Baseball On My Brain

Time to unload
June 5, 2008, 10:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m going to preface this post by saying that I’m in a funk right now — a dirty, stinky, nasty funk that is a combination of an absolutely miserable Mariners season, a situation at work that I’m not at liberty to discuss, and what I have to attribute to some weird cosmic junk going on that’s just leaving me in a mess; or maybe it’s with a mess. Not sure – not important.

This was in the paper the other day – I’m not going to sugar coat my response. Metal bats are money making pieces of junk (I edited my original word) that have been sold on the fact that they don’t break as often as wood and they give more people hits than should be getting them. The result? The story I linked to. Kids are getting hurt, lawsuits are getting filed, and people like me are sitting here in a funk writing about it.

Look – it’s no secret that metal bats – both softball and baseball – make their respective companies a lot of money. They also reward bad swings and poor pitch selection with basehits and .500 averages in high school. Plus they sound like absolute hell. I swear to God – hell is the sound of 100 teams taking batting practice with metal bats.

Now look – I will fully admit that I own and use a metal bat in the adult league I play in. Why? Because I’d be stupid not to. It would be a disservice to my team if I went out there hitting wood and thinking there’s a little halo above my head while I stick up for the way baseball should be played. I know I’m not that good in the grand scheme of things, and I’m not going to sacrifice a base hit just so I can be some kind of martyr for the cause of the wood bat at the plate.

But back to the point – what really irks me about the whole metal bat issue is that it all stems from our desire to score more runs and see more offense, even if it comes at the expense of a pitcher. We are so lustful for the homerun that we’ll juice up our bodies and our bats, which in turn results in 100+ mph shots coming back at some 10 year old on the mound who wants to be Pedro or C.C. or Roy or Felix. This is the one chance I would actually tell my kid (if I had one, which I don’t) – be a catcher instead of a pitcher. At least you get some protection. I’m glad I have my helmet and gear when I play – I feel bad for my teammate standing sixty feet away from me who is right in the line of fire of some dude with a $400 piece of aluminum and composite nanotube whatever in his hands.

Alright – enough on that noise.

Is it time for Fall League yet? Apparently not, even though the weather in Seattle would lead you to think otherwise. I’m convinced that whoever is overseeing the Mariners is overseeing the weather – or vice versa – because they both stink right now. It’s the first week of June and the Mariners are colder than the 54 degree game time temperature we had the other day. What a way to spend a season – freezing your butt off watching a bad team play bad baseball. Sign me up.

Enough with all this talk about the Cubs. Look- they’re playing good baseball and have a great record. Yes, I know it’s the 100th anniversary of their last World Series victory. What a story — woo-hoo and all that. But seriously folks, let’s put the car back in the proper gear…as Mr. Vecsey reminds us, it’s only June. At least you have something to cheer about though, Cubbies fans. Seems like Mariners fans are cheering for some players to be traded/cut/DFA’d/locked in the clubhouse and set on fire.

I watched the draft today (you’re welcome, ESPN2) and silently mourned that I didn’t play baseball as a little kid. To be 18, or 21, and to have your name called as one of the most desirable players in the country at that particular moment in time must be quite an amazing thing to experience. Congrats to all those who were drafted today.

I will also say – I hope that those of you who have the chance to make lots of money through baseball, do it. For those that have the opportunity to go to a great college because of baseball – do that. Get that education, enjoy those times, and know that baseball will be there for you if you commit the time to it while in school. While it excites me to see a young man fresh out of high school taken as the first pick, I also commend those who went to college and did their thing.

Likewise, I watched a thing the Mariners sent out about the players’ memories of their dads while growing up. My father chose not to be part of my picture – which always makes Father’s Day a bit of a touchy subject for me. But I do wish all the good dads out there a happy day, especially the good dads in my family – particularly my two uncles.

Get your eBay on — have dinner with Daisuke. I refuse to spell it Dice-K.

By the way – I saw the Sex and the City movie last weekend. Can’t say I’m glad I did.

If this story doesn’t make you really stop and rethink this whole rivalry thing, than you might want to call a timeout for yourself. I get it that Yankees and Red Sox fans aren’t fond of each other – and that’s cool, to and extent of course. They are two great ballclubs and franchises – so I have no problem with a bit of a heated rivalry. But folks – seriously! You aren’t on the team. You’re a fan. While fans are important, it’s not worth taking each other’s lives. As much as I love baseball, and as much as I let baseball consume my life, I don’t let it consume me to the point where I’d do something stupid like that. It’s baseball – but it’s only baseball. Settle down.

If you haven’t heard of the Larry Craig bobblefoot giveaway at a recent St. Paul Saints game, I suggest you Google it. Then buy me one on eBay.

That appears to be it for now. I’m fighting my craving for McDonald’s…what can I say, I saw Supersize Me and I can’t go back.

On a closing note, I really wish I could have faith in my Mariners, but I just can’t bring myself to it. I may have to invoke the right to root for a non-divisional, non-league team, simply so I can have someone to cheer for. In that case, I am leaning towards the Arizona Diamondbacks. They’re young and scrappy, and I’m  happy that Bob Melvin won the NL Manager of the Year award in 2007. He got hosed in Seattle – so I’m happy he’s getting  his due in the desert. Plus, I have family in Scottsdale, and I think it would be a blast to see the postseason in Phoenix, and I fully expect to be the one supplying tickets for the event.

After seeing the NLDS and World Series in Colorado, where I truly rooted for no one, I would like to have someone to root for this fall. And while I immensely enjoy the taste of a fresh, cold Coors upon entering Coors Field, the Rockies appear to be in the same boat as the Mariners, which means neither of us will be on the field come the tenth month.

Did I mention how much I enjoy Rocky Mountain Oysters? Sorry for the tangent, but I feel compelled to mention their goodness. I enjoy simple things in life – and while I wouldn’t describe R.M.O.’s as simple, there is something pretty great about watching a ballgame with a plate of R.M.O.’s in your lap and a cold Coors original (no Coors Light here, thank you very much) in the cupholder. Even my non-drinking girlfriend can attest to the wonderfulness that is a draft Coors consumed on a warm day in Denver.

And Coors Field has what could be described as a bass-ackward concession line – order, then go to a line to pay. Kind of cafeteria style, kind of separation of church and state. But it works.

Now it’s time to wrap this party up — I’ve emptied my shoulder bag of the articles I’ve been meaning to read and comment about, and find that I’m left with a couple magazines that I’m not in the state to give the attention to that they deserve. They shall have to wait –

At least the Mariners didn’t lose today, which if nothing less is a slight victory for my mental state. But they are in Boston, who by the way made my night with a brawl with the Tampa Bay Rays, It could be a long weekend for my beloved Mariners.

And now that I have surpassed 1500 words, I’m saving, posting, and going to bed. Toodaloo.


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