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

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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:

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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:

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

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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):

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

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

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

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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:

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

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

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Then, slowly start making your move to escape again:

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

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

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Happy Friday! Enjoy some time off from your coworkers!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

 

 

Week of Feb. 7-13, 2016


Ok. It’s not the strangest place I’ve run across baseball, but I wasn’t expecting great shots of Dodger Stadium at the end of Hart to Hart the other day. In honor of Valentine’s Day, Cozi TV had a marathon on Saturday. And I do love Dodge Stadium.

~ baseballrebecca

  

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Baseball en Español


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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.

Cubs
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

 

Visual Baseball Sociology


This is an awesome graphic! The Orioles not only have mapped out every home run that went out to Eutaw Street (or the Warehouse), but they’ve made it interactive so you can pull up each player and watch a video! Check out the link in their post:

Not only is this totally cool from a baseball fan perspective, but its an interesting graphic. (And, course, a fun marketing tool.) Visual sociologists would love this for some many reasons! Data visualization and infographics have become an important part of every day life for many organizations, including Major League Baseball. And they’re just cool to play with!

~ baseballrebecca