Have I ‘Brought In Fences’? Have You?

A recent news item jumped out at me: The New York Mets will be bringing in the fences at Citi Field, their home park.

First, this highlights one of baseball’s idiosyncrasies — the fact that not all the playing fields are the same size. It’s 90 feet between bases, 60 feet, 6 inches from the pitching rubber to home plate. But the outfield fences? Hey, it’s a home-team decision.

The Mets’ rationale is that the shorter fences will be in their favor over the course of the season. The article says:

” … the analytics team also found that over the course of 162 games last season, home and away, the Mets hit 90 more balls in the air to right-center field than their opponents did.”

There are other examples of such tailoring. In days of yore, the Atlanta Braves erected a so-called sub-fence in front of their already close outfield wall. A ball only had to clear the sub-fence — not clear the actual outfield wall — to be a home run. Of course, the purpose was to help Hank Aaron, who then was chasing the all-time home-run record, hit more round-trippers.

But the Braves in those days were not known for winning — or large attendance figures. They did not become playoff regulars until the 1990s, when they beefed up pitching and had a balanced everyday lineup.

And the Mets, who were a mediocre 79-83 in 2014, don’t seem to have winning in mind with their outfield fence alteration. This article quotes Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson thusly:

“We’re talking about creating a little more excitement. That’s not going to appeal to the baseball purists. But we need more than baseball purists to fill the ballpark.”

Memo to Alderson: Winning brings fans in, too. Nobody ever held a parade for a team that finished below .500

I got a needed motivational cue from this news development.

What have I done today to win? To improve myself? To succeed? Rut r me, sad to note.

Have I just been doing cosmetic, routine things? Have I been eating the same foods, doing the same gym workout, watching the same TV shows? I recently marveled over losing about 10 pounds, yet this week I saw someone locally who had lost far more — and that person is far busier than I am.

Have I been posting the same ol’ tweets and pics (I’m a social media enthusiast), or have I actually been trying to stand out, to innovate? Two of my best Facebook friends recently put on a good Instagram webinar. Me? I was listening to them. You tell me who’s the leader there.

My DVR and/or TV viewing habits are lacking on such cutting-edge shows as “House of Cards” or “Game of Thrones.” Like some gaming, TV plot nuances can induce good thinking.

Have I been “bringing in my fences”? Or have I been making some game-winning moves? You already know my answer.

And this is a blog, not a podium. But hey, you’re reading, so …

– What do you think about such strategy, in sports, business or personal matters? Leave a comment below.

 

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Florida-Georgia: Reviewing the 2014 Rout

It wasn’t that long ago in the Florida-Georgia rivalry that the cleats were on the other foot, so to speak.

Under coaches Steve Spurrier, Ron Zook and Urban Meyer, the Gators dominated the Bulldogs from 1990-2010, winning all but three times. Continue reading

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A Legend, Police Riot Gear, and a World Series Title for Giants

That wasn’t just a World Series. That was a seven-game classic, won by the road team against strong odds. And it yielded fan celebrations and a hero for the ages.

“I wasn’t thinking about how many innings I was going to go …,” San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner said Wednesday after he completed his shutdown of the Kansas City Royals in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series. Continue reading

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Another New Restaurant Planned for Key Suwanee Site

This Suwanee Town Center restaurant site has been vacant since December 2013. (Credit: Steve Burns.)

This Suwanee Town Center restaurant site has been vacant since December 2013. (Credit: Steve Burns.)

UPDATE: Suwanee Park Tavern has been granted an alcoholic-beverage license by the City of Suwanee.

In the latest episode of “As the Suwanee restaurant turns …”

Yet another new restaurateur plans to do business in a Suwanee Town Center site that has seen some recent failures — and seen one recent plan fail to materialize. Continue reading

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Notre Dame-FSU: Twitter Tells a Story

There already was plenty of hype going into Saturday night’s game between No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 2 Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla.

The outcome — and more specifically, a penalty on Notre Dame on a potential game-winning play — will add to it. Continue reading

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Todd Gurley Suspension: Small Money, Big Problem(s)

$400.

The indefinite suspension of Todd Gurley, the University of Georgia’s star running back, that was announced Thursday (Oct. 9) allegedly happened over $400.

Signing of memorabilia by Gurley allegedy is involved.  But we’re really talking about money. Continue reading

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Mississippi Burning — With Football Fever; Hear Katy Perry Roar

The above Vine video shows superstar entertainer Katy Perry in Oxford, Miss., after Saturday’s Ole Miss victory over Alabama.

You knew it was not going to be an ordinary football Saturday in Mississippi when it began with Katy Perry and corndogs on ESPN. Continue reading

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