Baseball Musings


The Dodgers just can’t do it. I know it, the Dodgers know it, and Joe Torre knows it. So now that there is about as much chance of the Dodgers winning their division as there is in Barack Obama becoming a born again Christian, we can all just sit back, relax, and watch baseball. The pressure’s over and as I sit watching Joe Torre scratching his head and sucking on his lozenges I think his mind is starting to wander. So is mine. I’m not into the games anymore, I’m thinking about other stuff. Stuff like the colors of the uniforms, the logos on the hats, and wondering why it is that ballplayers need to spit all the time and get tattooed so much.

I’m speculating on what will happen to the Dodgers when the McCourts get divorced. When you’re rich, community property splits are a little different than they are for just plain folks. It’s not just who gets the car and who gets the house; it becomes who gets the baseball club. Chances are the team will probably be sold in the end, but until that time the Dodgers are kind of in The Twilight Zone. Too bad the O’Malley family still doesn’t own the team.

Baseball should be a family business or at least have a private owner who loves the game and his team. Corporate ownership is fine for the sheet metal industry or airplane factories, but it doesn’t work for baseball. Baseball is too personal, it’s a human business, it’s a business people get into who really love the game. That’s how it should be.

That’s why when they name stadiums after corporations it sounds so cold and non-baseball-like. Petco Park, US Cellular Field, Citi Field, Citizens Bank Ballpark, Minute Maid Park, these are terrible names for ball parks. Why not just name the stadiums after the teams? You know like Yankee Stadium and Dodger Stadium? I know, I know. The corporate sponsors pay big bucks to get their names up there. Why does every single thing have to hinge on money?

But if it’s okay to name a stadium after an orange juice product (Minute Maid Park), what is preventing naming a field after any other company’s product? How about Aunt Jemima Stadium? Frosted Flakes Ball Park? Or Preparation H Yard? Why not Huggies Park or Kotex Field? My favorite is Kaopectate Park. You know, that’s where you get lots of runs.

Wouldn’t it be fun if the baseball clubs named themselves after what their home city is famous for or what it is known for? The Dodgers were originally named the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers due to the vast network of street car lines criss-crossing the borough as people dodged trains to play on the streets. The name meant something at one time. It makes perfect sense that the Milwaukee Brewers have that name since Milwaukee was known for its breweries. But most teams today have names that don’t mean anything anymore.

What do Indian Braves have to do with the city of Atlanta? Better to call them the Atlanta Rebels, Atlanta Confederates or Atlanta Gentlemen. I like the St. Louis Blues, The Boston Beans, and Philadelphia Founders. I think the Chicago Machine is a perfect name for a team in that city – or maybe the Chicago Bosses or the Chicago Mobsters. Arizona should never be a team name. Arizona is a state, not a city, and we should stick with city names for ball clubs. We might have the Phoenix Flyers harking back to the bird of mythology.

What do you think of a team called the Detroit Gas-guzzlers? Or how about the New York Liberals? Can you imagine a World Series between them and the San Francisco Progressives? The Seattle Espressos is not only an appropriate name, it’s euphonious too. Is it just me, or doesn’t anyone else see that the perfect name for the Mets since they are located in Flushing, New York would be the Flushing Johns.

The Los Angeles Angels is a pretty good name; too bad the team is in Anaheim. The San Diego Swabbies refers to our large naval base and sounds like each player is batting clean-up. The Los Angeles Agents might work although my preference would be something like the Los Angeles Narcissists, which I think truly captures the spirit of our wonderful movie colony folk and the whole California self-awareness thing.

This is pure stream of consciousness. Well, this is what happens to my mind when my team has sunk into the cellar so far down that they’re tossing around potatoes, not balls. Like I said, I’m still sitting there watching, but instead of wondering if Ryan Theriot will be getting a base hit, I’m wondering what the hell that little hair-thing is under his lower lip. Listen, you’ve got to do something to keep your interest going, you know? Ask Joe.

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