Baseball dreams

I had two baseball dreams last night, and they both sucked.

In the first dream, a woman was interviewing me on the phone for some newspaper or magazine in Atlanta, and the interview was about video games. She knew I had a few records and asked me what kind of games I like. I told her about Arkanoid and Tetris. Then she asked me if I like “castle games,” and I said, “You mean, like, Legend of Zelda?” She said yeah, and I said that was one of my favorite games of all time. “But that’s as far as it went for me with Zelda,” I said. “I never got into the Adventures of Link or any of that Nintendo 64 crap. It’s all about the original 8-bit Nintendo.” The woman then told me that there was a group of female video game players in Atlanta who wanted to compete with me in a certain baseball video game. I told her I wasn’t interested, and when she asked why, I gave her a whole rant about why I never liked baseball video games. It went something like this: “I used to play baseball my whole life, right up into college. Swinging a real-life bat at a real-life ball traveling 90 miles per hour and hitting it 400 feet takes incredible focus, strength, and hand-eye coordination. Baseball video games take all that skill and condense it into the simple act of pressing a single button on a hand-held controller. It completely cheapens the experience of playing the sport, and I want no part of it.”

In the second dream, I was playing 3rd base for my college team, and everything kept going wrong. First of all, I was wearing sneakers instead of spikes, and I’d also forgotten to put on my belt. Before one of my at-bats, I tried to grab the belt out of my bag but didn’t have time to put it on and had to run up to the plate without it. Then I worked a pretty tough pitcher for a walk and no one on my team seemed to care. Before my second time up, I couldn’t find my bat, so I was scrambling around behind the backstop, checking out all the bats that were lying around. Eventually the umpire yelled, “I need a hitter in the box RIGHT NOW,” and my coach sent up another player to bat for me. At the very last second, I grabbed a bat that was way too heavy and raced up to the plate before my teammate had a chance to take my place. There was a new pitcher, and he was throwing BP fastballs and curveballs that didn’t break. I just wanted him to throw a strike so I could crush the ball, but before I knew it, the count was 3-0. I wanted to swing on 3-0 because I knew he was going to groove one, but the bases were empty, and I knew my coach would have a fit, so I took the pitch right down the middle to move the count to 3-1. The pitcher tried to snap off another curve, and it started flying right at my head. I ducked under it but didn’t get my bat out of the way, so the ball ended up hitting the barrel of the bat, which was behind me and over my head, still propped up on my shoulder, and the ball dribbled weakly to the pitcher who threw me out at first base before I’d even gotten out of the batters box. Everyone on my team, including the coach, was annoyed and critical. I told them it was a once-in-a-lifetime fluke, but they didn’t care. During the next half inning, I somehow forgot to take the field, and the game went on with our shortstop trying to cover the entire left side of the infield by himself. My coach didn’t seem to notice that I wasn’t out there, so I waited for him to look the other way, and then I raced out to my position. A couple minutes later, a right-handed batter on the other team ripped a one-hopper to my right, just inside the foul line. I took one step and dove and knocked it down. The ball began to trickle away from me, so I scampered after it and made an awkward, off-balance throw to first base from my knees. I didn’t get any velocity on the throw, and the ball bounced once on the infield grass and took a nice hop, and the first baseman stretched way out and caught it to beat the runner by half a step. The first base ump pumped his fist to signal “OUT!!!” and yet for some reason he yelled “SAFE!!!” He gave two different calls at the same time and confused everyone. Both coaches ran out to argue. The runner was clearly out, but the call stood as “safe,” and my coach scolded me for not making a stronger throw, and then he took me out of the game. I walked back to my team’s dugout, totally bummed out, and when I looked up, it turned out that I was in the other team’s dugout, and they were all looking at me like I was an alien. I decided to hang out with the pitchers for the rest of the game, on their bench down the left field foul line. At one point, one of the batters pulled a foul grounder in my direction, so I jumped off the bench and took a few steps toward the field and scooped it up. I got yelled at for interfering with the ball, even though it WAS a foul ball. My coach told me I should just stay seated and let the left fielder retrieve any balls that come his way. Later in the game, when I would’ve been on deck with two outs and runners on the corners, the batter drew a walk to keep the inning going. “Oh my GOD,” I said loudly, “I would’ve been up with the f*cking bases loaded.” It turned out my coach was standing right in front of me, and I hadn’t noticed. He whipped around and chewed me out for using bad language and for complaining about not being in the game. When the game ended, instead of shaking hands with the other team, we all bowed to each other since they were Japanese. I was late running in from the outfield bench, so the entire Japanese team made a separate bow just for me, which was thoroughly humiliating. At least I didn’t get injured, although I’m now mentally scarred.

Any thoughts?



    Is this one of those dreams where you don’t wake up all and have to sleep through the whole thing? I hate those, and then when you have a good dream, like being in the World Series, with bases loaded and your the winning run and then once you hit the ball, you wake up and NEVER know if you won the World Series or not!? Sounds like you had a bad night. My baseballs dreams seem to go good every time I have one.


    Well, if the new D.C. ballpark is as nice as it seems and I do well there the first time I go (probably in April/May), then hopefully, I’ll be able to go back later in the season. Are you planning on going there several times?


    First, it’s AMAZING you can remember that much from a dream.

    Second, it sounds like you need help and should probably post this on some psycho webMD site for the shared opinion of twenty analysts.

    Finally, hockey fans don’t have dreams like these.


    You don’t like the new Zelda’s? I LOVE them!

    And no baseball games?!?!?

    MLB 07: The Show is one of my favorite games! (I do prefer actually playing baseball though)


    I like Zelda2, In fact I have the ‘return of ganon’ endgame screen as my phone wallpaper, although I didn’t care for the first one as much.

    NES games thrived on Gameplay, but often modern games shy away from it a bit. Although I still did enjoy the later Link games, the twilight princess was fun.

    I don’t know what to say about the baseball dream, but I’m not surprised that you have baseball dreams since you own a gazillion baseballs.


    what the heck does that have to do w/ a freakin baseball dream?????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Zack

    Yeah, that’s exactly how it went. I slept heavily and suffered as a result.


    I’ll probably only go once unless I have Watch With Zack clients who want to go. You know it’s gonna be sold out at every game during the inaugural season, so why bother with repeat visits? Some new ballparks sell out for years, but at others, the attendance drops dramatically after the first season. I’m not saying I *want* attendance to suffer. I’d never root against MLB like that, but a drop is inevitable at some point. Anyway…


    Yeah, it really did ****.


    I don’t usually remember my dreams with such vivid detail, but for whatever reason, this one really stuck in my head. I’m finally jealous of hockey fans.


    I’m sure I would’ve liked the new Zelda games if I grew up playing them, but no, when it comes to video games, I’m stuck in the 1980s.


    You’re right. The early game systems were all about gameplay. Now it’s all about graphics and fancy controllers.

    CHRIS-******. If only I’d bought all the extra copies from my publisher when the book first went out of print.


    Speaking of video games, my girlfriend is currently (i.e. as I’m typing this) playing Super Mario Bros. for the very first time in her life. She has yet to advance past world 1-2, but I have faith…


    wow, i had a WEIRD baseball dream last night. it started with me watching espn. they announced the mets traded dave (bp catcher)for george steinbrenner, who would coach 3rd for the mets. then i went to a mets-yankees game. it was at a stadium like a mix between citizens bank and old tiger stadium. the bullpens were in left field, behind the foul pole. they were the citizens bank style bullpens. everything else about the stadium was like tiger stadium, except the seats were green and red. so i went in for bp, but for some reason the usher, who was also my dad, made me stay in my seat. then i went to the bullpen right before the game and asked racaniello for a ball. there was an arizona fall league ball in a package laying there. he said no, he only gives balls to yankee fans now. then i woke up.

    lol, i sat and thought about it for like a half hour this mornin. no joke. but i always remember my dreams for some reason. idk.


    oh yea and the guy thats selling your book for $105 says in the description that you have 1,266 career snagged baseballs. lol.


    I can’t imagine the Nationals having sellout-size crowds all season. There’s no way the novelty won’t wear out by July or so. Don’t you think? And when I go the first time, if the place is unbearable with a large crowd and those large crowds somehow persist late into the season, then I won’t go back until 2009. It’s not like I’ve already made plans for my whole season. I’ll just see what happens.


    Super Mario Bros. eh?

    Do you know the trick in one of the early levels? You can get some secret level or something.

  12. Zack

    That’s right up there with the strangest baseball dreams I’ve ever had…mixing people and stadiums and balls. Good stuff, though. The guy on eBay just copied the text off the back of the book, which was written after the 1998 season.


    It’s hard to say. Maybe you can do a little research and find the attendance numbers for other recently built ballparks with crappy home teams. I mean, did PNC sell out its entire first year? How about Cincinnati? How about Arlington? Get on it! :-)


    I’m embarrassed to admit that I know all the tricks on all the levels. At least I think I do. I assume you’re talking about getting to the “minus world” toward the end of 1-2? Yeah, that’s some weird stuff.


    i just bought the how to snag book off ebay for 100 dollars. yes i am crazy. i showed it to my dad and it was the first time it was put on ebay and he just hit “purchase now” and surprised me


    Yeah, good idea about the research. Here’s some statistical analysis:


    Great American Ballpark opened before the 2003 season. In 2002 (Cinergy’s final year), the Reds went 78-84 and had an average per-game attendance of 22,913

    (43.3% capacity). In 2003, the Reds’ attendance increased to 29,077 per game (69.1% capacity). In 2004, attendance stayed roughly the same, at 28,237 per game.


    PNC Park opened in 2001 after the Pirates went 69-93 and averaged 21,591 fans per game (45.0% of Three Rivers Stadium’s capacity) in 2000. In 2001, PNC’s average attendance was 30,834 (80.0% capacity). In PNC’s second season, attendance decreased to 23,148 (60.1% capacity)


    The Brewers went 73-89 in 2000, their last season at County Stadium, with an average attendance of just 19,427 (36.5% capacity). In the first year of Miller Park, the Brewers averaged 34,704 fans per game (82.2% capacity). In its second year, attendance dropped to 24,317 per game.


    Comerica Park opened for the 2000 season. The Tigers had gone 79-83, 65-97, and 69-92 the previous three years respectively. In 1999, the team’s average attendance was 25,174 at Tiger Stadium. In 2000, that increased to 30,106 at Comerica.


    The Rangers had been a pretty good team when they built their new stadium, going 86-76 in 1993. Therefore, this isn’t really a relevant example (the Nationals were 73-89 last year).

    There’s no denying that a new stadium does produce an initial attendance surge for bad teams, but none of these examples show sellouts prevailing in the first year. In fact, among these examples, the highest attendance relative to capacity in the first year of a new stadium is less than 85%.

    So here are the jumps in attendances in the first years of new ballparks:

    REDS: 22,913–>29,077 (26.9% increase)

    PIRATES: 21,591–>30,834 (42.8% increase)

    BREWERS: 19,427–>34,704 (78.6% increase)

    TIGERS: 25,174–>30,106 (19.6% increase)

    The average of these percent increases is 42.0. The Nationals averaged 24,217 fans per game last year (and that’s probably somewhat inflated). If a similar trend that occurred in the openings of the above four new ballparks persists with the Nationals’ new stadium, their projected average attendance next year will be 34,388. Although that seems like a lot of fans, it’s nowhere near a sellout in a stadium that has a projected capacity of 41,222. And if you factor in the likelihood that the first two weeks of games there will have an average attendance of 40,000 or so, maybe you lower the average attendance for the rest of the season to about 32,000. Definitely not unbearable snagging conditions.

    And this analysis doesn’t even recognize the fact that the Nationals are in just their fourth year of existence, or that their fans are notoriously apathetic, or that the Nationals could possibly collapse and lose 100 games (meaning that by September, attendance would likely plummet to 25,000 per game), or that global warming could cause flooding on a global scale, theoretically destroying the Nationals’ fan base. You see where I’m going with this. Anything can happen. I’m guessing that attendance will be significantly smaller than my projection. I’ll say the average attendance will be between 28,000 and 29,000. What do I win if I’m right?

  15. Zack

    If we ever somehow find ourselves playing Mario together, I’ll be sure to show you the trick. :-)


    Whaaaaaat?! You ARE crazy! But in a good way. Wow, you really bought that book?


    You already win. I had no idea.*****. What was I thinking? I guess I just forgot what the attendance was like at all those other new ballparks when they opened. I can’t believe you really did all this research. That’s fantastic. I mean, that is professional-type research and writing. Very funny about the global warming. You write *very* well, ESPECIALLY for someone who’s…wait…starting college, right? Are you in your freshman year now? Really cool to see all the numbers crunched like this. Thanks a lot. I’m sure everyone here appreciates it. I was thinking about buying a ticket off StubHub for the new Nationals stadium next season, but your research shows me that I won’t have to. I’ll just wait ’til May and then wait for a weeknight game and drive down and walk up to the ticket window, and I’m sure there’ll be something there for me, even a cheapie in the upper deck (which I obviously wouldn’t sit in). Hooray!


    I can’t believe I’m behind in reading your blog. That book would have been mine!!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s