Monday, June 21, 2010

FIFA World Cup, Bull Durham and Biblical Baseball Stars

Americans are so provincial: we call all of our professional championships “world championships” – which is probably the biggest misnomer in all of sports. I remember reading a quote (I think it was Orioles IF John Lowenstein) who said something to the effect of “yes I screwed up that bunt, but there are 800 million Chinese people who don’t care if I can bunt”. The truth in that statement is that there is a entire world full sports fans who could care less about Steven Strasburg’s next start, but were hanging on every minute of New Zealand’s tie with Italy on Sunday morning in South Africa.

As a Rangers baseball fan living in the shadow of the Blue and Silver star, I’m sure when you’ve admitted your loyalties you’ve had many people roll their eyes and tell you that they could never watch baseball because it’s too slow or like watching paint dry (which in my opinion pretty much describes the NFL). It gets under your nerves when they say that doesn’t it ? You are a rabid baseball fan, you’d like to explain to them all intricacies of the game and what they are missing. Vuvuzelas aside, then you know how the rest of the world feels about soccer – they are fervent fans too. I respect that am will to admit that I’m learning something new (and enjoying) watching the World Cup too.

Speaking of respect:  these words of wisdom come from Crash Davis:

A ballplayer on a streak has to respect the streak. They don't happen very often.”

Just as during a no-hitter/perfect game real fans don’t talk about it, players on the bench don’t mention it to each other and don’t even talk to the pitcher in the midst of one. In that same spirit I am respecting the streak the Rangers are on right now, they’ve just finished the eighth inning. By the way: announcers aren’t supposed to talk about it either – Eric Nadel never does. Can’t always say the same for our TV crew (I’m looking at you Josh Lewin).

Finally:  this biblical comparison courtesy of my DTFC pal Jeff Kabcinski:

If Steve Strasburg is baseball’s Jesus and Livan Hernandez is baseball’s Lazarus, then Jamie Moyer is baseball’s Methuselah.”


Thrilled, Nervous, not blowing my horn (yet) -- Marla Hooch