Empty baseball field
hops along a bench
-Book of Haikus, Jack Kerouac
p.s. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Go find it promptly – it is sure to ease your offseason blues.
In between doses of Once Upon a Car and some books of French fairytales, this is my new reading assignment.
That’s right. Diamond Girl is going all ump on you. I will soon be decided the futures of Little League games and arguing with Little League dads who are probably some of the most fearsome people you will meet in your life. I went to my first ump training session yesterday and am pretty much scared out of my mind. But excited. And scared.
See, when I think about it in the sense of If I were to blow a call and crush a kid, who then decided that, because of said blown call, he doesn’t want to play baseball anymore and he hates the game for the rest of his life, when he was really destined to become the next Derek Jeter… I get more than “pretty much” scared out of my mind. So I am trying not to think about it that way. Instead, I’m thinking about it as, What could possibly be worse than butchering kid’s names in the announcer’s booth? Then I feel much better.
One confusion did arise when, in one of the ump training PowerPoint slides, they said, “Dress to impress!” I started thinking of all sorts of interesting ways I could make the ump uniform most interesting and fun when I suddenly realized they meant black pants and a black t-shirt. Huh. This is going to be interesting.
Wish me luck, my friends. I may need it.
You knew I would start this off talking about Chrysler’s new Super Bowl spot, didn’t you?
I fell absolutely in love with their ad last year, featuring Eminem and Beautiful and I was very, very excited to see what they would follow it up with this year. Not excited enough to actually watch the game, mind you, but excited enough to check it out on YouTube and then promptly watch it, oh, twenty times a row. I think I’m still more partial to last year’s- just because it coined the whole “Imported From Detroit” slogan and really kicked off their new look- but I think this year’s was very well done, too. Can’t beat Clint Eastwood, right?
I do have this strange urge, though, when he says, “It’s halftime,” to yell out, “No!” Because I know it’s a metaphor and all that but, er, Clint? Chrysler ad people? It ain’t halftime no more. Excuse my double negative, but I feel pretty strongly about this.
It’s baseball season.
Sure, we’re still a couple weeks away from Catchers and Pitchers Report to Work on Their Tans Day but as soon as the guys in tight plastic outfits stop bashing into each other and the pointy brown ball gets put away (okay, I admit it, I don’t get football) our lovely sport of baseball gets center stage for a good long while. I’m talking until Game 7 in November. This time is all ours.
And I am (almost) as giddily excited as I always am for the Winter Meetings. Which is to say my priorities are quite probably twisted. No matter. The point is, I’m excited and nothing, not even extremely long math problems that actually expect me to use my non-existent reducing skills, can kill that mood.
Plus, I had fresh éclairs for dessert last night. So of course I’m in a good mood. It may not even have anything to do with baseball. Although I suspect it does.
Dissatisfied baseball players.
You know of whom I speak. Not to, well, name any names but you know them. They’re the baseball players who, while they do love baseball and all that, really wish they could do something else. They’d trade their Cy Young Award for a Grammy (sorry, Barry) or gladly spend their summers zooming around in a strangely shaped race car (sorry, CJ darling, but now that you’re an Angel my ripping license has arrived). There are more of them. And while we can tolerate and snicker occasionally, it’s generally no biggie. Baseball players have a knack for being dissatisfied. We know this.
But how to deal with it, when it get especially maddening?
(To be clear, I’m not talking about baseball players who have interests aside from throwing a ball around on a grassy field. I’m talking about those players who make it really, painfully clear that this is merely a day job and their true talent lies somewhere else. See above photos for some cases in point of this phenomenon.)
Aside from kicking them out of the ballpark and denying them dinner for a few nights, which does seem like a rather appealing option at certain, particularly terrible moments.
But short of that… what about a more politic solution?
Here’s what I‘m thinking: a Baseball Players Get Out Their Other Job Complex Night at the ballpark! The crowd buys tickets like usual and takes their seats but the ballplayers, instead of playing baseball, display their alternate talent that they have been craving to try out.
This will achieve two things! First of all, it would be endless comedy for the viewers. Sorry, MLBers. You look funny doing anything other than playing baseball and most especially when crooning country music. The other thing it would achieve is assisting ballplayers to get this alternate talent out of their system. Once they do it in front of a crowd, they’ll realize that they vastly prefer playing baseball and perhaps weren’t even that good at the second thing to start with.
And if it goes fantastically and they don’t come to that conclusion?
No prob, y’all. After BPGOTOJCN (which is, in case you were wondering, the acronym for Baseball Players Get Out Their Other Industry Complex Night) the unions could make a new rule that would allow for players and teams to get out of their contracts, no strings attached, and the players can then go and pursue their other dream.
And there’d be another clause in there that allows the player to come back begging for that contract to please come back, for a maximum of three months after. I, personally, would put money on 99.9% of them utilizing this clause, but that’s beside the point.
The point is that we’d have a really, really great night at the ballpark and, oh, TV networks? A whole lot of viewership, too.
Should MLB hire me as their special events planner (in addition to commissioner, of course) or what?!
Rhetorical question, by the way. Don’t bother answering.
There was a girl named Emily. She sometimes went by the (somewhat-ever-so-vaguely) silly name of Diamond Girl. She missed baseball.
(She was cute, but not as cute as that dog.)
She drank mugs of black coffee and obsessed about her Facebook privacy settings as a coping method. Hey, it’s better than some.
Then she twiddled her thumbs and missed baseball a little more.