Curious, women are playing softball tonight

and men cancelled baseball.

Baseball and softball are not the same. Notably, baseball games take longer to play and there is more wear and tear on pitchers. In fact, game length and pitchers’ availabilities probably are the two main considerations when trying to figure out if a game can be played on a rainy night. No coach wants to get a starter warmed up and sit around for a long period of time, then have to rely on the bullpen to provide starter innings.

The softball game tonight began at 7, then was delayed at 8:18 and was restarted at 9:15. Both starting pitchers continued to throw, whereas in baseball the starters almost assuredly would have been burned by that point, three innings into the game.

The softball game, which is seven innings, just ended at 10:20. I think they made the right choice not to play baseball tonight.

Matt nailed that. Comparing baseball to softball as far as the pitching, it’s apples to oranges. A starting pitcher in baseball rarely returns from a one-hour delay. And, when he does, generally, he’s less effective. I’ve seen Blaine Knight do it – and wasn’t that at Missouri last year? – but seldom do many try it. The wear and tear on a pitcher’s elbow and shoulder is intense. Not so with a softball pitcher’s joints. It’s an entirely different motion. A fast-pitch softball pitcher could probably pitch three times in one day.

We used to run scores and briefs on a men’s fast-pitch league in Tulsa. The commissioner of the league – who owned the Rex’s chicken restaurant in East Tulsa – would bring in the results about 11 p.m. on the weekend, along with chicken and pies. We took care of those results with kid gloves. (Actually, with greasy hands!) His food was so good. Carl was his name. Some from Tulsa will remember his restaurant.

But the point of all of this stuff that’s getting my mouth watering at breakfast time is that those men’s fast-pitch hurlers (all paid by the team’s sponsor) were capable of pitching doubleheaders in back-to-back days. The pitchers traveled from all over the country to pitch in that league. They were masters. Most were in their late 30s. They’d play for five or six teams around the country and fly to the games, then leave the next morning to go pitch somewhere else. No problem with pitching 14 innings a night for three straight nights on the weekend with travel in between.