August 19th, 2011

always a tiger

i think everybody's superstitious

i'm writing a short poem about the detroit tigers and thus had occasion to be reminded that nothing rhymes with orange! i'll have to save that particular phrase for when i write a poem for inge (brandon inge (rhymes with hinge) is one of my favorite players and is currently experiencing a rough patch in his career having been sent down to the minors).

and speaking of the tigers and baseball superstitions (as i did the other day) and our ace closing pitcher, josé valverde (as i did the other other day), i had no idea that my slight superstitions were far surpassed by his. i think this is terrific (and it seems to be working for him, given his success):

"valverde has a laundry list of rituals before he throws a pitch:

• play catch in the sixth inning, three innings before he has any chance of entering the game, then warm up in the eighth.

• grab a bottle of water when he gets the call, take one big chug, pause, then chug again until his mouth is full.

• walk through the bullpen entrance, spit water to his left, right, then straight ahead. take a hop-skip, with his cap in his right hand, then slap his cap off his right knee on the skip, then jog out to the mound. take another hop-skip, slap the cap off the same knee, between shortstop and third base.

• pick up the baseball, exchange it for a new one from the home-plate umpire, grab some dirt off the front of the mound, stand on the back of the mound, back turned to home plate, bow head, punch glove, turn around, then warm up.

• walk off the mound to the first-base side, do three deep knee bends, another slap of the cap, get back on the mound, and pitch.

• and get a new ball, every play.

valverde has not deviated from this as a pro, he insists. call it superstition, routine, whatever.

'i think everybody's superstitious,' valverde said. 'i think it's not only me. i think it's everybody. do i have more? maybe, i don't know. but it's everybody.'"

the above excerpted from a longer biopic article i really enjoyed.
  • Current Music
    soul coughing - city of motors

but god can be funny!

at a cocktail party while listening to a good god-themed joke.

one of the things that my attendance at garrison keillor's show the other day reminded me was that, the content of the lyrics notwithstanding, one of things i loved about a childhood spent with weekly visits to church services was the singing, as a group, of songs and hymns. different from being a select group like a choir, the whole community united in song. and being free to sing without being judged for (in my case) one's lack of singing talent. reminded at the show when garrison had us singing, once again, amazing grace, and then, too, at the ballpark, singing take me out to the ballgame and don't stop believing when they played a substantial portion of that. not everyone feels inspired to join in, but that's okay. it brings to mind a specific christmas music celebration we attended when i was young in which we sang in the round (aka catch or trick canon) christmas is coming, which was a delightful cacophony. i think the world could use more opportunities to join in song.

perhaps catch clubs might catch on if they were once again combined with drinking ( as the aldrich book of catches declares, "catch-singing is unthinkable without a supply of liquor to hand.").

how else will i ever assemble a group to join me in singing thomas flatman's an appeal to cats in the business of love?

ye cats that at midnight
spit love at each other,
who best feel the pangs
of a passionate lover,
i appeal to your scratches
and your tattered fur,
if the business of love
be no more than to purr.

old lady grimalkin
with her gooseberry eyes,
knew something when a kitten,
for why she is wise;
you find by experience,
the love-fit’s soon o’er,
puss! puss! lasts not long,
but turns to cat-whore!

men ride many miles,
cats tread many tiles,
both hazard their necks in the fray;
only cats, when they fall
from a house or a wall,
keep their feet, mount their tails, and away!
  • Current Music
    some people believe in all those -ologies, but i believe in swordfish!
not the one

term of art

monstrous moonshine

tiger stadium (before its abandonment) saw exactly 11,111 home runs, the last a right field, rooftop grand slam by detroit's robert fick as the last hit in the last game played there.

11,111 is a semiprime number, the product of 41 and 271. if read as binary, it is 31, a prime number. 41 is one of exactly 15 supersingular primes (31 and 47 being others) and a centered square number. 271 is a cuban prime, a centered hexagonal number, and the sum of eleven consecutive primes (7 + 11 + 13 + 17 + 19 + 23 + 29 + 31 + 37 + 41 + 43).

these things seem significant, although i don't know what most of them mean, and am not familiar with elementary group theory, much like the stick figure on the left (speaking, as we were, of gooses).