You know, they say that it takes two weeks to break a bad habit. If you can ‘correct’ your behavior for a mere fourteen days or so, the pattern is broken, and you’ll be free from whatever it is that ails you.
Perhaps it’s only coincidence, but I’m reminded at this point that I went on vacation for a week, then wrote about that vacation for another full week. So here I am, fourteen days later, and I’ve apparently forgotten how to write about anything else. Which means that I’ve either got to go on vacation again to drum up some material (that was ‘Option A’ in my book, by the way, but the wife and boss have put the kibosh on that one), or I’ve got to get my ass pulled together and find something else to write about.
As it turns out, ‘they’ also say — loudmouth sons of bitches, aren’t ‘they’? — that you should write what you know. What you love. What you’re passionate about. Well, that’s fine. I love lots of things, so that shouldn’t be too hard. Lots of things. Well, okay — really, just two things. And one of them involves a hand mixer, a tub of Crisco, and my favorite Barry White CD.
So. Let’s shoot for the other one, then — let’s talk about baseball. I love baseball — I think I always have. As far back as I can remember, I loved watching games, going to games, playing games… I could spit and scratch my crotch before I could walk or speak.
(Of course, now that I think about it, that’s probably true of just about everyone. But you know what I mean.)
I’m happy right now, too, that we’re finally ‘over the hump’ in the current season. Meaning, of course, that the All-Star break has come and gone, and we can get back to the real games, confident that not a day will go by without baseball until mid-October or so. That’s a beautiful thing, people. Weep with me, won’t you?
It doesn’t help any that the All-Star game is a sham — a complete mockery of the sport and all that the game once represented. It used to be the one time when the AL gang would meet the NL hoods — the best against the best, Sharks and Jets — for league bragging rights. Sure, the World Series was infinitely more significant, even then, but that’s really a team accomplishment, above all else. Back in the good old days, the All-Star game was a win for an entire league at once.
Now? Not so much.
For one thing, the marketing monsters at MLB decided a few years ago to institute ‘interleague play’ — so now, all of the teams in each league end up playing each other every three or four years. Why would anyone care about Barry Bonds of the NL Giants matching up against Hudson or Zito or Mulder (oh my!) of the AL’s A’s in an exhibition game when we could see the same shit in June, when the game really counted? Or the two Chicago teams playing each other, or Braves hitters mashing in Fenway Park? It’s all been done now — the novelty is gone. And the All-Star game is reduced to ugly stepsister status.
Even besides that, there’s much more player movement now than there used to be. Guys switch teams more often than they go through protective cups. So even if a couple of teams miraculously don’t play each other for a couple of years, there’s still a pretty good bet that players will get traded between the two, or to other teams in the same league, and you’ll still end up seeing a particular batter-pitcher matchup forty-three times before either of them ever makes it to the All-Star game. So it’s even worse. I don’t know what that qualifies as — ugly stepmother status, maybe?
And then, there’s everything else — some people just don’t like baseball. Others complain that the All-Star game sucks, just because everyone on the field has a personal, full-time crotch scratcher who makes more money than you or I will ever see. But personally, I don’t watch the All-Star game because it’s clear the players just don’t care.
And frankly, they shouldn’t. It’s an exhibition, for the love of Don Zimmer’s jockstrap! The baseball powers-that-bitch are trying to bring some significance back to the game artificially, after stripping it all away with this interleague, interchangable player nonsense. They’ve offered home-field advantage in the World Series to whichever league wins the All-Star game. Which is a damned crock — for one thing, the players obviously aren’t buying it. They’re not gonna ‘take one for the team’ or break an arm just for that. Plus, by the time the All-Star break rolls around, only six or eight of the people on the field are even affected — you think the player representing the Tigers or the Expos gives two shits and a plug of tobacco where the World Series gets played? Those guys are thirty games out of contention by now; they’re more worried about how they’re gonna afford a backup crotch scratcher than who’s playing in October.
Okay. That’s an awful lot of bitching about the All-Star game. But don’t get me wrong, folks — I complain because I care. And now that we’ve passed the halfway point, there’s nothing but sweet, sweet uninterrupted baseball for months. And I can go back to working on my goal of becoming the ‘Ultimate Fan’.
You see, I have a dream. I want to be ‘that guy’ that everyone knows in the stands. The lifer. The fanatic. The crazy dude with the box seats. And I’ve got a plan to get there, too.
First, I’ve got to get big. Huge. I wanna buy two season ticket seats, and sit in ’em both myself. Maybe I’ll cut away the armrest in between, and plop an asscheek in each — or maybe I’ll just stand the whole time. That’s better for all the screaming I plan on doing, anyway.
Oh, yes, there will be screaming. At the umps, at the manager, at the other team… I’ll lay off our players for the most part, of course. I’ll give all of our guys nicknames, based on what I was eating when I first saw them. So you’ll hear things like:
‘Hey, hustle up, there, Cracker Jack! This ain’t your granny’s game!‘
‘Yo, Nachos — nice catch! Can I get that ball from ya?‘
‘What up, there, Cotton Candy? How’s that groin injury coming along?‘
Of course, I’ll turn on them at the drop of a hat in high-pressure situations, like any rabid fan would:
‘Okay, here we go, Nomar — little base knock. Bring these guys home and we win the game, no problem. Two strikes, no problem. You just gotta — wha?! Grounder to second? Game over? Aw…. jeez.
TRADE NOMAH!! TRADE HIM!!! TRAAAAADE HIIIIIM!!!‘
Oh, yeah. I can’t wait, people. I’d better go practice — for this plan to work, I need to be able to make lewd gestures at two umpires at once, without dropping my hot dog or spilling my beer. And I’ll have to be able to belch ‘You suck!‘ loudly enough so the opposing dugout can hear. Damn. There’s a lot of work to do. This is gonna be sweet!Permalink | 5 Comments