I'm with Jeremy on this one, and I'm sympathetic on a couple of levels that may or may not be related.
First of all, a lot of kids don't know baseball because they don't play baseball.
This is only a "When I was a kid ..." rant because I'm a very old guy. It's not just that my grandkids don't play. My own kids, now in their 40s, didn't play the game either.
When I was a kid, we played baseball all the time, but, when I was a kid, you could gather up eight or 10 kids at a moment's notice. You'd rarely get the 18 it took to have two official-sized baseball teams, but with ghost runners and the on-deck batter playing catcher (pitcher coming in for plays at the plate), you could get a reasonable facsimile of the game going.
Times have changed. I don't blame or credit the women's movement so much as the economy for the fact that fewer kids have an at-home parent so that they can play in the neighborhood. After all, feminism has also yielded the stay-at-home dad (as I was from 1972 to 1987, with a break for the second pregnancy and year or so following).
There's also our gradual descent into paranoia, whereby children cannot be turned loose to play beyond their own backyards.
A regulation soccer team actually has more players than a baseball team, but two kids can have a blast with a soccer ball, and four can play a game. Heck, a kid alone can have more fun with a soccer ball than with a baseball, and I spent a lot of time throwing balls at the chimney in pretend baseball games.
Meanwhile, even if they were inclined to watch a game they'd never played, baseball is no longer a sport but a form of competitive accounting. I loved baseball until I was trapped in an office with fantasy league players and no rule about confining it to break time.
For all their incessant chatter, I never once heard any of them say, "Did you see that catch?" or "I can't believe they sent the runner!"
It was all about the numbers "their team" had accumulated, and if you think I'm exaggerating, there was a baseball strike in 1994 that ended several careers in the real world, but, while it momentarily stymied the fantasy leagues, papers began rerunning old box scores and everything was good again.
Because they never gave a damn about the game in the first place. They just needed some numbers to nuzzle.
Here's a quote from that first linked story:
"They should never, ever let a baseball player have the summer off,'' says Dave Henderson, the Boston Red Sox's 1986 playoff hero. "As a baseball player, (1994) was my first summer off. Ever. And I liked it. Once I got introduced to the thing they call Labor Day, and had a family barbecue and everything, I said, 'Hell with it, I'm not going back.'"
And here's one from the second:
(Academic expert) speculated that those (fantasy) players will now be forced to explore other facets of their lives. "Maybe they'll spend more time with their families," he said. "Maybe they'll find something new on TV."
There's your difference between the players and the wannabes.
The other day, however, I decided to give MLB another try and tuned in a game.
Didn't make it through the first half of the first inning.
There were no recollections of how these two players have done against each other in the past, no amusing anecdotes about what a player did in the off-season and there was sure as hell nobody sitting in the catbird seat.
Whoa, Nellie: All the commentators did was spout numbers.
If numbers is what it's about, I'd rather shoot craps.
Which, BTW, is a game you only need two people for.
Amid the Gathering Chaos
I'm probably not on the same page as Jeff Koterba, but his Persistent Bernie cartoon at least offers an alternative interpretation to the idea that quitting is a good thing and that the only reason to campaign is to win the top spot.
Whether Koterba intends the interpretation or not, once Hillary wins the Oval Office (Inshalla), she will by-gawd have the spectre of Bernie Sanders over her shoulder, simply because he didn't give up and go away, but continues to raise both issues and consciousness.
She may represent business as usual and same-old-same-old -- which is one helluva lot better than the Fourth Reich her November opponent offers -- but uneasy is going to rest that crown.
If you've ever put on a crown, you found that they aren't that comfortable.
Well, good. They shouldn't be.
After she is inaugurated (Inshalla), someone should draw a cartoon of her with a little Bernie on one shoulder and Uncle Pennybags from Monopoly on the other.
The midterms and perhaps 2020 will hinge in large measure upon which shoulder she listens to more.
Meanwhile, here in the Granite State, one of the Senate seats that may change from Republican to Democrat is that of Kelly Ayotte, who should be a rising star in the party and whom I feared would be tapped for VP once the party had selected a credible, intelligent candidate.
Which involved an unwarranted assumption.
Ayotte is articulate and telegenic and seemed smart until the GOP unveiled its cunning plan to build a great wooden Trump with which to fool the Democrats.
Then, as the Concord Monitor's Mike Marland notes, she scored an own-goal with the logical equivalent of the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, announcing that, while she would support Trump, she would not endorse him.
Her opponent, our governor, didn't have to come up with a response to that, but simply displayed other people's reactions, which are funnier than Monty Python because they aren't coming from comedians but from people who are normally required to take this stuff seriously.