The discussion of baseball announcers today has triggered the onset of an affliction that plagues me every Spring: Major League Baseballitis.
As a child I got into the A's. From a balcony or the on roof, I would watch the fireworks raining over the OC after a win. I proudly parked myself on the couch wearing my now vintage felt A's cap with ponytails flipping out the sides to watch game after game. Mitt in hand and mom's best version of a stadium dog by my side, I idolized Reggie Jackson and Catfish Hunter and decorated my room with green and yellow pennants. Going to a game was equivalent to winning the kid lottery. Damn I was a cute super-fan.
Maybe the discovery of boys or moving around the country away from the A's was to blame for my loss of interest but it happened one day. I didn't know any other girls who liked baseball and pennants were soon replaced with posters of Parker Stevenson. As an adult, all attempts to rejoin the fray have been huge failures. I caught the anti-baseball bug. I'm not sure if there is a cure but here are my ailments.
- I break out in the yawns in the 15th hour of a game. Were they always this long??! Is it possible that at age 8 I had a longer attention span than I do now. That's scary. I can't wait for the 7th inning stretch. I would have pins and needles by then and about 2 gallons of beer in the tank.
- Spitting and scratching makes my skin crawl. Maybe it is a chick thing but that sort of behavior is just plain nasty. Yes, Kevin Martin does it too, and for that he gets points off the Jock-o-Meter.
- Adult men with potbellies who are driven around in baseball helmet shaped golf carts and named "Skipper" need to be stopped. What? They can't walk to the dugout unaided but they can run onto the field to kick dirt all over another guy's shoes? Rude.
- It doesn't end there with "Skipper." Add the Academy Award hunting performances where said men attempt to impersonate Louis Gossit Jr. in An Officer and a Gentleman when he got up in Richard Gere's grill. It's just plain silly. How could watching a rotund man bump bellies and scream insults .02 millimeters from another man's face be a highlight of a sport? It's the 2000's. Send a text message and move on or T him up.
- Sports Center becomes the world's most boring show dominated by trying to feature ALL of the seemingly dozens of games played every day. All day. Endlessly. For months. You have to be committed to follow everything going on. Committed like "May I have my fruit cup, Nurse Ratchet?" committed. It is for this reason that every baseball patient who is supposed to do the yard work should receive a new fangled iPod for Christmas yearly. One season may be enough to fry even the best listening technology and the rest of the neighborhood is thankful for the personal earphones.
- There is no flow to the action. How is it fun to watch 5 seconds of play and then watch the pitcher do the Bangles weird "Walk Like an Egyptian" sideways glance eye thing for 2 minutes before throwing the damn ball again? Meanwhile, the hyperactive glancee is playing a rousing game of Red-Light-Green-Light. Could the catcher please send the signals now to save time? It isn't like he didn't know who was up because it is the very guy standing next to him casually swinging fake bats with donuts on them like we have all day. I say delay of game rules are in order. And, the whole process of sweeping the bases, though tidy, are not doing more than making me feel guilty for the state of my kitchen floor. Get the game moving Umpire Hazel. Play freaking ball.
- The uniforms are goofy. 1920's paperboy trouser like pants complete with pockets? They must be there to hold a snack for when the action completely stops between plays. Let's get with the program and call in What Not to Wear. And while we are grooming, how about fixing the league-wide facial hair and doo faux pas'. If I have to look at a pitcher on camera so closely that every nose hair shows then he should attempt to not look like Billy Ray Cyrus.
- Contracts, addicts and records. Didn't a dude from Japan just get a gazillion dollars and a lifetime supply of Turtle Wax to come play here? Where is this money coming from?! At last look, the stands at baseball games are far from full. And then there is Barry Bonds. I hope the ghost of Babe Ruth rises from the grave and b-slaps him sideways.