Monday, October 03, 2005

Striking Out

This is an article I was told to write for the Whitworthian, but was not published because they “didn’t want to waste paper.” Fortunately, computer text is cheaper.

Many elements are considered and indispensable part of the word, America . Apple Pie. Fireworks. Greasy all-you-can-eat buffets. Belching Contests. War. But one part of Vintage Americana seems completely antithetical to every American value, to everything our Founding Fathers founded and fathered, to everything our veterans fought and died for on the beaches of Grenada to protect:


It disgusts me. It chills my very marrow, gentle reader.

Calm down. Put down your corked bats and steroid syringes. I will explain shortly, in a scholarly and studied manner. Let us participate in intellectual exchange; let us avoid ad hominem attacks, and ipso facto habeaus corpus fallacies. Let us gently engage one another in the Free Market Place of Ideas, where I show you how I am right and you are a stupid doodyhead.

Some psycho-analytical deconstructionist literary criticisms of this article might opine that the only reason why I have such animosity, such antipathy, such frenzied irrational abhorrence towards baseball is because I “really suck at it.”

I strike out in T-ball. I trip over three out of four bases. I need directions to find home. I fail at spitting sunflower seeds, for goodness sakes. They just kinda dribble out of my mouth, soup from a vending machine. For me to win a baseball game, it would take not only Angels in the Outfield, but Unicorns in the Infield, Pixies in the Dugout, Leprechauns in the stands, and Shiva the Destroyer as my Batboy. Let’s put it this way: If I ever tried out for a baseball team I would be put on the third string of the *Seattle Mariners*.

That’s how mind-blowingly klutzy I am.

But to judge my suppositions merely based on this unfortunate fact would be fallacious. If I hated everything that I was unskilled at, I would hate Football, Golf, Frisbee Football, Frisbee Golf, Basketball, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, and the entire Female Gender.

And some may say that my hatred for Baseball stems from ignorance. That if Baseball and I just sat down talked over our differences over coffee for a few hours, we could come to a mutual understanding that would foster enlightenment and plant a seed of Tolerance that would mature gradually into respect for each other’s cultures and someday, maybe, blossom into a beautiful friendship.

This accusation carries more currency. All I know about baseball I learned watching Adam Torkar (you don’t know him) play Super Nintendo Ken Griffey Jr. Major League Baseball in the fourth grade.

I have embarrassed myself on more than one occasion by saying my favorite Yankees player is “Nancy Kerrigan” (She actually plays for the Detroit Tigers)

I suspect, however, that Baseball will turn out to be like the “Pepperoni” “Pizza” at SAGA. The more you “understand” it, the more contempt you regard it with.

Who knows? Maybe I have a psychological disdain because of my Track Coach father. If I even mentioned Baseball, or if he found a catchers mitt under my mattress, he would beat me with a Pole Vault Pole. (He didn’t use a bat, for obvious reasons.)

My greatest beef with baseball, however, is that it’s boring.

Your average game consists of three hours of standing, two hours of posturing, and- if you’re lucky- a few minutes of scratching.

Of course, baseball fans always reply with “But Daniel, what about that time in the ninth inning, when the bases were loaded, and they were behind by three, and so they sacrificed that goat on the field and then Sammy Sosa turned into the Hulk, but the homerun was knocked away by the Rally Monkey and then Zombie Babe Ruth killed Curt Shilling with that flaming sword! And to top it all off, it was a triple play!”

That was pretty cool, I guess. But not as exciting as say… a Junior High Cross Country Meet.

How can they make baseball more exciting? Simple. Make the field rectangular, the ball bigger, the use of hands illegal, have both teams on the field at the same time, and add nets they have to get the ball into.

We could call it… Football.