March 29, 2018

FROM THE ARCHIVES: WITH APOLOGIES TO MRS. MURTAUGH:

Why Is Baseball So Much Better Than Football? (Thomas Boswell, January 18, 1987, Washington Post)
1. Bands.

2. Half time with bands.

3. Cheerleaders at half time with bands.

4. Up With People singing "The Impossible Dream" during a Blue Angels flyover at half time with bands.

5. Baseball has fans in Wrigley Field singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at the seventh-inning stretch.

6. Baseball has Blue Moon, Catfish, Spaceman and The Sugar Bear. Football has Lester the Molester, Too Mean and The Assassin. [...]

9. Baseball has a bullpen coach blowing bubble gum with his cap turned around backward while leaning on a fungo bat; football has a defensive coordinator in a satin jacket with a headset and a clipboard. [...]

12. Vince Lombardi was never ashamed that he said, "Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing."


The whole thing is great, but one line in particular sums the matter up: "Marianne Moore loved Christy Mathewson. No woman of quality has ever preferred football to baseball."

MORE:
Baseball and Writing (Marianne Moore)

Fanaticism? No. Writing is exciting
and baseball is like writing.
You can never tell with either
how it will go
or what you will do;
generating excitement -
a fever in the victim -
pitcher, catcher, fielder, batter.
Victim in what category?
Owlman watching from the press box?
To whom does it apply?
Who is excited? Might it be I?

It's a pitcher's battle all the way - a duel -
a catcher's, as, with cruel
puma paw, Elston Howard lumbers lightly
back to plate. (His spring
de-winged a bat swing.)
They have that killer instinct;
yet Elston - whose catching
arm has hurt them all with the bat -
when questioned, says, unenviously,
"I'm very satisfied. We won."
Shorn of the batting crown, says, "We";
robbed by a technicality.

When three players on a side play three positions
and modify conditions,
the massive run need not be everything.
"Going, going . . . " Is
it? Roger Maris
has it, running fast. You will
never see a finer catch. Well . . .
"Mickey, leaping like the devil" - why
gild it, although deer sounds better -
snares what was speeding towards its treetop nest,
one-handing the souvenir-to-be
meant to be caught by you or me.

Assign Yogi Berra to Cape Canaveral;
he could handle any missile.
He is no feather. "Strike! . . . Strike two!"
Fouled back. A blur.
It's gone. You would infer
that the bat had eyes.
He put the wood to that one.
Praised, Skowron says, "Thanks, Mel.
I think I helped a little bit."
All business, each, and modesty.
Blanchard, Richardson, Kubek, Boyer.
In that galaxy of nine, say which
won the pennant? Each. It was he.

Those two magnificent saves from the knee-throws
by Boyer, finesses in twos -
like Whitey's three kinds of pitch and pre-
diagnosis
with pick-off psychosis.
Pitching is a large subject.
Your arm, too true at first, can learn to
catch your corners - even trouble
Mickey Mantle. ("Grazed a Yankee!
My baby pitcher, Montejo!"
With some pedagogy,
you'll be tough, premature prodigy.)

They crowd him and curve him and aim for the knees. Trying
indeed! The secret implying:
"I can stand here, bat held steady."
One may suit him;
none has hit him.
Imponderables smite him.
Muscle kinks, infections, spike wounds
require food, rest, respite from ruffians. (Drat it!
Celebrity costs privacy!)
Cow's milk, "tiger's milk," soy milk, carrot juice,
brewer's yeast (high-potency -
concentrates presage victory

sped by Luis Arroyo, Hector Lopez -
deadly in a pinch. And "Yes,
it's work; I want you to bear down,
but enjoy it
while you're doing it."
Mr. Houk and Mr. Sain,
if you have a rummage sale,
don't sell Roland Sheldon or Tom Tresh.
Studded with stars in belt and crown,
the Stadium is an adastrium.
O flashing Orion,
your stars are muscled like the lion.

[originally posted: Jan 26 2003]
Posted by at March 29, 2018 4:12 AM

  

Unfortunately, baseball is run by absolute idiots and has been for a number of years. Bud S. is driving the game into the ground.

Posted by: pchuck at January 26, 2003 11:09 AM

Such is the greatness of the game that it's idiot proof.

Posted by: oj at January 26, 2003 11:52 AM

Baseball may be "idiot-proof," but it's also excitement-proof. Which is why its eventual death will come not because of people like Bud Selig, but because of young Americans who find no joy in a "game" that involves standing around and sitting in a dugout for three hours. This is the 21st century, after all.



And they'll become even more disenchanted with the game as they realize it's the kind of thing that's romanticized primarily by long-winded nerds such as George Will. I mean, good Lord, there's actually a whole page of "baseball poetry" on the site you linked to.



YAWN!

Posted by: thom at January 26, 2003 12:43 PM

And then there's the classic George Carlin comedy routine, Baseball vs Football




Too bad it isn't on audio. Carlin alternates between a wussy George Smiley voice and a heavy James Earl Jones voice. It's hilarious.

Posted by: Gideon at January 26, 2003 12:48 PM

thom:



We purists will prefer it when it's back to about eight teams and it's about as popular as curling. There's too much money, too much tv, and too much riff raff associated with the game now.

Posted by: oj at January 26, 2003 1:22 PM

"3. Cheerleaders
at half time with bands." [emphasis added]



I don't see how this supports your point.

Posted by: Bill Woods at January 26, 2003 5:56 PM

Who needs cheerleaders when you've got the sausage races in Milwaukee?

Posted by: oj at January 26, 2003 10:21 PM

Bseball is moderately entertaining although cricket is much better.



American football I've never understood the popularity of since play stops and starts every twenty seconds. If you want to see fat men in tights in an athletic event watch pro wrestling instead.



Ice hockey is probably the only North American sport which is appointment viewing.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at January 27, 2003 5:58 AM

Baseball exists, and will continue to exist, in the backyard, the vacant lot, the local school, and the city Little Leagues.



Take away pro-ball and you will still have the game.



A bat, a ball, a glove...that's all that's needed. You throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball...that's all there is to it.



Remove the infants making millions to play a child's game and it will still be just that...a child's game...



God Bless America and God Bless Baseball!



Go Cubs ; )

Posted by: Bart Rhodes at January 27, 2003 3:22 PM
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