We took “a road trip” last week. That can be the official reason for “no column for awhile” but there has been another reason. I have been soooo enjoying the past few weeks of MLB Playoffs and NOT just because two of “my teams” (StL & KC) are in the thick of it. That has been very cool I do admit.
What it has been is a coupla fun weeks of “used to be” for sports spectatoring. But, alas, “used to be” is then…. and now is now….. and the future is where we’re headed…. and Reality Bites!
I haven’t watched every inning of every game but pretty darn nearly every inning. The Royals are “in the zone” for sure while The Cards are down to 27 outs as of Thursday morning.
Two weeks ago I could not have named one player on the current Royals’ roster. I can still name most every player on those Brett Era teams in the 70-80s from Freddie Patek to Dan Quisenberry. Fred Patek was the original very “short” shortstop. I can recall an SI cover with a picture of baseball’s next “phenom” – Clint Hurdle. Hurdle is a better manager today than he ever was a player back then.
Kauffman Stadium was Royals Stadium then. There was always the waterfall in centerfield and the KC fans still have a chip on their shoulder as “a small market team”. No better “sports moment” ever than when George Brett took Goose Gossage deep into the rightfield bleachers of Yankee Stadium in the 9th inning to put the Royals into their first series in 1979 (versus The Phillies).
The magical ride the current Royals are on is probably more remarkable than back then considering the economic realities of Baseball 2014.
I really like Buck Showalter and the Orioles too…. and I really like Buster Posey and his Giants too. It’s weird when you can pull for one team without HATING the other team. I was that way in 2011 with Cardinals vs Rangers. If I’m not the ONLY fan in America who can do that…. it doesn’t take long to call the roll of all of us.
So Blondie and I have been hooked on Playoff Baseball for the past few weeks. Like me, she has emotional ties to both KC and St Louis; but unlike me, she has all those girly emotions that keep bubbling up when “her team” is “on the ropes”. Blondie doesn’t handle nail-biters very well.
Have there EVER been more nail-biters than we’ve seen the past two weeks? Players going from hero to goat and back to hero….. unknowns “coming thru” as sandlot dreams become ESPN Sportcenter replays. Kolten Wong (I mean “really?”)…. Matt Adams…. “Moose”….. those Royal outfielders !!! ….. the managers in the dugouts always staying one pitch – one batter – one reliever ahead of what the rest of us are seeing. And EVERY BIT of “the story” is what is happening on the field. EVERY BIT of “the story” is the action on the field.
No Dan Kane columns…. no B-B guns…. no “she said-he said”….. no commissioners excusifying…. no “gays” coming out….. The two “bird teams” don’t offend anyone…. Thank Goodness! Do “Giants” offend the midget faction? Do “Royals” offend the serf faction? Guess not.
Sure, I know Baseball has had its PED issues and, sure, “A-Rod” is “A-Rod” and all his off-the-field crap that never ends….. but not these past few weeks. This has just been “baseball”….. incredibly fun to watch “just baseball”. 100% of “the drama” has been “between the lines”. ….. sigh, sob, sniff. Like “it used to be”.
No one is talking about which free agents will change teams before next Spring. It’s “just pure old-fashioned Baseball”.
So I’ve been watching Baseball these past few weeks. Enduring Harold Reynolds way-over-analyzing EVERY single pitch. You know Cal Ripken was dying inside as his O’s kept being one timely hit away from pulling out even one W. At least the terminally insipid Erin Freakin’ Andrews has been reduced to one two-minute prattle per game. Two-minutes too long if you ask me.
I know it won’t last. At best, we have 7-10 more days to enjoy being “taken out to the ballgame for peanuts and crackerjacks”. Then we WILL be jerked back to the yucky rancid odious world of Jameis and Jimbo and Lunatic Fringe fans and FireBradyHoke.com and domestic violence and “look – we care…. we’re wearing pink”….. and….. and…. ad infinitum.
If you are really really really tired of Jameis 2.0…. Jameis 6S…. et al…. don’t worry. He will move on eventually like “Johnny Football” has moved on….. and the next loudmouth, jackass, look-at-me, “he’s really a good kid”, “blame-it-on-stoopid-NCAA rules”, everybody hates “our team” twitter campaigns….. blah blah blah will take its place. THAT is the sad reality of our times.
The next generation of Jameis’ and Cams and Johnnys are “out there” waiting their turns. Their 15-minutes of infamey. The queue stretches as far as you can see. And an endless mob of bug-eyed nitwits slobbering to worship at their altar.
Why is there a market for “autographs” of semi-literate 18-20 y/os? I “get” the public fascination with celebrities. I was on the periphery of the celebrity business for a decade. Meeting a celebrity can be cool. Bragging about meeting a celebrity has water-cooler cred. I “get” that. But simply buying something on e-bay that he might have signed ???
I “get” that a piece of signed crap is “worth” whatever some other nimrod is willing to pay for it and there are a lot of goggle-eyed, spittle-spewing, no-life nimrods in this world. More and more each day apparently. They vote and they breed…. YIKES!
Once proud “institutions” have totally and unashamedly sold-out to these faux-idols. “City fathers” and institutional powers-that-be prostitute themselves to bask in the faux-glory of these faux-heroes.
Pogo was right….. “the enemy/problem is “us”. It’s always been “us”.
Watching “sports” used-to-be a way to temporarily escape war – disease – man’s inhumanity to man and “Life can be a crap sandwich”. These days “sports” is more of a grim reminder than an escape.
With due respect to Patrick Henry…. “I know not what course others may take but as for me” give me these baseball playoffs…. and just a few more days “like it used to be”.