Thursday, March 1, 2018

First Pitches

TigerBlog went to the eye doctor yesterday morning.

He's been going to the same eye doctor for 25 years, by the way, ever since he first figured out he needed glasses. He's worn them ever since.

His vision is actually terrible without his glasses. He wears them pretty much the entire time he's awake.

He's never worn contact lenses. Those are definitely not his thing. He just would never be okay touching his own eyeballs.

And of course, that leads to the conversation that he had with FatherBlog yesterday, just after he left the doctor. It went something like this:

FB: What's new?
TB: Leaving the eye doctor.
FB: Are you okay?
TB: Need new glasses.
FB: You have to get glasses?
TB: New ones.
FB: You wear glasses?
TB: Only for about 25 years.
FB: You mean contacts?
TB: No. Glasses.
FB: Do you only wear them at night or something? I wouldn't have seen you in them.
TB: This is a joke, right?

TigerBlog still isn't 100 percent sure if his father was messing with him, though he doesn't think he was. It's possible that he genuinely cannot remember that 100 percent of the time that he's seen him in the last 25 years, he's been wearing eyeglasses.

Here's another thing about the eye doctor: the drops sting. And they dilate the pupils, which means that any light is blinding. Yesterday? It was the brightest, sunniest day you'll ever see. Only go to the eye doctor on cloudy days.

There are clouds today. There's also a Nor'easter on the way, one that will bring cold, wind and rain to this area and snow to areas a bit north and west of here. It's March, after all. It's supposed to come in like a lion.

February went out like a lamb. That's for sure. If recent trends hold, then January is cold, February is warm, March is brutal, April is what early March was supposed to be, May will be what late March or early April is supposed to be and then everyone will wake up one day in early June to 90 degrees, where it will stay for a few months.

If you want a sure thing for the weather, of course, there's always the Phoenix area. That's where the Princeton softball team will be this weekend, as the Tigers open the season with five games in Arizona.

If you want the entire rundown, it's this:
Princeton plays UNLV at 11:30 a.m. local time/1:30 p.m. Eastern Time tomorrow, followed by a game against Grand Canyon at 4:30 p.m. local time. The schedule Saturday has the Tigers against South Dakota at 11:30 a.m. local, followed by another game against Grand Canyon at 4:30 p.m. local, before wrapping up the weekend against Valparaiso at 9 a.m. local time Sunday.

That's a great way to start a season. Interestingly, Grand Canyon has already played 17 games. UNLV has already played 14.

Princeton has won the last two Ivy League championships in softball and is the preseason favorite at least to win this year's.

The baseball team also opens the season this weekend, in Wilmington, N.C. The forecast might be Arizonian for Wilmington, but it still should be good, with clear skies (the first requirement) and temps around 60.

UNC Wilmington, by the way, has played eight games already.

The Princeton baseball team won the Ivy title two years ago and played in the NCAA regional in Lafayette, Louisiana. TigerBlog was there. He loved it.

This year will be different than years past in Ivy League baseball and softball.

For more than 10 years, the Ivy League had two divisions in both, and the winners would play each other in the league championship series. The regular season saw each team play four games against the teams in its division and then two against the other four not in its division.

Starting this year, there will be seven weekends with three games - doubleheaders Saturday and a single game Sunday - against each other league team. At the end of the year, each team will have played 21 games, three against each of the other seven teams.

At that point, the top two will play each other in the two league championship events.

TB is pretty sure that the baseball and softball teams will not both be home against the same opponents and on the road against the same opponents on the same weekends.

Also different is that none of the series are split to balance home and away, like it was in the past when Princeton and Cornell would play a doubleheader here and another one in Ithaca, leaving both with 10 home league games and 10 away league games. Now, with this format, half the league will play 12 home league games and the other half will play nine.

Not that anyone asked, but TigerBlog loves the new format. There should be great races for the top two spots, but teams well below .500 don't figure to still be in the race late simply because one of the divisions is way better than the other, as often happened.

Either way, it's opening weekend for baseball and softball, and they're both likely to find good weather.

The first league weekend is March 24 and 25, and both Princeton teams will be home. Those will also be the home openers for both.

Hopefully the weather then will be in the "lamb" phase.

1 comment:

Mike Knorr said...

The Tigers beat Vermont in '97 and Brown in '98. They also beat Cornell in '99 at home which was also the best play-off series I've ever seen. Until last year.