Baseball set for epic season

Apr 7, 2009 5:05 PM
Diamond's Gems by Sid Diamond |

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’ve had a smile on my face all day. Yes, Major League Baseball starts in less than a few hours, and I can’t wait for the first pitch.

In the past month, through the magic of TV, I viewed every team, and listened for many hours to team evaluations by ex-players, managers, analysts and anyone else that I could catch pertaining to America’s game.

What have I learned? Well, every team apparently has a chance to win it all, as they all look promising in spring training. We all know that’s not the case, but it sounds good.

I’ve already digested a wealth of information, and the season has yet to start. My only problem occurs when I attempt to recall all the info, which usually goes in one ear and out the other. I have written down numerous facts throughout the past month, but forgot where I wrote them.

So, along with most of you, I’m starting naked and faced with a high utility bill. But it was worth it, as the next seven months I’ll be a happy camper.

Baseball bettors should follow a few basic rules as the season progresses.

Always get on a team streak that begins with three victories. Never attempt to stop a streak, as you may lose multiple bets before you collect one ticket. If the price is too high, then lay one and a half runs, or pass.

Never bet cold weather games to go over, as the ball doesn’t carry well, and pitchers have an advantage.

Don’t overreact on key injuries, as replacements sometimes do as well for short periods of time. A case in point is the loss of A-Rod for at least the first month of the season.

Starting pitchers are not nearly as important in the early months, as most will only average six plus innings. Bullpens are more important and are not necessarily adjusted to the opening line.

Know your ballparks and daily weather before betting totals. A hint – most California stadiums are different at night as opposed to day games.

Let the new parks go for a week or so until you can determine whether they are pitcher or hitter friendly.

When betting totals, try to remember that "9" is the most important number in baseball. If you don’t, you’ll have a long season.

That’s all I can remember. Memory is not my strong suit.

For those of you that look forward to our weekly presentation of national optimism, it comes this week from an unlikely source. Wall Street is not my favorite subject, but one can’t ignore in these harsh times that the stock market has somewhat stabilized and has shown upturns for the fourth consecutive week. For many of us this factor is a personal stretch, but to many others it’s the most significant good news that can be reported.

Most of us buy tickets, not stocks, but the rise in the Dow Jones must be beneficial to many in this country. The stability and health of our economy is deep rooted in the optimistic outlook of those who participate in this activity in a daily basis. Follow the money, honey!

Last week the expected bad news came about the passing of my friend and mentor Herbie Seid. Herb was in a hospice in New York for over 18 months, just another example of how this wonderful man was able to once again beat the odds. He indeed lost his last bet, as we eventually all do. However, his inner strength and upbeat personality kept him in the game for longer than anyone dared to predict. My family and I only have fond memories of our long friendship, and feel privileged to have known this pillar of a man. Rest in peace, Herb. You’ll be missed by all whose lives you touched.

Have a great week.