Saturday, December 26, 2015

Boxing Day Rambling

I had a clever-ish idea (if I am allowed to have an opinion). As a holiday greeting from Baseball Byways, I would aggregate here the holiday emails from all the major league teams whose newsletters I subscribe to; for example the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Ignore the triangle inside of the circle. If you are
really curious, the slideshow is available online here.

Funny thing, though, I only received emails from the Angels, Phillies and Yankees. What happened to the Dodgers, Mets, Nationals, Padres, Pirates and Red Sox? I checked my subscriptions on; there was no apparent explanation for the discrepancy. Nothing in the spam folder either. What? No holiday spirit?

Then again, who am I to criticize? I haven't sent holiday cards, paper or digital, in over a decade. This year, I got as far as picking out a couple of pictures that I thought were obscure but in the public domain (as if reproduction on a tumblr blog is proof that an image isn't covered by copyright).

Here's the unused "humorous option." I will save the other picture for next year or some year in the future or never. However and whenever you celebrated the season—even if you just drank and slept too much and waited for the days to get longer again—I hope you enjoyed it. I think Melvin would join me in that.

dog shaming

In any case, this half-realized idea for a blog post prompted me to update my subscriptions. Click, click, click; off went the Angels, Dodgers and Padres, teams Melvin and I saw this year. More mouse clicks and I replaced them with ... nah, it's too early to spoil the surprise. It's not too early, however, for Melvin to have penciled out several draft itineraries.

I used to be the one champing at the bit. One thing I have learned is, without published game times, all itineraries are at best an outline. Team schedules (sans games times) are being published earlier and earlier, often before the end of the prior season. We used to have to wait until spring training to begin trip planning. A 2016 magnetic season calendar was the promotion at the Mets' final game of this year.

At least for the Mets, the last home game is traditionally Fan Appreciation Day. The giveaway has historically been a team photograph, which inevitably was tattered and torn by the time the appreciated fan got home. Not to mention, the photograph was usually taken much earlier in the season, before the general manager unloaded salary and called up a bunch of kids from Triple- and even Double-A.

Why must the sale end on Saturday?
Presidents Day sales last for weeks.

Boxing Day isn't celebrated in the United States, which is a bit surprising because Americans love excuses to do things that they are already predisposed to do, like shop. After all, did college students need to invent beer pong in order to get completely shitfaced?

I associate Boxing Day most with the blizzard that hit New York on the day after Christmas, 2010. New York City street cleaning regulations, which force casual car users to move their vehicles, were suspended for a month. The driver of the vehicles in the foreground below, by either poor planning or chance, did not park their cars to the greatest advantage. Granted, there is lots of curb space to pile snow but by parking on the 'down-blade' side of the plow, there was much more snow to shovel.

"Buried cars in black and white" by Phillip Bump
used through Creative Commons license.

This year, at least at the Byways' New York office, the forecast is for record-setting temperatures for the third day in a row. It was 72 degrees on Christmas Eve, 66 early on Christmas Day, and it may hit 65 tomorrow.

You can ignore that triangle inside a circle too.

It might even reach 62 degrees in Providence tomorrow. Melvin and I should be so lucky when we go see the PawSox on Sunday, April 10. Okay, I couldn't resist a teaser.

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