The smell of the greasepaint, the roar of the crowd ...
Oh, sorry, wrong medium ...
It's Batter Up! and Play Ball!
The 2008 Major League Baseball season, technically, started last week (Red Sox and Oakland A's played in Japan), but, for all intents-and-purpose, Opening Day is today.
And regular, longtime readers of The Garlic knows what that means ... It's time for the growing-infamous-by-the-minute (we may have to put one of those counter clocks up) baseball essay;
"Could You Please Tell Me, What Is This Thing Called Baseball?"
Some pitchers (remember, he can be a starter or reliever, long or short) will wind up before they pitch. Other will deliver it from a stretch. They can throw sinkers, sliders, spitters, knucklers, curves, screwballs and change-ups. Some are plain fastballers, others sneaky lowballers. A few are outright screwballs, but we digress.
A hitter can hang in there by fouling one off or fouling it upstairs. He can also foul it out of play, foul it back, chop it foul or pop it foul. Sometimes the ball just drops foul. There are times when a hitter will foul out. If a pitcher (starter or reliever, long or short) throws a spitter, you’ll see the hitter cry foul. The umpires, the men in dark suits who stand behind the bases and enforce the rules, take a lot of foul abuse from players and fans, who holler foul when they don’t agree with the umpire’s decision. Foul weather will cancel a game, putting everybody in a foul mood.
Thousands, perhaps, tens-of-thousands have had their understanding of baseball greatly enhanced by this essay!
Including Presidential Candidates;
Great piece! I’d like to ask if I can record ‘Could You Please Tell Me, What Is This Thing Called Baseball?’ for my next Spoken Word project?”
Barack Obama, Senator, U.S. Senate
“I took some time off from spying on K.T. McFarland and read ‘Could You Please Tell Me, What Is This Thing Called Baseball?’ – Great stuff!”
Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator
And World Leaders;
Since I’ve been in a letter-writing mode lately, thought I’d drop you a note to say how much I enjoyed the baseball essay and how much I learned from it. Perhaps, someday, we’ll have the game over here (and with the stadium lights powered by our new nuclear energy!)
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran
I so much liked your story on American Baseball, I am going have copies printed and make it mandatory for passengers of our new Himalayan train service to read it (sorry I can’t let them go out on the Internet and look it up for themselves)
President Hu Jintao, China
Don't go through the 2008 Baseball Season scratching your head ... Wondering ... Feeling left out ...Don't miss out ... Get all the 411 on baseball you'll need, so you can jump in with the gang at the water cooler and sound like a pro ..
Read "Could You Please Tell Me, What Is This Thing Called Baseball?"
Bonus Shameless Pitch
Visit the Savvy Girls of Summer and order their new book "It Takes More Than Balls - The Savvy Girls' Guide To Understanding and Enjoying Baseball"