Thursday, April 27, 2006

Pitch Counts

The elderly couples seated in the booth behind us had been relatively quite until they had placed their order with the waitress. The two women immediately launched themselves into a heated round of "Bush-bashing." In a way it was refreshing, for they weren't targeting the President, but instead were attacking the distaff member of the Bush clan, the First lady.
....Laura Bush has remained unscathed during her husband's tenure. It has only been recently, due to the President's waning popularity, that she has stepped out of the shadows and into the lime light.
....It should have come as no surprise, however, that she would stumble right out of the gate. In an apparent affront to the Catholic Church's recent decision to approve the use of condoms as a deterrent to AIDS, she has come forth in disagreement with the Holy See.
....She said that even in the poorest regions of Africa those people should be practicing nothing more than abstinence. She went on to say that the availability and subsequent use of condoms would only serve to promote sex. According to her, condoms would not affect or deter the spread of AIDS or any other sexually transmitted disease.
....Apparently it runs in the family, and it is a clear case of another Bush opening a mouth and succeeding only in spouting nonsense. Like her husband and her in-laws before her, she should have been gagged before being allowed to speak in public.

Meanwhile, the two men had entered into their own hot debate. Both were on opposite sides of baseball's philosophy of limiting the number of pitches a pitcher should throw in a game. One argued that they were professionals, and they are paid handsomely to pitch! His counterpart suggested that limiting pitch counts in the first half of the season would "save" the pitcher's arms for the important end of the season. He said it was better to have strong arms down the stretch drives for the pennant races. These two elderly gentlemen probably had seen the likes of Babe Ruth and Jimmy Fox in a different era of America's pass time.

Out of the blue one of the ladies chimed in. "I agree with you, George. There are too many pitches." The other man turned and looked at her in stunned silence for a moment.
...."What do you know about baseball, Marge? You're always giving Bill a hard time when he wants to watch the Red Sox games."
...."Baseball?" she answered. "Who's talking about a stupid sport?"
....The woman next to her, both of the men, and me in my booth all were showing a puzzled look on our faces. The woman next to her spoke up, "They were talking about baseball. What were you talking about?"
...."Television, of course!" I'm sure the rest at her table were, as I, still wearing puzzled faces. "Advertisements! You know they are just glorified sales pitches. As I see it, there's just too many pitches!"

While I had never noticed that correlation before, I had to agree with her. The analogy, actually was a pretty good one I thought. To use her logic, the "pitch count" on TV, especially on the major networks, can be quite overbearing at times. The wheels were turning, and on a napkin I jotted down the words pitch count, and commercials on a pad of paper that I always carry with me. Yet again, I had been out and about and had picked up some possible blogging fodder from an unlikely source.
....There are only so many times you can get up to go the bath room, fetch a snack or get a drink during an hour-long TV program. It's not as if the producers don't know that there is mass exodus away from the television sets during virtually every single commercial. Perhaps that is why they run anywhere from three to six of them back to back.
....Oh, a pet peeve of mine is that after the last commercial when the programs logo reappears and a voice announces that the program will continue after that wonderful feature "Station Identification." What kind of idiots do they take us for? Do they honestly believe we don't know what station we are watching? Hell, I deliberately turned the set to that particular station in order to watch a particular program, which by the way just happens to be on only that particular station! Did someone forget to tell them that the station also appears in the upper right-hand corner of our television screens?
....I think that if I worked for the advertising department of a company, like Coca Cola, I'm not so sure I'd want people so stupid that they don't know what station they are watching, buying my product in the first place. In this day and age of frivilous lawsuits, I'd be wary of accusations that my Coke caused memory loss. I can see the headlines now: Consumption of Coca Cola Linked to Alzheimers and Dementia. Imagine the shareholders getting wind of that. The audience doesn't know what stations or networks they are watching due to excessive intake of the products of the Coca Cola Company.
....Now we know ... Now we know why they feel the need to air a "Station Identification," don't we?

It's all coming to me as clear as a bell about the connection of pitches to both TV programs and the game of baseball. I almost forgot that baseball is comprised of innings. Innings mean breaks in the action. Breaks in the action mean it is time to get a drink ... of Coke. A drink of Coke means we will forget what station we are watching. In case we forget, they are only too happy to remind us which station, that carried a Coke commercial,we were watching. What goes around, comes around!



LZ Blogger said...

I just heard that Bush's is the lowest % rating since Lincoln. Not bad company if you ask me! ~ jb///

Peter said...

I wonder if that's Abe or the Ford??
Ya pitchin' to the converted there Mike.

Janet said...

Baseball or Bush.

I don't understand any of it.

StringMan said...

Ads are just overwhelming sometime. I think TIVO is a good remedy to get that TV pitch count under control.

Doug Bagley said...

We used to here, "We interrupt this T.V. show for an important announcement. Now it's more like, "We interrupt this announcement for a T.V. show.