the sounds you generally hear include the boisterous crowd, the public address announcer, the crack of the bat, the popping of a fastball hitting the catcher's leather, the umpire barking out a strikeout, vendors yelling out the product they are selling, and music blaring over the speakers.
Things are a little different this year, however, due to the COVID19 pandemic.
Cutout figures have replaced fans in the stands, although some stadiums have piped in mock fan noises. When a foul ball is hit into the stands, you can hear the sound of it hitting the stadium seats. You can also still hear some of the same sounds as before, only they are more amplified without the fans in the stands.
But the one thing you rarely heard on television before were the clear voices of the players, such as "I got it, I got it" from a fielder calling off another fielder on a pop fly. Unfortunately, the expletives have been the most noticeable of all.
In the San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers opener on Thursday, three times an expletive came across the television. Announcers apologized to the viewers on two of those occasions.
In New York Yankees vs. the Washington Nationals, a lone and loud expletive could be heard coming out of Nationals ace Max Scherzer when Giancarlo Stanton went deep for the Yankees.
And in the Chicago Cubs vs. the Milwaukee Brewers game on Saturday at Wrigley Field, players from both teams could be heard shouting expletives at each other from their dugouts before the start of the fourth inning. Normally, when fans are in the stands, those types of things are rarely audible.
If you plan on watching a game with your young children, you might want to turn the sound down or invest in some earplugs for them.
Maybe in this stat-friendly era in which they use WAR to determine a player's worth or the spin rate on pitchers, they could include the cuss leaders. They could include a Cusser of the Week award, and even give out a Most Reliable Cusser Award at season's end.
Heck, ESPN might even want to include a Top Ten Cusser list like they do with a Plays of the Week segment.
It was nice to see a few people selling for the first Farmers Market of the summer at Veterans Park's west parking lot.
Many of the vegetables weren't quite ready for the openers, but there were vendors selling cucumbers, peppers, homemade canned goods, baked goods, treats, homemade signs, decor, Tastefully Simple booth, eggs, honey, and more.
This is a great way to sell some of your products, socialize, make a little money, and enjoy the summer evenings.
And it's free to be a vendor and no need to pre-register. Just bring your own stand, signs and products to sell and show up on Thursday evening from 5-7 p.m.
It would be fun to see a packed house each week.
When people first starting wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic, the majority were disposable, uncomfortable and made out of non-woven fabric.
Those with sewing skills then began making cloth masks in all sorts of fabric patterns that were much more comfortable and eye-pleasing while also being reusable.
And more recently, with people required to wear them in all indoor facilities and businesses, people are getting even more creative.
One gentleman I saw in a store on Saturday had a wolf's snout and teeth-baring mouth on the front of his mask that was pulled up high so that only his own eyes were showing. He drew the attention of nearly everyone walking by.
You can now order just about any sports team, animal, cartoon character and more online.
Let us know if you see an unusual or impressive mask worn by someone. Send us a photo if you can to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.