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Your 2020 Season Survival Guide and R/Baseball Refresher!

2020.07.22 17:36 cardith_lorda Your 2020 Season Survival Guide and R/Baseball Refresher!

Before we dive in, if you want to participate in the annual Call Your Shot season predictions contest, you can find it here.
It's FINALLY coming! Welcome to the 2020 MLB Season! We are so glad you are here. Don't let the length of this post scare you, we just wanted to consolidate all the relevant information that people have questions about into one place to start the season off. This is your survival guide for the 2020 season, it should have all the pertinent information to answer most of your questions!
If you are a brand new fan I'd recommend going through most of it, if you're a veteran you'll know which sections you'll want to read by their headings. My goal here is that both new and returning fans can learn how to better enjoy the season and know what's going on on Baseball this year. Okay, take some time and read through what you want to read through below!
This is the fourth year of doing this. Every year I go through the previous years comments to find things that should be added or corrected for the next edition, so if you have any great resources or information that you think would be beneficial to add, please comment it below!
Sections:

Introduction for new and renewed interest fans.

Baseball normally has a long season. I don't just mean that in terms of time between opening day and the World Series (which can be considered long as it is), but also the 162 games played in 183 days, 18-20 times against the same 4 teams each. It can be daunting, and many people lose interest by "the dog days" of June and July. This year things are going to be a little different. With only 60 games on the schedule (assuming we make it through without a major clubhouse covid outbreak that cancels games versus that team) every game is going to matter about 3x as much as one in a normal regular season. Tensions will be high, but we might not feel it because there won't be that much crowd noise. THAT SAID - they're still playing 60 games in 66 days, which means almost every day for the next two months isn't just packed with baseball, they're packed with YOUR FAVORITE TEAMS baseball, which while exciting after months without any American sports in the regular season (MLS - a tournament is not the regular season) can end up feeling overwhelming when you just finished watching a late game go into extras then wake up to realize there's an afternoon game on in six hours.
This guide is meant to help you if you wish to avoid being one of those who feels overwhelmed and loses interest a couple weeks after Opening Day.
First and foremost if you are a new fan or newly returning, you must remember one thing: you do not need to watch every game. Many football fans, and even some basketball and hockey fans, find this difficult, they're used to setting aside a few nights a week to watch their team, and they can watch all the games. Baseball isn't like that. For the next two months, your team will only have 6 days where they won't be playing a game. And some of the games they play will start as early as 9:20am (Pacific Time), others will end after 1am (Eastern Time). If you miss a game it's okay, odds are there's another one tomorrow. If you miss a week, no big deal, hell if you get busy for a few months and aren't able to watch you team, that's not an issue, because you can still follow your team.
Baseball is a game to be followed. In the old days it meant picking up the morning paper and checking the box scores. Now it means being able to have a final score texted/tweeted/messaged/emailed/what-evered to you the minute the game ends, or rolling over in bed when you can't sleep and grabbing your phone to check the West Coast scores. It means being able to check reddit in the morning to see any breaking news from across the league, or catch a story you missed. We live in a time where you can go to MLB.com and get a recap of every game from last night in less than 10 minutes. Honestly, baseball was made to be consumed, and the technology age makes it easier than ever, whether you want to spend hours every day pouring over stats and analysis, or 15 seconds to see how your team and their playoff rivals did today.
The rest of this guide is mostly dedicated to ways that you can help yourself follow your team, and if you have time follow the entirety of MLB.
Anyways, enough rambling, TL;DR Don't worry if you miss games, there'll be one tomorrow.

Rule Changes for 2020

For this season only (or so they say...):
  • The NL will utilize the DH full time.
  • In extra innings the person in the batting order immediately before the lead off hitter will start on second base.
  • Games suspended due to rain will continue play at a later date rather than be washed out and restarted.
  • Arguing within six feet of an umpire or participating in a fight will be met with heftier fines and suspensions this yaer.
  • Pitchers will be allowed a wet rag to be brought out from the dugout in lieu of being able to lick their fingers for better grip.
  • Each team has a 20 extra players in their "taxi squad" in addition to their active roster and 40-man roster.
  • Active rosters will start at 30 players, then will be cut to 28 after two weeks, then 26 after four weeks.
  • Spitting is not allowed.
  • Non-social distanced celebrations are not allowed.
Permanent (as any rule change can be in baseball) rule changes for 2020 and beyond:
  • Three batter minimum - pitcher entering the game must face a minimum of three batters unless they complete an inning.
  • The MLB Active Roster is expanded from 25 players to 26 players.

Finding a Team

I always recommend following the local team since you'll have more access to news about them in the local media and should be able to get their radio broadcast, as well as TV broadcasts of them if you have cable/satellite/streaming, and depending on where you're at the occasional over the air game, but if you don't live by a team or don't want to follow the local team, or are just looking for a second team to follow, I wrote this in depth guide to picking a team that's the right fit for you.

Knowing Where Different Teams Stand

Every year ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX, NBS, and every other sports related site puts out their season previews. These are great for getting a basic rundown of what is going on with each team, and a simple google search will bring up a plethora of possible articles to read.
If what you really want is a fans perspective on what each team's expectations condensed into a few short comments, I'd highly recommend going through each teams day from our annual "Why will X team exceed expectations?" series. All the previous posts are linked in the Astros thread.

Baseball

Alright, so plugging baseball on baseball seems a bit redundant, but I think it's a good reminder that this is a great hub for all your MLB news throughout the season while still letting you see the occasional amazing college/minor league/foreign league performance.
During the season there are a number of features to keep you informed of all the goings on around baseball.
Every day of the season (and a portion of the offseason) we have General Discussion threads we call Around the Horn. These are great places to ask questions and discuss anything that you want to know about baseball but don't feel like it deserves it's own post. In the Around the Horn post you'll be able to see a full schedule of what is going on around Baseball every week.
Here are the weekly features:
Daily: Nightly Pick'Em - A six year running contest to pick the result of one game every day. Details can be found in this thread.
Monday: Power Rankings - A team of 30 fans from every team in baseball, led by masochist fearless leader kasutori_jack, releases their composite power rankings of the 30 teams. This leads to well thought out discussions and some in depth analysis, as well as salty fans crying about how their team is underrated (there may be more of the latter than the former, but it's still a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of how every team is doing).
Monday (Unofficial) - The last few years thekmanpwnudwn has posted a State of the Subreddits post that gives the top post from each team's subreddit from the last week. This is a great roundup post for staying up to date on what all the different team fandoms are feeling, and helps you catch any milestones you might have otherwise missed.
Tuesday: Weekly Awards - Led by lemcoe9 a different team of a fan from every team releases the results of their weekly (and monthly) voting for who the best position player and pitcher was since the last vote was taken. Once again, a great way to keep track of which players are on hot streaks, and who's dominating the league.
Wednesday: Wild Card Wednesday - Each week a new contest, trivia game, or just out of the box fun thread will be stickied! Got an idea? Let the mods know!
Thursdays: Division Discussions - We rotate between the Easts, Centrals, and Wests to do some more in depth talk about where the playoff races and teams stand. If you only have time for one baseball thread every week and want to keep up with the league, this is the thread to set aside time for.
Friday: Trash Talk/Compliment/Complaint - FRIDAYS ARE FUN DAYS, WE ROTATE BETWEEN TRASH TALK, COMPLIMENT, TRASH TALK, AND COMPLAIN THREADS! TRADITION STATES ALL COMMENTS BE IN ALL CAPS AND ENDING IN EXCLAMATION POINTS! WE ROTATE RATHER THAN HAVE A SET DAY FOR EACH ALL SEASON BECAUSE IT'S A LONG SEASON AND ANY ONE OF THE THREE THREADS CAN GET STALE FAST IF YOU DON'T LEAVE TIME FOR MORE AMMUNITION!
Saturday: Saturday is when we usually plug in occasional things that don't necessarily deserve weekly attention. Things like in depth stat discussions, memorobilia sharing, craft projects, etc.
Sunday: Game of the Week - Sunday is the one day a week where we get together as a subreddit to watch a baseball game together, since it's the one time every week where there's only one game going on and there's guaranteed to be a game. The Sunday Night Baseball game thread is usually posted a couple hours before the first pitch.
In addition the playoffs, and select premier match-ups (mostly at the very end of the season where there is a lot riding on a regular season game) we host game threads for all baseball users. These are neutral thread, for more info on less neutral ones skip to the next section. We may experiment with game threads in baseball for the MLB.tv Free Game of the Day this year.
In addition to all these features, it really is a great place to keep up with breaking news and highlights. It'll be posted here minutes after someone tweets it, and long before it's on MLB.com. Team beat writers get the stories first, and it's easier to check in here a couple times a day than follow every one of them. Plus there's something the kids are calling "dank memes" (but not too many, because us mods don't allow too much moisture to get into the servers).

Your Team's Subreddit (And other team subs as well)

The mods at baseball have one goal - help you have the best possible reddit baseball experience, and a LOT of that is helping you get connected to other fans of your team (which feels a little like a cop-out because it means less work for us if you're doing more on your team's sub, but your team's mods aren't complaining.)
One of the main draws of team subs (other than in depth discussion with like-fan-minded users, getting breaking news and analysis on your team, team-memes, and other reddit discussions that come up from a group of individuals who can agree on one thing) are game threads. At this time (to the best of my knowledge) every team sub hosts game threads for their team's games, and you can easily access them in the sidebar during the season by clicking on the team's logo in the schedule (we're working on getting that up to speed, MLB changed some parts of their RSS and background data and we've had to work around that to get our automated system back up). We like to keep the game threads in team subs for a few reasons, one of which is we want to support the team subs and send them relevant traffic when we can because they really do an amazing job, another is because with 15 games a day this place would look like crap if we had game threads for every game or let users post them as they please (we've tried it, it blots out news, discussion, and highlights and looks like crap, baseball doesn't have only a couple days set aside for games or focus on marquee match ups like many other sports, it's 2430 games played in 183 days and is better when it's spread out.)
Even if you're not a game thread person though, getting connected with a good team sub can make disappointing seasons more bearable, and great seasons more exciting, and I know plenty of users that said that their team's sub basically keeps them fans. Team subs are also a great place to get connected to...

Twitter, Podcasts, and other General News/Analysis Sources

Going to be honest here, I don't use twitter and I do not frequently read other people's blogs. I know many people do and enjoy it, and I believe the best way to find the people to follow/sites to visit that interest you the most are to hang around your team's sub and note which Tweets/Sites that are linked to that most often peak your interest. Your list of favorite baseball writers is going to be different than my favorite list, and finding the right twitter personalities, podcasts hosts, and bloggers can make game analysis more interesting for you even if your team is playing like crap and it's the middle of July.
Here are some common suggestions for some general baseball twitter accounts and podcasts to get you started, but like I said, find what you like and follow those:
Twitter
Account Account Account
@MLB @Ken_Rosenthal @Buster_ESPN
@jonmorosi @mlbtraderumors @MiLB
@JeffPassan @MLBInjuryNews @BNightengale
@keithlaw @based_ball @SamMillerBB
@jonahkeri @BaseballAmerica @brooksbaseball
@BenLindbergh @ChrisCotillo @mike_petriello
@MJ_Baumann @FanRagSports @TheAthleticMLB
@fangraphs @baseballprospectus @baseball_ref
@daynperry @CBSSportsMLB @CespedesBBQ
@GrantBrisbee @JonHeyman @cantpitch
@MLBRosterMoves @darenw @extrabaggs
Podcasts
Account Account Account
Effectively Wild Baseball Tonight The Ringer

The Statistical Titans: Baseball Reference and Fangraphs

Literally every day you will find a link or to BaseballReference.com or Fangraphs.com here, it's a given, and it's because these are the two most extensive free baseball databases that are easy to navigate. If you want to look up anything about baseball history, check Baseball Reference, if you want to look up how players stack up with non-proprietary advanced metrics or read an insightful blog post about why someone is overrated/underrated or overperforming/underperforming, check Fangraphs. With these two sites you have all the stats and figures you need to make a competent argument for basically anything you want with a little cherry picking.
A large part of the modern baseball world is statistics and you're going to find yourself getting more immersed in discussing the game if you can get a handle on all the terms getting thrown around. If you are brand new to baseball, take a little while to get to know the game before diving into these sites, but if you have a handle on the basics and are ready to know what this WAR everyone is talking about is, dive into the glossaries and find the statistics.
When you get the basics, creating your own analysis doesn't seem as daunting, and one of the reasons I love baseball is that I can deconstruct pretty much every play and find some meaning behind it. If you are like that and enjoy numbers, theoretical projections, and breaking things down into simple figures before reconstructing them into something long and beautiful, then learning the basics of sabrmetrics will make you a baseball fan for life. If, on the other hand, you just want to enjoy the game for the beautiful pastime that it is by watching, then we've got a little bit to go through...

Where to Watch? - Your TV and Streaming Guide

So a big part of baseball is, you know, actually being able to watch the games (though as I talk about at the end, it might not necessarily be the case for you, and that doesn't mean you can't enjoy baseball, skip down and see what I'm talking about in the final section).
First off, if you are looking for free games to watch, you are in luck! MLB.tv streams one game a day for free on MLB.com and Yahoo.com. These games are subject to local blackouts (details on those in the MLB.tv section) but are definitely worth watching if you're trying to see if you'll enjoy baseball, or just need a free baseball fix. Facebook is also streaming one game a week during the season for free. The other free games available are from May 18 to July 13 on Saturday night and Thursday nights in September when FOX airs games on their OTA affiliated networks. Believe it or not, TV antennas still work in most areas, and these games are free to watch. Some teams also broadcast select games on OTA networks in their region.
Okay, so now the more expensive stuff. If you have even the most basic cable package (or log in information) you probably have ESPN. ESPN airs games every Sunday Night as well as Wednesday Night and Opening Weekend. These games are also available on ESPN Go.
You also probably have a regional sports channel. This is where almost all of your local teams games will be aired. Here is a decent breakdown of every team and what network they are carried on.
TBS is also on even the most basic networks, they air games the final 13 Sundays of the regular season in the afternoon.
FS1 and FOX carry baseball games almost every Saturday of the season, and MLB Network carries games pretty much every day.
A list of currently scheduled national broadcasts is available here, not all games have been chosen so there will be more added to the list.
For all these networks (except for the Dodgers, Orioles, and Nationals regional networks) there are options to stream the games online provided you have cable login information for the channel. During the playoffs FS1, TBS, and MLB Network will carry most of the games, with ESPN carrying a wild card game and FOX carrying the World Series.
Now there are also streaming services that grant access to most of the previously mentioned channels:
  • Sling TV Orange package gets you ESPN, ESPN 2, and TBS.
  • Sling TV Blue package gets you FOX, FS1, FS2, TBS, and most regional sports networks.
  • Youtube TV gets you FOX, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, TBS, MLB Network, and some regional sports networks.
  • HULU Live gets you FOX, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, FS2, TBS, and your regional sports networks.
  • Playstation Vue Access gets you FOX, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, FS2, and TBS.
  • Playstation Vue Core adds MLB Network to the Access channels.
  • Playstation Vue Sports Extra adds regional sports networks in addition to your other channels.
  • AT&T TV Now Live a Little gets you FOX, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, and TBS and your regional sports networks.
  • AT&T TV Now Just Right adds MLB Network to the Live a Little channels.
  • AT&T TV Now Go Big adds FS2 to the Just Right channels.
  • FUBO Premier gets you FOX, FS1, and your regional sports networks
Also, ESPN+ will carry select games pretty much daily throughout the season.

MLB.TV - the Ultimate Fan Investment

Alright, so a few things to cover with this, first of all YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO LEGALLY STREAM IN MARKET GAMES IF YOU LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES. MLB.tv uses your IP address to see where you are located, and if it pings back that you are in a team's home market it will not let you watch the game LIVE. Here is where you can find what games MLB.tv will black you out from. National broadcasts on ESPN, FOX, and TBS are also subject to blackouts within the United States (MLB Network games are not). Before you ask, yes there are less than legal ways to get around this (spoofing your IP address, subreddit dedicated to mlb streams, etc.), but I won't be talking about those in detail here. IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA, YOU WILL HAVE NO BLACKOUTS.
Even if you are blacked out, you will be able to watch the game 90 minutes after it finishes, so if you work a late shift or stay up late it might be worth it for you anyways even if you only want to follow one team.
Military members and college students, don't forget to apply your 35% discount!
"But I don't want to watch EVERY out of market game, I just want to watch MY team!" Cool, for $25 less there's a single team option that will allow you to watch all your team's non-blacked out games! Personally, I'd pay the extra $25 for the opportunity to watch every Kershaw, Bumgarner, and Scherzer start, or put the Cubs on in the background while working on a Friday afternoon, but to each their own.
"But I don't want to commit for a full year!" That's okay, there's a monthly option as well in case you know there are months where you can't watch as much.
Some of the fun features of MLB.tv include the ability to watch four games at once and quickly swap your audio from one to another (seriously, I'm never on commercial break when I'm watching baseball, unless there's only one game on I'm able to watch it all, and in September that's huge) and condensed games. What are condensed games? They go through and cut out all the time between pitches and innings, meaning if you want to watch a whole game in less than a half hour (or are searching desperately for a play to make a .gif or streamable out of that for some reason isn't considered a highlight) it's really easy. If you're someone who really wants to get into the game but can't figure out how to grind through watching a full game, Condensed Games are great for keeping up with a team while you learn the little details between pitches that somehow make watching the catcher twiddle his fingers exciting for some fans.
Also, new this year, MLB has added some great baseball documentaries to your MLB.tv subscription, giving you access to more than just games for the first time.
In addition, there are two great resources to enhance your total immersion into baseball if there are multiple games going on. Please note for both of these you must already be logged into MLB.tv to make them work. The first, and most basic, is Brooks Baseball's MLB.TV Redzone. It will automatically take you to the highest leverage game going on, and will automatically shift you to another game between innings OR if another game enters a higher leverage situation. For a more personalized touch, The Baseball Guage has MLB.TV Game Changer which lets you customize your preferences so MLB.tv will always switch to the game that is most relevant to you. This is great if you play fantasy and want to keep up with your players, are waiting for someone to hit a milestone, or if you want to make sure your action is broken into to follow a no-hitter in progress.
It also gives you a free subscription to...

MLB AtBat - The Most Underrated Way to Stay Connected to Baseball

MLB AtBat is MLB's official application. It comes in two versions, the free version which has ads but is useful for keeping up to date with all the scores, and the paid version ($19.99 for the year of $2.99 monthly) which gives you access to ad-free content, Gameday on your mobile device, and (most valuable) access to every team's radio stream for every game during the season and postseason completely blackout free. If there's a day game, you can bet I'm listening to it at work, if I'm mowing the lawn on a Saturday I'm listening to a game, when I can't sleep at night, on comes a West Coast game. To get the paid version you must download the free version, then subscribe within the app, or log into an MLB account that has MLB.tv.
Baseball was made to be on the radio, it's a sport that is very easy to follow the action with the right announcer. At work (or school) it's great because you can half listen, and when the announcer gets excited you can instantly tune back in to hear what's going on. This is the most underrated way to stay connected to your team throughout the year. Before I could afford MLB.tv, this was the way to go, and it honestly makes me question every year whether getting the MLB.tv package is worth is when I can get 80% of the entertainment value from listening to the games (and every year I manage to forget to unsubscribe, for many reasons listed above).
Gameday on mobile is also a great feature, it lets you quickly check in on the action during brief recesses in meetings (or under the table during meetings), or breaks between classes (or under a desk in classes). This is honestly my primary means of keeping track of Twins games throughout the year. My wife thinks I'm crazy when I could just watch the game, but instead am nervously checking my phone every couple minutes. IF I WATCH I JINX THE TEAM, HONEY!

How to watch baseball?

So this is a question that we get from many new fans who are just trying to figure out what the hell is going on and why people find this game so fascinating. I'll get the elephant in the room out of the way, yes there are some "boring" parts of watching baseball on TV. The camera fans to a batter spitting and adjusting his gloves, the pitcher adjusts his crotch then licks his fingers, random shots of a bored looking manager, etc. When you are actually at the ballpark you can be watching where the catcher and fielders set up to try to predict the pitch that is coming (read The Hidden Language of Baseball by Paul Dickson for some great insight into how to interpret this), but on TV it's not usually the case. This is where I have some suggestions for new fans trying to get into it.
First off, if you are looking for just a relaxing day, embrace the slow pace with a beer and veg out on the couch while watching. It's meant to be slow and relaxing (until it gets tense and exciting, usually with runners on). Seriously, when was the last time you just sat and did nothing? Mid July afternoon games are a perfect way to reach that zen of half-consciousness, until something happens to get you sucked into the action.
Another option to stay engaged is keeping score. I find keeping score relaxing and looking back through a scorebook can be fun to see what you were doing a few years ago (except for that damn unfinished scorecard from 2015 where A-Rod hit the most predictable home run in Twins-Yankees history and I sent my scorecard flying to the other side of the room). As NPR once put it, keeping score is a knowledge making activity, and if you have the time and patience for it it is a great way to learn the game. There are a couple different guides to keeping score, and most scorebooks/cards will have a brief example of how to do so. If you have any questions, the Around the Horn thread is a great place to ask!
Gamethreads are another way to get together with other baseball fans and pass the time between pitches, especially in team subs you get to know the regulars and conversations start to wonder away from baseball at times throughout the game, and that's fine. Baseball is an excuse to enjoy a summer day.
For those that want to actually understand what is going on during that time, though, there are some options. Watching Baseball Smarter by Zack Hample (who despite his reputation on this subreddit knows some stuff and actually pops in from time to time to comment on different things) is a good starting place for new fans. Baseball for Dummies and The Complete Idiots Guide to Baseball are also good starting points for those willing to sit and read for a little bit.
For those who don't want to read a book, I guess I can touch on what I'm looking for between pitches. A big part of baseball is pitch selection, so scouting out a pitchers repertoire of pitches is a good starting point, BrooksBaseball.net has great cheat sheets on every pitcher in the game, and PitcherList.com has a visual example of each pitcher's pitches so you can see what you can be looking for. Anyways, I mention that because the whole reason the catcher is twiddling his fingers behind the plate is to go over with the pitcher what pitch is going to be thrown. What I'm watching for between pitches is where the catcher is setting up behind the plate and guessing which pitch is going to be thrown. A 2-0 and 3-1 count are known as hitters counts because the pitcher needs to throw a strike or risk walking the batter, when the count reaches either of those pay attention, because the hitters going to be looking for his perfect pitch and there's probably going to be some action on the field. 0-1, 0-2, and 1-2 are pitcher's counts, look for curveball, slider or other somewhat nasty pitch to be thrown to get the batter to swing at a bad pitch, or a fastball inside to catch them off guard. If you have any questions about this, go ahead and ask in an around the horn thread.

Where to watch highlights and game recaps.

There are many many places to see highlights and game recaps, this is not an exhaustive list, but is a good start.
For highlights, bigger highlights will often be posed here on baseball a few minutes after they occur, if you wish to post them please familiarize yourself with the subreddit rules. They also appear relatively quickly on MLB.com in each games Gameday area. For a pretty slick collection of highlights from across MLB, https://baseball.theate is a great place to exclusively watch highlights.
There are a few ways to get great game recaps. If you have MLB Network, every day Quick Pitch is an hour-long show that recaps every game from the previous day. It usually starts after MLB Tonight (about 10pm EDT) or whatever game MLB Network is showing finishes up, and runs until 10am EDT the next day. MLB.com also puts out recaps of every game by the next morning, usually a 2-5 minutes quick rundown of highlights that can be found on the game recap. It also puts out Fastcast videos on youtube and their website every morning which has a brief rundown of all the games from the previous day. Here's an example of a Fastcast from two seasons ago.
If you want one concise place to see most of these, efitz11 was amazing last season and posted video links to every game recap and fastcast in the daily Around the Horn thread. Here's an example. I am unsure if they plan to continue it this year, but it would be surely appreciated!

TL;DR Finding what you enjoy about the game.

When it boils down to it, baseball is about finding entertainment and enjoyment, and don't let anyone try to tell you how to enjoy baseball. If you want nothing to do with statistical analysis and just want to enjoy what's going on on the field, don't let anyone tell you you aren't enough of a fan, and if you want to dissect a player into their strengths and components using statcast and advanced metrics don't let anyone tell you you're reading into the game too much. You can follow one team, and only one team, or you can follow multiple teams, don't let anyone tell you you're not a true fan for wearing another team's gear or enjoying their games. You might enjoy bat flips and flamboyance, or reserved speedy home run trots. You might not even enjoy physically watching a game (especially not if your team isn't playing), but find yourself loving keeping track of your team through the season and tracking your players or maybe just the thrill of the standings race and scoreboard watching or maybe you just love all the numbers that get thrown around and arguing about their relevancy. That's okay, eventually I believe enjoyment of the game itself will come, but even if it doesn't, the long baseball season is still creating a place of enjoyment for you, and that's what matters. If you have any questions, once again, feel free to ask them in our daily Around the Horn thread, or below in the comments, or if you really want to feel free to PM with questions and I'd be happy to answer.
So watch games this week and join in the discussion here, you'll naturally find yourself gravitating towards certain players or teams and enjoying different aspects of the game. Baseball is a long season, find what you enjoy, stick to it, dwell on it, and enjoy it.
TL;DR for the TL;DR - Baseball is fun
submitted by cardith_lorda to baseball [link] [comments]


2020.06.06 14:18 JamesBon2007 Facts And Speculation

My speculation
Questions
Somebody knows something.
Edits:
submitted by JamesBon2007 to AndrewGosden [link] [comments]


2020.05.27 23:12 BearLair64 Lacy: Harvest Moon

Oh, Shine on, shine on, harvest moon Up in the sky; Snow time, ain't no time to stay Outdoors; So shine on, shine on, harvest moon, For me and my gal.
I was never too fond of hunting, so I sang inside my head. I held no moral objections to the hunt it just wasn’t my thing. It involved getting up early, going out into the cold, and stumbling into the woods that I couldn’t see to enjoy, then sitting and waiting or wandering along specific paths… Lots of trouble for some venison when I really didn’t care for the taste that much. Deer had become scarce around my place since Lacy had been transformed. They used to wander right up into the yard, now they were all but gone.
Can’t say as I blame them, I chuckled internally, as those thoughts replaced the old tune. However, I’d wanted to do something fun with Lacy. She’d been visiting the house and I thought it would be good to spend time with her in her world. If I stayed at it, I’d end up being the world’s foremost expert on Dogman; not that I could tell anyone, they’d say I was a… wait for it… luna-tic! Another internal chuckle, I was in an ebullient mood despite where I was and what I was doing. Must have been the company…
…Just in time for dawn, the lead doe stepped into range, to “scout” for the rest. She walked by cautiously, but I was downwind, and in a tree stand, so no problem. I waited for the next potential… there he was! A young buck, nice and tender, and legal. As soon as I fired and the unfortunate animal jumped in pain and startlement, I heard the rush from behind me; a heavy carnivore poured past the base of the tree and before the prey could jump, run, or fall, there was a splash of blood, a tumbling blur of fur, claws, hooves, and antlers that rolled over the forest floor and ended up with a decidedly deceased cervidae lying still on the loam with Lacy crouched over the fresh made corpse in a defensive posture, protecting our kill. The rest of the herd had long since scattered and fled for their lives.
My “little” girl rose and howled in triumph and warning: This is my kill, if you think you can, come and take it. Otherwise wait your turn! Once I saw that look leave her eyes and the glowing turned back to mere reddish, I dared to speak, “You know, I could just as well be the one who howls. It was standing there dying when you finally showed yourself.”
Lacy gave me a dubious look that communicated, “yeah, right!” I slung my piece and began to carefully clamber down the ladder. The old pains had faded but not vanished, only so much a body could do with bone on bone in the knees and lumbar disks out of place. I thought Lacy could hear the creaks and groans and pops in my joints. It hadn’t stopped her from ripping open the belly of the deer to get at the lovely, wet, warm innards. I didn’t watch; I could handle the sight and even the sounds and smells of her method of eating, but I didn’t want to stare, felt voyeuristic in some way. She didn’t enjoy the smells of my cooked food either, only fair.
“You gonna save me a little backstrap?” I asked, sounding more hopeful than I felt. Though that was the best part of the critter to my mind; edible, even tasty if prepared properly. She looked up briefly, muzzle covered in gore and gobbets of flesh. That face! Then she smiled and nodded, of course, dad! She didn’t actually say that, but we had begun to understand one another’s languages. Eerie, but what should I expect from my pet monster… or was that monster pet?
I cut off my portion of the kill as any good Alpha would and took it back to the house. I told her I’d be back shortly, and I was. By then she’d eaten what she wanted and hidden the rest. We were both a little logy, her with the fresh meal and me with the lack of sleep. It was frosty that morning but there hadn’t been a hard freeze, we found a little clearing with some sunlight and soft grass and stretched out to nap. I felt like a true wild man, a man and his dog, on the hunt, now resting and enjoying the aftermath.
**** * ****
“Come and meet the latest member of our team.” Tom Knox called to me from the open window of his patrol SUV, complete with its new, “K-9” logos. He stepped out and then called to a figure that had been partially concealed by the tinted windows of the vehicle. A shadowy mass with hints of fuzz soon became an energetic blur of bronze colored fur that came quickly to heel.
“Earl Brooks, meet Oscar K-9.” Oscar, a Belgian Malinois, looked up at me earnestly, a mix of friendliness and reserve on his features. He interrupted his panting for a quick closed mouth gesture of professional greeting. I was getting good at reading dogginese.
I gave him a closed mouth, no teeth showing smile, “Good morning Oscar. Welcome to the force and welcome to our home. I think you’ll like Tom. He’s a brave and true deputy and we’ve faced tremendous terrors together.” Oscar cocked his head for a moment to listen and then gave a more friendly doggie grin. “So, Sheriff Cloud wasn’t just kidding when he spoke about a canine unit. Scoundrel never told me.”
Knox grinned in turn. “Yes sir, he wanted to surprise you… and Lacy. Not sure she’d like Oscar and based on the way other dogs and hounds behave around her… species, I think the feeling would be mutual. Never know though, they are related. At least they were… I don’t know, it gets confusing.”
I agreed with the young man and we chatted for a while. As he put Oscar back into the SUV, the working dog paused, clearly alerted to something in the line of trees. He huffed and growled a little, legs stiff and the hair along his back and neck ruffed out to make him appear larger and to deny a grip to the fangs of another predator. He dipped his head and whined just a bit, then turned and leapt into his transport. Knox just shook his head, then looked at me questioningly.
“I don’t think so. I haven’t seen her for a few days. Always some kind of critter in those shadows though...” I looked suspiciously towards the woods. Tom nodded, his easy grin returned, and the SUV was soon a receding dust plume.
Later that evening, Lacy stopped by to check on me and relaxed while I had a glass of tea and awaited Miriam to get home from her office. Lacy had a nice bowl of cold water. “So, did you see the new deputy?”
She shook her head and flicked her chin to let me know that she’d been far out in the wilderness earlier, then looked up with interest.
“Well, they brought in a K-9, sharp looking dog. His name is Oscar.”
She gave me the, ‘So, what?’ look as if the information wasn’t as interesting as I’d thought it would be. I was a little surprised. It didn’t usually take much to excite her. “Looks like Knox will be the handler. Explains why he hasn’t been around lately, they had to go to school. You know plain ole dogs have to learn what to do and human handlers have to learn how to read doggish. Not every pooch can be super intelligent and have conversations.”
She gave me her hideous / friendly grin and huffed out a little foul breath in my direction. Whatever else, she liked hearing that she was, “a good girl”. “Well, if you weren’t here this morning, then something under the trees certainly had Oscar stirred. Maybe a coyote or fox.” Lacy looked away and pretended to have an itch. She was clearly hiding something from me, but it was apparently nothing serious… fine, keep your secrets kiddo, I thought as I re-scratched the last patch of her fur that had given her an itch.
**** * ****
The beast that had once been Pete Barnum stalked through the night-darkened forest. Those redneck werewolves had attacked him, and Drew Elbert had infected him with this heinous condition. What was left of his human mind laughed a little, “I’d have expected any infections to come from Nancy… skank.” Regardless, he had to deal with it, and he had to watch over his family until he could figure out a way to make it better.
Then he’d met that other creature. He’d heard rumors and old Earl had told him about her, but she was magnificent to see. Lacy. When they’d first encountered one another, it was clear she’d stalked him and something in her smell or appearance made his hackles rise. They were natural enemies. He knew that at the most visceral level… yet she’d taken pity on him and since he knew that she had been Earl’s treasured pet, well, it led to a truce, and for a time there was peace between apex predators in the forest of fear.
Now he stalked a different prey. Not the feral hogs that were so abundant and on which he enjoyed feasting, there would be no blood at the end of this hunt. He watched over his children, in this case his daughter, their youngest at age twelve. She had ridden her bicycle over to her friend’s home and now the two girls sat outside, chattering in their piping voices as they sat on the porch and shared various information on their phones. He was glad to see that his baby girl had what she needed and wanted. He planned to watch her until she made it home, so he sat in the cooling shade and his eyes slid shut as he listened, and reveled in her little voice…
**** * ****
He awakened with a start. It was nearly sundown. The girls were gone from the porch and… no, Olivia’s bike was gone! She was on her own, he had to protect her. He didn’t quite know from what, but his instincts told him that her safety was his responsibility. She was his… cub. He raced along the wild patches and when necessary, wound through the human structures and conveyances on all fours to catch up with her. He caught her scent and tracked her; it grew stronger and at last, there she was!
She still had her bike, but she was not riding. Just a short way from home, she stood, holding the handlebars as she spoke with a trio of older girls. Hhmmmmm… these girls were too old to be her friends…
…Then he noted a vehicle that approached slowly down the street. It was familiar; police, yes, that’s what I was... Then he caught a scent that he did not expect. He had become a terror to the local dog population, yet this one was different, it was part of the police unit. He recognized the officer as Tom Knox; good young man, he’d keep Olivia safe. He relaxed a little, even considered receding back into the forest but then that… dog! It began to bark insanely, clearly alerted to him. He sought the shadows, but it did no good. Most dogs feared him but this one barked and was fierce in his own way. I would shred him in seconds and make a meal of him, but he would try… brave and silly, he must be young.
**** * ****
Officer Knox slowed his SUV to a stop near the four girls. He of course knew Olivia and had encountered the others around the area, he was sure he knew their families. “Good evening ladies.” He waved, all the while, Oscar continued to bark and snarl insanely. “Ms. Olivia, I was on the way to your place, wanted to introduce you and your brothers and your mom to our newest officer. Not sure what has him so stirred up. “Oscar, quiet!” It worked for a grand total of two seconds and then the working dog started in again with growls and whines that quickly turned back into barks.
“I’ll take him on to your house. See you soon?” He eyed the three older girls who had each backed steadily away from the canine vehicle. They made quick goodbyes and walked back down the street. Olivia followed Officer Knox and his vociferous charge the rest of the way to their home. The shadow that had watched them faded back and disappeared into the woods.
**** * ****
Miriam had apparently enjoyed the supper I’d prepared and now that the dishes were done, we spooned on the couch and watched the mindless drivel on the big screen. Not sure why I’d bought the thing, I hardly watched it, mainly used it to watch movies. However, my grown-up girl liked it, so I hadn’t thrown anything at it lately. “Theresa and Jacob are coming down for the long weekend. They really took a shine to you; and of course Jacob is infatuated with Lacy… in a healthy way.” she quickly added to intercept the smart-alleck comment she knew I’d make, “What kid wouldn’t love a friendly Dogman?”
I grinned to myself. The quip about, “unhealthy love interests” had crossed my mind but I had never intended to give voice to it. I loved her after a fashion and I liked the kid, he was smart and energetic in a non-destructive way. “So, can they stay for the entire holiday? Maybe we can invite some other folks over on Saturday; have to let them shop on Friday. I don’t know many kids in the area but maybe we could invite Pete Barnum’s brood over for a get together, they’ll have a tough time with their dad missing on Thanksgiving, might as well keep them busy.”
She gave me a tender kiss, “Earl, you are a very thoughtful man. Those kids and their mother must be pretty worried, still no sign of poor Pete. I’m sure Sheriff Cloud will take care of them on Thursday but yes, by Saturday they will be lonely and full of heavy thoughts. Maybe we can invite Julie if she has no plans, and that nice Deputy Knox…” Ah, she loved to make matches. She’d had hopes for Valerie and some poor fellow, maybe Tom, but Val was a committed city girl these days and while we talked online, she had no plans to return to Podunk. Poor Julie still lived close though and she and Knox seemed to get along well, they were about the same age and both worked weird shifts, they’d understand one another... those poor kids. Miriam Stone was a determined woman.
**** * ****
Tom drove back down the street from Pete Barnum’s place. Oscar had recovered himself and was once again seated in the back, panting with a gape-mouthed grin and alternating between alertness and trying to catch a dog nap. Pete’s kids had been enthralled with the new member of their dad’s department. They were good kids and the elder boy, PJ, wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. Pete hadn’t wanted that, but he knew better than to directly oppose a teenaged boy. “Well, Big O., did you like Pete’s young’uns?” Oscar licked his chops and snapped his mouth shut, then went back to his happy panting. Tom grinned in turn and shook his head. “Thanks buddy, it would mean a lot to Pete to know that we checked in on them.”
He had it in mind to check out where the three older girls had gone. If they stayed on track, they’d soon have juvie files and he didn’t want them trying to drag down Olivia or to just hurt her because her dad was a peace officer. It was now past dark, they should be headed home but none of them had parents who would be there or care whether they did homework, ate, or in any way took care of themselves. Job security, he said to himself ruefully. He turned off his headlights as he approached the little park with its one swing set and a few picnic tables, he rolled down the window… yep, the stench of tobacco smoke and… wonderful… ganja. He looked around into the poorly lit area and… there they were, all lined up at a picnic table. He put on his game face and alerted his partner. “Alright buddy, time to earn your kibble, your first big small-town case.”
He turned off the road and onto the grass. Odd, all three of the girls were looking out into the darkness of a patch of woods. Probably hallucinating or pretending to… He activated his emergency lights as the girls turned to run… towards him. They screamed, and the high-pitched tones blended appallingly with a deep throated roar of anger!
A titanic black shadow thundered from the forest in pursuit. As two of the girls looked back over their shoulders… it rose to its hind legs… CRAP! Another werewolf! His mind screamed as the three delinquents ran past his patrol unit. His training took over and he hit the automatic window button for the back area, so his new partner could join him. He stepped out and drew his sidearm and for the second time in his life sought to kill a werewolf. This time, however, the beast in question was not wounded and understood the threat that the firearm posed. With a quick and contemptuous slash of its claws, it swiped the pistol from his grip and left a pair of long, raking wounds on the inside of his right forearm. One of the gouges immediately fountained and started pumping out the young deputy’s lifeblood.
That was when Oscar, overrode his fear and leapt from the patrol unit. He closed quickly on the monstrous form and sunk his teeth into the werewolf’s arm even as it drew back from striking Oscar’s partner, his pack-mate. One good wound deserved another… Yet size and power matter in a fight and the monster clamped its own enormous jaws onto Oscar’s neck, which forced the loyal dog to release his grip. The werewolf slung him about a few times and then spat him contemptuously at Knox’ feet. It stepped forward and raised its hand for another strike. The smell of the two-legged Knox-thing drove his insane and dreadful hunger and the piteous whimpers of his canine attacker stirred instincts to vanquish the foe, to remove the threat from his world…
Yet it paused, stood and quavered, engaged in a war between opposing instincts... It knew on some level where Barnum still lived that this was wrong. It should not consume the flesh of the two-legs; oh, but the hunger gnawed at his mind and his belly… With a pained growl of anger and confusion, the creature stepped back, then turned and fled into the night…
Knox hadn’t noted the tableau that unfolded under the looming shadow the monster had cast over him. He was very busy tightening and locking down the tourniquet he’d taken from his duty belt. Good thing Sheriff Cloud’s a tactical thinker, he thought gratefully. He’d gotten them for the entire department after the last Elbert incident and they’d practiced using them on themselves and each other. Oscar whined a little, in obvious pain. His own wounds leaked blood and his eyes remained closed tightly. “I got this buddy.” Knox said tightly, then used his radio to contact Dispatch and get some help on the way. Maybe Julie will show… I kinda like her… his thoughts trailed off as he fought to maintain consciousness.
**** * ****
The beast that had been Deputy Barnum ran swiftly through the small patch of trees and toward the more extensive woods at the edge of town. He’d only meant to frighten those little turds but when they screamed and ran, his new nature rose to the forefront and he gave chase, all pretense of any motive but hunger gone as the monster subsumed the man. Now he was frightened by what he’d done, afraid of how he would act around his family. He couldn’t hurt them. He couldn’t risk what would happen if one of them did something to trigger his baser instincts…
**** * ****
Gene Cloud sat and brooded in worry about his deputy and friend. He’d suspected for a while what had happened to Pete. Barnum had been on duty the night Lacy Elbert slaughtered and at least partially devoured her parents. She’d been full, having recently devoured her boyfriend Phil LeFevre as though he were a large order of french-fries. Barnum had possessed the presence of mind to call him directly, so that only those two and the JP had any idea of what the scene looked like. They’d put together a team to clean the scene and while they’d processed it legally, he’d done everything he could to keep the details of just how far it had gone from becoming public knowledge.
Lacy Elbert was a piece of work but nowhere near the low-life trash that her cousins had been. The Sheriff’s Department had handled those two on several occasions and they’d fought every single time, especially Nancy. He couldn’t picture Lacy eating her boyfriend and parents alone. Maybe she’d had help from her scuzzy cousins. It had to be the nature of the beasts. He’d studied weres since then and believed that something in their natures subsumed whatever remained of their humanity when it came feeding time. Phil had been good to and for Lacy Elbert, yet she’d shredded him and devoured the meat from his corpse first
It was said in some circles that werewolves always ended up hurting those they had loved most, part of a curse or something. He didn’t buy that, but he believed strongly in the psychological harm that would come from the trauma of such a dramatic shift in the physical and instinctive nature of a person. Now his friend Pete Barnum had gone through a similar transformation into… he wasn’t sure what.
His radio squawked and startled him from his reverie. He was soon on the way to the scene in fear for another of his deputies, Tom Knox. The monster situation was growing out of his control.
**** * ****
I drove up to the office with Dr. Stone, the emergency call was about Oscar the new K-9 officer. He’d been mauled by an animal and was in pretty bad shape. The deputy who’d brought him to the emergency clinic sounded pretty shaken, Miriam had the call on speaker, and we could both tell that she was unsure how to react. “Deb, we’ll be there in just a few minutes, nobody to stop us from speeding but if there’s a ticket, give it to Earl, he’s driving.” I smiled tightly and briefly. Miriam was pretty steady under stress; after all, she’d thrown a grenade at a werewolf! She was stressed herself but used humor to break the tension for both she and Deputy Rosharon.
She was all but out the door before I came to a complete stop and dashed to the clinic doors, keys at the ready. I would have offered to help the deputy carry the poor canine into the clinic, but she had a good handle on him, she was stout woman, a part-timer. I had a momentary flashback at the sight of the bloodstained and very limp dog in the arms of a blood-smeared, frightfully concerned human. It was so similar to what had happened with Lacy, but Oscar’s head dangled, and his tongue lolled, his eyes were slitted and glassy with pain and shock. He was more seriously injured than my girl had been…
**** * ****
I held the door for the deputies and after they and Miriam were all in the examination room, I started a pot of coffee. Dr. Stone had no need to order her orderly to do that anymore. As I puttered about the front of the office, I heard Deputy Rosharon use her radio to contact Gene. “Yes, sir, he’s at the clinic. Doc’s working to stabilize him. Any word on Knox?”
Gene’s voice came through with just a little electronic fuzz, “He’s on the way to the E.R. Paramedic says that it looks like the tourniquet worked. Big concern now is shock.” There was a slight pause. “I’m still on scene. If you’re clear, head my way… and bring Earl and his shotgun.”
**** * ****
Lacy noted that scent… oddly familiar, from one of her earliest memories… She’d watched as the Elbert twins left her behind at the store; alone, abandoned, frightened, and in pain, yet relieved that the two monsters were getting farther away from her with every step; better alone that with them. She still eyed them warily, afraid they’d turn back toward her. Then an immense creature stepped from just inside the wood line. It moved almost silently and exuded a tremendous odor. The two-legged bitch turned toward the foul smell just in time to get bitten on the shoulder. The two-legged male turned and saw the danger, too late to do more than raise his thick arm to protect himself. The Old One had bitten him before he could even manage a scream of fear. He shook and tugged at the arm a little and as both of the evil humans fell to the ground in fear and pain, he let go and turned toward Lacy.
She peed a little and shrank back in terror, but the large old Dogman simply favored her with an evil grin and then leapt back into the shadows of the trees. He’d been in the area on his migration track and had observed how the Elberts had treated the poor puppy. A creature much like he’d once been, though both of his parents had already been Dogmen when he was born; some were born, some were turned, but these human creatures would now become the enemy, the monsters that he reveled in chasing, fighting, and killing. Maybe the pup would get them before he returned to these woods…
She and her pack had indeed gotten them before he’d returned, and this time she knew of his presence before he knew of hers. She knew his nature and no longer feared him… much. He was still much larger than she and there was something wild about him that she lacked. She let out a low bark and huff toward his location and directly she was rewarded by the sight of her old rescuer as he peered through a spray of dead leaves in the autumn forest. When he realized that she’d spotted him, he burst through the remaining screen of vegetation and rose up to his full height in challenge and greeting.
**** * ****
Gene greeted Deputy Rosharon and me when we arrived at the park. We all carried lights and long guns. It took us a while to get Deb on board with the fact that we were about to embark on a monster hunt. It just wasn’t in her purview. Sheriff Cloud hadn’t wanted word to spread, but he was getting short on deputies who already knew. He’d have to trust her. He already did to a large degree, he wouldn’t have hired her and kept her on for most of the past decade if he hadn’t, but this was the kind of information that got licenses pulled for mental instability.
“Look,” he said. “I don’t really want to wade into those trees after dark, but it’s been an hour or so since the attack. Good chance he’s moved out of the area but there are too many homes around the park to make assumptions. He left a pretty clear trail. We’ll follow until we either catch up to him or ensure that he’s left the area. Earl, this has to be strictly voluntary on your part. Are you okay with it?”
“Yes, but Miriam, Dr. Stone, says that if you get me hurt or killed, you’ll have to settle with her.” I grinned humorlessly. He nodded and we got under way on the hideously dangerous night-time stalk.
**** * ****
The Pete Barnum Beast rushed deeply into the woods at first heedless of direction, shifting this way and that on the path of least resistance. The hunger raged within him! It gnawed at his innards and his mind and tattered his sensibilities. He barreled ahead once more, burning away as much of the feeling as he could manage with the effort, when he barged into a sounder of feral hogs…
He was amongst them before either he or they realized it. An enormous boar, alert and on guard, charged him and the two collided in a brief but savage battle. The porcine male tore at him with its tusks as it sped past him. He’d gracefully stepped aside and raked his claws along its back. It spun and gaped and attempted to bite him, but he wrapped its ugly head in his arms and lifted it to his fang-filled maw. The satisfying crunch and subsequent flow of gore into his mouth and gullet thrilled him. His fellow monster squealed and grunted and thrashed to no avail. He shifted his grip and raised the four hundred pounds of pork above his head, then dashed it against a tree, spine first. He heard the satisfying crack, and the squeals subsided to pained whines and snorts.
He threw back his head and howled in triumph and challenge! He was going to feed after all, and his family was safe from his potential depredations. After a quick look around and a few sniffs of the prevailing breezes, he set to work on the feast before him. There was plenty to fill the void within him, to rend, gulp, and gobble to his heart’s content.
**** * ****
Lacy and the old one stalked the trail of the enemy. She’d tried to convince him that this one was different… safe. Unfortunately, their language was very direct, not complex, and held few nuances. The old one had scoffed and tried to make her understand that it was not a matter of whom the creature had been, but what it now was. In any case, they would find him and decide from there what to do. They shifted their pathway as much as possible to stay downwind from where the trail led. No guarantees but it was at least a basic tactic.
As they ranged forward, an intense and very loud howl emanated from the trail ahead. The sound was very near and accompanied by the smell of blood. A tremendous rustle of underbrush and dried leaves grew close and the sounder of feral hogs rushed past in genuine panic. The Dogmen stepped aside and let the panicked animals proceed into the forest. Lacy, as much as her nature allowed, was relieved. She knew that the monster had not yet taken a human life. That would have led to more problems for her and the old one and any creature of a similar build.
They separated and approached the feasting monstrosity as quietly as possible. Its back was to them in the light of the waning but still gibbous and bright moon. It slobbered and munched in evident ecstasy of blood craving satisfied. She paused, intent on letting it finish its repast before she approached. It would be calm, even logy after such a large meal. Perhaps willing to listen to threats since it was outnumbered… With a roar, the old one burst from hiding and sprang upon the back of the werewolf, even as it raised its chin to gulp down yet another gobbet of bloody flesh.
The two tumbled and rolled in the now small clearing. The brush and smaller trees had been trampled somewhat by the feeding sounder, and then by the strife between hunter and prey. Now it was home to a death-match between two enormous brutes that roared and bit and clawed at one another as they rolled around the forest floor. Their speed made their movements a blur as each struggled to gain a killing hold on the other. Lacy wanted desperately to help but there was no room for her. The old one hadn’t waited long enough to give her a chance to run in and be a distraction and perhaps cause some damage while he prepared a sneak attack as pack dogs would do. A very doggish plan but apparently not the way trueborn Dogmen did things. She hovered, prepared to strike should an opportunity present itself.
It did not but there was no need. The old one managed to get a fang onto and into Pete’s jugular since it had been up and exposed as he swallowed his prey. He screech-yowled in mortal pain and fear. Every living thing fears death, even monsters. His hunger sated and the battle lost, he faded into warm thoughts of his family. He’d protected them, those girls would be too terrified to leave their homes, much less bother his Olivia, but mostly he’d protected them from himself, from what he’d become…
**** * ****
Sheriff Cloud came to an immediate halt as his eyes caught the red shine and twin glow ahead. He raised his rifle but paused. I was there beside him, equally paused, we studied the creature for a brief instant and realized that it was not a werewolf, but a Dogman… Then the sharp reports of Deputy Rosharon’s rifle barked out and flames burst from her barrel as she unloaded on the what she saw as a monster ahead of her…
She’d already changed magazines before Gene could get her to stop and focus again. Meantime I ran ahead, toward the fallen form of… Lacy? Too big. Then what? About that time, I was engulfed in a hot furry embrace and brushed aside to avoid any further danger from the deputy. I thumped soundly on the ground and the air was driven from my lungs. As I gulped in more to replace it, I caught the foul, the oh, so welcome, disgusting breath of my girl!
**** * ****
It didn’t take long to confirm that one the enormous beasts had been Pete Barnum. The additional skin and fur sloughed from his pitiful remains even as we watched in shock and sadness. The other creature simply melted along with him, but no dog emerged, it remained what it was… a mystery being. Lacy knew but wouldn’t be able to tell us. Some things would have to remain a mystery to we mere humans.
**** * **** It was a while before we had any celebrations. Pete’s family was devastated. Knox recovered and become quite vigorous. He and Julie perched once more on my front porch, this time with their sides melded together and she traced the apparently fascinating and wonderful scars on his forearm. Miriam’s mission had been accomplished without her interference, though she somehow managed to take credit. Couldn’t possibly be that the man had stood his ground with yet another werewolf and that Julie had been largely responsible for saving his life… Never a stress bond, had to be because of… something… that Miriam Stone said or did or at least wished.
This party was a send-off for Pete Jr., P.J. He was headed off for military service to get college money. There was no stopping him, he was bound and determined to be just like his father; a very worthy and honorable goal.
Deb was there with her husband, Glenn. She’d decided that it was time to hang up the belt and badge and now worked as an EMT on Julie’s crew.
Jacob and the twin Dogman pups played a game of tireless tag by way of the old doggie door through which Lacy would never again fit. She eyed her pups and the two-leg youngster with the wary caution of a new mother. Theresa watched her own child… er, young man, closely as well. Everyone was getting along but any misunderstandings or falsely triggered instincts could result in unfortunate events. Oscar, who now towered above me, panted forth his foul Dogman breath, as he stood and listened to the conversation between Gene and I, glanced at their pups and then at Lacy. They caught one another’s eyes and Lacy grinned first. It would be fine; kids would be kids and we were family after all…
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2020.05.16 23:13 LukeB4UGame Cubs international penpals

Howdy folks, you may remember a while back I shared a bunch of logos for my cub pack(UK) new penpals with a pack in the US. We had our first meeting a couple of hours ago, we had 6 of our cubs join (3 girls 3 boys) and 8 of their cubs join all weblo. I had set the meeting up so they could join before I did so when i joined 4 of their cubs were already in talking. When the meeting officially began we did introductions and then we taught them a song.
They then taught us two songs, we asked some questions and spoke about badges and awards. It ended with everyone telling jokes and making eachother laugh. I have to say it was alot of fun and as leaders we're looking forward to the next meeting. I have to say this has been a really good opportunity for everyone on both sides of the pond and I highly suggest that other cub packs or scout groups think about reaching out to other countries. If all goes well with the cubs we're thinking about doing something similar with our scouts and explorers, who I'm sure would enjoy the international aspect of it.
submitted by LukeB4UGame to scouting [link] [comments]


2020.04.18 01:40 Softmachinepics I've had these Victorinoxes for years but I have no idea where I got them. The blue one has a Cub Scouts logo on it. I was never in the Cub Scouts, nor have I worked for UP

I've had these Victorinoxes for years but I have no idea where I got them. The blue one has a Cub Scouts logo on it. I was never in the Cub Scouts, nor have I worked for UP submitted by Softmachinepics to knifeclub [link] [comments]


2020.04.12 14:54 DonBHatn We are the Don't Be Hating Family

We are the Don't Be Hating Family
Our Founders Welcome Message:
First of all, thank you for checking us out! I hope you'll be inspired by our vision and spread the love around you one day at a time.
What brings me to you today is my will to communicate a value that is hard to always live by and yet fundamental for our survival: “Don't Be Hating”. Don't let your life experiences wear you out and change who you are. See the good in and around you, and as life gives you opportunities, choose to act with kindness. A newborn smiles because making a close bond with their entourage, and is essential to their development. We humans cannot live alone, we thrive by sharing with one another, by showing one another we are worthy of love and respect. Hate is a learned emotion that does exactly the opposite, it annihilates human connections and will destroy our society if we let it rule our lives.
A little bit about us, our founder, my wife who is the love of my life was born in Paris, France and bravely came to America to create her own American dream. My godfather who is a Marine Veteran who has already given so much to his country says he is ready to give again. Then finally myself, I enjoy fixing things and solving problems. I am a simple man who grew up on a farm in a town so small you would need a magnifying glass to find it. I always joke with people when asked where I am from, "I'm from a town where there are more cows than people". All of us grew up knowing that we would leave our marks on this world and are happy to accept the fact that they may not remember our names, but they will know we were here. So when asked why we are doing this we say for the kids, not just our own but for all the kids everywhere. We know we cannot change the past, but we can help create a better future for generations to come. We are the Don't Be Hating Family.
Founder - Who am I? I am human. More than defining myself by my country of origins, gender or social status, I choose to define myself by what I believe in, and what I choose to do with my life in connection to others.
"Be Dependable, Be Beneficent, Be Humane." #DBH Don't Be Hating
Co-Founder - Cub Scout, 4H, Boy Scout, U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran, Retired: InvestigatoPolygraph Examiner, Taoist Student, Martial Arts Instructor: Eagle Claw & Longfist, Graduate of the University of Miami, Veterans Advocate
"The Cure for Hate is Forgiveness" #dbh
Co-Founder - A proud Son, Husband, & Father. A Farmer, A Dreamer, A Problem Solver 'Wide awake in an American Dream
"We will tend this garden and will watch it blossom into something truly amazing." #dbh
2017
We became a new Family Owned and Operated LLC. In 2017 we started our journey on a front porch in south Fl. We were having our regular conversations about current events and discussing our thoughts on them. We were noticing a trend, and that was a factor that was taking over everyday life. This factor was "HATRED", the only way to solve a problem is to first admit there is one. We saw this division evolve from fear into disagreements, and then into hate, finally into the shutting down of communication. Because of the exhaustive nature of hate we saw it take the new form of casual brutality. It had become more and more apparent that someone needed to stand up and create a better way of communication that was available to everyone. It was then we then realized now was the time to act, so we rolled up our sleeves and got started.
We developed the message, designed a logo, created an LLC, and registered a trademark. Once we got all of our ducks in a row, we started putting our message out there. (Our message dubbed "The Herald of the Hardened Heart" and its meaning "Don't Be Hating".) We created a social media presence, created a website, and started working on a small store to help fund the mission. We wanted to make sure our quest couldn't be altered or hijacked, so we are funding this ourselves. We only owe it to all of you to see this through. We personally learned how to use social media from scratch having only been aware of it and not knowing of its true strength. We learned about the power of video versus text, also we learned some of our own limitations. As we grew, so did our need for outside help, so we started researching.
2018
During that research we upgraded our message, our use of social media. We have been reaching out to digital marketers, video spokesmen and women, graphics design specialists, local and national media, and just everyday folks like you and me. We have started out small at a grassroots level and will grow in a mature and natural manner, but the message does not and cannot change. It is a message that can be applied to many aspects of life and society, but it's true intent will always be known and remain constant and consistent there is no hidden agenda. We have a small animation to create a visual of the message and we are continuing to work with many individuals to create a strong video explainer to captivate and encourage others to join us on our quest.
2019
We finally received our trademark and made our store active. Well we weren't done yet we still needed to get the message out there, so we got back to work on the video. When we imagine this video, we think of past videos of a montage of celebrities all joining together to build awareness and support for a cause. We have and will continue to sponsor this movement to promote the recognition and realization of personal responsibility. The best part of our quest is that it is built for inclusively, because hate affects all of us. So it is up to all of us to solve this problem and because hate is a learned emotion, we believe that for that fact alone, this hate can be unlearned. There is only one cure for hatred and that is forgiveness.
2020
As our quest continues we will make updates. We will earn your respect through the virtues of Consistency, Constancy, and True Transparency. There are many ways to contribute. Ask us how to get involved, We are the Don't Be Hating Family and you can find out how to join our family HERE . You can also help by visiting the Don't Be Hating Store HERE.
Our Mission is unity through the application of a universal love note. We will do this through the message, “The Herald of the Hardened Heart”. This purple “Heart” must be seen everywhere. The symbol becomes the message. We are living in an era where emotions trump reason. Please join us in promoting the recognition and realization of personal responsibility.
The Herald of the Hardened Heart
The Herald symbolizes a heart hardened by hate. To affect real change, people must soften their hearts. When we created this symbol, we imagined a hardened valentines day heart.The heart does more than merely function as a pump. This must start at an individual level. We encourage everyone to become aware of the danger, unbridled hatred poses to us all. We aren’t born hating. So this behavior can be “flipped”. Hate is a learned emotion, for that fact alone it can be unlearned. We‘re betting that love will put hate “Out Of Business”. Discourage the hateful, but show them what they're missing. Give everyone space and opportunity to see the light.
Call to Action
We are Apolitical & Non-Denominational so everyone is welcome to become the 3rd voice, the voice of love and reason. This message constitutes a stance against the forces of division, as they are fueled by hatred. When we take away the fuel (hate) they will burn out. This message is to be designed by all, for the enjoyment of all, and for the benefit of all. As we are currently seeking out individuals to become more hands-on with the "Don’t Be Hating" message, we encourage everyone who would like to participate to submit their ideas HERE. No positive change is possible if we remain silent to those who continue to spread hate and division. We all must choose to get up off the sidelines and get involved to bring about the right kind of change. Please join us in promoting the recognition and realization of personal responsibility.
Give the phrase “coming real” an authenticity we seldom hear. Keep seeking and speaking the truth with reason and love. You are not alone. One person cannot transform the world, but one message can, when heard and believed by all. Showing hate will teach hate. Holding to that same standard, Showing kindness will teach kindness. Be constant, Be consistent, Be sure to laugh at least once a day. As we move through the world with one goal in mind and share this goal with others. We believe we will be able to watch the transformation to unification right before our eyes. Together we are "Don't Be Hating".
https://preview.redd.it/pbpsmvs0wds41.jpg?width=940&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=6cb8c9b7c02a4d0f9d26f690676aa0990a10abe8
submitted by DonBHatn to u/DonBHatn [link] [comments]


2020.04.12 14:42 DonBHatn We Are The Don't Be Hating Family

We Are The Don't Be Hating Family
Our Founders Welcome Message:
First of all, thank you for checking us out! I hope you'll be inspired by our vision and spread the love around you one day at a time.
What brings me to you today is my will to communicate a value that is hard to always live by and yet fundamental for our survival: “Don't Be Hating”. Don't let your life experiences wear you out and change who you are. See the good in and around you, and as life gives you opportunities, choose to act with kindness. A newborn smiles because making a close bond with their entourage and is essential to their development. We humans cannot live alone, we thrive by sharing with one another, by showing one another we are worthy of love and respect. Hate is a learned emotion that does exactly the opposite, it annihilates human connections and will destroy our society if we let it rule our lives.
A little bit about us, our founder, my wife who is the love of my life was born in Paris, France and bravely came to America to create her own American dream. My godfather who is a Marine Veteran who has already given so much to his country says he is ready to give again. Then finally myself, I enjoy fixing things and solving problems. I am a simple man who grew up on a farm in a town so small you would need a magnifying glass to find it. I always joke with people when asked where I am from, "I'm from a town where there are more cows than people". All of us grew up knowing that we would leave our marks on this world and are happy to accept the fact that they may not remember our names, but they will know we were here. So when asked why we are doing this we say for the kids, not just our own but for all the kids everywhere. We know we cannot change the past, but we can help create a better future for generations to come. We are the Don't Be Hating Family.
Founder - Who am I? I am human. More than defining myself by my country of origins, gender or social status, I choose to define myself by what I believe in, and what I choose to do with my life in connection to others.
"Be Dependable, Be Beneficent, Be Humane." #DBH Don't Be Hating
Co-Founder - Cub Scout, 4H, Boy Scout, U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran, Retired: InvestigatoPolygraph Examiner, Taoist Student, Martial Arts Instructor: Eagle Claw & Longfist, Graduate of the University of Miami, Veterans Advocate
"The Cure for Hate is Forgiveness" #dbh
Co-Founder - A proud Son, Husband, & Father. A Farmer, A Dreamer, A Problem Solver 'Wide awake in an American Dream
"We will tend this garden and will watch it blossom into something truly amazing." #dbh
2017
We became a new Family Owned and Operated LLC. In 2017 we started our journey on a front porch in south Fl. We were having our regular conversations about current events and discussing our thoughts on them. We were noticing a trend, and that was a factor that was taking over everyday life. This factor was "HATRED", the only way to solve a problem is to first admit there is one. We saw this division evolve from fear into disagreements, and then into hate, finally into the shutting down of communication. Because of the exhaustive nature of hate we saw it take the new form of casual brutality. It had become more and more apparent that someone needed to stand up and create a better way of communication that was available to everyone. It was then we then realized now was the time to act, so we rolled up our sleeves and got started.
We developed the message, designed a logo, created an LLC, and registered a trademark. Once we got all of our ducks in a row, we started putting our message out there. (Our message dubbed "The Herald of the Hardened Heart" and its meaning "Don't Be Hating".) We created a social media presence, created a website, and started working on a small store to help fund the mission. We wanted to make sure our quest couldn't be altered or hijacked, so we are funding this ourselves. We only owe it to all of you to see this through. We personally learned how to use social media from scratch having only been aware of it and not knowing of its true strength. We learned about the power of video versus text, also we learned some of our own limitations. As we grew, so did our need for outside help, so we started researching.
2018
During that research we upgraded our message, our use of social media. We have been reaching out to digital marketers, video spokesmen and women, graphics design specialists, local and national media, and just everyday folks like you and me. We have started out small at a grassroots level and will grow in a mature and natural manner, but the message does not and cannot change. It is a message that can be applied to many aspects of life and society, but it's true intent will always be known and remain constant and consistent there is no hidden agenda. We have a small animation to create a visual of the message and we are continuing to work with many individuals to create a strong video explainer to captivate and encourage others to join us on our quest.
2019
We finally received our trademark and made our store active. Well we weren't done yet we still needed to get the message out there, so we got back to work on the video. When we imagine this video, we think of past videos of a montage of celebrities all joining together to build awareness and support for a cause. We have and will continue to sponsor this movement to promote the recognition and realization of personal responsibility. The best part of our quest is that it is built for inclusively, because hate affects all of us. So it is up to all of us to solve this problem and because hate is a learned emotion, we believe that for that fact alone, this hate can be unlearned. There is only one cure for hatred and that is forgiveness.
2020
As our quest continues we will make updates. We will earn your respect through the virtues of Consistency, Constancy, and True Transparency. There are many ways to contribute. Ask us how to get involved, We are the Don't Be Hating Family and you can join our family HERE. You can also help by visiting the Don't Be Hating Store HERE.
Our Mission is unity through the application of a universal love note. We will do this through the message, “The Herald of the Hardened Heart”. This purple “Heart” must be seen everywhere. The symbol becomes the message. We are living in an era where emotions trump reason. Please join us in promoting the recognition and realization of personal responsibility.
The Herald of the Hardened Heart
The Herald symbolizes a heart hardened by hate. To affect real change, people must soften their hearts. When we created this symbol, we imagined a hardened valentines day heart.The heart does more than merely function as a pump. This must start at an individual level. We encourage everyone to become aware of the danger, unbridled hatred poses to us all. We aren’t born hating. So this behavior can be “flipped”. Hate is a learned emotion, for that fact alone it can be unlearned. We‘re betting that love will put hate “Out Of Business”. Discourage the hateful, but show them what they're missing. Give everyone space and opportunity to see the light.
Call to Action
We are Apolitical & Non-Denominational so everyone is welcome to become the 3rd voice, the voice of love and reason. This message constitutes a stance against the forces of division, as they are fueled by hatred. When we take away the fuel (hate) they will burn out. This message is to be designed by all, for the enjoyment of all, and for the benefit of all. As we are currently seeking out individuals to become more hands-on with the "Don’t Be Hating" message, we encourage everyone who would like to participate to submit their ideas HERE. No positive change is possible if we remain silent to those who continue to spread hate and division. We all must choose to get up off the sidelines and get involved to bring about the right kind of change. Please join us in promoting the recognition and realization of personal responsibility.
Give the phrase “coming real” an authenticity we seldom hear. Keep seeking and speaking the truth with reason and love. You are not alone. One person cannot transform the world, but one message can, when heard and believed by all. Showing hate will teach hate. Holding to that same standard, Showing kindness will teach kindness. Be constant, Be consistent, Be sure to laugh at least once a day. As we move through the world with one goal in mind and share this goal with others. We believe we will be able to watch the transformation to unification right before our eyes. Together we are "Don't Be Hating".
https://preview.redd.it/0ibaaytqtds41.jpg?width=940&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=315470ab7752d5842503f64bd472043a4a5e19fe
submitted by DonBHatn to u/DonBHatn [link] [comments]


2019.11.28 15:02 Grenzer17 I've found (some of) the files for a lost game / demo

I've been following this sub for a long time, and this is the first time I've had something to post. Here's the story:
So I'm back home for Thanksgiving break. I do all the computer stuff for my family, and this year I was going through the hard drive from my family's old computer (Which we used in the early - mid 2000s). Sometime when I was in elementary school it somehow got bricked and has pretty much sat in our basement since.
Anyhow, more than a decade later I put the hard drive in a different tower and was going though the games I had installed from when I was 10 or so. Among them was a 3rd person 3d archery game themed around Cub Scouts. I remember this game distinctly because it was one of the few 3d games I had; among other things, you got to explore the open camp, use a catapult, shoot at a range, race pinewood derby cars, and probably more that I forgot.
The game is called "Cub Scouting: On Target", and there is NOTHING about it online. The only result related to it is someone mentioning working on it in their resume (a company called ISE games) Other than that, theres no screenshots, videos, nothing. IIRC, I was given the game as a disk at a expo done by the cub scouts when I was in elementary school, maybe around 2005.
As I mentioned in my post, I do have the files for the game, but theres a caveat to that. I copied the executable and all program files, but after the Torque3d logo, all I get is a prompt for me to insert the CD.
Like I said, theres next to nothing about this game online, and only slightly more about the company that made it. I can dump the files to the game online, but I doubt they'll be useful unless a CD of the game can be found. If anyone else remembers this game or can weigh in on this, please help me get to the bottom of this.
submitted by Grenzer17 to lostmedia [link] [comments]


2019.11.13 23:17 isu_trickster Looking for Cub Scout vector files for CNC

Our Pack has typically used 3rd party vendors for AoL plaques, PWD medals / trophies, and the like. With the Registration fee hikes (and our council deciding to tack on their own this time), we're looking to cut down on expenses. One of our DLs has access to a CNC (or automated routing/milling machine) and are looking to do some of our awards in-house to save a few bucks. I've gone looking online but have come up short with vectored images of for AoL and the Cub Scout/BSA logos. I'd prefer not to have to re-invent the wheel, and hoping someone here would be willing to share such files or point me where to go, if they know of some.
submitted by isu_trickster to cubscouts [link] [comments]


2019.08.13 00:51 Furshlugginer492 Rosebud, Chapters 5,6

by Yael Dragwyla
Chapter 5: Holiday

I wander thro’ each chartered street,
Near where the charter’d Thames doth flow,
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
In every cry of every Man,
In every infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear:
How the Chimney sweeper’s cry
Every black’ning Church appalls,
And the hapless Soldier’s sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls.
But most through midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlot’s curse
Blasts the newborn Infant’s tear
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.
– William Blake (“London”)

I slept until about 2 the next afternoon. When I awoke, I was still groggy and exhausted. I had a deadline to meet in a few days on the Price-Hart article I’d been working on now sporadically for the last several weeks; if I wanted to get it to the editor of Mother Jones by the deadline, I’d better get downtown and back to my research over at Carnegie’s. But after all that had gone on yesterday, I had all the get-up-and-go of a wet dishtowel. There was no way I’d be able to accomplish anything worth a damn today.
My best compromise was to spend the day doing everything possible to get over the shock and exhaustion from yesterday, so that starting tomorrow I’d have all my energy and wits about me to get the job done and over with as fast as possible. So I dragged myself downstairs and raided the store of nutritional supplements I keep on hand in the refrigerator at all times. Then, some of my vitality beginning to return, I turned to making a meal for myself. I put together an enormous chef’s salad, a fresh grapefruit with honey, and a huge pot of coffee.
I agree, coffee is probably one of the worst things in the world for the body. It destroys the central nervous system, wrecks the pancreas, wreaks havoc on the gastrointestinal tract, and does things to the brain stem that should only be discussed in a court of law, and then only after chasing out those with weak stomachs. But I’ve been drinking the stuff for a quarter of a century, and I’ll be damned if I’ll give it up this side of the Last Judgment. Frankly, I love the stuff:
Coffee is an awful weed;
I love it.
It satisfies no normal need;
I love it.
It makes you thin, it makes you lean,
It takes the hair right off your bean,
It’s the lousiest stuff I’ve ever seen –
Nevertheless I love it!
Trying to get the day started right without it is not something I can – or want to –do any more. Only a visit to Schick Shadel’s recovery center will ever get me off the stuff – and they’ll drag me in there over my dead body (probably after total kidney failure or a fatal heart attack). I do so love my coffee! So, on the theory that if you’re going to poison yourself to death, you should do it right, and use only the very best poison, I go to my favorite connection, the Brass Teapot, this little place over on Santa Reál Street half a mile East of where I live, to get my fix. The Brass Teapot specializes in the best teas and coffees from every corner of the world. I buy whole beans from them, usually their Special of the Month, from Brazil or Jamaica or Uganda, where they do it right. After I get the beans home again, I put them in an air-tight container until I want to brew up some more coffee. That way, the beans are as fresh as possible, and stay that way until I’m ready to use them.
When I make the next pot of coffee, I grind just enough beans to make one cup at a time, using this little electric grinder I also got at the Brass Teapot that grinds them up the way I want them. Then, using a special filter, this plastic thing with a wire-mesh bottom thinly plated with real gold, to make sure that the filter won’t add its own taste to that of the beans, I put the filter on top of the cup, a huge mug with Garfield grinning at me on the side, saying, “Go ahead, dearie – rot your guts!”; add one scoop of finely-ground Colombia or Santa Reál “Reál Thing” mix, my favorites, into the filter; pour in boiling water; and in just a minute or two, voilá! – the finest cup of coffee in town! . . . Especially when I add real whipping cream, ground vanilla beans, and honey.
Today, however, I made a whole pot of the stuff, using a large filter-assembly just like the smaller one, except for its size. After two cups with cream and honey, I was almost back to normal. The chef salad and the fruit completed the transformation. I certainly wasn’t in shape to do the sort of research today I needed to do to finish my article for Mother Jones, but I could clean the house, or go bicycle riding, say, and get the cobwebs out of my mind and the remainder of the fatigue toxins out of my brain with some physical exercise. So I decided to clean house.
But after a couple of hours of it, it palled. There wasn’t that much to do. A nervous Virgo with Moon in Cancer, I keep my home fairly clean all the time, as it is. About the only real chores there were to do were weeding the tiny garden I had behind my house and cleaning out the basement and straightening up the forty tons or so of stuff I’ve accumulated over the years and stored down there for safekeeping. The garden wasn’t due for a good weed for two or three more days (though it could have used some watering, God knows, but there was water-rationing on, and I’d have to skip that for awhile); and on a nice day like what was left of this one promised to be, I wasn’t about to get down there in that dark, dirty basement and risk putting my back out trying to rearrange all those crates and boxes. So it was the great outdoors for me today.
I decided to take the bike-path that ran along the cliffs going west toward Golightly Beach. It was cooler today than it had been yesterday; a cold front off the ocean threatened to bring overcast tonight or tomorrow. I put on my jeans, boots, T-shirt and a jacket, got out my old blue I0-speed from the garage and started off.
I biked northeast from Camarillo along Trudeau to Main, then down Main, across Highway 101, to Balboa Boulevard, which ran northeast-southwest along the beaches to Old Highway Road. A spur from the bike-path system ran west from the latter; the spur would take me to the bike-path that ran along the cliffs out to Golightly Beach and UCSR. It wasn’t until I was halfway out to the University from town that the events of the previous day caught up with me – and then I nearly fell off my bicycle from shock. 
Why it had taken all this time, I don’t know. Since waking up, I’d gone through the last couple of hours in a perfectly normal, if groggy, frame of mind, not remembering more of the previous evening than that it had happened. But now I couldn’t keep the image of that little girl, with her blood-smeared face and clothing, feasting so lewdly on the corpse of the woman there in the school-yard, out of my rapidly fragmenting mind. I had to stop at once and pull my bicycle over as quickly as I could manage to avoid falling down right there in the middle of the bike-path. Leaning my bike against a raggedy fir growing there by the path, I almost fell to the ground as the last of my strength flowed out of my legs like water running off a cliff.
Shaking all over, I huddled in the shade of the fir for a while, my will paralyzed, my strength gone. Morosely I thought of Officer McKnight’s admonition to me to remain where 1 could be reached – should I be at home? Then I remembered that I had turned on my telephone answering-device, with a message saying that I’d be back soon. If the police called, surely they’d assume my absence had no sinister import, and would leave a message for me to call them back. So I could have some time alone out here to myself with a clean conscience. But what did I want to do? 
I didn’t really want to go ail the way to Golightly Bench, not now. What I actually wanted to do, I realized, was go get a pizza and, after that, some chocolate eclairs and French vanilla ice-cream, and PIG OUT!!! Much more satisfying me than any ordinary lost, drunken weekend, an epic calorie-binge would cushion me quite adequately from just about anything up to and including World War III. So I struggled to my feet and, turning my bicycle around, headed back to El Camino Reál –- a legacy of California’s Spanish heritage running from just below San Diego clear up to Monterey, near the Bay Area, along some 500 miles of California’s Pacific coast and 400 years of its history. There I turned left, going northeast toward “upper” Santa Reál. (Main Street, which runs northwest from the ocean for two or three miles, makes a 45° angle at that point, turning due west toward Golightly, the University, and Ano Vista, its name changing to Mercury once it crosses the city limits going west. The city of Santa Reàl hugs Main Street rather closely. It flanks Main on either side in two bent strips; the one on the ocean side of Main is about six or seven blocks wide, but the one on the other side extends as much as twenty blocks in some places toward the foothills and mountains of the spur of the California Coastal Ranges that bounds Santa Reál and environs on the North. The part of Santa Reál “above” the bend in Main, that is, along the section of Main running due east and west – which just incidentally contains some of the priciest residences in Southern California – is called “Upper Santa Reál.”)
There was a Domino’s Pizza Parlor just off the corner of El Camino Reál and Main. I headed for it gratefully. Once inside, I ordered a medium-sized pizza with everything, with plans to save the leftovers to take home for a bed-time pig-out, along with salad, garlic bread and a pitcher of Budweiser (the alternative was Coor’s, which tastes even worse than Bud, not to mention the fact that I hate Adolph Coor’s labor policies, which make Simon Legree look like Jimmy Hoffa). An hour later, nicely stuffed with pizza and even more nicely squiffy on beer, and bored with the heavy-metal and rap selections playing continuously on the jukebox, which the cute little punkers and homeboyz kept eternally stuffed with quarters, I left. 
Walking my bicycle along with me down the sidewalk, I went three blocks down to Baskin & Robbins. Just coincidentally, a fine bakery was next-door to the ice-cream parlor. After locking up my bicycle, I went first into the bakery, where I bought two chocolate eclairs and a double-dozen sugar-cookies, then went into Baskin & Robbins for the biggest sundae they made, plus half a gallon of French vanilla ice cream to take home with me.
The fact that I spent nearly $40 on all this never entered my mind. Visions of Hog Heaven danced through my head, obscuring anything else – and mercifully keeping yesterday’s horrors completely locked out of my mind for the duration. I enjoyed my feast thoroughly, lovingly lingering over every last crumb of the pastry and each spoonful of the ice cream. By the time I was done, the beer I’d drunk had finally worked its way to my bladder, and once I had used the restroom and got rid of it, I was no longer so wobbly on my feet, in spite of the beer. I decided to go home, put one of Mel Brooks’s finer efforts on the VCR and kick it back for the evening. The bike-path that runs out to Golightly Beach from one side of\` El Camino Reál also extends back in the other direction at that same point, toward town. I rode back down El Camino Reál toward the beaches, turning off to the left onto the bike-path to go back into the city. I had a dim memory of the path coming out somewhere fairly near where I lived. Blithely I set off along it, taking pleasure in the alders, maples, oaks, and other trees that lined the path, their leaves stirring softly in a cool breeze off the ocean, countless birds darting through them. 1 laughed at a crow who was having a loud argument with another crow, maybe having it out over the bills or whose turn it was to take down the storm-shutters. The sun wasn’t all that close to setting yet, but it was very late in the afternoon, and it was getting cool. I was glad I’d brought my jacket. 
It wasn’t until I was within a mile or so of home that 1 became fully conscious of just where the bike-path ran. I had been thinking idly of nothing in particular, still somewhat stoned from my huge meal, happily trundling along over the bike-path toward town. Suddenly I realized that the territory I was in was very familiar: I was in the fields back of Fairchild Elementary School.
If it hadn’t been for the noise I heard just then, coming out of the school-yard, a strange, frantic screaming like nothing I’d ever heard before on this earth, I wouldn’t have gone anywhere near that school that evening for a million dollars. But the screaming, the terrified cry of some baby thing in agony, jerked me out of myself, and I could no more have kept away from there after that than I could have flapped my arms and flown. 
My brain kicked out, my glands kicked in. Without thinking about it at all, I swerved with ghostly grace off the bike-path onto that same footpath by which, just yesterday, I’d come to the school-yard on the return leg of my hike. I don’t know what instinctive wisdom impelled me to stop the bicycle and pull it around with that same catlike silence behind one of the bushes that grew there in the field close to the school, or tiptoe so quietly up to the oleander bushes at the school-yard corner. Certainly I wasn’t at all consciously prepared for what I saw as I peered cautiously around one of the oleanders.
There was little Debby, dressed in blue jeans, a Darth Vader T-shirt and sandals, sitting on the ground in front of another oleander bush. She was gleefully holding up in the air before her the body of a long-haired, gray kitten, surveying it with a highly pleased expression. One of the kitten’s forelegs was gone at the shoulder. Judging from the ruin of its shoulder, it must have been pulled off, without any finesse whatsoever; just naked brute force. The bloody little leg, ripped from the kitten’s body, lay in the dirt beside Debby. The kitten looked quite dead. The scream I’d just heard had obviously come from it. There was a spike sticking out of one of its eyes.
“Now, honey, go ahead and drink the blood,” urged a maternally affectionate voice. The speaker was a woman who might have been about five or six years younger than I. She had a long, long, coal-black fall of hair just like Debby’s, except that it was a great deal longer than the little girl’s own hair, and its color was just a little too perfectly sheeny midnight-black to be natural. She was wearing a black leather mini-skirt, black boots that came to mid-thigh, a white blouse, and rather garish gold earrings. A ring with an enormous black stone set in some silvery metal glittered an her left hand.
Aside from the hair, the little girl didn’t look too much like the older woman, physically speaking, and she certainly wasn’t wearing the heavy black mascara, eye-liner, and lipstick that the woman wore. Yet there was an eerie similarity between them. I finally realized that it was their expressions: the woman’s pouty, pursed lips and unblinking, wide-open eyes were perfectly duplicated in the blood-spattered features of little Debby’s face, which wouldn’t have been out of place on a grown woman with a lot of weird mileage behind her.
The woman had a quirt at her hip, secured on her heavy black Sam Browne belt. The hilt of a stiletto peeked up from her left boot-top. Through the horror that threatened to overwhelm me I still couldn’t help thinking that for all the world, she made me think of Ozma of Oz dressed to the nines for a dungeon party – or a character out of some Z-class spy-suspense movie: the Evil Nazi Female Spy. 
Then, with a jolt, I realized what that red-white-and-black logo in the center of the little round, silver plate hanging in the center of each of her bizarre earrings was. Each of her earrings consisted of several slender silver hoops of various sizes suspended together at their top edges on a short braid of delicate silver wire attached to the hook going through her ear-lobe. The plate with the logo, about 1 cm across, slightly smaller than the smallest of the hoops, shared the same anchorage to the bottom of the silver braid connecting the whole assemblage to the hook as the hoops enclosing it. The logo itself, picked out in brilliant scarlet, Stygian black, and snow-white was a copy of the flag of Nazi Germany, black retrograde swastika on a white ground inside a red field.
The lady may have looked like something straight of out an opera bouffe, but she was involved in anything but a comedy. Standing by Debby, she was urging the little girl by a hand on the girl’s arm to bring the kitten’s shattered arm to Debby’s mouth. Debby, however, her eyes glowing scarlet in the same waning sunset light that so terribly highlighted the demonic, bloody mask of feral bliss into which her little-girl face had been transmuted, needed no urging. Greedily she fastened her avid mouth on the bloody mess that had been the kitten’s shoulder and began to suck at it noisily.
“Good girl!” the woman told her fondly. “Good girl!” She patted Debby on the back maternally. Debby went on sucking away at the kitten’s ruined leg, lost in rapture. The woman frowned a bit, then plucked at Debby’s arm. “Teysa – hey, Teysa!”
Her concentration broken, Debby looked up at the woman, annoyed. “What do you want – oh, I’m sorry, what’s the matter?” she said, her ire changing to contrition when apparently she recognized the woman.
“Don’t you remember? Remember how good it feels? Now, if you want to make this really full of Power” – the capital P was unmistakable – “then we play ‘Touchy’ at the same time. Now, come on, don’t you want to try it?”
“Sure!” crowed the child in unholy glee. Smiling, the woman stooped down, unzipped the girls’ jeans, pulled them down along with her panties, and began tickling her genitals. Simultaneously, Debby reached up under the woman’s mini-skirt and did the same for her.
I was nearly halfway around the oleander bush now. When I realized what the two of them were actually doing, my self-control finally broke. I think I screamed.
Both of them instantly stopped what they were doing, whipping their heads around to see what the disturbance was. Before I realized what was happening, the woman had darted her hand into a bag on the ground at her feet and had pulled out a Beretta semi-automatic, aiming it dead on my mid-section. “All right, whoever you are – come out of there now!” she ordered.
Eternities passed. My will seemed completely paralyzed. What I should have done at that point was to have thrown myself back behind the oleander and run for it. Instead, I just stood there like a jack-lighted rabbit, stupidly staring at the pistol aimed bang-on my diaphragm, unable to do anything, waiting for her to do whatever she would. In the near-silence that hung in the air between us, I could hear, faint in the distance, Mrs. Rothberg frantically calling: “Debby! Debby! Honey, where are you?!”
Finally I said, “You murdered that woman, didn’t you?”
“Murder?” said the Nazi-Ozma clone, smiling lazily, like a well-fed hyena. “Oh, I wouldn’t call it murder.”
“What the fuck would you call it, then? It sure as hell wasn’t a love-pat!”
“What do you know about it, you clod?”
“Christ Jesus, what am I supposed to know about it? It looked like Jack the Ripper had been at her!”
“Jack the Ripper was one of Us,” she said smugly. Again the Capitals.
“‘Us’? Who the hell is ‘us’?”
“Those who have the Power. We who never forsook the Ancient Ones. Those of us who will rule the world. The New Ones, the children of the Old Ones who never forsook the True Gods.” The Capitals were louder than ever.
“You know, Miss, you sound like a cross between somebody out of one of those after-the-Bomb-mutants novels and some*thing* from one of H.P. Lovecraft’s nastier nightmares.” “Lovecraft was one of Us, too.” “I bet you invented the Wheel, too.” Her face hardened into something deadly. She raised the pistol a little higher, so that it was aimed straight at my heart. Under the circumstances, clearly it was stupid to antagonize her, but my mouth seemed to have a mind of its own: “Why, I bet you don’t even know who it was you killed. – And you called Debby ‘Teysa.’ Where did she get *that*?” “Oh, don’t worry about the sacrifice – it wasn’t anybody worth anyone’s concern, just some little suburban *breeder* with too many kids, not enough brains, and a busy, busy, *busy* life with all her stupid little charities and den-mothering and her ten million other little busywork projects. You think somebody like *that* will ever produce anything of note? – After all, it’s not as if she were a great composer or researcher, or a doctor or somebody else who is at least *useful*! No, all *that* kind can do is breed and breed and breed, and make the world softer and softer and weaker and weaker with all her little welcome-wagons and cub-scout meetings and *niceness*. That was that little twat’s finest hour, yesterday – thanks to her sacrifice, we were able to invoke *Asmodeus* successfully, at last . . .” She said this last with a sigh that sounded like St. Theresa describing the latest visit from her Archangel. Stunned speechless, I just stared at her. Waiting for me to say something, the woman began to look irritated when nothing was forthcoming from me, and her grip on the gun tightened. It was Debby herself who answered my other question. Looking up adoringly at her friend, she piped, “*She*’s *Big* Teysa, an’ *I*’m *Little* Teysa! Right?” 
“Right, honey,” the woman answered absently. Then her eyes narrowed, and she told me, “‘You know, now you’re a witness. I guess we’re going to have to kill you.”
Ten thousand things were racing through my mind. The hole in the end of that gun looked awfully big, and it was pointed straight at me. Rather inanely I said, “Well, in that case, will you at least satisfy my curiosity, and tell me who the hell you are? If you’re going to kill me, it won’t make any difference – so why not?”
Some! people like to brag. This woman was apparently one of them. “Actually, why not? My . . . birth-name, the one on my passport, was Phyllis Teysa. The Little One, here –” She reached down and patted Debby affectionately on the shoulder. “She likes my last name. She thinks it’s Magickal. And it is.
“My . . . patronymic used to be Bernstein, but that was years ago, before I left Dayton, Ohio. I changed it, you see. ‘Teysa’ is the name of a Night-Weird . . .” Seeing my bewilderment at this, she explained, “Night-Weirds are the Messengers of the Old Ones. There are male and female ones. The ignorant louts of the Middle Ages called them Incubi and Succubi.
“Night-Weirds have kings and queens, and one of their most famous queens was Teysa-Li – the ‘Li’ was a title, meaning something like, ‘The Bold.’ When I . . . when I finally Broke Through to the True Gods, the one I first invoked, Tazlan, said I really needed a name that didn’t belong to the Undermen, and would be fitting for one of the New Men. He suggested Queen Teysa-Li’s name, and I thought it felt right, so I took her name, partly for its Power, partly to honor her, for she was great of her people.
“I kept my first name, Phyllis – it’s a good, solid-sounding name that keeps me from standing out the wrong way. I took ‘Teysa’ as my last name, because if you have a normal-sounding first name, nobody really pays that much attention to your last name. – If you’re a Grown-Up, that is,” she added, scowling blackly at the specter of some ancient agony of spirit rising out of her own, unknown childhood.
“When will the God come this time, Lady?” piped up.
“Soon, honey, soon,” the woman told the girl. “He’s promised us that –“
“JesusMaryJoseph – all right, you, hold it right there!

Chapter 6: The Hungry Gorge

Cruelty has a Human Heart,
And Jealousy a Human Face;
Terror the Human Form Divine,
And Secrecy the Human Dress.
The Human Dress is forgèd Iron,
The Human Form a fiery Forge,
The Human Face a Furnace seal’d,
The Human Heart its hungry Gorge.
– William Blake, “A Divine Image” (1794)
All three of us turned to see who it was. There was Tom McKnight, Glock in hand, standing in a Weaver brace at the side of one of the oleanders, aiming straight at Phyllis. She drew in a harsh breath, clamped her mouth grimly closed, kept her aim steady on me.
“I really do suggest that you drop that gun, Miss,” said another voice, coming around from the other side. It was Lieutenant Benson, from Homicide. Like Tom, he had his own gun out, leveled at the woman. I could have kissed both of them right then.
If I’d been her, the sight of two drawn guns aimed at me, held by two obviously competent and very angry cops, would have taken all the starch out of me right then and there. I’d have dropped the gun and passed out cold. Not Phyllis Teysa. I have to give the Devil her due: she never wavered. Her finger began to tighten on the trigger – she was determined to take at least one of us out before they got her. “Oh, my God – Debby! *Baby!* What are they doing to you?!” “*Eh-heh-EEE-eh! Eee-YAAA!! Yeh-ho-waaw El-oh-heeem! Ehl! Eh-lo-heem Gi-BOOOORRR! Ye-ho-wah El-oh-wah Vah-Dah-aht! Yeh-ho-waaw Tsahh-ba-oht! Eh-lo-heem Tsahh-ba-oht! Shah-DAEE El-CHAEEEEE! Ah-doh-naee Meh-LEHK!!!!”* This last, howled out by a strong, young pair of lungs belonging to a third party who had apparently just arrived on the scene, ended on a mind-ripping, sky-tearing eagle-scream. Though it could have cost me my life, I couldn’t help looking around to see who it was. I needn’t have worried – behind me, I heard the *clunk!* of Phyllis’s gun falling to the ground. 
Coming toward us at a dead run were Rabbi Geller, panting with effort, accompanied by a boy of maybe twenty, who had a gigantic, gorgeous Jewish Afro of curly golden hair. Both wore swimming-trunks; rubies flamed in the water that dripped from the boy’s thick, tightly-curled locks of hair as the dying sun enhaloed him with gruesome light.
Suddenly, from behind me, there came a wild gobbling. I looked back to try to locate the source, and found Phyllis and Debby writhing about on the ground beside me, caught up in ghastly convulsions. Debby moaned loudly, arching her back, rolling from side to side in a frenzy that was eerily obscene, simultaneously somehow a sexual parody of agony and an agonized travesty of sexuality. Foam sprayed from Phyllis’s mouth as she frantically whipped her head from side to side, so that it repeatedly hit the ground hard enough to have concussed anyone else, as if she were trying to kill something deadly in it by smashing it again and again against the earth; her legs and arms thrashed and contorted as if each of her limbs were independent of all the others.
Tom ran up to Phyllis and sat on her, trying to keep her from smashing herself to bits in her seizure, but had no success in controlling her frenzied writhing. Benson came to help him, and between the two of them they managed to immobilize her, more or less, and even got a stick down her throat to keep her from swallowing her tongue, though Benson almost got a nasty bite in the process.
Meanwhile, Rabbi Geller ran over to Debby and began to do the same for her. She was so small and he was so large that it seemed ludicrous that even so, he had enormous difficulty keeping her still. Her small body seemed to house some titanic engine that threw her about as she gobbled, screamed, and wailed, almost in defiance of the laws of physics; it was all that Geller could do just to keep her in one place. For a miracle, she didn’t swallow her tongue; he was so busy just trying to keep her body from moving that he had no opportunity to put anything in her mouth to hold her tongue down.
The boy, white-faced and horrified, came over to me. “Who – who are you?” I asked him shakily. Now that I was no longer in danger of being imminently murdered out of hand, I found that my legs were trembling so hard that it was all I could to do stand up, and the same tremor made it hard to speak. “I – I’m Martin. Martin Maier. Rabbi Geller’s my uncle, on my mom’s side. – You know who that woman, the one on the ground in that *messhugginner* getup, is?” “I’ve no idea.” “She’s – that’s Phyllis Bernstein! She teaches English out at the University. She lives right *here*, about two houses away from Debby’s, and a couple of blocks over from *us!* She’s – why those, those *schmutsik* *oyringlen*?!” he cried, outraged. “She goes to Beth Miqlam, where Uncle Ben’s the rabbi! We all know her! What is she *doing*, dressed up like some Nazi whore?! She’s *Jewish*!” “Dear God – she told me her name was ‘Phyllis *Teysa*.’ She said she came from *Ohio*!” “Well, she *was* both there – but she and her parents have lived *here* for the last *twenty-five years!* My mom knows *her* mom! She’s known our whole family for *years*!” “Martin – I need your help!” cried Rabbi Geller, who was still doing his best to keep Debby from hurting herself. “Debby’s choking! I can’t get a hand free to depress her tongue, I need help!” “Coming, Uncle Ben!” Martin ran over to help his uncle. “Oh, God, did you find Debby? Is my baby – oh God!” It was Sarah Rothberg, who had finally caught up with the others. Utterly distraught, seeing Rabbi Geller kneeling astride her child, who was beginning to turn blue, she began to wail, a wordless, horrifying cry of total despair. Martin was doing his best to try to get a handkerchief I’d dug out of my pocket for him into the little girl’s mouth, but was having the devil’s own time of it – Debby bit at him savagely every time he tried. 
Falling to her knees beside her thrashing child, Mrs. Rothberg grabbed Debby’s jaws with the terrible strength of a woman in terror for the life of her child. Slowly, digging her fingers into the corners of Debby’s mouth and down against the muscle where the girl’s jaws came together, she forced Debby’s mouth wide open. “Put it in!” she ordered Martin. “Now!
Gingerly the boy pushed the wadded-up handkerchief into the child’s mouth, yanking his hand back as soon as he succeeded to keep Debby from biting him. But the handkerchief, which was large and made of sailcloth, was now firmly wedged in Debby’s mouth, completely blocking her attempts to bite, as well as keeping her from swallowing her tongue.
However, the handkerchief also made it completely impossible for Debby to breathe. Debby passed out from lack of air, and stopped thrashing. Now that the danger of being bitten by her was over, it was an easy matter for Mrs. Rothberg to pry open her daughter’s mouth again, dig out the handkerchief, and start mouth-to-mouth respiration.
Lieutenant Benson called to Rabbi Geller, grunting with effort, “Hey, Rabbi – if you aren’t doing now, would you go call Headquarters for me? Tell ‘em what’s going on here? And call an ambulance for these two – this one’s wigged out of her mind! How’s the little girl?” Benson was breathing hard from the effort of trying to control Phyllis’s wildly thrashing body. Sweat ran off his face in streams, and had already stained his shirt heavily, in spite of the fact that he’d left his jacket behind somewhere and the evening’s chill was coming on.
“She’s – she seems to have passed out. Yeah. I’ll go make that call – Martin, you stay here with the others, and help Sarah if she needs a hand with Debby or anything! I’ll be right back.” Staggering to his feet, he took off running down the path toward the houses east of the school.
All this time, Phyllis still thrashed and moaned, muttering incomprehensible phrases all the while, doing her best to try to bash her own brains out on the ground in spite of Benson’s and McKnight’s best efforts at controlling her. She was never to regain any semblance of coherency or sanity again – just as little Debby would remain in a catatonic trance for many years to come, long after she’d recovered completely from the effects of temporary strangulation.
It was some time before Rabbi Geller returned. When he did, it was in a police car, one of three units dispatched to the scene due to his frantic call to the station. An ambulance with three paramedics were right behind them. While he was gone, Geller had thought to put on some clothes over his trunks; he and Martin had been swimming in the Rothberg’s pool when Sarah Rothberg came running out to tell them hysterically that Debby, who had supposedly been napping in her room, still recovering from the previous day’s shock, had disappeared again, this time apparently through the open window of her room. Geller and his nephew had only stopped long enough to pull on shoes before taking off to hunt for the child, whom they had imagined to be wandering around in a fugued daze somewhere. With sunset flaming across the west in peacock glory, and night coming on quickly, it was rapidly cooling down. Accordingly, Rabbi Geller had quickly pulled on some clothes once he’d reached the house; he’d also thought to bring some back with him for Martin, who was beginning to shiver by the time the cops and the ambulance arrived. By the time we got back to the Rothberg’s house, where Lieutenant Benson began to question us all over again, it had occurred to me that I could as easily be a suspect now as Ms. Bernstein. After all, all anyone had seen when they came busting in on us there in the school-yard was Phyllis Bernstein holding a gun on me, Debby covered with blood, and a dismembered kitten on the ground. It could as easily be assumed from all that facts at hand so far, I knew, that Ms. Bernstein had surprised me butchering that kitten and perhaps intending to do harm to Debby, and had pulled a gun on me to keep me from doing any further harm to the child. Phyllis’s admittedly weird costume wasn’t evidence, however strange it may have been, and what else was there? But right off the bat, Benson, smiling grimly, said to me in front of the others, “Well, *you’re* off the hook, Ms. Cutter – as luck would have it, Tom, here –“ he gestured at Tom McKnight, who sat off to the side of the room, looking queasy and grimly taking notes – “Tom and I were coming over to the school-yard with the others here, looking for Debby, when we heard voices behind those big oleander bushes there. “You see, I had called Mrs. Rothberg earlier today, to ask her if we could talk with Debby, to find out what, if anything, she could tell us about Mrs. Grace’s murder. – The name of the dead woman, you see, was Lucille Grace. She was quite well-known in the community, and very much liked. A terrible thing, her death, especially when you consider her husband and kids . . . “—Anyway, Debby was almost certainly a witness to that murder, and anything she could tell us would have helped us immensely in trying to find the killer – which was a Number One priority, considering how terrible it was. Well, Mrs. Rothberg wasn’t sure her daughter was up to it, understandably enough, after the shock the poor little kid had just been through, and she went to check on her, to find out if Debby was feeling well enough to talk with us. “She came back in a hurry to tell us that Debby was missing and that the window of the girl’s room was wide open. Mrs. Rothberg had no real idea of how long the girl had been done – it could have been anywhere up to about half an hour, which was how long it had been since Mrs. Rothberg – hell, *Sarah*. Mind if I call you that, Ma’am?” he asked her apologetically. Mrs. Rothberg, who’d been sitting huddled in a large overstuffed chair, weeping quietly all this time, shook her head dumbly without looking up or interrupting her muffled sobbing. “Thanks, Ma’am,” Benson told her. “– Anyway, up until then, as far as Sarah had known, Debby’d been in bed all day, still very ill from the shock she’d had. As ill as the kid seemed to be, it wasn’t likely she’d climbed out that window herself. “Well, under the circumstances, it seemed quite possible that she *had* been a witness to Mrs. Grace’s murder and that the killer might have come over here and kidnapped her, in order to take the little girl someplace and kill her, to eliminate the one witness to that murder. So Tom and I made tracks for the school, *fast* – it was the most likely place to start looking for tracks, whatever we could find, we thought. “Rabbi Geller and Martin were here, too. Sarah had called them this morning, before all this go started, and had asked them to come over. Not only is Rabbi Geller her rabbi, he’s an old friend of the family. So he came, and brought Martin, who was over helping his uncle fix a rose-trellis or something. And it was hot, and Sarah suggested they could go swimming if they wanted to – anyway, they were here, so they came along with Tom and I, to help us look for Debby. “So all of us had just about reached the school-yard, when Tom and I heard voices. It was you and Ms. Bernstein. We hung back to listen, make sure of what was going on, before we came on in to the school-yard and interrupted Ms. Bernstein’s attempt at another murder. We’ll testify in court as to what she said, which makes it glass-clear she murdered Mrs. Grace. “And even if it weren’t for that, Ms. Cutter, I’d *still* wonder what the hell that woman was doing in a God-damned *school-yard* with a .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol! – Not to mention being dressed up in that fantasy-Nazi outfit, like the belle of the Hitlerian ball or something! – She *is* Jewish, I gather?” Martin, still outraged, spoke up. “She sure is, Lieutenant Benson! She’s attended Beth Miqlam, our synagogue, for *years!*” 
Continued in Chapter 7
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2019.05.04 01:44 Justindigger30 Call the cops on me for metal detecting? Ok. You go to jail. Bye bye

So a little back story. I am now 30 but have been metal detecting as a hobby for 20 years and have found amazing items laying in the dirt.
So on to the story. The cast: CN-Crazy Neighbor AN-Awesome Neighbor PO-Cop Me- I will not abuse your intellect. Lol
So my family and I had just recently moved into this small neighborhood in Oklahoma City. Anytime I move anywhere I always have to pull out my trusty metal detector and do some therapeutic digging.
I had seen my neighbor lady and asked her if I could dig in her yard the following day since I was off work.
Me-Hey AN! I was wondering if tomorrow I could do some metal detecting in your yard? I can even show you the items I dig up.
AN-Sure! I have always wondered what was in my yard. My dad used to do that, but he died before he had the chance. I am working tomorrow, but you have my permission to dig as long as you fill in your holes.
Me- No problem. I'm sorry about your father.
AN-Its ok. Its nice to meet our new neighbors anyways.
So the next day after getting up, I went next door and layed my coil to the soil and started detecting. I found several wheat back pennies and silver dimes. (Wheat back pennies were minted 1909 to 1958 for those who don't know)
Just about the time I was halfway done with the front yard I hear through my head phones...
CN-Hey A$$hole!
I popped my head up and took off my headphones to see if someone was talking to me.
Me-I'm sorry? Who are you and why are you yelling at me like that?
CN-If you don't get off that property I'm calling the police! Your trespassing and destroying her property you peice of S;[email protected]
Me-Um I'm sorry but first of all I have permission to be here. You don't have any right to scream at me! You need something all you have to do is ask.
CN started at me on AN yard, yelling he's going to beat my A$$.
Me-You step any farther and I'll excersize my right to defend myself!
CN-I'm calling the police! Your going to get arrested!
Me-That's fine. Go right on ahead. I'll keep digging and I'll let the cops know you threatened to hit me!
CN headed back to his house and about 10 minutes later 2 cop cars pull up. Lol.
PO-Excuse me sir. We got a call from a neighbor that your trespassing on private property.
Me-No sir. I'm sorry you had to waste your time for this. I had gotten permission from my neighbor here to metal detect her yard yesterday. CN came outside and started cussing at me and threatened to beat me without even asking if I had permission. Even after I told him I had permission he still threatened me.
PO-Is it that neighbor? Pointing across the street.
Me- yes it was.
PO-I figured. He's a troublemaker. We get several calls from him quite often. Normally we just tell people to pay no mind to him. If he causes anymore trouble just call us.
CN-Why aren't y'all going to arrest him?! He's trespassing!
PO-CN we already talked to AN and she gave him her permission. So their has been no crime commited.
At this time CN started cussing up a storm and such that PO finally had enough and had him arrested for disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, threatening physical harm to someone and making a false police report.
After taking my statement and such they left with CN in tow. Didn't see him again outside his home.
Also I had found a 1940s Cub Scout pin that had turned out to be AN fathers when he was a kid. She cried and thanked me after I put it into a frame with a picture of the old 1940s Cub Scouts of America logo.
Thanks for any comments and for reading. Love to all.
submitted by Justindigger30 to wholesomestories [link] [comments]


2019.05.02 02:50 Justindigger30 Crazy old man tries to chase me off but gets arrested instead.

Not sure if this is the right place for this or not but... Here we go. Lol
So a little back story. I am now 30 but have been metal detecting as a hobby for 20 years and have found amazing items laying in the dirt.
So on to the story. The cast: CN-Crazy Neighbor AN-Awesome Neighbor PO-Cop Me- I will not abuse your intellect. Lol
So my family and I had just recently moved into this small neighborhood in Oklahoma City. Anytime I move anywhere I always have to pull out my trusty metal detector and do some therapeutic digging.
I had seen my neighbor lady and asked her if I could dig in her yard the following day since I was off work.
Me-Hey AN! I was wondering if tomorrow I could do some metal detecting in your yard? I can even show you the items I dig up.
AN-Sure! I have always wondered what was in my yard. My dad used to do that, but he died before he had the chance. I am working tomorrow, but you have my permission to dig as long as you fill in your holes.
Me- No problem. I'm sorry about your father.
AN-Its ok. Its nice to meet our new neighbors anyways.
So the next day after getting up, I went next door and layed my coil to the soil and started detecting. I found several wheat back pennies and silver dimes. (Wheat back pennies were minted 1909 to 1958 for those who don't know)
Just about the time I was halfway done with the front yard I hear through my head phones...
CN-Hey A$$hole!
I popped my head up and took off my headphones to see if someone was talking to me.
Me-I'm sorry? Who are you and why are you yelling at me like that?
CN-If you don't get off that property I'm calling the police! Your trespassing and destroying her property you peice of S;[email protected]
Me-Um I'm sorry but first of all I have permission to be here. You don't have any right to scream at me! You need something all you have to do is ask.
CN started at me on AN yard, yelling he's going to beat my A$$.
Me-You step any farther and I'll excersize my right to defend myself!
CN-I'm calling the police! Your going to get arrested!
Me-That's fine. Go right on ahead. I'll keep digging and I'll let the cops know you threatened to hit me!
CN headed back to his house and about 10 minutes later 2 cop cars pull up. Lol.
PO-Excuse me sir. We got a call from a neighbor that your trespassing on private property.
Me-No sir. I'm sorry you had to waste your time for this. I had gotten permission from my neighbor here to metal detect her yard yesterday. CN came outside and started cussing at me and threatened to beat me without even asking if I had permission. Even after I told him I had permission he still threatened me.
PO-Is it that neighbor? Pointing across the street.
Me- yes it was.
PO-I figured. He's a troublemaker. We get several calls from him quite often. Normally we just tell people to pay no mind to him. If he causes anymore trouble just call us.
CN-Why aren't y'all going to arrest him?! He's trespassing!
PO-CN we already talked to AN and she gave him her permission. So their has been no crime commited.
At this time CN started cussing up a storm and such that PO finally had enough and had him arrested for disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, threatening physical harm to someone and making a false police report.
After taking my statement and such they left with CN in tow. Didn't see him again outside his home.
Also I had found a 1940s Cub Scout pin that had turned out to be AN fathers when he was a kid. She cried and thanked me after I put it into a frame with a picture of the old 1940s Cub Scouts of America logo.
Thanks for any comments and for reading. Love to all.
submitted by Justindigger30 to EntitledPeople [link] [comments]


2019.05.01 19:54 awildpotato We need to get the logo changed back

EDIT: Here is the link to the change.org petition
I think I speak for the majority of the student body in saying that the new shield doesn't represent the university. We had a wonderful shield that represented the history of the university, and now we have a cub scout merit badge/for profit university /USSR themed logo. If SimpsonScarborough had listened to the feedback myself and other students had given them during the survey process, this redesign would have never happened.
When was the last time you saw any other prestigious college change their branding? Harvard hasn't changed theirs in 200 years. If we don't fight back on this, we'll end up like Pomona did last year, stuck with a medical supply company logo. In Pomona's case, nobody really fought back, so nothing changed.
There is hope for us. A similar thing happened in the UC system, where the administration tried to rebrand their seal with a "modern" design that looked terrible. However, the UC students banded together and made their voice heard, eventually getting the old seal restored.
If we can bring our unhappiness with the Administration to the attention, they might be forced to change it back, or at least consider a different design. Some possible ideas I had.
  1. Make a change.org petition
  2. Make a post on the parents page
  3. Print out flyers and put them up around school
  4. Protest
Edit: adding some more ideas
Thank you for reading this, and if we can work together, we might be able to fix the mistake that administration made.
submitted by awildpotato to CalPoly [link] [comments]


2019.03.16 15:58 cardith_lorda Your 2019 Season Survival Guide and New Fan Introduction to Baseball

Welcome to the 2020 MLB Season! We are so glad you are here. Don't let the length of this post scare you, we just wanted to consolidate all the relevant information that people have questions about into one place to start the season off. This is your survival guide for the 2020 season, it should have all the pertinent information to answer most of your questions!
If you are a brand new fan I'd recommend going through most of it, if you're a veteran you'll know which sections you'll want to read by their headings. My goal here is that both new and returning fans can learn how to better enjoy the season and know what's going on on Baseball this year. Okay, take some time and read through what you want to read through below!
This is the fourth year of doing this. Every year I go through the previous years comments to find things that should be added or corrected for the next edition, so if you have any great resources or information that you think would be beneficial to add, please comment it below!
Sections:

Introduction for new and renewed interest fans.

Baseball normally has a long season. I don't just mean that in terms of time between opening day and the World Series (which can be considered long as it is), but also the 162 games played in 183 days, 18-20 times against the same 4 teams each. It can be daunting, and many people lose interest by "the dog days" of June and July. This year things are going to be a little different. With only 60 games on the schedule (assuming we make it through without a major clubhouse covid outbreak that cancels games versus that team) every game is going to matter about 3x as much as one in a normal regular season. Tensions will be high, but we might not feel it because there won't be that much crowd noise. THAT SAID - they're still playing 60 games in 66 days, which means almost every day for the next two months isn't just packed with baseball, they're packed with YOUR FAVORITE TEAMS baseball, which while exciting after months without any American sports in the regular season (MLS - a tournament is not the regular season) can end up feeling overwhelming when you just finished watching a late game go into extras then wake up to realize there's an afternoon game on in six hours.
This guide is meant to help you if you wish to avoid being one of those who feels overwhelmed and loses interest a couple weeks after Opening Day.
First and foremost if you are a new fan or newly returning, you must remember one thing: you do not need to watch every game. Many football fans, and even some basketball and hockey fans, find this difficult, they're used to setting aside a few nights a week to watch their team, and they can watch all the games. Baseball isn't like that. For the next two months, your team will only have 6 days where they won't be playing a game. And some of the games they play will start as early as 9:20am (Pacific Time), others will end after 1am (Eastern Time). If you miss a game it's okay, odds are there's another one tomorrow. If you miss a week, no big deal, hell if you get busy for a few months and aren't able to watch you team, that's not an issue, because you can still follow your team.
Baseball is a game to be followed. In the old days it meant picking up the morning paper and checking the box scores. Now it means being able to have a final score texted/tweeted/messaged/emailed/what-evered to you the minute the game ends, or rolling over in bed when you can't sleep and grabbing your phone to check the West Coast scores. It means being able to check reddit in the morning to see any breaking news from across the league, or catch a story you missed. We live in a time where you can go to MLB.com and get a recap of every game from last night in less than 10 minutes. Honestly, baseball was made to be consumed, and the technology age makes it easier than ever, whether you want to spend hours every day pouring over stats and analysis, or 15 seconds to see how your team and their playoff rivals did today.
The rest of this guide is mostly dedicated to ways that you can help yourself follow your team, and if you have time follow the entirety of MLB.
Anyways, enough rambling, TL;DR Don't worry if you miss games, there'll be one tomorrow.

Finding a Team

I always recommend following the local team since you'll have more access to news about them in the local media and should be able to get their radio broadcast, as well as TV broadcasts of them if you have cable/satellite/streaming, and depending on where you're at the occasional over the air game, but if you don't live by a team or don't want to follow the local team, or are just looking for a second team to follow, I wrote this in depth guide to picking a team that's the right fit for you.

Knowing Where Different Teams Stand

Every year ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX, NBS, and every other sports related site puts out their season previews. These are great for getting a basic rundown of what is going on with each team, and a simple google search will bring up a plethora of possible articles to read.
If what you really want is a fans perspective on what each team's expectations condensed into a few short comments, I'd highly recommend going through each teams day from our annual "Why will X team exceed expectations?" series. All the previous posts are linked in the Dodgers thread, with the series finishing up with the Astros thread before the season starts, so stay tuned!

Baseball

Alright, so plugging baseball on baseball seems a bit redundant, but I think it's a good reminder that this is a great hub for all your MLB news throughout the season while still letting you see the occasional amazing college/minor league/foreign league performance.
During the season there are a number of features to keep you informed of all the goings on around baseball.
Every day of the season (and a portion of the offseason) we have General Discussion threads we call Around the Horn. These are great places to ask questions and discuss anything that you want to know about baseball but don't feel like it deserves it's own post. This is also a place where you may see some ridiculous comments, usually stemming from a lost bet (see Wednesdays below for more info on that.) In the Around the Horn post you'll be able to see a full schedule of what is going on around Baseball every week.
During the week we run a number of features. Please note that we are still unsure of exactly what features we will be running this year. We have added a number of new mods and some other mods (cough me included cough) are stepping back a bit this year and we haven't fully decided on what features to continue, cut, and add. Here are some examples of what was run last year.:
Monday: Power Rankings - A team of 30 fans from every team in baseball, led by masochist fearless leader kasutori_jack, releases their composite power rankings of the 30 teams. This leads to well thought out discussions and some in depth analysis, as well as salty fans crying about how their team is underrated (there may be more of the latter than the former, but it's still a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of how every team is doing).
Monday (Unofficial) - The last few years thekmanpwnudwn has posted a State of the Subreddits post that gives the top post from each team's subreddit from the last week. This is a great roundup post for staying up to date on what all the different team fandoms are feeling, and helps you catch any milestones you might have otherwise missed.
Tuesday: Weekly Awards - Led by lemcoe9 a different team of a fan from every team releases the results of their weekly (and monthly) voting for who the best position player and pitcher was since the last vote was taken. Once again, a great way to keep track of which players are on hot streaks, and who's dominating the league.
Wednesday: Got an idea? Let us know.
Thursdays: Division Discussions - We rotate between the Easts, Centrals, and Wests to do some more in depth talk about where the playoff races and teams stand. If you only have time for one baseball thread every week and want to keep up with the league, this is the thread to set aside time for.
Friday: Trash Talk/Compliment/Complaint - FRIDAYS ARE FUN DAYS, WE ROTATE BETWEEN TRASH TALK, COMPLIMENT, TRASH TALK, AND COMPLAIN THREADS! TRADITION STATES ALL COMMENTS BE IN ALL CAPS AND ENDING IN EXCLAMATION POINTS! WE ROTATE RATHER THAN HAVE A SET DAY FOR EACH ALL SEASON BECAUSE IT'S A LONG SEASON AND ANY ONE OF THE THREE THREADS CAN GET STALE FAST IF YOU DON'T LEAVE TIME FOR MORE AMMUNITION!
Saturday: Saturday is when we usually plug in occasional things that don't necessarily deserve weekly attention. Things like in depth stat discussions, memorobilia sharing, craft projects, etc.
Sunday: Game of the Week - Sunday is the one day a week where we get together as a subreddit to watch a baseball game together, since it's the one time every week where there's only one game going on and there's guaranteed to be a game. The Sunday Night Baseball game thread is usually posted a couple hours before the first pitch.
In addition the playoffs, and select premier match-ups (mostly at the very end of the season where there is a lot riding on a regular season game) we host game threads for all baseball users. These are neutral thread, for more info on less neutral ones skip to the next section. We may experiment with game threads in baseball for the MLB.tv Free Game of the Day this year.
In addition to all these features, it really is a great place to keep up with breaking news and highlights. It'll be posted here minutes after someone tweets it, and long before it's on MLB.com. Team beat writers get the stories first, and it's easier to check in here a couple times a day than follow every one of them. Plus there's something the kids are calling "dank memes" (but not too many, because us mods don't allow too much moisture to get into the servers).

Your Team's Subreddit (And other team subs as well)

The mods at baseball have one goal - help you have the best possible reddit baseball experience, and a LOT of that is helping you get connected to other fans of your team (which feels a little like a cop-out because it means less work for us if you're doing more on your team's sub, but your team's mods aren't complaining.)
One of the main draws of team subs (other than in depth discussion with like-fan-minded users, getting breaking news and analysis on your team, team-memes, and other reddit discussions that come up from a group of individuals who can agree on one thing) are game threads. At this time (to the best of my knowledge) every team sub hosts game threads for their team's games, and you can easily access them in the sidebar during the season by clicking on the team's logo in the schedule (we're working on getting that up to speed, MLB changed some parts of their RSS and background data and we've had to work around that to get our automated system back up). We like to keep the game threads in team subs for a few reasons, one of which is we want to support the team subs and send them relevant traffic when we can because they really do an amazing job, another is because with 15 games a day this place would look like crap if we had game threads for every game or let users post them as they please (we've tried it, it blots out news, discussion, and highlights and looks like crap, baseball doesn't have only a couple days set aside for games or focus on marquee match ups like many other sports, it's 2430 games played in 183 days and is better when it's spread out.)
Even if you're not a game thread person though, getting connected with a good team sub can make disappointing seasons more bearable, and great seasons more exciting, and I know plenty of users that said that their team's sub basically keeps them fans. Team subs are also a great place to get connected to...

Twitter, Podcasts, and other General News/Analysis Sources

Going to be honest here, I don't use twitter and I do not frequently read other people's blogs. I know many people do and enjoy it, and I believe the best way to find the people to follow/sites to visit that interest you the most are to hang around your team's sub and note which Tweets/Sites that are linked to that most often peak your interest. Your list of favorite baseball writers is going to be different than my favorite list, and finding the right twitter personalities, podcasts hosts, and bloggers can make game analysis more interesting for you even if your team is playing like crap and it's the middle of July.
Here are some common suggestions for some general baseball twitter accounts and podcasts to get you started, but like I said, find what you like and follow those:
Twitter
Account Account Account
@MLB @Ken_Rosenthal @Buster_ESPN
@jonmorosi @mlbtraderumors @MiLB
@JeffPassan @MLBInjuryNews @BNightengale
@keithlaw @based_ball @SamMillerBB
@jonahkeri @BaseballAmerica @brooksbaseball
@BenLindbergh @ChrisCotillo @mike_petriello
@MJ_Baumann @FanRagSports @TheAthleticMLB
@fangraphs @baseballprospectus @baseball_ref
@daynperry @CBSSportsMLB @CespedesBBQ
@GrantBrisbee @JonHeyman @cantpitch
@MLBRosterMoves @darenw @extrabaggs
Podcasts
Account Account Account
Effectively Wild Baseball Tonight The Ringer

The Statistical Titans: Baseball Reference and Fangraphs

Literally every day you will find a link or to BaseballReference.com or Fangraphs.com here, it's a given, and it's because these are the two most extensive free baseball databases that are easy to navigate. If you want to look up anything about baseball history, check Baseball Reference, if you want to look up how players stack up with non-proprietary advanced metrics or read an insightful blog post about why someone is overrated/underrated or overperforming/underperforming, check Fangraphs. With these two sites you have all the stats and figures you need to make a competent argument for basically anything you want with a little cherry picking.
A large part of the modern baseball world is statistics and you're going to find yourself getting more immersed in discussing the game if you can get a handle on all the terms getting thrown around. If you are brand new to baseball, take a little while to get to know the game before diving into these sites, but if you have a handle on the basics and are ready to know what this WAR everyone is talking about is, dive into the glossaries and find the statistics.
When you get the basics, creating your own analysis doesn't seem as daunting, and one of the reasons I love baseball is that I can deconstruct pretty much every play and find some meaning behind it. If you are like that and enjoy numbers, theoretical projections, and breaking things down into simple figures before reconstructing them into something long and beautiful, then learning the basics of sabrmetrics will make you a baseball fan for life. If, on the other hand, you just want to enjoy the game for the beautiful pastime that it is by watching, then we've got a little bit to go through...

Where to Watch? - Your TV and Streaming Guide

So a big part of baseball is, you know, actually being able to watch the games (though as I talk about at the end, it might not necessarily be the case for you, and that doesn't mean you can't enjoy baseball, skip down and see what I'm talking about in the final section).
First off, if you are looking for free games to watch, you are in luck! MLB.tv streams one game a day for free on MLB.com and Yahoo.com. These games are subject to local blackouts (details on those in the MLB.tv section) but are definitely worth watching if you're trying to see if you'll enjoy baseball, or just need a free baseball fix. Facebook is also streaming one game a week during the season for free. The other free games available are from May 18 to July 13 on Saturday night and Thursday nights in September when FOX airs games on their OTA affiliated networks. Believe it or not, TV antennas still work in most areas, and these games are free to watch. Some teams also broadcast select games on OTA networks in their region, for instance, the Yankees are airing 21 games on WPIX (which if you have cable you might have access to even if you don't live in New York!)
Okay, so now the more expensive stuff. If you have even the most basic cable package (or log in information) you probably have ESPN. ESPN airs games every Sunday Night as well as Wednesday Night and Opening Weekend. These games are also available on ESPN Go. They are also carrying the two Japan Opener games thiscoming week.
You also probably have a regional sports channel. This is where almost all of your local teams games will be aired. Here is a decent breakdown of every team and what network they are carried on.
TBS is also on even the most basic networks, they air games the final 13 Sundays of the regular season in the afternoon.
FS1 and FOX carry baseball games almost every Saturday of the season, and MLB Network carries games pretty much every day.
A list of currently scheduled national broadcasts is available here, not all games have been chosen so there will be more added to the list.
For all these networks (except for the Dodgers, Orioles, and Nationals regional networks) there are options to stream the games online provided you have cable login information for the channel. During the playoffs FS1, TBS, and MLB Network will carry most of the games, with ESPN carrying a wild card game and FOX carrying the World Series.
Now there are also streaming services that grant access to most of the previously mentioned channels:
  • Sling TV Orange package gets you ESPN, ESPN 2, and TBS.
  • Sling TV Blue package gets you FOX, FS1, FS2, TBS, and most regional sports networks.
  • Youtube TV gets you FOX, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, TBS, MLB Network, and some regional sports networks.
  • HULU Live gets you FOX, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, FS2, TBS, and your regional sports networks.
  • Playstation Vue Access gets you FOX, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, FS2, and TBS.
  • Playstation Vue Core adds MLB Network to the Access channels.
  • Playstation Vue Sports Extra adds regional sports networks in addition to your other channels.
  • AT&T TV Now Live a Little gets you FOX, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, and TBS and your regional sports networks.
  • AT&T TV Now Just Right adds MLB Network to the Live a Little channels.
  • AT&T TV Now Go Big adds FS2 to the Just Right channels.
  • FUBO Premier gets you FOX, FS1, and your regional sports networks
Also, ESPN+ will carry select games pretty much daily throughout the season.

MLB.TV - the Ultimate Fan Investment

Alright, so a few things to cover with this, first of all YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO LEGALLY STREAM IN MARKET GAMES IF YOU LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES. MLB.tv uses your IP address to see where you are located, and if it pings back that you are in a team's home market it will not let you watch the game LIVE. Here is where you can find what games MLB.tv will black you out from. National broadcasts on ESPN, FOX, and TBS are also subject to blackouts within the United States (MLB Network games are not). Before you ask, yes there are less than legal ways to get around this (spoofing your IP address, subreddit dedicated to mlb streams, etc.), but I won't be talking about those in detail here. IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA, YOU WILL HAVE NO BLACKOUTS.
Even if you are blacked out, you will be able to watch the game 90 minutes after it finishes, so if you work a late shift or stay up late it might be worth it for you anyways even if you only want to follow one team.
Military members and college students, don't forget to apply your 35% discount!
"But I don't want to watch EVERY out of market game, I just want to watch MY team!" Cool, for $25 less there's a single team option that will allow you to watch all your team's non-blacked out games! Personally, I'd pay the extra $25 for the opportunity to watch every Kershaw, Bumgarner, and Scherzer start, or put the Cubs on in the background while working on a Friday afternoon, but to each their own.
"But I don't want to commit for a full year!" That's okay, there's a monthly option as well in case you know there are months where you can't watch as much.
Some of the fun features of MLB.tv include the ability to watch four games at once and quickly swap your audio from one to another (seriously, I'm never on commercial break when I'm watching baseball, unless there's only one game on I'm able to watch it all, and in September that's huge) and condensed games. What are condensed games? They go through and cut out all the time between pitches and innings, meaning if you want to watch a whole game in less than a half hour (or are searching desperately for a play to make a .gif or streamable out of that for some reason isn't considered a highlight) it's really easy. If you're someone who really wants to get into the game but can't figure out how to grind through watching a full game, Condensed Games are great for keeping up with a team while you learn the little details between pitches that somehow make watching the catcher twiddle his fingers exciting for some fans.
Also, new this year, MLB has added some great baseball documentaries to your MLB.tv subscription, giving you access to more than just games for the first time.
In addition, there are two great resources to enhance your total immersion into baseball if there are multiple games going on. Please note for both of these you must already be logged into MLB.tv to make them work. The first, and most basic, is Brooks Baseball's MLB.TV Redzone. It will automatically take you to the highest leverage game going on, and will automatically shift you to another game between innings OR if another game enters a higher leverage situation. For a more personalized touch, The Baseball Guage has MLB.TV Game Changer which lets you customize your preferences so MLB.tv will always switch to the game that is most relevant to you. This is great if you play fantasy and want to keep up with your players, are waiting for someone to hit a milestone, or if you want to make sure your action is broken into to follow a no-hitter in progress.
It also gives you a free subscription to...

MLB AtBat - The Most Underrated Way to Stay Connected to Baseball

MLB AtBat is MLB's official application. It comes in two versions, the free version which has ads but is useful for keeping up to date with all the scores, and the paid version ($19.99 for the year of $2.99 monthly) which gives you access to ad-free content, Gameday on your mobile device, and (most valuable) access to every team's radio stream for every game during the season and postseason completely blackout free. If there's a day game, you can bet I'm listening to it at work, if I'm mowing the lawn on a Saturday I'm listening to a game, when I can't sleep at night, on comes a West Coast game. To get the paid version you must download the free version, then subscribe within the app, or log into an MLB account that has MLB.tv.
Baseball was made to be on the radio, it's a sport that is very easy to follow the action with the right announcer. At work (or school) it's great because you can half listen, and when the announcer gets excited you can instantly tune back in to hear what's going on. This is the most underrated way to stay connected to your team throughout the year. Before I could afford MLB.tv, this was the way to go, and it honestly makes me question every year whether getting the MLB.tv package is worth is when I can get 80% of the entertainment value from listening to the games (and every year I manage to forget to unsubscribe, for many reasons listed above).
Gameday on mobile is also a great feature, it lets you quickly check in on the action during brief recesses in meetings (or under the table during meetings), or breaks between classes (or under a desk in classes). This is honestly my primary means of keeping track of Twins games throughout the year. My wife thinks I'm crazy when I could just watch the game, but instead am nervously checking my phone every couple minutes. IF I WATCH I JINX THE TEAM, HONEY!

How to watch baseball?

So this is a question that we get from many new fans who are just trying to figure out what the hell is going on and why people find this game so fascinating. I'll get the elephant in the room out of the way, yes there are some "boring" parts of watching baseball on TV. The camera fans to a batter spitting and adjusting his gloves, the pitcher adjusts his crotch then licks his fingers, random shots of a bored looking manager, etc. When you are actually at the ballpark you can be watching where the catcher and fielders set up to try to predict the pitch that is coming (read The Hidden Language of Baseball by Paul Dickson for some great insight into how to interpret this), but on TV it's not usually the case. This is where I have some suggestions for new fans trying to get into it.
First off, if you are looking for just a relaxing day, embrace the slow pace with a beer and veg out on the couch while watching. It's meant to be slow and relaxing (until it gets tense and exciting, usually with runners on). Seriously, when was the last time you just sat and did nothing? Mid July afternoon games are a perfect way to reach that zen of half-consciousness, until something happens to get you sucked into the action.
Another option to stay engaged is keeping score. I find keeping score relaxing and looking back through a scorebook can be fun to see what you were doing a few years ago (except for that damn unfinished scorecard from 2015 where A-Rod hit the most predictable home run in Twins-Yankees history and I sent my scorecard flying to the other side of the room). As NPR once put it, keeping score is a knowledge making activity, and if you have the time and patience for it it is a great way to learn the game. There are a couple different guides to keeping score, and most scorebooks/cards will have a brief example of how to do so. If you have any questions, the Around the Horn thread is a great place to ask!
Gamethreads are another way to get together with other baseball fans and pass the time between pitches, especially in team subs you get to know the regulars and conversations start to wonder away from baseball at times throughout the game, and that's fine. Baseball is an excuse to enjoy a summer day.
For those that want to actually understand what is going on during that time, though, there are some options. Watching Baseball Smarter by Zack Hample (who despite his reputation on this subreddit knows some stuff and actually pops in from time to time to comment on different things) is a good starting place for new fans. Baseball for Dummies and The Complete Idiots Guide to Baseball are also good starting points for those willing to sit and read for a little bit.
For those who don't want to read a book, I guess I can touch on what I'm looking for between pitches. A big part of baseball is pitch selection, so scouting out a pitchers repertoire of pitches is a good starting point, BrooksBaseball.net has great cheat sheets on every pitcher in the game, and PitcherList.com has a visual example of each pitcher's pitches so you can see what you can be looking for. Anyways, I mention that because the whole reason the catcher is twiddling his fingers behind the plate is to go over with the pitcher what pitch is going to be thrown. What I'm watching for between pitches is where the catcher is setting up behind the plate and guessing which pitch is going to be thrown. A 2-0 and 3-1 count are known as hitters counts because the pitcher needs to throw a strike or risk walking the batter, when the count reaches either of those pay attention, because the hitters going to be looking for his perfect pitch and there's probably going to be some action on the field. 0-1, 0-2, and 1-2 are pitcher's counts, look for curveball, slider or other somewhat nasty pitch to be thrown to get the batter to swing at a bad pitch, or a fastball inside to catch them off guard. If you have any questions about this, go ahead and ask in an around the horn thread.

Where to watch highlights and game recaps.

There are many many places to see highlights and game recaps, this is not an exhaustive list, but is a good start.
For highlights, bigger highlights will often be posed here on baseball a few minutes after they occur, if you wish to post them please familiarize yourself with the subreddit rules. They also appear relatively quickly on MLB.com in each games Gameday area. For a pretty slick collection of highlights from across MLB, https://baseball.theate is a great place to exclusively watch highlights.
There are a few ways to get great game recaps. If you have MLB Network, every day Quick Pitch is an hour-long show that recaps every game from the previous day. It usually starts after MLB Tonight (about 10pm EDT) or whatever game MLB Network is showing finishes up, and runs until 10am EDT the next day. MLB.com also puts out recaps of every game by the next morning, usually a 2-5 minutes quick rundown of highlights that can be found on the game recap. It also puts out Fastcast videos on youtube and their website every morning which has a brief rundown of all the games from the previous day. Here's an example of a Fastcast from last season.
If you want one concise place to see most of these, efitz11 was amazing last season and posted video links to every game recap and fastcast in the daily Around the Horn thread. Here's an example. I am unsure if they plan to continue it this year, but it would be surely appreciated!

TL;DR Finding what you enjoy about the game.

When it boils down to it, baseball is about finding entertainment and enjoyment, and don't let anyone try to tell you how to enjoy baseball. If you want nothing to do with statistical analysis and just want to enjoy what's going on on the field, don't let anyone tell you you aren't enough of a fan, and if you want to dissect a player into their strengths and components using statcast and advanced metrics don't let anyone tell you you're reading into the game too much. You can follow one team, and only one team, or you can follow multiple teams, don't let anyone tell you you're not a true fan for wearing another team's gear or enjoying their games. You might enjoy bat flips and flamboyance, or reserved speedy home run trots. You might not even enjoy physically watching a game (especially not if your team isn't playing), but find yourself loving keeping track of your team through the season and tracking your players or maybe just the thrill of the standings race and scoreboard watching or maybe you just love all the numbers that get thrown around and arguing about their relevancy. That's okay, eventually I believe enjoyment of the game itself will come, but even if it doesn't, the long baseball season is still creating a place of enjoyment for you, and that's what matters. If you have any questions, once again, feel free to ask them in our daily Around the Horn thread, or below in the comments, or if you really want to feel free to PM with questions and I'd be happy to answer.
So watch games this week and join in the discussion here, you'll naturally find yourself gravitating towards certain players or teams and enjoying different aspects of the game. Baseball is a long season, find what you enjoy, stick to it, dwell on it, and enjoy it.
TL;DR for the TL;DR - Baseball is fun
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2018.09.18 08:15 JenniferKFreemann [PDF] Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

[PDF] Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

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Details of Book
Author : Mindy Mejia
Language : English
ISBN : B07CML1949
Number of pages : 336 pages
Editor : Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Date of Publication : September 4th 2018

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From the author of the “compelling” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis) and critically acclaimed Everything You Want Me to Be, a riveting and suspenseful thriller about the mysterious disappearance of a boy and his stunning return ten years later.
There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned.
Search teams found their campsite ravaged by what looked like a bear. They were presumed dead until a decade later...the son appeared. Discovered while ransacking an outfitter store, he was violent and uncommunicative and sent to a psychiatric facility. Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist, is charged with making a connection with their high-profile patient. No matter how she tries, however, he refuses to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life
But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy who is no longer a boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.

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2018.07.12 16:52 -TheInspector- Faith

“Have you ever seen an angel?” the man asked.
Father Damian glanced up from his hymnal, startled. “Excuse me?” he said. It was the first time the man in the black jacket had spoken since he’d walked into the chapel, and the priest wasn’t sure he’d heard him right.
“I said, have you ever seen an angel?” the man repeated. “Because I have. I saw one just the other day and I haven’t been able to sleep since.”
Father Damian rested the hymnal on the chair beside him and took a closer look at the stranger in the next row. He looked like he was dressed up for work, although the poor man was a bit of a mess. There was week-old stubble growing on his chin and he seemed incapable of sitting still. If he wasn’t tapping his foot on the floor or fidgeting in his seat, he was playing with the end of his tie, kneading it through his fingers over and over again.
“What’s your name, son?” Father Damian asked.
The man cleared his throat. “Richard,” he answered, after a long pause. “Richard McLane.” He seemed reluctant to say anything else, although his eyes flicked to the stained glass windows above the altar. Whatever he saw up there made him shiver.
“Why don’t you tell me what you saw,” Father Damian said, lowering his voice to a murmur. He’d seen people like Richard come to confession enough times to know that the best course of action was to speak softly and only ask questions.
“I was just driving home from work,” Richard answered. “The traffic was getting pretty heavy, and I was kinda pissed, you know, because I wanted to get home before the sun went down. I’d gotten all the way to the Tappan Zee bridge when everything just kinda grinded to a halt. It had been a long day and I seriously wasn’t in the mood, you know? While everyone else sat around grumbling in their cars, I got out and went to see what was the holdup.”
“So what was it?” Damian asked.
“It was an accident. And not just any accident, either – the car was mashed against the side of the bridge, basically a dented hunk of metal. It sobered me up real fast.”
Father Damian raised an eyebrow at that, but Richard seemed too swept up in his story to notice. “And this… this guy was lying in the wreckage. He was twisted up bad, Father, like – like one of those bodies you see in movies and cop shows, you know? His neck was bent back way too far and there was this huge puddle of blood spreading everywhere. A few cops were standing around, yelling into their radios, but no one was doing anything to help the guy. I think they knew he had already checked out.”
Richard paused for a moment, closing his eyes. “A couple of other people had joined us, trying to see the accident, but there was this… this one guy who didn’t look right. He was wearing this stiff gray suit and he was just staring down at the body, totally silent. He didn’t look shocked or surprised or disgusted or anything. He was just staring. I kinda got the sense that he was waiting for something.
“Then the dead guy, he – he started to choke, you know? So I guess he wasn’t really dead after all. The cops started freaking out and shouting for an ambulance, but before they could do much of anything, the guy in the gray suit walked up to the body and leaned down next to it. He put his fingers on the man’s chest and all I can remember thinking was ‘wow, that guy has pale hands.’ Seriously – they were practically white, like snow. I don’t think the stuff that happened next weirded me out nearly as much as those hands. Then – then he –”
Richard seemed unable to say any more. He was clenching his jaw so hard his cheeks had started to turn red. “Go on,” Father Damian said. “What happened next? What did he do?”
“He stuck his hands into the guy’s chest,” Richard answered. “I’m pretty sure I shouted out or something, but I can’t remember. All I knew was that the man in the gray suit had his arms inside the body all the way up to the elbows, even though I couldn’t see a wound on the guy’s body or any kind of hole at all, really. And then – and then he pulled out his hands, and he was holding this little ball of light. It was tiny, but man, it was blinding. I couldn’t look right at it.” He took a steadying breath. “Wanna hear the weirdest part, though? Nobody else saw it happen.”
Father Damian wrinkled his brow. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, that light should have blinded everyone else standing around, but nobody cried out or covered their eyes or even looked away. And I’m positive nobody saw that as soon as the man pulled out that light, the guy on the ground stopped moving.”
Father Damian was quiet for a moment. “What are you saying, Richard?” he asked.
“The guy in the suit was some kind of angel, that’s what I’m saying! He took that guy’s… I don’t know, his soul or something, and just walked away with it. I wanted to follow him but I was too scared to move. I just watched as he strolled off down the bridge. And you know what? Just before I lost sight of him, I saw his wings. Not big, feathery-type wings – more of this wispy outline, not solid, not quite there. I only could see it in the mist.”
He threw up his arms, as if to say, there, that’s my story. It had been an impressive show, Father Damian had to admit, although it had taken its toll on the poor man. Richard’s eyes were wide and ringed by lack of sleep, and in his excitement he had started to breathe more heavily. His breaths had a moist, heaving quality, and the priest was reminded of the offhand remark Richard had thrown out at the beginning of his story.
“You said the site of the accident ‘sobered’ you up,” Father Damian said. “Were you drinking, Richard?”
The man’s face flushed a deep red. “I – well –” he stammered. “I may have been drinking, yeah. Sometimes I keep a flask in the car in case it’s a long ride home. Work’s just so stressful, you know, and I’ve got so much stuff to deal with, and sometimes I can’t wait til I get home to get a drink – but that’s not the point. I know what I saw!”
Father Damian was silent. You know what you think you saw, he thought wearily. He’d seen people like Richard a hundred times before. They were just a bundle of nerves, unreliable at best, always itching for that next drink or that next sweet high.
Sure enough, Richard had begun fidgeting in his seat, sweat breaking out on his forehead. He fumbled in the pocket of his jacket, pulling out a package of cigarettes and a beaten red lighter. His fingers were trembling as he plucked a cigarette from the pack and stuck it between his lips. “Do you mind if I take a smoke?” he asked.
Of course I mind, Father Damian thought in disbelief. This is a church, for Christ’s sake. But he kept his mouth shut. He knew this man would never relax if he didn’t get his fix. He could always sweep up the ashes and spray the place with a heavy dose of air freshener, and no one would ever have to know.
Richard flicked the lighter and raised the tiny flame to the end of his cigarette, but he stopped suddenly, a horrified look spreading across his face. “What am I doing?” he muttered. He spat the cigarette from his mouth and crammed it back in the package. Before he returned the box to his pocket, he stared blankly down at it, as if the red and white logo was a window into the past. Father Damian could almost see the memory of the man in the gray suit reflected in Richard’s eyes. He was scared for his life, the priest realized. Scared and humbled.
To his surprise, Damian felt a smile lift the corners of his lips. When was the last time he had smiled? An actual, genuine smile, not the phony smile he flashed to his congregation during sermons? It must have been a miracle.
“Maybe this is a sign,” he said at last. “Maybe someone’s watching over you, son. This could be the Lord’s way of telling you to turn your life around.”
Richard looked up at him. “Do you really think so, Father?”
Damian paused. “You just have to have faith,” he said. “God works in –”
“- in mysterious ways, yeah, I know,” Richard finished. He was silent for a moment. He lifted his eyes to the stained glass windows, where the evening light lit up the angelic faces of the saints. “Thanks, Father,” he said at last.
After a moment’s hesitation, Damian placed a hand on the man’s shoulder. “Go,” he murmured. “Live your life. Never forget that God is always with you.”
Richard nodded, his eyes glazed and distant. “I won’t,” he said. “I won’t forget, Father.”
They stayed that way for a few moments, but eventually Richard excused himself, gathering up his jacket and sliding out of the pew. He made his way back down the aisle, his shoes padding against the carpet, glancing back only once at Father Damian. Then he was gone.
The priest sighed, getting up from his own seat and walking toward the altar. He supposed he should tidy the place up a bit before he headed home, so he reached behind the curtain under the tabernacle where he’d stashed the bucket of cleaning supplies. As he did so, his thoughts turned back to Richard’s story, to that eerie image of the pale man in his suit. He wondered why the twitchy little man held such fascination for him. He was nothing special, really. Just another drunk claiming to have seen the act of God.
Now hold on, a little voice in his head tried to argue. You’ve seen plenty of drunks come through these doors, but this guy wasn’t one of them. Was he fidgety? Nervous? Sure. But not drunk. He knew exactly what he was saying, and he believed every word of it.
He heard the voice, but it was small and tinny, like noise from the far end of a tunnel. These kinds of thoughts were starting to feel like tiny buzzing flies – flies he couldn’t help but swat. It was unsettling how easily he found it to deny the presence of God. He was supposed to be a man of faith, after all. Why did he find it so hard to believe that angels could be walking the Earth?
It was because he was turning into a miserable old cynic, that was why, a hypocrite who grinned down from his pulpit every Sunday and preached the good word of the Lord, even though he himself thought the Lord had given up on him years ago. He had joined the church because he’d grown so, so tired of waking up every day and wondering where the hell his life was going. “You need religion, you sinful boy,” his Ma always used to say, and eventually he’d just thrown in the towel and stopped fighting her. He started attending church every Sunday, went to confession on a daily basis, and discovered a love for God that gave him the strength to leave his old life behind. He had become a priest three years later. He must have had faith at that point – he couldn’t imagine joining the priesthood with anything less than absolute devotion. But his well of belief had dried up years ago, and he could no longer remember how it felt to bask in the glory of the divine.
Damian wiped the dust from the tabernacle with a damp rag, staring wearily at his reflection. It was the face of a man twice his age. His black hair was slowly giving in to an advancing blanket of gray, and his cheeks had grown sallow and gaunt. It occurred to him that he looked like a corpse that had just crawled out of its grave. He wondered why people still bothered to come to his services, to come see a broken-down man like him.
How many years had it been, really? How many years since he’d actually thought of God as something more than just a mythical figure? For a frightening moment he was staring down a cold, barren hallway, afraid that his entire past was dark and godless. Then, tucked around the corner of the tunnel, he came across a memory that he’d almost forgotten. It was the fading sun through the stained glass that brought him back.
He’d been just a boy then, a Cub Scout hiking the Appalachian Trail with the rest of his pack. They’d been walking for hours and were searching for a clearing to pitch their tents and spend the night. As the procession marched on through the wilderness, the sun had cast its speckled light through the treetops, lighting up the forest in those same patches of gray and orange.
Damian couldn’t remember how he’d gotten separated from the rest of the pack. Maybe he’d stopped to tie his shoe, or fill his water bottle, or take a closer look at the patchy moss crawling up the side of some tree. All he knew was that he looked up once and found himself alone.
He should have just followed the trail, but he was seven and scared, and he wasn’t thinking clearly. Night had settled over the woods and the trees had come alive with the strange, sinister rustling of nature. He clutched his backpack and crunched his way through the blanket of leaves and roots, his eyes flying from side to side. It was pointless. Crickets chirped and leaves crackled, but he couldn’t make out anything in the blackness. He didn’t even have a flashlight. In his excitement for the trip, he’d forgotten to pack it with his gear the night before.
It wasn’t the creatures of the forest he feared, like wolves and bears and killer bees; it was the thought of dying that made his skin break out in cold sweat, the thought of wasting away in this wilderness, never to see his friends or family again, never to play with his puppy, never to eat homemade cookies or read scary stories under the covers. He had recognized his mortality for the very first time, and the fear of death had come upon him like a sickness. It was cold, paralyzing.
But when he finally slumped against a tree, too exhausted to run any further, he felt a sense of comfort sweep over him. It came out of nowhere, as if someone had draped a warm blanket across his shoulders. He had the distinct feeling that somebody was standing nearby, watching him, but for some reason this didn’t scare him. Whatever it was, this presence felt kind. Benevolent.
And then… well, he wasn’t exactly sure. Richard’s story about the angel in the gray suit was probably working its way into his memories. But above him, almost imperceptibly, he thought he had heard the heavy beating of wings.
He’d spent the night beneath the tree, sheltered by that invisible presence, too tired to dare venturing further into the woods. And in the morning, they had found him. His Scoutmaster had shouted himself hoarse until he came across the missing boy, and he could only remember the next few hours as a blur of faces and voices, some harsh and scolding, others just thankful he was alive. The watchful presence – whatever it had been – was long gone. But the memory of it lingered.
Father Damian paused, staring down at the damp rag. Come to think of it – after that camping trip, hadn’t he gone to church on his own for the first time in his life? His Ma always had to drag him to their stuffy old chapel on Sundays, but one evening he had walked the whole three miles there by himself. He’d never seen the place look so empty. Without all the cranky old ladies and the clouds of incense and the tuneless notes of the choir, the church finally felt like a sacred place to him.
After walking down the aisle, he’d gotten to his knees in one of the first pews he came to. For a moment he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do. Then he thought of the horrible fear that had gripped him in the woods, and the strange force that had watched over him in those dark hours, and he prayed. Aside from the halfhearted Our Fathers his Ma made him mutter before bed, it was his first time praying with intention. It was the first time he had spoken to a higher power and actually believed that somebody was up there listening.
He’d grown up, of course, and it had taken many years after that for the church to turn his life around. He just wondered why it was so hard for him nowadays to find that faith, that same blind innocence. When he was a kid, it was easy for him to hear a sound in the woods and believe God was watching over him. Now a man had just told him he’d seen an angel, and his only reaction was “he must be drunk.”
Damian stowed the supplies away with another sigh, his robes sagging on his shoulders. He’d had enough of cleaning for one night. It was just about time for him to make the long trip home and crawl back into bed, so he could get a few fitful hours of sleep and start all over again tomorrow.
Then footsteps sounded out from the rear of the church, and Father Damian turned his head, half-expecting to see Richard standing in the doorway. An elderly woman came clunking up the steps instead, her withered hands clenching a thin walking stick.
He felt a minor annoyance at having his evening plans interrupted, but Father Damian was relieved to see that he knew this woman. Maria Delgado had been appearing more and more frequently these days, and she always picked a pew as close to the altar as she could get, singing and praying and swaying to the sound of the choir. It was difficult for her to move, but she never asked for help from those around her. When it was time to rise, she would prop herself up on her cane and lift her head to the ceiling, belting out every psalm with as much force as she could muster.
Damian imagined that she must have been a real beauty when she was younger, but age had mottled her dark skin and given her a permanent stoop. The only youthful bit of her that remained was her smile – but Lord, what a smile it was. Wide and bright and mirthful, her teeth were still a pristine shade of white, even after age had taken so much from her. It was the smile of a woman who had many years left to live.
Unfortunately, Father Damian knew that Maria didn’t have nearly that long. She’d had a stroke several months ago and was slowly losing her eyesight to some unpronounceable brain disease. She would often talk with him after sermons about how she was coping with the pain, how she was trying her hardest to keep her faith in God, even when she knew the end was coming. Father Damian liked Maria, but every time she visited he could feel his heart breaking. She wasn’t the first old lady who had withered away in these pews, and she wasn’t the first person Damian had seen whose faith couldn’t save her.
The priest watched as Maria hobbled up to the first pew, taking a careful seat near the aisle.
“Buenas noches, Padre,” she said. “I have come to pray again.”
“Good evening to you too, Mrs. Delgado,” Damian replied. “How are you feeling? Still in a lot of pain?”
She peered up at him, squinting. “There’s still pain, but you know, I am okay,” she answered. “I’ve made my peace with the world.” After a moment’s thought, her lips parted, and Damian caught a glimpse of her youthful smile. “Soon I’ll be with the angels.”
The priest flinched at the last word, but the movement was slight, and he doubted that Maria had noticed.
“What about you, Padre?” the old woman asked warmly. “How are you feeling today?”
Dear Lord, Damian thought. Where on earth could he begin? How could he possibly say that he was too skeptical to believe in angels, even when a man had sat down in his church and claimed to have seen them with his own two eyes? How could he say that he’d become a cynical old bastard with no idea where his life was going? How could he say that he found it impossible to open his mind anymore, to believe in the presence of the divine? He couldn’t say any of that out loud. Especially not to this sweet, saintly woman who would be dead and buried in a matter of months.
His lips twisted into the phony sermon smile, but he found that he couldn’t bring himself to lie to this woman, and the smile crumpled at once. “To tell you the truth, Mrs. Delgado, I’ve been better,” he said. “I have all these questions hanging over me lately, and I don’t think they’ll ever be answered.”
Maria let out a chuckle, her cheeks crinkling into that bemused smile of hers. “We all have questions, Padre,” she replied. “Even the Blessed Mother Teresa had her moments of doubt. We spend our whole lives searching for answers, but we can never find them all. That’s why they call it faith.” Her eyes twinkled. “You of all people should know that.”
Of course I know, Father Damian thought. It’s just that faith is harder and harder for me to find these days.
The church fell into silence, and for a while Damian thought that the old woman was praying. Her beady eyes had glazed over, and it looked as though she had fallen into some holy reverie. Then she stirred, turning to look at Father Damian.
“We all have angels watching over us, you know,” she said. “I can tell that your faith is shaken, Padre. But they’re here, all around us. They guard us and protect us and when our time comes, they take us away.” She reached up suddenly, her gnarled fingers grabbing onto his own with surprising strength. “You must believe, Padre. You must believe.”
Her touch awoke a bitter, aching memory he’d tried to keep dormant, and all at once he was back in the dim shadows of that hospital room, and his Ma was clinging to his hand with emaciated fingers. Her skin was pale and blotchy, but his eyes were too teary to make out more than the blurred outline of her face. He had on his priestly cassock and was mumbling the words of her last rites, but his Ma was having none of it. She writhed and squirmed on her bed sheets, digging her nails into his palm. “You’re no man of God!” she spat at him. “God is just, God rewards the holy and punishes the corrupt, and you’ve corrupted me! Why else would he take me? Why else would he take one of his devout children?”
I love you, he wanted to say. I love you and I forgive you. But he couldn’t bring himself to speak to the shrieking woman on the bed, the woman who had done her best to force religion on him all his life, only to tear it away with her dying screams. Now he stared down at Maria and found that tears were spilling down his beaten cheeks. He gave her hand a gentle squeeze.
“You’re blessed,” he whispered to her. “You’re blessed and I’m not. I’ve got the congregation and the church community, but they don’t know me outside the walls of this chapel. I have no other family, no friends, no one but my dear old Ma, who’s lying six feet under in the chapel crypt and would probably still be damning me if she had the breath. How am I supposed to believe that God ever cared for me, that he’s sent angels to watch over me, to keep me safe?”
“Sssh,” Maria replied, stroking his fingers. “You are blessed, Padre. You have your angels and I have mine. Open your heart to God and you will see them for what they are. All you must do is have some faith.” The old woman’s smile was wide and beautiful, and in those moments she was transformed, her age and her illness unraveling from her like a spool of thread.
I want to, Father Damian thought, weeping, still gripping her withered hand. I want to believe, I want to have faith. I want it more than anything in the world. I just don’t know how I can find it.
After Maria had left, after Father Damian had finished dusting off the altar and straightening the hymnals, he closed the chapel doors behind him and locked them for the night. He had changed back into casual clothing and left his robes in the vestry for the next day. It was a ten minute walk from his church to the nearest train station, and he didn’t like drawing attention to himself out in public.
On his way to the station, he passed a group of Hispanic teenagers in do-rags and muscle shirts who were sitting on the front steps of an apartment complex. They nodded at the priest as he walked by, and Damian gave them his best forced smile. He had never felt entirely at home in this neighborhood, but at least the local residents always treated him with respect. For Maria and the other members of this community, faith was something to be admired.
He wondered if their opinion of him would change if they knew how his faith was shaken.
By the time he reached the train station and purchased a ticket to Brooklyn, it was almost six in the evening. As he stood at the edge of the platform, waiting for the train to arrive, he noticed a dusty blue newspaper box propped up against the side of the building. The headline drew his eye, and he walked over to peer through the dirty window at the sheet of paper beneath. He caught his breath as he read the title of the cover story:
ACCIDENT ON TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE KILLS 1, INJURES 3
Fumbling for some change, he dropped a few quarters into the box and pulled out one of the newspapers. Below the headline was a professional snapshot of the totaled car, around which hovered several policemen and a few scared bystanders. One of the officers had his face turned toward the camera and was shouting something to a person behind the photographer. The dead man’s body wasn’t shown, of course, but Father Damian could just barely see Richard McLane standing in the crowd of spectators. The twitchy man looked numb with horror, although the expression on his face wasn’t much different from the others around him.
Everything in this photograph matched Richard’s story to a T, except for one thing. There was no man in a gray suit. Father Damian scanned the picture a dozen times, but no matter how desperately he searched, he couldn’t find Richard’s angel.
There was a sharp blast of a whistle in the distance, and Father Damian turned to see the train making its way toward the station, sunlight flashing off its metal skin. It almost looked as if it were bursting through the sinking orange disk on the horizon. When the train pulled up beside the platform and ground to a halt, Father Damian stepped up to board it, holding his ticket in one sweaty hand and the newspaper in the other.
As he picked his seat in the center of the train carriage, his eyes fell again to the glaring headline. It seemed clear that no matter what Richard claimed to have seen, angels weren’t walking the streets of New York. So what had happened that night on the bridge? Had Richard simply imagined the whole thing? Had some combination of alcohol and sleep deprivation addled his brain? Or was it just easier for him to see the events of that night as an act from above, rather than a simple, tragic accident?
Hard, undeniable evidence, that was all Damian had wanted. Ever since his Ma had slipped away from him, ever since he had watched her seize on her bed sheets and pray for God to end her pain, he had needed answers. How could his mother, someone so pious, someone so devoted to the church, have been snatched away so suddenly? How could God have let her die when she was barely out of her forties, when Damian himself was trying to love her again – to love God again?
The only answers he could think of were that God didn’t exist, or he didn’t care, and both answers were so dangerous that for a while he tried to ignore those doubting voices. But he had gone through the motions, preaching and praying and carrying out the same tedious rituals day in and day out, and with each passing day he could feel his faith ebbing just a little bit more. When he had first taken up the vocation, he didn’t need proof to know that God was watching over him – he just knew. Believing was effortless. But after Ma’s passing, he needed more than blind reassurance from the words of dead prophets. He needed the one thing that priests could never have, the one quality that was so intrinsically absent from the notion of faith. He needed proof.
I want to believe, he thought again, clutching the folded newspaper against his chest. Oh God, why is it so hard to believe?
The train began to pull away from the station, and Father Damian stared out the window as they passed the platform, watching as the line of figures became a blur of patchy colors. He wondered how many of them believed in God, believed in angels, believed that miracles still existed outside of the Bible. He tried to catch each of their faces as he passed, but it was like trying to hold onto a patch of mist with his bare hands.
Father Damian settled back and stared down the length of the carriage, watching as the other passengers took their seats and waited for the conductor to punch their tickets. Many of them were also reading newspapers in the fading bursts of sunlight. Two old women in the seat behind him spoke in hushed voices, letting out the occasional burst of laughter, and a teenager in a blue hooded sweatshirt was sprawled across the pair of seats next to him. They were an eclectic group of people, brought together only by their common destination, and in some ways they reminded him of his congregation.
At the far end of the train, a man was staring out his window with a blank expression on his face. He had a cup of coffee in his lap but he didn’t sip from it. There was nothing particularly special about him, but for some reason, Father Damian felt drawn to him. The priest tried to imagine what was going on behind those impassive eyes.
Damian pictured the man sitting in a cubicle, trapped – like he was – in a life he’d grown tired of. He worked in tech support, maybe, or local government. It didn’t matter. Life in the office was arduous, grueling. Sometimes it was nearly enough to drive him mad. But every night, he would come home and kiss his wife and feed his dog and tuck his children into bed, and they were the ones who kept him going, the ones who kept the fire in his heart from dwindling.
He wasn’t perfect. He wasn’t an angel or a holy servant of God. But as long as he lived with that spark inside of him, he would be living with love and hope. And hadn’t Damian always preached to his congregation that hope was God’s greatest gift to man?
Maybe I’ve been going about this all wrong, he thought. Maybe I shouldn’t be looking for angels to find proof of God’s existence. Maybe the proof is all around me, and I just haven’t opened my eyes.
As if in answer, the sun chose that moment to dip beneath the horizon, leaving the faintest sliver of orange light above the skyline. The dying sunshine settled around the man’s head in a hazy corona of light, and to Father Damian, it almost looked like a halo.
submitted by -TheInspector- to DavidFarrowWrites [link] [comments]


2018.06.29 04:54 TheRosterfarian SUPER MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL IS HERE!!!!

SUPER MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
https://db.tt/6U8jzYRxop <-----DOWNLOAD LINK
TEAM RANKINGS
30 bars
Houston Astros
New York Yankees
29 bars
L.A. Dodgers
Boston Red Sox
Chicago Cubs
28 bars
Cleveland Indians
Arizona Diamondbacks
Washington Nationals
Seattle Mariners
Colorado Rockies
27 bars
Milwaukee Brewers
Atlanta Braves
St. Louis Cardinals
Philadelphia Phillies
L.A.A. Angels
S.F. Giants
Oakland Athletics
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Mets
26 bars
Minnesota Twins
Tampa Bay Rays
Pittsburgh Pirates
Cincinnati Reds
Texas Rangers
S.D. Padres
Baltimore Orioles
Kansas City Royals
25 bars
Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox
Miami Marlins
Here is a picture list of the team rankings in order: https://imgur.com/a/EjFOLEq
Here is a picture list of the player stats team by team(this is for upcoming version 1.3 but its close to current version reduce some hitting and pitching stats due to reports of lesser players being too powerful, this version seems to have fixed that for the most part) https://imgur.com/a/XVCGnw6
Here is a picture list of every team logo and uniforms: https://imgur.com/a/awXVXA2
SUPER MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Today I launch update 1.2 of the Super Major League Baseball!!!
First you will see the above table of teams and their overall Power rankings. After plugging in all of the stats this is how everything shook out. You can see that according to current power rankings and standings the teams and players are ranked very accurately. There are a few outliers but even those are not that far off. This update has many adjustments to the stats formula and according to the playtesters and myself the game is playing better than ever. All tests were done between 50-75 ego and at 75 I was getting slaughtered so I find 65-70 seems to be the sweet spot for me at the moment. I am a good video baseball game player so a beginner may need to go below 50 to find a good starting point. I have played a full 162 game season with outstanding results with the difficulty of the game, the variety of games(1-0 pitching duels and 15-3 blowouts and everything in between) and similar results with the Sim aspect of the game as well. (we will know more when we get access to all teams stats during the season, with the next game patch)
While I have yet to play the original SMB2 teams vs. my MLB teams looking at the metrics my teams would be overpowering with everything else equal. The pitcher ratings are high compared to the original teams but they translate very well to the MLB type of gameplay I am trying to achieve. We are after all living and playing in the time of the Home Run and the Strike Out! This brings me to the Game Simulation results which have been very realistic and even more so in version 1.2
SO WHATS NEW IN VERSION 1.2?
  1. For starters I have redone almost all the logos and all but 3 or 4 are complete and top notch. (see Alt. Tigers uniform)
  2. Updated all players to look like their real-life counterparts…
  3. Updated all pitchers with the correct pitch selection, proper windups and arm slot angles
  4. Updated uniforms for many teams including throwbacks for Padres, Angels, A’s, Yankees, White Sox, Rays, Royals, Mariners, Rangers, Cardinals, Phillies, and many, many more
  5. Adjusted the speed of all players to get rid of sluggish game play allowing for simple grounders to be outrun to first. This has increased the speed of defensive play and base running at the same time making double play frequency more realistic and overall game play is much more like a real baseball game. No offense to SMB2 but at times it feels sluggish to me.
  6. Double checked all teams and feel I have the best players for each team but I am sure I have missed some up and comers so let me know if you think I need to add anyone
  7. Adjusted all the pitchers in the game to have the same average velocity as their real life counter parts…I used the average fastball speed of each pitcher to allow for the ups and downs of Mojo to keep the velocity in the realistic range (unless they are Juiced and Jacked and then its just what it is…Colon may just throw a 104mph fastball. Maybe Mojo is just code for steroid injections?) sources for pitchers: Pitcherlist.com/ Baseballrefrence.com/ Brooksbaseball.net/ the spreadsheets for SMB2 on reddit.com (thanks to all who contributed)
  8. Updated all players secondary positions to reflect their real-life counterparts (some concessions were made due to lack of DH)
  9. Updated every team to reflect realistic daily line-ups (concessions were made for A.L. teams without D.H.)
  10. Updated all the teams to their home stadiums or as close as I could. For example, the teams that play in domes are all in the Bingata Bowl, and the New York teams are in Apple field while the Dodgers are in Swagger Center(lowlywood) just to name a few. If you are going to play a season see this paragraph** about how I made the A’s the only team to play in Emerald so it was my home field. You will have to do the same if you want a different field as your home.
**A few tips if I may…When playing a season set your home field as the only team to play in that particular stadium and adjust other teams accordingly. For example I play as the A’s so they are the only team to play at the Emerald Palace field (killer whales) so I changed all the other teams to other stadiums trying to use whatever characteristics to find a close match to their actual home stadiums.
ORIGINAL THREAD HERE---->https://www.reddit.com/SuperMegaBaseball/comments/8jwbfv/mlb_rosters_are_here/
SOURCES
MLBdepthchart.com
MLBtheshownation.com
Pitcherlist.com
Brooksbaseball.net
Baseballrefrence.com
Various MLB scouting reports
ESPN.com/Foxsports.com
submitted by TheRosterfarian to SuperMegaBaseball [link] [comments]


2018.05.16 18:31 TheRosterfarian MLB ROSTERS ARE HERE!

https://1drv.mss!AuDn8Ljy_mImnQhW3ieE9baaymPL Hey guys, I have finished a complete set of rosters/players/uniforms/and half of the logos. I have my own formula for ratings that is working great in all of my simulation seasons and the ones I have played. All stats are scaling beautifully for 162 game season. It has taken me 80 hours to do all of this work and as an underemployed person due to physical injury. I have found the statistical sweet spot but with input I am more than happy to make changes. Speaking of let me know if I messed up a uniform or a players stat. I tried to do likenesses of the players but it was my last priority so I will go back and make more physically accurate models for players but for now that's at about 80%. I will continue to update as season goes on using my formula so just know you will get full roster support! Thanks for reading and thanks for the excitement.
FOR PC GAME VERSION ONLY!!!
VERSION 1.1 (released 5/23/18) VERSION 1.2 (released 6/28/18) VERSION 1.3 ( released 7/13/18)
SUPER MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM RANKINGS
29 bars
Houston Astros
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Chicago Cubs
28 bars
Seattle Mariners
Cleveland Indians
Milwaukee Brewers
Atlanta Braves
L.A. Dodgers
27 bars
Arizona D-Backs
Wash. Nationals
St. Louis Cardinals
Philadelphia Phillies
L.A. Angels
Toronto Blue Jays
26 bars
Oakland Athletics
S.F. Giants
Tampa Bay Rays
Colorado Rockies
Minnesota Twins
Pittsburgh Pirates
25 bars
Detroit Tigers
Cincinnati Reds
New York Mets
S.D. Padres
Texas Rangers
24 bars
Miami Marlins
Chicago White Sox
Baltimore Orioles
Kansas City Royals
Here is a picture list of team logos and team uniforms: https://imgur.com/a/awXVXA2
Here is a picture list of the team rankings in order of the power rankings listed above: https://imgur.com/a/EjFOLEq
I will update with list of player attributes team by team.
SUPER MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Today I launch update 1.2 of the Super Major League Baseball!!!
First you will see the above table of teams and their overall Power rankings. After plugging in all of the stats this is how everything shook out. You can see that according to current power rankings and standings the teams and players are ranked very accurately. There are a few outliers but even those are not that far off. This update has many adjustments to the stats formula and according to the playtesters and myself the game is playing better than ever. All tests were done between 50-75 ego and at 75 I was getting slaughtered so I find 65-70 seems to be the sweet spot for me at the moment. I am a good video baseball game player so a beginner may need to go below 50 to find a good starting point. I have played a full 162 game season with outstanding results with the difficulty of the game, the variety of games(1-0 pitching duels and 15-3 blowouts and everything in between) and similar results with the Sim aspect of the game as well. (we will know more when we get access to all teams stats during the season, with the next game patch)
While I have yet to play the original SMB2 teams vs. my MLB teams looking at the metrics my teams would be overpowering with everything else equal. The pitcher ratings are high compared to the original teams but they translate very well to the MLB type of gameplay I am trying to achieve. We are after all living and playing in the time of the Home Run and the Strike Out! This brings me to the Game Simulation results which have been very realistic and even more so in version 1.2
SO WHATS NEW IN VERSION 1.2?
1.For starters I have redone almost all the logos and all but 3 or 4 are complete and top notch. (see Alt. Tigers uniform)
2.Updated all players to look like their real-life counterparts…
3.Updated all pitchers with the correct pitch selection, proper windups and arm slot angles
4.Updated uniforms for many teams including throwbacks for Padres, Angels, A’s, Yankees, White Sox, Rays, Royals, Mariners, Rangers, Cardinals, Phillies, and many, many more
5.Adjusted the speed of all players to get rid of sluggish game play allowing for simple grounders to be outrun to first. This has increased the speed of defensive play and base running at the same time making double play frequency more realistic and overall game play is much more like a real baseball game. No offense to SMB2 but at times it feels sluggish to me.
  1. Double checked all teams and feel I have the best players for each team but I am sure I have missed some up and comers so let me know if you think I need to add anyone
  2. Adjusted all the pitchers in the game to have the same average velocity as their real life counter parts…I used the average fastball speed of each pitcher to allow for the ups and downs of Mojo to keep the velocity in the realistic range (unless they are Juiced and Jacked and then its just what it is…Colon may just throw a 104mph fastball. Maybe Mojo is just code for steroid injections?) sources for pitchers: Pitcherlist.com/ Baseballrefrence.com/ Brooksbaseball.net/ the spreadsheets for SMB2 on reddit.com (thanks to all who contributed)
8.Updated all players secondary positions to reflect their real-life counterparts (some concessions were made due to lack of DH)
9.Updated every team to reflect realistic daily line-ups (concessions were made for A.L. teams without D.H.)
10.Updated all the teams to their home stadiums or as close as I could. For example, the teams that play in domes are all in the Bingata Bowl, and the New York teams are in Apple field while the Dodgers are in Swagger Center(lowlywood) just to name a few. If you are going to play a season see this paragraph** about how I made the A’s the only team to play in Emerald so it was my home field. You will have to do the same if you want a different field as your home.
**A few tips if I may…When playing a season set your home field as the only team to play in that particular stadium and adjust other teams accordingly. For example I play as the A’s so they are the only team to play at the Emerald Palace field (killer whales) so I changed all the other teams to other stadiums trying to use whatever characteristics to find a close match to their actual home stadiums.
Today I am happy to release version 1.3 of Super Major League Baseball...
What is new in version 1.3?
  1. I have added all-star rosters/stats/uniforms/logos/all players match their in game models. Home field is Apple field for the All-Star teams. This was a lot of fun to create.
  2. I have reduced power numbers for less powerful hitters while keeping the better power hitters where they are. This has helped the eliminate issue of non power hitters hitting too many long balls.
  3. I have used overall team metrics to make slight adjustments in the team ratings scale. The list here is current all older rankings are void for version 1.3.
  4. Made all current trades and roster moves including recent call-ups and demotions.
  5. The game balance in version 1.3 is exactly where I think it should be at this point. I will only make roster changes and slight adjustments to player attributes going forward as I do believe I have achieved a good balance while keeping the challenge of facing MLB rosters.
I really appreciate all of the feedback from people who have downloaded my previous rosters. You do not have to have downloaded the others to use this version as it as all the others stands on its own. Do keep in mind if you are in the middle of a season if you download the update if will make the current season unplayable so finish the one you are in if that is an issue. I will say this version is much better and the power of hitters is much more balanced while keeping the fun and excitement of the MLB and its current Strikeout/ Home run crazyness that is going on.
I have to update some of the pictures for version 1.3 so give me a few days for that please. In the meantime the stats are obviously in game if you need them for XBOX and PS4 guys I will get them updated asap.
SOURCES
MLBdepthchart.com
MLBtheshownation.com
Pitcherlist.com
Brooksbaseball.net
Baseballrefrence.com
Various MLB scouting reports
ESPN.com/Foxsports.com
NOW PLAY BALL!!!!
ROSTER IMPORT/EXPORT TOOL (with permission from Judge)
https://www.mvpmods.com/files/file/10432-smb2-team-transfer-tool/?tab=comments
MLB ROSTER ver. 1.0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jodifzpvmqc4obd/All30teams.teampack?dl=0
MLB ROSTER ver. 1.1
https://www.dropbox.com/s/7wo7i16d01iojrd/MLBROSTERSver.1.1.teampack?dl=0
Super Major League Baseball ROSTER ver. 1.2
https://db.tt/6U8jzYRxop
Download for SMLB All-star update version 1.3----> https://db.tt/gJ1QiSyN8Q
submitted by TheRosterfarian to SuperMegaBaseball [link] [comments]


2018.03.28 03:49 cardith_lorda The 2018 MLB Season Survival Guide

Welcome to the 2018 MLB Season! We are so glad you are here. Don't let the length of this post scare you, we just wanted to consolidate all the relevant information that people have questions about into one place to start the season off. This is your survival guide for the 2018 season, it should have all the pertinent information to answer most of your questions!
If you are a brand new fan I'd recommend going through most of it, if you're a veteran you'll know which sections you'll want to read by their headings. My goal here is that both new and returning fans can learn how to better enjoy the season and know what's going on on Baseball this year. Okay, take some time and read through what you want to read through below!
Sections:

Introduction for new and renewed interest fans.

Baseball has a long season. I don't just mean that in terms of time between opening day and the World Series (which can be considered long as it is), but also the 162 games played in 183 days, 18-20 times against the same 4 teams each. It can be daunting, and many people lose interest by "the dog days" of June and July. This guide is meant to help you if you wish to avoid being one of those who loses interest a couple weeks after Opening Day.
First and foremost if you are a new fan or newly returning, you must remember one thing: you do not need to watch every game. Many football fans, and even some basketball and hockey fans, find this difficult, they're used to setting aside a few nights a week to watch their team, and they can watch all the games. Baseball isn't like that. For the next six months, your team will only have 21 days where they won't be playing a game. And some of the games they play will start as early as 11am, others will end after 1am. If you miss a game it's okay, odds are there's another one tomorrow. If you miss a week, no big deal, hell if you get busy for a few months and aren't able to watch you team, that's not an issue, because you can still follow your team.
Baseball is a game to be followed. In the old days it meant picking up the morning paper and checking the box scores. Now it means being able to have a final score texted/tweeted/messaged/emailed/what-evered to you the minute the game ends, or rolling over in bed when you can't sleep and grabbing your phone to check the West Coast scores. It means being able to check reddit in the morning to see any breaking news from across the league, or catch a story you missed. We live in a time where you can go to MLB.com and get a recap of every game from last night in less than 10 minutes. Honestly, baseball was made to be consumed, and the technology age makes it easier than ever, whether you want to spend hours every day pouring over stats and analysis, or 15 seconds to see how your team and their playoff rivals did today.
The rest of this guide is mostly dedicated to ways that you can help yourself follow your team, and if you have time follow the entirety of MLB.
Anyways, enough rambling, TL;DR Don't worry if you miss games, there'll be one tomorrow.

Finding a Team

I always recommend following the local team since you'll have more access to news about them in the local media and should be able to get their radio broadcast, as well as TV broadcasts of them if you have cable/satellite/streaming, and depending on where you're at the occasional over the air game, but if you don't live by a team or don't want to follow the local team, or are just looking for a second team to follow, I wrote this in depth guide to picking a team that's the right fit for you.

Knowing Where Different Teams Stand

Every year ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX, NBS, and every other sports related site puts out their season previews. These are great for getting a basic rundown of what is going on with each team, and a simple google search will bring up a plethora of possible articles to read.
If what you really want is a fans perspective on what each team's expectations condensed into a few short comments, I'd highly recommend going through each teams day from our annual "Why will X team exceed expectations?" series. All the posts are linked to from the Dodgers one that is linked. This is just one of many examples of why one of the best ways to stay connected to the game is hang around...

Baseball

Alright, so plugging baseball on baseball seems a bit redundant, but I think it's a good reminder that this is a great hub for all your MLB news throughout the season while still letting you see the occasional amazing college/minor league/foreign league performance.
During the season there are a number of features to keep you informed of all the goings on around baseball.
Every day of the season (and a portion of the offseason) we have General Discussion threads we call Around the Horn. These are great places to ask questions and discuss anything that you want to know about baseball but don't feel like it deserves it's own post. This is also a place where you may see some ridiculous comments, usually stemming from a lost bet (see Wednesdays below for more info on that.) In the Around the Horn post you'll be able to see a full schedule of what is going on around Baseball every week.
During the week we run a number of features, here they are:
Monday: Power Rankings - A team of 30 fans from every team in baseball, led by masochist fearless leader kasutori_jack, releases their composite power rankings of the 30 teams. This leads to well thought out discussions and some in depth analysis, as well as salty fans crying about how their team is underrated (there may be more of the latter than the former, but it's still a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of how every team is doing).
Tuesday: Weekly Awards - Led by lemcoe9 a different team of a fan from every team releases the results of their weekly (and monthly) voting for who the best position player and pitcher was since the last vote was taken. Once again, a great way to keep track of which players are on hot streaks, and who's dominating the league.
Wednesday: Weekly Wagers - Make silly bets over which team will win the weekend series, who's going to hit a longer home run, and other frivolities which often results in losers writing poems, haikus, erotic fictional stories, or simply changing their flair to a hated rival, or a simple "K" (the international baseball signal for a strike out). If you see anyone wearing a K flair or starting/ending a comment with (TEAM fan here, lost a flair bet) be sure to laugh at their misfortune, then proceed to wager your own flair over who'll throw the fastest fastball next weekend.
Thursdays: Division Discussions - We rotate between the Easts, Centrals, and Wests to do some more in depth talk about where the playoff races and teams stand. If you only have time for one baseball thread every week and want to keep up with the league, this is the thread to set aside time for.
Friday: Trash Talk/Compliment/Complaint - FRIDAYS ARE FUN DAYS, WE ROTATE BETWEEN TRASH TALK, COMPLIMENT, TRASH TALK, AND COMPLAIN THREADS! TRADITION STATES ALL COMMENTS BE IN ALL CAPS AND ENDING IN EXCLAMATION POINTS! WE ROTATE RATHER THAN HAVE A SET DAY FOR EACH ALL SEASON BECAUSE IT'S A LONG SEASON AND ANY ONE OF THE THREE THREADS CAN GET STALE FAST IF YOU DON'T LEAVE TIME FOR MORE AMMUNITION!
Saturday: Saturday is when we usually plug in occasional things that don't necessarily deserve weekly attention. Things like in depth stat discussions, memorobilia sharing, craft projects, etc.
Sunday: Game of the Week - Sunday is the one day a week where we get together as a subreddit to watch a baseball game together, since it's the one time every week where there's only one game going on and there's guaranteed to be a game. The Sunday Night Baseball game thread is usually posted a couple hours before the first pitch.
In addition the playoffs, and select premier match-ups (mostly at the very end of the season where there is a lot riding on a regular season game) we host game threads for all baseball users. These are neutral thread, for more info on less neutral ones skip to the next section. We may experiment with game threads in baseball for the MLB.tv Free Game of the Day this year.
In addition to all these features, it really is a great place to keep up with breaking news and highlights. It'll be posted here minutes after someone tweets it, and long before it's on MLB.com. Team beat writers get the stories first, and it's easier to check in here a couple times a day than follow every one of them. Plus there's something the kids are calling "dank memes" (but not too many, because us mods don't allow too much moisture to get into the servers).

Your Team's Subreddit (And other team subs as well)

The mods at baseball have one goal - help you have the best possible reddit baseball experience, and a LOT of that is helping you get connected to other fans of your team (which feels a little like a cop-out because it means less work for us if you're doing more on your team's sub, but your team's mods aren't complaining.)
One of the main draws of team subs (other than in depth discussion with like-fan-minded users, getting breaking news and analysis on your team, team-memes, and other reddit discussions that come up from a group of individuals who can agree on one thing) are game threads. At this time (to the best of my knowledge) every team sub hosts game threads for their team's games, and you can easily access them in the sidebar during the season by clicking on the team's logo in the schedule (we're working on getting that up to speed, MLB changed some parts of their RSS and background data and we've had to work around that to get our automated system back up). We like to keep the game threads in team subs for a few reasons, one of which is we want to support the team subs and send them relevant traffic when we can because they really do an amazing job, another is because with 15 games a day this place would look like crap if we had game threads for every game or let users post them as they please (we've tried it, it blots out news, discussion, and highlights and looks like crap, baseball doesn't have only a couple days set aside for games or focus on marquee match ups like many other sports, it's 2430 games played in 183 days and is better when it's spread out.)
Even if you're not a game thread person though, getting connected with a good team sub can make disappointing seasons more bearable, and great seasons more exciting, and I know plenty of users that said that their team's sub basically keeps them fans. Team subs are also a great place to get connected to...

Twitter, Podcasts, and other General News/Analysis Sources

Going to be honest here, I don't use twitter and I do not frequently read other people's blogs. I know many people do and enjoy it, and I believe the best way to find the people to follow/sites to visit that interest you the most are to hang around your team's sub and note which Tweets/Sites that are linked to that most often peak your interest. Your list of favorite baseball writers is going to be different than my favorite list, and finding the right twitter personalities, podcasts hosts, and bloggers can make game analysis more interesting for you even if your team is playing like crap and it's the middle of July.
Here are some common suggestions for some general baseball twitter accounts and podcasts to get you started, but like I said, find what you like and follow those:
Twitter
Account Account Account
@MLB @Ken_Rosenthal @Buster_ESPN
@jonmorosi @mlbtraderumors @MiLB
@JeffPassan @MLBInjuryNews @BNightengale
@keithlaw @based_ball @SamMillerBB
@jonahkeri @BaseballAmerica @brooksbaseball
@BenLindbergh @ChrisCotillo @mike_petriello
@MJ_Baumann @FanRagSports @TheAthleticMLB
@fangraphs @baseballprospectus @baseball_ref
@daynperry @CBSSportsMLB @CespedesBBQ
@GrantBrisbee @JonHeyman @cantpitch
Podcasts
Account Account Account
Effectively Wild Baseball Tonight The Ringer

The Statistical Titans: Baseball Reference and Fangraphs

Literally every day you will find a link or to BaseballReference.com or Fangraphs.com here, it's a given, and it's because these are the two most extensive free baseball databases that are easy to navigate. If you want to look up anything about baseball history, check Baseball Reference, if you want to look up how players stack up with non-proprietary advanced metrics or read an insightful blog post about why someone is overrated/underrated or overperforming/underperforming, check Fangraphs. With these two sites you have all the stats and figures you need to make a competent argument for basically anything you want with a little cherry picking.
A large part of the modern baseball world is statistics and you're going to find yourself getting more immersed in discussing the game if you can get a handle on all the terms getting thrown around. If you are brand new to baseball, take a little while to get to know the game before diving into these sites, but if you have a handle on the basics and are ready to know what this WAR everyone is talking about is, dive into the glossaries and find the statistics.
When you get the basics, creating your own analysis doesn't seem as daunting, and one of the reasons I love baseball is that I can deconstruct pretty much every play and find some meaning behind it. If you are like that and enjoy numbers, theoretical projections, and breaking things down into simple figures before reconstructing them into something long and beautiful, then learning the basics of sabrmetrics will make you a baseball fan for life. If, on the other hand, you just want to enjoy the game for the beautiful pastime that it is by watching, then we've got a little bit to go through...

Where to Watch? - Your TV and Streaming Guide

So a big part of baseball is, you know, actually being able to watch the games (though as I talk about at the end, it might not necessarily be the case for you, and that doesn't mean you can't enjoy baseball, skip down and see what I'm talking about in the final section).
First off, if you are looking for free games to watch, you are in luck! MLB.tv streams one game a day for free on MLB.com and Yahoo.com. These games are subject to local blackouts (details on those in the MLB.tv section) but are definitely worth watching if you're trying to see if you'll enjoy baseball, or just need a free baseball fix. Facebook is also streaming one game a week during the season for free. The other free games available are from May 25 to July 21 and September 15 when FOX airs games on their OTA affiliated networks. Believe it or not, TV antennas still work in most areas, and these games are free to watch. Some teams also broadcast select games on OTA networks in their region, for instance, the Mets are airing 25 games on WPIX (which if you have cable you might have access to even if you don't live in New York!)
Okay, so now the more expensive stuff. If you have even the most basic cable package (or log in information) you probably have ESPN. ESPN airs games every Sunday Night as well as Wednesday Night and Opening Weekend. These games are also available on ESPN Go. You also probably have a regional sports channel. This is where almost all of your local teams games will be aired. TBS is also on even the most basic networks, they air games the final 13 Sundays of the regular season in the afternoon. FS1 carries a baseball game almost every Saturday of the season, and MLB Network carries games pretty much every day. A list of currently scheduled national broadcasts is available here, not all games have been chosen so there will be more added to the list.
For all these networks (except for the Dodgers, Orioles, and Nationals regional networks) there are options to stream the games online provided you have cable login information for the channel. During the playoffs FS1, TBS, and MLB Network will carry most of the games, with ESPN carrying a wild card game and FOX carrying the World Series.
Now there are also streaming services that grant access to most of the previously mentioned channels.
  • Sling TV Orange package gets you ESPN, ESPN 2, and TBS.
  • Sling TV Blue package gets you FOX, FS1, FS2 TBS, and your regional sports networks.
  • Youtube TV gets you FOX, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, TBS, MLB Network, and your regional sports networks.
  • HULU Live gets you FOX, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, FS2, TBS, and your regional sports networks.
  • Playstation Vue Access gets you FOX, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, FS2, and TBS.
  • Playstation Vue Core adds MLB Network to the Access channels.
  • Playstation Vue Sports Extra adds regional sports networks in addition to your other channels.
  • DIRECTV Now Live a Little gets you FOX, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, and TBS and your regional sports networks.
  • DIRECTV Now Just Right adds MLB Network to the Live a Little channels.
  • DIRECTV Now Go Big adds FS2 to the Just Right channels.
  • FUBO Premier gets you FOX, FS1, and your regional sports networks

MLB.TV - the Ultimate Fan Investment

Alright, so a few things to cover with this, first of all YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO LEGALLY STREAM IN MARKET GAMES IF YOU LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES. MLB.tv uses your IP address to see where you are located, and if it pings back that you are in a team's home market it will not let you watch the game LIVE. Here is where you can find what games MLB.tv will black you out from. National broadcasts on ESPN, FOX, and TBS are also subject to blackouts within the United States (MLB Network games are not). Before you ask, yes there are less than legal ways to get around this, but I won't be talking about that here. IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA, YOU WILL HAVE NO BLACKOUTS. In Canada you will only have blackouts if you are in a US-based team's regional area, but Blue Jays games and national broadcasts are not blacked out.
Even if you are blacked out, you will be able to watch the game 90 minutes after it finishes, so if you work a late shift or stay up late it might be worth it for you anyways even if you only want to follow one team.
Military members and college students, don't forget to apply your 35% discount!
"But I don't want to watch EVERY out of market game, I just want to watch MY team!" Cool, for $25 less there's a single team option that will allow you to watch all your team's non-blacked out games! Personally, I'd pay the extra $25 for the opportunity to watch every Kershaw, Bumgarner, and Scherzer start, or put the Cubs on in the background while working on a Friday afternoon, but to each their own.
"But I don't want to commit for a full year!" That's okay, there's a monthly option as well in case you know there are months where you can't watch as much. In the past they've also run sales on Father's Day, but that's no guarantee.
Some of the fun features of MLB.tv include the ability to watch four games at once and quickly swap your audio from one to another (seriously, I'm never on commercial break when I'm watching baseball, unless there's only one game on I'm able to watch it all, and in September that's huge) and condensed games. What are condensed games? They go through and cut out all the time between pitches and innings, meaning if you want to watch a whole game in less than a half hour (or are searching desperately for a play to make a .gif or streamable out of that for some reason isn't considered a highlight) it's really easy. If you're someone who really wants to get into the game but can't figure out how to grind through watching a full game, Condensed Games are great for keeping up with a team while you learn the little details between pitches that somehow make watching the catcher twiddle his fingers exciting for some fans.
In addition, there are two great resources to enhance your total immersion into baseball if there are multiple games going on. The first, and most basic, is Brooks Baseball's MLB.TV Redzone. It will automatically take you to the highest leverage game going on, and will automatically shift you to another game between innings OR if another game enters a higher leverage situation. For a more personalized touch, The Baseball Guage has MLB.TV Game Changer which lets you customize your preferences so MLB.tv will always switch to the game that is most relevant to you. This is great if you play fantasy and want to keep up with your players, are waiting for someone to hit a milestone, or if you want to make sure your action is broken into to follow a no-hitter in progress.
It also gives you a free subscription to...

MLB AtBat - The Most Underrated Way to Stay Connected to Baseball

MLB AtBat is MLB's official application. It comes in two versions, the free version which has ads but is useful for keeping up to date with all the scores, and the paid version ($19.99 for the year of $2.99 monthly) which gives you access to ad-free content, Gameday on your mobile device, and (most valuable) access to every team's radio stream for every game during the season and postseason completely blackout free. If there's a day game, you can bet I'm listening to it at work, if I'm mowing the lawn on a Saturday I'm listening to a game, when I can't sleep at night, on comes a West Coast game. To get the paid version you must download the free version, then subscribe within the app, or log into an MLB account that has MLB.tv.
Baseball was made to be on the radio, it's a sport that is very easy to follow the action with the right announcer. At work (or school) it's great because you can half listen, and when the announcer gets excited you can instantly tune back in to hear what's going on. This is the most underrated way to stay connected to your team throughout the year. Before I could afford MLB.tv, this was the way to go, and it honestly makes me question every year whether getting the MLB.tv package is worth is when I can get 80% of the entertainment value from listening to the games (and every year I manage to forget to unsubscribe, for many reasons listed above).
Gameday on mobile is also a great feature, it lets you quickly check in on the action during brief recesses in meetings (or under the table during meetings), or breaks between classes (or under a desk in classes). This is honestly my primary means of keeping track of Twins games throughout the year.

How to watch baseball?

So this is a question that we get from many new fans who are just trying to figure out what the hell is going on and why people find this game so fascinating. I'll get the elephant in the room out of the way, yes there are some "boring" parts of watching baseball on TV. The camera fans to a batter spitting and adjusting his gloves, the pitcher adjusts his crotch then licks his fingers, random shots of a bored looking manager, etc. When you are actually at the ballpark you can be watching where the catcher and fielders set up to try to predict the pitch that is coming (read The Hidden Language of Baseball by Paul Dickson for some great insight into how to interpret this), but on TV it's not usually the case. This is where I have some suggestions for new fans trying to get into it.
First off, if you are looking for just a relaxing day, embrace the slow pace with a beer and veg out on the couch while watching. It's meant to be slow and relaxing (until it gets tense and exciting, usually with runners on). Seriously, when was the last time you just sat and did nothing? Mid July afternoon games are a perfect way to reach that zen of half-consciousness, until something happens to get you sucked into the action.
Another option to stay engaged is keeping score. I find keeping score relaxing and looking back through a scorebook can be fun to see what you were doing a few years ago (except for that damn unfinished scorecard from 2015 where A-Rod hit the most predictable home run in Twins-Yankees history and I sent my scorecard flying to the other side of the room). As NPR once put it, keeping score is a knowledge making activity, and if you have the time and patience for it it is a great way to learn the game. There are a couple different guides to keeping score, and most scorebooks/cards will have a brief example of how to do so. If you have any questions, the Around the Horn thread is a great place to ask!
Gamethreads are another way to get together with other baseball fans and pass the time between pitches, especially in team subs you get to know the regulars and conversations start to wonder away from baseball at times throughout the game, and that's fine. Baseball is an excuse to enjoy a summer day.
For those that want to actually understand what is going on during that time, though, there are some options. Watching Baseball Smarter by Zack Hample (who despite his reputation on this subreddit knows his stuff and actually pops in from time to time to comment on different things) is a good starting place for new fans. Baseball for Dummies and The Complete Idiots Guide to Baseball are also good starting points for those willing to sit and read for a little bit.
For those who don't want to read a book, I guess I can touch on what I'm looking for between pitches. A big part of baseball is pitch selection, so scouting out a pitchers repertoire of pitches is a good starting point, BrooksBaseball.net has great cheat sheets on every pitcher in the game, and PitcherList.com has a visual example of each pitcher's pitches so you can see what you can be looking for. Anyways, I mention that because the whole reason the catcher is twiddling his fingers behind the plate is to go over with the pitcher what pitch is going to be thrown. What I'm watching for between pitches is where the catcher is setting up behind the plate and guessing which pitch is going to be thrown. A 2-0 and 3-1 count are known as hitters counts because the pitcher needs to throw a strike or risk walking the batter, when the count reaches either of those pay attention, because the hitters going to be looking for his perfect pitch and there's probably going to be some action on the field. 0-1, 0-2, and 1-2 are pitcher's counts, look for curveball, slider or other somewhat nasty pitch to be thrown to get the batter to swing at a bad pitch, or a fastball inside to catch them off guard. If you have any questions about this, go ahead and ask in an around the horn thread.

TL;DR Finding what you enjoy about the game.

When it boils down to it, baseball is about finding entertainment and enjoyment, and don't let anyone try to tell you how to enjoy baseball. If you want nothing to do with statistical analysis and just want to enjoy what's going on on the field, don't let anyone tell you you aren't enough of a fan, and if you want to dissect a player into their strengths and components using statcast and advanced metrics don't let anyone tell you you're reading into the game too much. You can follow one team, and only one team, or you can follow multiple teams, don't let anyone tell you you're not a true fan for wearing another team's gear or enjoying their games. You might enjoy bat flips and flamboyance, or reserved speedy home run trots. You might not even enjoy physically watching a game (especially not if your team isn't playing), but find yourself loving keeping track of your team through the season and tracking your players or maybe just the thrill of the standings race and scoreboard watching or maybe you just love all the numbers that get thrown around and arguing about their relevancy. That's okay, eventually I believe enjoyment of the game itself will come, but even if it doesn't, the long baseball season is still creating a place of enjoyment for you, and that's what matters. If you have any questions, once again, feel free to ask them in our daily Around the Horn thread, or below in the comments, or if you really want to feel free to PM with questions and I'd be happy to answer.
So watch games this week and join in the discussion here, you'll naturally find yourself gravitating towards certain players or teams and enjoying different aspects of the game. Baseball is a long season, find what you enjoy, stick to it, dwell on it, and enjoy it.
submitted by cardith_lorda to baseball [link] [comments]


2018.03.06 20:14 bmhicks78 Need High Quality Logo

Trying to get sweatshirts printed up. Need an high quality, vector graphics version of the Cub Scout logo. Strongly prefer in an EPS format. Cannot find online, I suspect because BSA wants to push people through ClassB for sales.
Anyone have anything that I can use?
submitted by bmhicks78 to cubscouts [link] [comments]


2018.02.09 01:48 Stellar1557 Looking for a website or tool we can use to create a Star Wars themed intro for a Cub Scout meeting.

Not sure if this is the right place. We are trying to put together a video for a Star Wars themed Cub Scout dinner and are having trouble finding something reputable that will work. We saw some videos on YouTube of a Fox logo with custom text and found a website that will let you make the classic scrolling star wars text, but it would take 270 days to receive the video because we were in some ridiculous "queue" unless we donated money.
submitted by Stellar1557 to techsupport [link] [comments]


2017.08.21 01:49 kevbum522 Woodburned the Cub Scout logo as a decoration for my office!

Woodburned the Cub Scout logo as a decoration for my office! submitted by kevbum522 to cubscouts [link] [comments]


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