Saturday, October 22, 2011

Our National Passed Time

Don't look now, and judging from the TV ratings not many of us are, the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals are having themselves a heckuva World Series. They split two one-run games in St. Louis and renew the best of seven contest tonight in Arlington, Texas. I hate as a Yankees fan to be outside looking in on the Series this time of year, which, in light of my absence of baseball-like skills of any kind is a special blend of ignorance and arrogance not seen in too many other places.

I'd almost forgotten last year's Series champs, the San Francisco Giants, not only didn't get to defend their championship, they didn't even make the play-offs. I think, with all respect to the scribes of Bean Town that might be a bigger story than The Olde Town Team's starting rotation washing down Popeye's Chicken with some suds (Yawn). Of course, if you live in Philadelphia, when you're not booing a cure for cancer, you're still upset about the Fightin' Phils (I think 'utter' is a little bit of piling on, but I know one Mets fan who loved that headline.)

And as Seinfeld noted, all professional sports fans are really cheering for the clothes as the contents of the uniforms change zip codes every off season, and sometimes during it, leaving all of us who cheer as the sole constants in our own universe.

Back in the day I used to frequent a joint where, at the far end near the 19" TV on the arm over the bar, were folks who wagered on every pitch and on what happened after every pitch. Most nights they had no idea what the score was-their game inside the game had nothing to do with The Game. Was it illegal? I guess maybe not on an afternoon when the beat cop picked up $20 on a double play ball, but still....

I'm told baseball is not a 21st Century American sport. Neither am I. A whole lot of shit has gone south around here in recent decades and I'm not sure what's in this bag but I'm the one holding it and I'm not happy about it. But did I cheer in my living room like a crazed loon when Jeter picked up hit #3000 or feel bad for the kid from Detroit whose perfect game was goobered up by the ump? Youbetcha.

Of course all those kinds of feelings went out with high button shoes and hoop skirts here in Air Age America, home of the WTF? and OMG! text message. I still remember the guy a row down to my left the afternoon my son took me to Yankees Stadium, who spent the whole frickin' game texting on his Crackbery. Seriously. You paid how much for these seats? You cannot fix stupid-but you can whack it a few times to loosen it up.

So find the time if not today then in the close to here and now to check out the Boys of Summer's Last Hurrah of 2011. They may not be any boys I know but they're all the guys we got and I've already put my mitt, double wrapped with rubber bands and a baseball in the pocket, under the back mousetrap of the bike trying to get a head start on Spring training. Mandatory report date is Friday, 2 March, but who's counting. I meant, aside from me?
-bill kenny

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