Wednesday, April 02, 2008

America's National Pastime

No, it's not waiting for the next Britney Spears meltdown, or the next message of imminent disaster for the financial community.

Baseball season has started.

Not that I care very much, of course, not being a baseball fan on the order of John. I enjoy playing baseball, but don't find it all that interesting to watch, and I've never been able to get into the Talmudic parsing of the most obscure statistics and game trivia that seem to inspire true baseball fans:

Announcer: "And now Schmidlap steps up to bat. He was 3 for 4 last season, with a batting average of .300, 563 RBI's, 5200 RPM's, and an RDA of 300 mg's. Schmidlap holds the American League record for at-bats by a right-handed, blue-eyed, cross-dressing lapsed Catholic history buff with three children and a dog."

Bar Patron: "That's wrong!! He had 5204 RPM's last year, which was his personal best record for a year divisible by 3! And he has a cat, not a dog!"

One of the time-honored traditions of American baseball is that the President throws out the first pitch of the opening game. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it gives presidents something to do that they can't really screw up. Of course, in my opinion, we should have thrown out the president and kept the ball, but that's just me. Or as writer Gore Vidal once said, "These presidential ninnies should stick to throwing out baseballs and leave the important matters to serious people."

I think Mr Vidal was on to something.

Here in Washington, DC, the brand-new stadium for the Washington Nationals has just opened to generally rave reviews, except from the nearby small shop-owners who are finding their rents soaring out of sight as developers rush to build up the previously-distressed neighborhood. Parking? If you want to park within a day's walk of the stadium, take out a second mortgage on your house first. Or you could take the Metro to the stadium and save the parking money to pay for your hot dog, popcorn, and drink, which will cost you an amount equal to the GNP of a small African nation.

But if that's your thing, by all means go for it. In fact, treat your congressman to a trip to a game. For the few hours he'll be watching the game, he won't be able to foul up the economy any more.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


P.S. - Last night was the second elimination on Dancing with the Stars, and actor Steve Gutenberg was voted off the hardwood island. Too bad. I personally think Marissa Jaret Winokur should have gone, but that's the breaks. The high point of the results show was the "Mango" danced by Steve Gutenberg and Jonathan Roberts. Roberts had stepped in to train Gutenberg during the previous week while his wife - Gutenberg's partner Anna Trebunskaya - was sick. It was hysterical.



The Mistress of the Dark said...

I'd rather watch baseball than the election coverage, that's for sure.

Amanda said...

Interesting! I didn't know that the president throws the first ball.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Baseball doesn't get shown much over here, but the statistics bewilder me.