Friday, January 03, 2014


It won’t be long now that the baseball season will begin in earnest with less than ninety days and counting until the Yankees open the 2014 season in, YAWN, Houston.

While doggedly trying to hang on to the fantasy of being “America’s Pastime”, baseball remains the most sleep inducing of the three major professional sports – baseball, basketball and football - competing for attention, and there is no point in pretending that soccer, hockey, golf or NASCAR is in the same league as the Big 3.

Football, played at both the professional NFL and professional Collegiate level, is the clear winner for violence, drama, horror, bigotry and everything else that captures the imagination of ESPN talking heads, sports writers and unemployed bloggers. Football provides a consistent stream of rapists, murderers, bigots of every kind and description including homophobes and racists, wife beaters, men with imaginary girlfriends… and all before a game is actually played.

The mayhem and violence in the game leaves many players suffering debilitating brain trauma, drug addiction and shortened lives. Now that’s entertainment.

While basketball is second to football in destructive, anti-social and criminal behavior it excels in providing a basis for illegal gambling, turning teenagers into bling-flaunting multimillionaires, and in the distinction of having the entire month of March named for temporary insanity. And talk about commitment to the game, in 45 states the highest paid state employee is not a governor or head of a major state department, but a football or basketball coach.

All that baseball offers is a few guys who have turned themselves into disfigured circus freaks with better living through chemistry, several who forgot how to speak English under oath, an occasional dude driving 110 in a 45 and Derek Jeter, the Yankees Golden Boy who pissed off nearby residents by building a twelve foot high wall around his Florida estate in violation of local zoning. How long can such trivia keep our attention?

Many have argued that the beauty of baseball is in the game. Bushwah.

Go to any game and it is quickly obvious that the real beauty is in ignoring the game. You’ll find more people catching up on events with friends, drinking a few beers, munching ballpark food, shopping for team shirts and souvenirs and doing everything possible to ignore the tedium that is the game.

Try watching a televised baseball game, aka, commercial delivery system. I defy anyone to watch a full nine innings without nodding off less than three times, taking multiple bathroom breaks, changing channels seven or more times, preparing and consuming four snacks and getting annoyed that the few significant plays in the game all occurred during one of the aforementioned breaks.

But baseball does have its endearing qualities. I like catching up with friends at a game. I like hotdogs and a beer. And no other sport has made a fashion statement close to the ubiquitous baseball cap, the enduring symbol of the game adopted by every other sport as an advertisement and cash cow. The cap has been copied by many and equaled by none.

The baseball cap is an enduring cultural icon loved by Americans of all ages. The Yankee cap is, without doubt, a first among equals, recognized worldwide, both loved and hated by millions. Travel anywhere in the country and you’ll see people sporting baseball caps, year round. Brooklyn hasn’t had a baseball team in over 50 years but a Brooklyn Dodgers replica cap remains a best seller.

The game – generally slow paced, methodical, with brief moments of excitement. Many can take it or leave it. Baseball caps? The best in the business.


Corporate America is such a swell bunch of guys and gals with leaders who have nothing but the best interests of their employees directing their every action. While we applauded McDonalds for encouraging their underpaid employees to apply for food stamps, they have stepped up their game this holiday season. Apparently assuming that all of their employees lived in houses with actual golden arches, McResource (isn't that precious!), the companies employee advisement website, explained how to tip servants at the holidays. Fortunately, the website quoted the famous etiquette expert Emily Post, reminding their fast food workers that one week's pay plus a small gift was standard for an au pair, as well as the generous cash gifts expected by pool cleaners, massage therapists, and housekeepers. You know, the usual staff employed by people who work at McDonald's.


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