Beachcombing

By: 
Jay Beeler

In January 2021 this column praised Netflix, the cable TV network that offers low-cost access to thousands of movies, TV serials and special performances, like Barbra Streisand in concert or the comedic wit of Larry the Cable Guy. Back then, it was a great alternative to escape from repetitious TV advertisements for politicians or political causes and it still is.

Never in my experience have I seen hundreds of millions spent on ads for gaming Propositions 26 and 27 – about $357M to be more precise. I plan to vote “no” on both just to punish the sponsors of these measures for assaulting our airways.

This year I’ve moved on from “The Crown,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Schitt’s Creek” to binge watch the Angels on Bally Sports West and the Dodgers on SportsNet LA, with occasional jumps to the long-running NCIS series. It’s a good deal at $9.99 to see the talents of Shohei Otani, Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Will Smith and their teammates.

But it wasn’t until Sunday, when the Dodgers played the San Diego Padres, that I learned the most puzzling aspect of baseball (to me) that was solved while watching ESPN’s broadcast. During that game, a small box appeared immediately after each pitch that displayed the type of pitch and its speed.

Eureka, now I know how the BSW and SNLA commentators know that a particular pitch was a four-seam or two-seam fastball, breaking ball, slider, etc. The science is so precise that a computer immediately calls the balls and strikes, thereby signaling the end of an umpire performing that task. It’s about time, since they will occasionally miss a call that’s obvious to a blind person because it is outside the strike zone or vice versa – sometimes affecting the game’s outcome.

Bottom line: computers, video replays and cold beer have been a great addition to college and professional sports.

 

Another benefit of computers is the speed of showing statistical performance. In our line of work, we learn a lot about public attitudes on a wide variety of topics. In our online poll we recently asked “A measure has been proposed to amend the authority of the Citizen Police Complaint Commission. How will you vote on Nov. 7?” Fifteen percent said “yes” and 85% said “no.” In two months we’ll know the truth.

One puzzler is the public’s opinion after weeks of watching the Mar-a-Lago drama unfold. What do you think: “Is a former president entitled to possess sensitive documents after leaving office?” Go to www.beachcomber.news and vote at the bottom of the front page. Email comments to letters@beachcomber.news.

 

In our next issue the results of our 21st annual Best of Long Beach contest in products categories will be revealed, in addition to the prizes awarded to those who submitted ballots. These contests, as well as our Long Beach Treasures contest, would not be possible without our sponsors: Belmont Athletic Club, Belmont Pet & LaunderPet, Buonos Pizza, Home Instead Senior Care, J&L Fine Jewelry, LBCC Senior Studies, Long Beach State Athletics, McDonald’s (Michael Mangione), Cielo Roth Photography, TLD Law (Jennifer N. Sawday) and Wags to Whiskers.

Becoming a sponsor is easy and affordable, especially if you have a service business like photography, hair styling, nail salon, etc. wherein each gift certificate has a value of $25 or more. It’s a great way to get new customers. Call me if interested.

 

Just once, I want a username and password prompt to say: “close enough.”

 

publisher@beachcomber.news

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