A Fall Escape

img_2436I woke up around 4 am yesterday. It was dark, it was cold, and it was way too early to be awake. Nonetheless, I boarded a plane in Baltimore a few hours later. After everyone found their seats and stored their carry-ons, the plane was de-iced and we took off. Five hours later, after a nice nap, we landed in Phoenix, Arizona, where it was a wonderful 85 degrees. The blue sky was gorgeous – it was going to be a great day to be outside.

So, I made my way to the Peoria Sports Complex where I joined a handful of other folks at a baseball game between the Peoria Javelinas and the Glendale Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League. For those of us whose favorite teams aren’t in the World Series, the Arizona Fall League is a nice distraction. Although the Fall Stars Game has been televised the past few years, the rest of the games are not, though you can follow online. So when I had the chance to go to Arizona, I couldn’t refuse.

img_2457The sun was out, but there was a nice breeze. Seating was open, so I sat in the sun along the third base side for the beginning of the game (I moved to the shadier first base side in the 3rd inning). The visiting Desert Dogs were up first, with three of my Bowie Baysox in the lineup. The Javelinas were the first to score in the bottom of the ninth, but the Desert Dogs came back in the top of the 2nd with three runs. By the 8th inning, the Dogs had 6 runs, including a 2-run home run by Cleveland’s Yu Chang in the top of the 5th. In the bottom of the 8th, the Javelinas scored another run on a home run by Seattle’s Ian Miller.

After a mere 2 hours and 11 minutes, the blissful afternoon ended all too soon as the final out was recorded. The final score was Desert Dogs 6, Javelinas 2. My team had won, and my spirit had been renewed.

If you ever need a fall escape, the Arizona Fall League is the place to be. I highly, highly recommend it.

~ baseballrebecca




A Week Without Baseball: Postscript


Tower at Heathrow Airport (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Last week I recounted my agony over being without baseball for an entire week while on vacation in Europe. Its really hard to find anything baseball-related in London, Malaga, or Paris (aside from the random person wearing a Yankees cap no matter where you go). After a week of longing for my teams, we spent one last night in London before our return flight home.  We arrived at the Heathrow Airport Hilton, checked in, and immediately turned on the TV. And to my great surprise and delight, there was a baseball game!

I figured they were just playing the game because MLB had just announced that day that they would be playing a game in London in 2019. Nonetheless, I imprinted the name of the TV channel on my brain in case I ever had occasion to be in London during baseball season again. It turns out that BT Sport-ESPN is an all-sports TV channel airing in the United Kingdom and Ireland – and it focuses on North American sports. It had been operated by ESPN from 2009 to 2013. In 2013, England’s BT Group acquired ESPN’s UK and Ireland TV business. In 2015, the channel was renamed BTS-ESPN.

Satellite_dish_1_C-BandThe important thing here is that baseball games are televised in the United Kingdom. This is good news for those of us who find themselves in the UK during baseball season. BT has several other sports channels as well and, in fact, BTS 1 is showing the Astros-Yankees game tonight. Or tomorrow morning. Sometime soon? Yesterday? I’m not sure about the whole time difference thing…

~ baseballrebecca



This is Where the Twins Play

I love it when you see the local team represented immediately upon arriving at a new location. Recently, I had a layover in Minneapolis. As I stepped off the airplane into the walkway, the first thing I saw was a Delta ad stating they were the official airline of the Minnesota Twins. 

Then I found this cool restaurant in the airport: 

I love a town that loves its baseball team!

~ baseballrebecca

We All Have One of Those Coworkers

I’ve noted before that sociologists view sports as a microcosm of society. This can definitely be said of baseball – and while I have no direct proof of what was happening behind the scenes at the Bowie Baysox game Wednesday night, the interaction between Ryan Flaherty and his fellow Baysox players certainly seemed to reflect coworker interactions we’ve all experienced.

Flaherty, who was on a rehab assignment with the Baysox, finished his work for the evening after the seventh inning. As he walked off the field, he stopped to talk to some teammates on his way to the clubhouse:


What happened next, perhaps only Ryan knows, but if baseball imitates life, I imagine it went something like this: Ryan stopped to talk to his teammates. They were friendly, perhaps even having a great conversation. But at some point, maybe that conversation started getting a little too long, and Ryan found himself trying to figure out how to extricate himself from his overly chatty coworker. I mean, we’ve all been there haven’t we? We’ve all had to deal with one of those coworkers.

I watched the action unfold from across the ballpark. At first, Ryan seemed to get in to the conversation, and sets his gear down:


The conversation drags on; Ryan untucks his shirt and starts to fidget and stretch:


But the coworker keeps talking, so he tries paying more attention to something – anything – than the conversation at hand, like watching the game (this is a common tactic designed to send the message to the overly chatty person that you have better things to do):


Perhaps he even tried to say goodbye and make his escape as another player walked by:


But, alas, Ryan wasn’t the one who was able to escape, and now he’s wondering how else he might disentangle himself:


So he tries backing away slowly, though the world appears to be speeding by as he’s stuck in place:


The next strategy is usually to keep backing away from the person who won’t stop talking, looking uncomfortable if you think it will help:


If it doesn’t work, you might have to resign yourself to being stuck there a little while longer:


But keep hoping someone else will come by to save you:


Then, slowly start making your move to escape again:


When you seen an opportunity, get out of there as fast as you can:


It matters not if someone else gets stuck with your chatty coworker – at least you have saved yourself:


Happy Friday! Enjoy some time off from your coworkers!

~ baseballrebecca






Baseball en Español


Photo courtesy of Leones del Caracas (www.leones.com)

In 1940, Graydon S. DeLand published “A Glossary of Baseball Terms in Spanish,” in The Modern Language Journal, the journal of the National Federal of Modern Language Teachers Associations. The idea of the article was to capture the attention of “sports-minded” students in Spanish classes and provide them with a vocabulary that would interest them. Graydon certainly was a visionary!

More recently, other English-Spanish and Spanish-English baseball dictionaries have been developed and posted online. These include:

I put together this nice little reference list because I’m still searching for an appropriate sociological explanation to explain the lack of news coverage of the Serie del Caribe (Caribbean Series). Is it that we don’t know most of the players? (Although we know several, including Dariel Alvarez). Is it that it’s taking place so far away? Or is it, simply, that not enough folks speak Spanish. If that’s all it is, Graydon and I have come up for a solution for that.

I’ve put some of the more common terms in a table below. After you study the list, you can take a Spanish baseball vocabulary quiz on Quizlet.

¡Viva el beisból!

~ baseballrebecca

Spanish English
Aficionado Fan
Bateador Batter
Batear To bat
Campeonato Championship
Carrera Run
Capturer, atrapar Catch
Receptor or catcher Catcher
Circulo de espera On-deck circle
Corredor Runner
Cuadrangular Home run (see also jonron)
Cuadro, entrada Inning
Equipo Team
Error Error
Estadio Stadium
Esquina caliente Third base; the hot corner
Ganador Winner
Guante Glove
Guardabosque Outfielder (see also jardinero)
Hit doble Double
Hit tripe Triple
Jardín Outfield
Jardinero Outfielder (see also guardabosque)
Jonrón Home run (see also cuadrangular)
Jonronero Home run hitter
Lanzador Pitcher
Linea de foul Foul line
Parte baja de la septima Bottom of the seventh
Pasból Passed ball
Sencillo single
Partido Game
Ponche strikeout
Turno al bateo At bat

Baseball in Unexpected Places

IMG_0468One thing sociologists look at is how much something influences society and culture. Thus, when baseball shows up in unexpected places, it lets us know just how pervasive it really is. A social pattern or institution that is common to all societies is known as a “cultural universal.” Has baseball reached that status yet?

The other day I was watching “Violetta” on Netflix. “Violetta” is a teen telenovela that aired on Disney Channel Latin America from 2012-2015. The show takes place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The characters on the show, high-school aged music students, are from Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, and Italy.


Chicago Cubs’ secondary logo worn on sleeve; in use since 1997.

As the story unfolded, I noticed that one of the characters was wearing a shirt that had a graphic on it that seemed familiar. I had a feeling of what it was, but it was hard to get a good look at it, since he was wearing a sweatshirt over it. So I took a picture of the TV screen in order to study it more closely.

That’s when I realized I was right. This character from Mexico on the Argentinian soap opera for kids was wearing a Chicago Cubs t-shirt. Cool.

Now, sure, baseball is played around the world – and the Cubs have a long and storied history. But I found it interesting that the Cubs’ logo found its way into this particular TV show. I’m in the middle of season 2 of the show, and they’ve never discussed baseball – or any sport. The kids on the show generally don’t wear clothing with American logos on them. I’ve never noticed anything like this before.

And it got me thinking about baseball’s cultural reach. Is baseball truly a cultural universal? Is this a result of MLB’s international efforts? Or does this actor-kid just really like the Cubs?

~ baseballrebecca