This Week in Milford

April 10, 2019

The Bases Are Loaded: Is the Artist Loaded Too?


Okay, could all y’all who said you were going to sleep please wake up and help me figure out the bizarro details in today’s strip?

Panel one starts out okey-dokey. Nice detail on the batting gloves, Chief and, uh, nice effort on using words that a softball player might use, Rubin.  Jocelynn Brown must be part of the Brown-Hiatt family ’cause she’s making things happen.

We get to panel two and what the hell is going on here?  Is this a Milford baserunner, base coach, or someone standing on a bag about six feet from the outfield wall?  Did she get her arms from an all-you-can-eat Alaskan king crab leg buffet?  Is she wearing Japanese tabi cleats?  Isn’t 410 a deep wall for high school softball?  (With this perspective, kinda makes you think that should read 4/20.)  Finally, is that a smaller Ricozzi’s Pizza billboard on the fence?  How funny would it have been had big money BRobby Howry kept buying ad space ripping Gil on his own playing field?

On to panel three.  I know that ideally a home plate umpire doesn’t line up directly behind the catcher, so as to have a better view of the outside corner of the plate.  I can’t recall ever having seen an ump line up that far off center – nearly perpendicular to the catcher – even with an unseen left-handed batter up.  Maybe someone who’s been to a softball game more recently than I can confirm this is legit.

Oh, and someone please tell me Benson uses this cheer:


Okay, everybody back to sleep now.


  1. This is a pretty thorough violation of the fundamental principle of visual presentation: “Show, don’t tell.” When you need a narration box in every frame, you’re doin’ it wrong.

    Comment by jvwalt — April 10, 2019 @ 6:45 am

  2. “The Bases Full” is my favorite episode of Benson!

    Comment by billytheskink — April 10, 2019 @ 7:29 am

  3. We are accustomed to the geometric challenges of drawing a softball or baseball diamond, but here, we have a new twist. Unless the catcher is crouched on top of it, we’re playing without a plate. And thanks, teenchy, for pointing out the inexplicability of the p2 drawing– I thought I was missing something.

    Comment by vaganova — April 10, 2019 @ 7:52 am

  4. Panel 2 is a bit saner in color, since the foreshortened outfield at least doesn’t look like a wall. The other odd thing seems to be that the Bunnies are invisible.

    Comment by Downpuppy (@Downpuppy) — April 10, 2019 @ 8:55 am

  5. Teenchy, I’m glad you brought up the umpiring mechanics in P3. That dude is in a HORRIBLE position.
    Yes, they should be slightly to the left or right of the catcher, as to get a better view(can’t see with the catcher’s head in the way) plus he’s in a position to get out of the way should the catcher attempt to make a play on the ball(pop fly comes to mind). Fielders should be able to field ANYWHERE on the field so the ump needs to be ready to steer clear.
    But not only does the ump in P3 possess a butt that a Mack truck could drive through on his way to delivering Bucket Pizzas, but NO umpire is that far away from the catcher. In softball, he must be able to exit left to be ready to get in the inside part of the diamond should the 1st base umpire need help with the 1st baseman bobbling the throw from the infielder, swipe tag, foot off the bag, etc.
    Umps do a GREAT job and they always hear “Where’d you get your license, Blue?”, which unfortunately goes with the turf.
    But in P3, that question is legit. I’d to answer Thorpiverse has an umpiring school that teaches umps to line up behind the on-deck batter and wear pants that’ll make sure the Men-in-Blue dont have a CRACK problem, anyway.

    Comment by tdrewhardin — April 10, 2019 @ 9:05 am

  6. Inasmuch as there isn’t much to say about today’s strip that hasn’t already been said and in light of the fact that Mitch Easter’s band Let’s Active was featured here not too long ago, I thought I would leave this link to an article about REM’s album Reckoning which features, among other things, an interview with Mitch Easter himself who produced the album.

    Comment by timbuys — April 10, 2019 @ 11:00 am

  7. Time to put on the Bugs Bunny Baseball clip like they used to do during Cubs rain delays on WGN

    Comment by franku2016 — April 10, 2019 @ 1:19 pm

  8. 4/10 is todays date, not the wall sign.

    Comment by robmize2013 — April 10, 2019 @ 6:37 pm

  9. @vaganova: I gave Whigham a pass as the dish is usually located about midway between the front and back edges of the batter’s boxes.

    @Downpuppy: I see what you mean. In color it’s easier to conclude that we’re looking at Ms. Brown standing on second after a bases-clearing double, in front of a foreshortened right-center field. I kinda think a strip shouldn’t rely on being in color to aid the reader’s situational awareness, since many dailies run them in black and white. I’m funny like that.

    @timbuys: Thanks for that link, a great read that makes me feel, well, very old. When Reckoning was released I was finishing up my junior year, living in an apartment in Normaltown between the campus and Allen’s, the bar made famous in the lyrics of the B-52’s “Deadbeat Club.” I had seen R.E.M. too many times to count by then, in clubs, on campus and at their day jobs (e.g., Buck working at Wuxtry). The album really launched them into the national spotlight and Athens would be too small a place for them from then on.

    @robmize2013: Yeah, I know. My 3:16 joke kinda fell flat too.

    Comment by teenchy — April 10, 2019 @ 8:38 pm

  10. @teenchy The author (Elizabeth Nelson) has a whole series of these around the internet. They are very much definitely designed to make the reader feel old. A few months ago, she did one on Elvis Costello’s Spike turning thirty years old that really took the wind out of my sails the morning I read it…

    Comment by timbuys — April 11, 2019 @ 8:46 am

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