Published on: March 31, 2006
On Sunday, life begins again.
At 8 pm EDT, the World Champion Chicago White Sox will face off against the Cleveland Indians, and the 2006 baseball season will begin.
It’s about time.
For at least 24 hours or so, fans of the game will believe that anything is possible, that their teams can go all the way, that all the days of summer will be warm and bright. It won’t be that way, of course. But we can dream.
Roger Angell of The New Yorker
once wrote: “Baseball is the writer’s game, and its train of thought, we come to sense, is a shuttle, carrying us constantly forward to the next pitch or inning, or the sudden double into the left-field corner, but we keep hold of the other half of our ticket, for the return trip on the same line. We anticipate happily, and, coming home, reenter an old landscape brightened with fresh colors. Baseball games and plays and mannerisms - the angle of a cap - fade stubbornly and come to mind unbidden, putting us back in some particular park on that special October afternoon or June evening. The players are as young as ever, and we, perhaps not entirely old.”
I believe even though the spectacle of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig in a press conference yesterday acting as if the steroid issue had only now gotten serious and credible enough to deserve attention made me want to put my old Mickey Mantle wooden bat from Little League through the television set.
So now he will allow an official investigation, acting like Claude Rains’ Captain Renault in “Casablanca” saying that he is “shocked, shocked” that there is gambling going on at Rick’s. And then he looks at his new investigator, former Sen. George Mitchell, and clearly thinks that this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
This I can’t believe, even if Selig has done little during his term as commissioner to prove that he is anything other than an ineffectual tool of ownership with no respect for the fans and the game. Selig has the look of a deer in the headlights, wishing that the oncoming vehicle would somehow go away. It won’t. I just wish Selig would go away, and take Barry Bonds with him.
Selig pretends that this is about more than just Bonds and the records he is assaulting with the help of countless steroids. More self-delusion. Sure, there are probably plenty of other players who will be implicated in this scandal, and they all should be treated harshly. But right now, this is about Bonds as he tries to carve out a place for himself in the record books, but instead of using a bat uses a hypodermic needle.
It makes it hard to believe.
Maybe Roger Angell was wrong. The players aren’t as young as they used to be, and all this makes me feel old.
Don’t forget to change your clocks on Saturday night/Sunday morning…move them all one hour ahead, unless, of course, you live in a place that doesn’t.
Me, I love Daylight Savings Time. I don’t mind writing in the darkness in the early morning hours, and that extra hour of sun at dinnertime, when I’m not working, is golden.
On the iPod this week: “This Is Us,” by Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris, which just makes me want to dance with my wife.
Did you see where Virgin Galactic, the Richard Branson venture that is selling $200,000 tickets for a brief space flight in 2008, is saying that women with breast implants need not apply.
"We've discovered there may well be issues with breast augmentation," said company spokesman Will Whitehorn. "We're not sure whether they could stand the trip -- they could well explode."
Which sounds more like Mel Brooks’ “Spaceballs” than “Star Trek.” Though those implants certainly will be boldly going where no one has gone before.
Speaking of “Star Trek,” Virgin Galactic reportedly is talking with the series’ Capt. James Tiberius Kirk about taking one of the flights.
So apparently they aren’t worrying about exploding toupees.
McDonald’s has adopted as its coffee slogan the following phrase: "Wake up and smell your life.”
Maybe it is just me, but when I wake up and smell our life, the first thing I usually do is take a long, hot shower. Lots of soap, lots of shampoo.
Go see Spike Lee’s new movie, “Inside Man,” which is a terrific and stylish bank robbery thriller with wonderful performances by Denzel Washington and Clive Owen, not to mention a wonderfully diverse cast of New York faces and voices that give the movie texture and grit. Maybe the best thing about the movie is that it actually feels like it was shot in New York, not Toronto like so many other films that say they take place in the Big Apple.
A bunch of people have asked me what I have up my sleeve for my usual April Fool’s Day story.
The answer is nothing. Not this year.
Y’see, it only makes sense to do an April Food’s joke on April Fool’s Day…but that falls on Saturday this year. And MNB
doesn’t post on Saturday.
The jokes were going to be prime.
That’s it for this week.
Have a good weekend. Enjoy the sun. Watch a ballgame. Catch a movie.