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Rosin Bag Bag | FanGraphs Baseball

During most baseball games, there are eight people who call the action. Both home and away teams have radio and television stations, and most of those teams include a play-by-play announcer and color analyst. If those groups have Spanish-language coverage, the value is much higher. More often than you might think, something remarkable happens during a game and none of those eight people notice. Maybe a player will step around a bunt but end up taking a pitch, and that detail just goes unnoticed by everyone. It's a small detail, but it's part of the story of the game. It tells you about the batting team's strategy and their trust in the batsman. Appreciate the choice of tone and position of the defense. Maybe the television crew thinks you've already seen it. Maybe the radio crew needs to slip in a promo or a black guy in the middle of an anecdote about how sometimes he should be more Little Big League. There's only so much time between pitches, and announcers all have decisions to make about how best to fill it. Either way, if you're listening to the radio, or if you look away from your TV for a while, you'll have no idea what happened.

Something happened on Wednesday, in the first game of a doubleheader between the Tigers and the Pirates. I found it remarkable, but apparently I was not alone. No one else has mentioned it. The Pirates were starting Jared Jones and Paul Skenes that day, and I was watching Detroit's television broadcast. I did this in part because Jason Benetti is fun, but mostly because when Jones and Skenes are on the mound, it's fun to hear the opposing announcers react in amazement as they watch hitter after hitter on their team get their legs and arm torn apart. Unfortunately for both Jones and me, the Tigers avoided being dismantled, hanging five earned runs and two unearned runs off Jones en route to a breezy 8-0 victory. On the other hand, Benetti and Kirk Gibson, who worked as color analysts, decided that for most of the game, the best way to spend their time was to argue like an old married couple.

Benetti: Do they know you at your local donut shop?

Gibson: No.

Benetti: They know you as the guy who orders all the chocolate chip cookies.

Gibson: I don't want to. I eat sugar now, I don't now. So no one knows.

Benetti: Well, everyone knows that you eat sugar-free food because you last saying it.

Gibson: Yes, but you keep asking me if I like sweet things. And I say no, strangers because I can't find them. Although… well… my grandson brought me one today. So I did it where no one could see.

Benetti: You ate sugar, but you yell at me and say that I will give you sugar. But you then ate it?

Gibson: If that's a shout, I'll peg you at about a year and a half old.

Benetti: [Laughing] Swipe and miss, hit three times. Keith hits the floor.

In the top of the seventh, as Tarik Skubal was about to finish grinding the Pittsburgh lineup, Benetti pointed out that Skubal did USA Today crossword before every start. Skubal discussed the tradition on Benetti's podcast a few weeks ago. He takes it seriously. If he gets caught, he'll have catcher Jake Rogers, who also makes different names every day, provide more clues. When Rogers is also stuck, Skubal checks his phone for an answer. He had no problem on Wednesday. “I knew it well,” Skubal told reporters. “Rog was supposed to help me on the bottom left.” After telling the story, Benetti took out a copy of the puzzle and gave it to Gibson, saying, “I swiped one of the crosswords in the clubhouse, and I was wondering if maybe at the end of the game you could finish the crossword. .” It was the first time I heard a play-by-play announcer give a color analyst homework.

There was a time in my life when I did USA Today crossword. In 2007, I was a marketing assistant at a law firm. It was my first job out of college, and most days, there was no work at all. The company had several subcontracts for its employees, which meant I would log on to almost any major newspaper and do a crossword puzzle, so that's what I did all day. i will do it New York Times crossword, then two Washington Post crosswords, then USA Today crossword. Finally, I will go to The Wall Street Journal, which had all its words from Sunday archived, and I work backwards until it's time to go home. In my five months in that job, I was successful for several years The Wall Street Journal puzzles.

I learned a lot from that job. The most important thing I learned is that time and energy are precious things, and we should make the most of them. I finally gave up putting words together. I still love them and will do them when I'm on vacation, but I wanted to read and write and make things, and I realized that's where my energy should go. However, i first the thing i learned from that job is USA Today The crossword puzzle is a complete joke. It is bad behavior. The easiest word puzzle imaginable. It's in the child menu. Although that annoyed me at the time, I now realize that it also makes it a fun puzzle to do before starting. I USA Today The crossword is a wonderful confidence booster. It makes you feel like the smartest person who ever lived. It's like playing face to face with an 8 year old. It makes you feel 10 feet tall. It should be placed as medicine for any pitcher who needs to start trusting his stuff and following the hitters.

Top of the eighth. Benetti finished reading a promo for Comerica Park's first annual Pickleball Night, then began to check in on Gibson. The result was something out of Beckett.

Benetti: Do you play pickleball?

Gibson: Not recently.

Benetti: But you have it.

Gibson: Yes.

Benetti: Are you talented?

Gibson: I don't move very well anymore, but yes, I used to. You have to… I don't like you because you can't go to the kitchen.

Benetti: Whose kitchen?

Gibson: The pickleball kitchen.

Benetti: My kitchen?

Gibson: Pickleball.

Benetti: Like were you kidding me?

Gibson: No. Your kitchen.

I think Gibson meant that in pickleball, you can't just end up hitting someone, but we'll never know for sure. As Mason Englert was about to bring up an 0-2 pitch to Alika Williams, a gust of wind sent a small white rectangle up behind the pitcher's mound and landed on top, directly in front of Englert. Because the broadcast was near Englert, and because Bally Sports has the largest on-screen graphics known to man, obscuring the entire bottom of the picture, there was no way of knowing what the rectangle was or where it came from.

While Benetti was trying to figure out which kitchen Gibson was talking about, Englert called time and bent down to pick up a rectangle. The rectangle had other ideas.

Home plate umpire Doug Eddings called a timeout and walked out to Englert. Although the microphones didn't pick it up, someone near the third base dugout informed Englert to place a rectangle under one of the rosin bags. The reason I can say with confidence that the rosin-bag-as-paperweight gambit came from that spot is that Eddings then turned around on the third hole. “That was mine,” he yelled, about the timeout. “Good idea,” he shouted, about this good idea.

At least I think that's what happened. Eddings might as well have shouted, “That's my best idea!” which I would totally get. It was a great idea, and if I came up with it, I would want credit. I spent the entire game wondering what the rectangle was. Was it a piece of paper that fell on the fan on the field? Was it some kind of protective standing card? How did it get to the mound? Yesterday, I went back and watched this game on both the telecast and all the audio feeds. The other three never even said it was time out. They all had more important things to discuss. However, the video released by the Pirates revealed the identity of the mysterious rectangle. It was a bag of rosin, sort of.

As it turns out, it was a bag holding a bag of rosin, a bag of rosin. Obviously, pitchers should not be trusted with an unprotected bag of rosin, lest they reach levels of adhesion not previously thought of. They may only touch it with the second bag. A rosin bag holds rosin (which is technically resin), and a rosin bag holds a rosin bag. Easy as pie.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Jones gave up a three-run homer to Matt Vierling. Then he did what pitchers often do while waiting for their batters to run around the bases: He went to the rosin bag. By doing that, you were able to remove the inner bag from the outer bag. Maybe it was an accident. Maybe the bag wasn't fully closed. Maybe he was really frustrated and needed his rosin clean and uncut. Either way, there were two bags on the mound in front of the field and three on the mound behind it.

I was watching the game, and at one point, I noticed that there was a third bag on the mound. However, I explained that it had rained earlier, I realized that a third one was needed because it was wet, and I quickly forgot. Somehow the outer bag – which sat high, weighed 12 grams, and had the exact same shape, structure, and overall aerodynamics of the sail on the wind machine – managed to stay in place for more than two innings. Then in the top of the eighth, it started to get restless.

A few policemen later, after about an hour at base camp, the bag finally decided that the conditions were right for us to go up. And then, just one pitch later, it was gone.

If you were to look away from your television for a moment, you wouldn't know any of this happened. In the Tigers broadcast, although Benetti acknowledged that the timeout was called, neither he nor Gibson said why. He was trying to figure out what Eddings was crying about.

Benetti: What did he just say? What did Doug Eddings just say? Was that mine, my time off? I think it was his closing time.

Gibson: I'm not sure what he said. You were talking about pickles.

Benetti: Pickleballs in particular. Broken bat, second base, Keith. You can say Keith a spear it?

Gibson: Are you still eating cucumbers?

Benetti: It is a choice.

Gibson: No, you painted it.

Benetti: Was it slow it's surprising yours?

[Silence, followed by audible chuckles from Benetti.]

Gibson: Can you stop? You had it all game.

Benetti: REALLY –

Gibson: Give me a break.

Benetti: – It was me! Definitely me.

Gibson: Hello, how do you get to the crossword puzzle?

Many thanks to the reader and pickleballer they werewho explained that the kitchen, also known as the non-volley zone, is the 7″ area on both sides of the net where it is illegal to play the ball in flight.

There. Now we've all learned something about pickleball.

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