Baseball Questions On My Mind: A Few Minutes With Cliff Eastham

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Baseball Questions On My Mind: A Few Minutes With Cliff Eastham

Pardon my ignorance.

You can still be a "knowledgeable" baseball fan without knowing everything. Just ask me and I will tell you....that I don't know it all.

Some things are done for a purpose, just like breathing for example. In some other things, their points of origin are not so easily decided.

Like road rage for example. It can turn an otherwise mild-mannered man into a junk yard dog in a heartbeat.

If you don't believe me, the next time you are out, cut somebody off in a lane, or take their parking spot from them.

Baseball has some funny quirks if you stop and think about it. I will run a few by you and show you what I am talking about.

What are those chalk lines beside first and third base? I was told they are coaches boxes, but they are never occupied. Why is that?

Speaking of the chalk lines, how about the one that goes about half way and parallel to the first base line? C'mon tell me, what is it for?

Why are bases 90-feet apart? Why not 100? Ninety is a pretty strange number to decide upon, don't you agree? How about 75? That would at least make a 100-yard dash for an inside the park home run, not 120.

Any reason why first base is not third base and vice versa? In other words why run counter-clockwise? This isn't the Daytona 500 after all.

Why is a foul pole called a foul pole? Wouldn't fair pole be more like it? I mean, seriously, if the ball hits the pole on a fly it is a home run, right? Just askin'.

What is the difference between a pop-out and a fly-out? You know, "He popped out to the catcher....he hit a fly-out to the third baseman." How high does it have to go before it flies instead of pops?

What about the strip of dirt from the batting circle to the pitching mound? You know, like in Detroit, and many other old parks from days of yore?

It seems they were a bit wider to me, but what is the deal with them? Shouldn't the catcher have to walk inside the path to talk to the pitcher?

How come a guy on the Disabled List still wears his uniform in the dugout? Does he not have street clothes packed or what?

What's the deal? Football players don't dress, neither do basketball guys (cagers, I like that word).

Why do baseball managers wear uniforms? Football head coaches, and basketball head coaches don't. Football guys look cool with their "logo" shirts and khaki pants.

And the basketball coaches, they wear suits. Look at Rick Patino, the man is most
dapper. You couldn't tell him from a Fortune 500 CEO in a lineup (as long as they were wearing their suits).

Where do the broken, splintered bats go to?  Just askin'.

How about all those balls that the pitcher didn't like or the umpire thought was missing a stitch? Do they go to one of the farm teams of the home squad or what? Don't tell me they throw them away.

Speaking of the balls, does the umpire academy have a course called Ball Inspection 101? What the hell are they looking for in a new ball? Don't they know they were quality-control-inspected by an underpaid, overworked widow in Taiwan?

Why does Jay Bruce walk out of the batting circle after every pitch? Just askin'.

Where is the line that represents "too far out" to be considered for the infield fly rule? Ever wonder about that? I have seen it called at least 10 yards into the outfield grass, I know it has been further.

I have also seen it called on a ball that ended foul. If he dropped it would it still be an out or just a high strike?

How do they get the grass to look so cool on the new diamonds? Almost looks like they brought in the old guys that makes crop circles. The different patterns with light and darker grass, so cool, tell me so I can do it on my little yard.

Would you be able to switch your shortstop and pitcher to face a particular batter, without pulling your pitcher from the game?

Allow me to clarify. Mike Leake played SS as well as pitched in college. Let's say Ronny Cedeno owns him. When he comes up could Leake play shortstop and Paul Janish pitch to him then return? Think about it?

Umpires are not really blind, people just say that. But did an umpire really say to a catcher about a Nolan Ryan fastball, "It sounded high to me"?

That's all for now, answer any of these if you can, and I will submit more for your perusal at another time.

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