Friday, October 30, 2015

Perhaps Some Final Thoughts on America's Pastime

This is from a couple of years ago, and with very little alteration, it remains painfully accurate. Some days my awesomeness is exceeded only by my modesty. This is not one of those days. 

I was hoping this was the year the World Series lasted until Spring Training. Of course, I also hoped my Yankees would be the AL representatives...but what is it they say about wishing? 'Wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one fills up faster.' That's as may be, but my rule after watching somebody do that is to just wave instead of shaking hands.

Anyway, it's over for my Yankees, but perhaps not for Lee and Mark’s Mets, though it’s a hole to dig out of now that the World Series is at Citi-Field (still feels weird NOT typing Shea Stadium), and the Metropolitans know that to have any hope, they need to win four out of six while the Royals only need two of those same six games.

Then it's the Hot Stove League for everybody and about 110 days until pitchers and catchers report but before we start packing for Florida or Arizona, just a few words about the annual buzzing and murmuring about the Designated Hitter, DH, used only in American League Parks during the World Series and how maybe the National League should get in the modern era and have one as well. Actually I have just two words: Shut up.

I hate the DH and not just because I wonder where guys like Ruth, DiMaggio and Aaron might have ended up if they could have sat on the end of a dugout during the dog days of August and come out and batted three or four times a game and then sat down again.

Do what I do a couple of the times every summer: stop some place where kids are playing sandlot ball and ask how many want to play when they grow up. When you do, next ask them what position. Guess how many say Designated Hitter? Yeah. Game, set and match.

Apropos “game.” And I hate to be unctuous about this (no, I don’t): the purpose of baseball caps evolved as the game matured. They were intended to shade your eyes from the rays of the sun because The Lord intended baseball to be played outdoors and during the day (only) so S/He could watch from heaven. The purpose of the work week during the baseball season was, and remains, to get in the way of going to a ballgame.

I do not understand why other sports' teams have baseball caps. It's not part of their uniform, and for the No Fun Losers, how would your guys even wear them? Under the helmet or over it? Take it easy, NHL; I was also looking at you while typing that. And I would stop smiling, NBA; sports in shorts? Seriously? 

But here's the thing, because baseball is driven by dollars, day games have gone the way of the dodo, or just about. Remember when we were kids bringing transistor radios to school and asking permission to listen to them during recess after lunch? That's when Jim Hightower, Mama Bear Palin and Rush Limbaugh rule the airwaves, not the World Series.

So to go back to my sandlot full of kids playing baseball. Maybe now none of them want to grow up to be players because it all happens after their bedtimes. And let's face it, professional Designated Hitters need their beauty sleep too; by the looks of most of them 18-20 hours a day sure wouldn’t hurt.
-bill kenny 

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