‘Is that politics? There’s no politics in baseball!’


Dragging this morning, because of last night’s ball game.

I’m going to confess that I did not stay up until the end, which is why the Dodgers lost. I’m 100 percent on this so far: If I watch until the end, the Dodgers win. If I give up and go to bed, the Astros win. Happens every time.

Nevertheless, I did stay up past 12:30 — I think the 7th inning had just ended, although I was so sleepy my memory is unclear — so I’m dragging. The Astros had just pulled ahead, 11-8.

This is something we need to do something about. I have some thoughts on how:

  • That game should have started at about 5 p.m., not 8. What? Those people in California couldn’t start watching their team in the World Series at 2 p.m. on a Sunday?
  • We could change the rules of baseball to bar teams from West of the Mississippi from the Series, or from post-season play altogether. That wouldn’t shut out any teams I’ve ever cared about, except the Cardinals, and I haven’t really liked them all that much since my wife’s cousin, Tim McCarver, left. (That was a team — Tim and Bob Gibson and Joe Torre and Lou Brock and Curt Flood and Steve Carlton and Orlando Cepeda…). Why do we need to have Americans living out West anyway? Manifest Destiny? Call that an excuse?
  • If any of those Westerners squawk about it, point out that if the game’s so late that I go to bed, their team is going to lose anyway. It’s proven. It’s science.

Changing the subject, I thought I’d point out to you football people that there’s no politics in baseball. The players line up — standing — and put their hats over their hearts and sometimes even sing along during the National Anthem.

I’m not talking about the merits or the lack thereof of all those football players dramatizing their politics during the anthem. I’m just saying that there’s none of that in the World Series this year, and it’s kind of a relief from all that divisive stuff coming at you from every direction. Just baseball.

Yeah, there was that “chinito” face that Gurriel pulled in the dugout the other night, and that wasn’t his best moment, and next year he’ll be suspended five games. But for now, everybody — including Yu Darvish — just wants to play ball.

That raises another issue. Anybody besides me think that maybe technology has gotten too intrusive when you can see everything that goes on in the dugout, in HD? Should players be held to the same standard in the dugout as out on the field? Put another way, shouldn’t a guy be able to rearrange his cojones, for instance, without the world watching? When he’s not out under the lights, I mean. All scratching and spitting out on the actual field would remain fair game…

Libertarians, help me out here…

Of course, there’s politics here if you want to look for it — if only Ring Lardner were here to help settle the latest “lively ball” controversy — but who wants to, while watching baseball into the wee hours?

17 thoughts on “‘Is that politics? There’s no politics in baseball!’

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Football’s all like… a bunch of thyroid cases in plastic armor line up. They smash into each other. They line up. They smash into each other. They line up. They smash into each other. Over and over and over. Sometimes the ball is thrown or someone breaks out of the scrum with the ball, and there are two or three seconds of excitement, then they smash into each other some more.

        With baseball, you have the same routine, of pitch after pitch after pitch. But because there’s just one guy pitching the ball and one guy trying to hit it, you can see everything that’s happening, and see all the nuances of difference, and the process is fascinating, and then suddenly there’s a hit, and everybody goes into amazingly skilled, coordinated action. And unlike football, they’re all spread out from each other and you can see and appreciate every move made during the play.

        What amazes me is the way guys can just be standing there — except for strategic shifts according to the batter and situation — for most of an inning, and then explode into such perfection of movement when the ball is put into play….

        1. Bryan Caskey

          “But because there’s just one guy pitching the ball and one guy trying to hit it, you can see everything that’s happening, and see all the nuances of difference”

          This is why baseball is far more accessible to little kids. It’s easy to follow. At a very basic level, you have action following the ball. With football, there is action all over the place at the same time. It’s just impossible to watch 22 guys all running around at the same time. Only when you become a bit more discerning can you really follow a football play with all the nuance that is there.

  1. Bryan Caskey

    Couldn’t stay up late, either. Guess the TV boys really need it to be in prime time.

    The Astros are just hitting everything, which is good because their bullpen is awful. If they win the WS, I think they’ll go down in history as the WS winning team with the worst bullpen ever.

    Oh, and did anyone else see W throw the first pitch? You can tell he’s really enjoying his gig of Ex-President a lot.

    1. Bryan Caskey

      The worst thing about the late start time is my six-year old son doesn’t get to watch the game. Starting at 8:00PM on a school night means you don’t have any kids watching, and my son is baseball crazy right now.

      He was begging to stay up late to watch, but you can’t have kids staying up that late before a 6:30AM wake up for school.

      1. Doug Ross

        See in the old days, we’d just sneak an AM radio into bed and listen to the game with a single earphone. Although I don;t recall ever having a “bedtime” as a kid…

        1. Bryan Caskey

          Henry is a wreck if he doesn’t get enough sleep. This is his first year of school, so it’s a new routine, he goes hard all day, and is absolutely worn out at the end of every day. If he doesn’t get a good night’s sleep, he’s in a horrible mood the next morning. On the flip side, when he does get enough sleep, he gets up easy, gets dressed and makes breakfast for himself, and is pretty much a self-sufficient person in the mornings, which is good…because his three year old sister is sort of a grab-bag of emotion these days.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            “a grab-bag of emotion”


            Wait about nine or 10 years…

            Sorry. That wasn’t that I think the situation is FUNNY; it was the helpless laughter of the maniac.

            I’m the grizzled veteran returning bloody and filthy and wounded from the front, telling the green troops coming up what’s ahead of them…

              1. Doug Ross

                Bryan, you should print out the “Being a parent is the best thing ever.” quote and tape it to your computer. Might be humorous in ten years when he starts driving ,dating, and finding out Dad doesn’t know ANYTHING.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yeah, I liked that — the way he walked out toward the mound, and then suddenly turned and threw from about 40 feet. And it looked like the throw wasn’t bad, but I couldn’t really tell.

      Per ol’ GHWB didn’t look like he was in good enough shape to be squeezing any bottoms…

  2. Bill

    They call baseball the thinking man’s game because they know when to come in from the rain.Football is a big gay orgy with extra clothes on.GREAT game.Everybody in the zone…

  3. Brad Warthen Post author

    By the way, I guaranteed a Dodgers win last night by staying up and watching the game to the end. So I’m still 100 percent on that.

    I should be able to monetize this.

    Think about it: They pay Yuli Gurriel $12 a year. He’s pretty good, but wouldn’t someone who can GUARANTEE victory be worth even more?

    I think so….

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Oops. My system failed me, and the Dodgers, last night.

      But I can be forgiven, right? I mean, baseball is ABOUT failing and coming back from it. The very best batters succeed only a third of the time at MOST.

      And I was right six out of seven times…

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