Not that hard to swallow

The end of the American baseball season has arrived, and it's time to reflect a little on how it went. To me, it was just fine. Having few or no fans in the stands did not detract one bit from my enjoyment of the game as a home viewer. Playing the final games at a neutral site leveled the odds. I find I'm happier when a crowd of spectators doesn't influence the competition.

I missed the old-fashioned organ music that occasionally gets pumped through the p.a. system. Da-da-da-DAH duh-DAH, CHARGE!  But that was about all that was lacking for me. And not every stadium does that, anyway.

One thing I was really glad to see eliminated, due to Covid precautions, was the spitting. Usually baseball players spend the whole three hours constantly hocking loogies all over the place. Not only are they landing them in the dirt, but also on the artificial turf that they dive around on, and especially on the floors of the dugouts. Yuck! Even when there's no deadly pandemic, that's gross.

In the old days, most of the guys were chewing tobacco, which really upped the ante on the spitting. There isn't much of that left, even in normal times, but there's plenty of gleeking even without it.

In the World Series, I did catch one guy, I think it was Kershaw on the Dodgers, let loose a little between-the-front-teeth shot at one point, but non-expectoration was the norm.

They also got rid of the sunflower seeds. Normally you'd be watching a game, and right there on your screen some player or coach on the sidelines would load some into his mouth, crack them open with his teeth, and gob out the spent shells, saliva and all, onto the dugout floor. Ewwww!

I did see some bubble gum going. And I don't think breaking wind was prohibited, perhaps because, as we all know, anyone reporting an infraction would likely be the perpetrator.

Another thing I didn't see any of was crotch-grabbing. In a typical baseball game, you'd expect to observe a couple of dozen on-camera adjustments of the players' gonad-protective cups. I don't know whether it was because of Covid awareness, or just improved athletic gear fit technology, but there was hardly any crotch-grabbing to speak of.

They need to think about extending some of these improved hygiene protocols to other sports. Take tennis, for example. Have you ever noticed how many areas of his body French Open champion Rafael Nadal picks at before each point? This includes when he's serving. It's a wonder that the ball boys and girls, who then have to retrieve his errant shots, don't go into septic shock halfway through the first set.

For clean, there's nothing like the Korean game. It's the politest, least germ-exchanging version of baseball you could imagine. When you get hit by a pitch, the pitcher bows in apology. Spitting is unheard of. Those guys are just entering into their playoffs now. I may have to bet a dollar on a game or two. The NC Dinos have been dominant, but in the post-season anything can happen. Except gob.

Anyway, so long to American baseball. Next to this year, the record books will all have asterisks, but thank God, no saliva stains.

Comments

  1. RE: Another thing I didn't see any of was crotch-grabbing. In a typical baseball game, you'd expect to observe a couple of dozen on-camera adjustments of the players' gonad-protective cups. I don't know whether it was because of Covid awareness, or just improved athletic gear fit technology, but there was hardly any crotch-grabbing to speak of.

    Way way back, long before we knew Cosby was a predatory rapist (probably before he was one), one of his funniest bits was “Why is there air?” An early Cosby album (remember comedy LPs?) And while playing football for Hofstra, Cosby ran through a hole (“Playing for Hofstra, I had never seen a hole before”) and a defensive player arose into him, and the announcer booming “You better. Not. Touch. Certain areas of your body. — So I grabbed my head!” Hysterical.

    What a sad thing — he was pretty much an Obama archetype before there was an Obama ... brilliant, funny, charming ... but he gave into his dark side and became a monster.

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