FANFOOD RULES: # 3. Check the Weather

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Weather delays affect MLB more than any other major sports league in America. It’s true for a few reasons. First, it’s very difficult to play baseball in the rain. Second, due to the sheer volume of games during the MLB regular season, there are bound to be more games rained out than across any other league. But most importantly the weather that the games are played in affects the flight of the baseball.

 

The temperature, pressure and humidity will work together to change the density of the air. The less dense the air, the less air molecules are around to exert their drag force on the ball and would therefore result in a greater distance of flight.

For example:

  • Air Pressure: Lower = Longer baseball flight (based on ballpark elevation / current weather)
  • Wind: Longer or shorter baseball flight (depending on speed and direction)
  • Temperature: Higher = Longer baseball flight
  • Humidity: Higher = Longer baseball flight (when compared to same temperature air)

 

Everyone has seen the way the wind blowing out at Wrigley Field can turn a normal game into a homerun derby. Many people think the thin air in Coors Field is automatically good for an extra two runs per night, or conversely how the dead-sea air of McCovey Cove at AT&T Park is where balls die in the gaps.

The single most important influence on the trajectory of a baseball once it is hit (or thrown) … the wind. You don’t need to be Einstein to figure out that the wind will blow fly balls into homeruns, knock homeruns down into long outs, or push balls further right or left than its trajectory would be under calm conditions. The wind blowing out reduces the frictional drag and allows the ball to travel further, but a strong wind blowing in will increase the drag and keep balls in the yard.

In deciding your starting lineup today, you have factored in whether your hitters are facing a lefty or a righty, you know the ballpark they are playing in, and what time of day the game is going to be played. But have you checked the weather?

 

This is FANFOOD RULE #3. Check the Weather

 

While it’s nice to know ahead of time if the wind is blowing out, or in, or if the temperature is really high and the stadium is surrounded by a low pressure mass … in the end the weather needs to be so drastically different (strong winds, really high temps, high levels of humidity) in order for it to have an recognizable affect on the outcome.

What you really need to know is if the game is actually going to be played. In leagues with daily roster changes, if the game the player on your roster spot is postponed, and you know this ahead of time, you can substitute that position with another player, and hopefully get stats for that day.

There are some great tools out there to help you with this, and as always it comes down to time. How much time are you willing to spend checking all the different weather forecasts for all the players on your roster? This article will give you all the tools you need to help you answer that very question.

 

The weather page over at Rotoinfo.com is a quick read and even tells you how the wind is blowing, the page over at Weather Underground gives you more information like an hourly forecast, and MyTeamsWeather will give you weather alerts for your favorite players and teams.

Along with these three, you have sites like dailybaseballdata.com and their awesome weather page, mlbstartingnine.com which is great for the daily gamers out there, a daily baseball ballpark analyzer for the person with too much time on their hands and finally for the gamblers, the people over at bodog, have put together a handy MLB weather page, with links to the old standard weather.com.

If all that wasn’t enough, the people over at Rotoinfo have a twitter feed with direct links to the forecast for each game.

 

- Here are the FANFOOD MLB weather links -

 

RotoInfo weather

Weather Underground MLB

My Teams Weather

Daily Baseball Data

MLB Starting Nine

Baseball Ballpark Analyzer

bodog MLB on Weather.com

 

RotoInfo MLB Weather Twitter feed

 

 

 

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Double Smoked Spiral Ham

 

The hardest part of this recipe is locating the spiral ham. You can find one for under $20 at your local Costco (Kirkland brand). This recipe is titled “double smoked” because just about every spiral ham claims to be smoked, And we are going to do it again. To make this recipe you will need either a smoker or a charcoal grill set up for indirect cooking. Since the smoke time is relatively short (2-3 hours), you will want to monitor your cooker closely and really put the smoke on heavy. I’ve included a basic recipe below for a simple, Southern style brown sugar glaze, but you could take the outside flavoring in any direction you want (fruit jam, jerk, etc). You will need a quarter or half hotel pan to put the ham in and to catch the glaze and juices so you can baste the ham. I prefer to baste the ham roughly every 20 minutes and add more wood chunks at the same time. I monitor the internal temperature of the ham with a probe thermometer and shoot for an internal temp of 165-180 degrees. Since we are working with a fully cooked product doneness really isn’t an issue. What we really want to pay attention to is getting smoke on the product and building layers of flavor by basting frequently.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 spiral ham

Brown Sugar Mustard Ham Glaze

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup grain mustard (I prefer whole grain mustard)

PREPARATION

For the Glaze:

combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and heat over low heat until fully incorporated.

For the Ham:

Unwrap the spiral ham and place in quarter or half hotel pan.

Apply all of brown sugar glaze to ham.

Smoker or charcoal grill should be set up for indirect cooking with a running temperature of 225-250 degrees.

Soaked wood chunks (hickory or fruit wood) should be added to the fire every 20 minutes.

Baste the ham with the collected juices and glaze at the same time that wood chunks are added.

Monitor the internal temperature of the ham.

Target doneness is 165-180 degrees which should be achieved in two to three hours.

 

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