Archive for June, 2009

Baseball 101: Balls & Strikes Explained

Posted in Misc. on June 18, 2009 by impliedmortality

Now there will be those of you who don’t agree with this but lets face it, you’re wrong and you know it. Arguing whether or not a particular pitch was a ball or strike is the height of futility and could only be described as an exercise in moral management in that the only possible positive outcome would be (if achieved) an improvement in the general mood of your team. There is also a case to be made that the umpires future calls could be swayed by a good brow beating…its possible but if it were me those wouldn’t be going the way of the old guy’s team who just sprayed spit all over me.

Simply put, a pitch does not become a ball or a strike until it is declared to be one or the other by the home plate umpire (blind as he or she may be). The actual position of the pitch (vertically and horizontally in space as it passes by the batter) has only a correlation (not a causation) on the outcome. I can hear the chorus of half-baked argument rising already…”then why sir, do we define a ‘strike zone’?”. Simple, the strike zone is in fact nothing more than a guideline (like speed limits and tax codes) so the Pitcher, Batter and Umpire have some general concept of where a pitch could, or should be thrown.

The pitcher throws the ball (and in doing so births a brand new baby we name Pitch every single time). The umpire then declares the baby Pitch to have been either a ball or strike based entirely on his or her arbitrary interpretation of what constitutes a strike (before you start, since when do any umpires of any sports actually bother to read the rules of the game anyway).

The moral of the story, for all the young batters and old coaches is this: As a pitcher, you have to ‘find’ the zone the umpire of the day has pulled from his hat. As a batter, you simply have to swing at pitches you can hit and pay only passing attention to what they get called. If the umpire is consistent then noting a pitches location relative to it being called a strike can be extremely useful. All parties should always know the count but don’t get to wrapped up in the numbers…in the end it’s about smacking that little sucker out in the field so some other official has a chance to blow a call that’s not completely arbitrary.

Zombie Arby’s – A Mad Chefs Private Notes II

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , on June 4, 2009 by impliedmortality

Chefs Log : 060309-a7:12
Our quest to revive deceased snacks continues this evening ladies and gentlemen! I am proud to announce that we have done it again! Tonight I will describe to you the tools and techniques required to create your very own army of undead roast beef sandwiches.

The first requirement of course is to purchase a roast beef sandwich. For this test we ordered a medium roast beef sandwich from the local Arby’s. It was a precarious exercise as the parking lot was riddled with half unfinished construction projects and the men who would presumably be working on them had they not been abandoned for whatever reason.

Allow that sandwich to expire first on your desk where you had intended to eat it and then several hours later in the refrigerator while you ponder what t-shirt to wear on the couch that evening.

Materials for part “A”

roast beef sandwich

Chefs Log 060309-b7:50
The “B” phase is where all the action is. Now get off that couch and go remove that sandwich from the paper bag and foil wrapper. CAREFULLY remove the bread from the alleged roast beef. Place the bread or bun if you prefer, and place it on the open rack of your trusty toaster oven. Insert and initiate toast function Alpha-Gulf-ToastyToast (this is generally the most reliable toaster setting. any toaster without this specific label is probably complete junk).

Now gather up that ‘roast beef’ that is left and pile it on a paper plate in a pile that is of approximately the size and shape of the intended bread / bun target. Place a slice of REAL CHEESE on top of that meat pile and insert that into your 20gigawatt microwave (lesser models tremble before the mighty power of the 20gigawatt). microwave it until it is half way done and then stop it. What is half way? How the hell should I know!? You are going to have to watch and listen for cooking noises and just guess or something.

Check the bread! GAAWD! It’s probably burning. Is it burning? Soggy still you say? Well I guess we caught it just in time, put it back in and restart the COOKING OF THE MEAT!!!

Ding – Ding That was the toaster and the microwave going off at the same time. Sounding the alert that the time has come to assemble this mighty undead sandwich BEAST.

Chefs Log: 060309-c8:00
Immediately remove the the bread/bun slices from the toaster oven and place them on a plate of some sort. Apply any arby’s, horsey, or other sauce types you wish while the bread is cooling. Using a spatula, your hand, a sandal, or the unusual utensil of your choice (send pictures please) place the still smoldering meat pile onto a slice of bread/bun. Top with the other half of that toasty bread/bun and press down…. GENTLY DAMN IT! Whew…close one.