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Author Topic: Spring training: Norman Rockwell is dead, already
'lance
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posted 01 March 2005 01:26 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Slate has recycled a hilarious piece about how sentimentality and nostalgia have done for the fun of spring training.

quote:
When Dan Shaughnessy's Spring Training: Baseball's Early Season arrived in my mailbox the other day, I had a natural inclination to pore through its pages. Then my heart sank. The book contains photographs of ballplayers stretching on the lawns of cute little ballparks where they stage the lazy spring exhibition games in the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues. The players are signing autographs for red-cheeked fans. More alarming, there are photos of children licking snow cones and AARPsters grinning in the grandstand. This is the most disturbing book I have read since The Shining.

...

Vince Lombardi had one rule for the players when he was coaching the Packers. If you're out drinking, always sit at a table, never at the bar. In the minds of the public, the man at a table was a gentleman enjoying a cocktail. The guy at the bar was a souse, a toss-pot, a wino. The Rangers had a more lenient system. The bar was OK. The table was better. Under the table was better yet.

...

So, one can understand my absolute horror when I encounter a book like Baseball's Early Season, something that paints wholesome features on the countenance of spring training. I remain optimistic that the movement to inflict theme-park wholesomeness into the proud hedonism of spring training, like the American wellness culture itself, is destined to go broke and die. Order must be restored.


A wonderful blast against sentimentality and health-fascism, and against a certain kind of nostalgia (though it falls prey to another kind).

My favourite line, from Whitey Herzog of the Texas Rangers: "There's no absolute guarantee that this team will come in last...."


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bobolink
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posted 01 March 2005 08:11 PM      Profile for Bobolink   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As Ron Luciano pointed out in his best book The Umpire Strikes Back loosing is a part of baseball. You win 100 games, you win the pennant. But you lose 62 games. The best hitters in baseball sucessfully hit one time in three. Hitting a round ball, travelling towards you at 100 mph from 66 feet away, with a round bat may be the most difficult feat in sports (OK, the last was from Ted Williams, not Ron Luciano).
From: Stirling, ON | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 02 March 2005 09:53 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks, 'lance; that was fun, although, as you say, another kind of nostalgia (gonzo envy?).

I'm definitely over the big leagues. Have to get serious about checking out Christie Pits this summer.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
johnpauljones
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posted 02 March 2005 10:57 AM      Profile for johnpauljones     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Being a Red Sox fan the messiah came last year, the lottery was won last year, I could finally answer Al Michaels and say yes I do beleive in miracles because not only did they win the pennant, but they did it by beating the damn yankees and then to top it all off as if that was not good enough they go and finally, finally after years of finding ways to grasp defeat from the arms of victory they go off and won the world series.

So the problem is that now I have nothing to cheer for.

Next Year was last year......

Well as Skdadl said i could always go to the pitts.


From: City of Toronto | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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Babbler # 478

posted 02 March 2005 11:00 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, that's fair, jpj -- Red Sox fans had special dispensation last year.

Is it Pits or Pitts? I never know. I see both, but I'm never sure.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 02 March 2005 01:07 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I always thought it was "Pits," on account of it used to was a sand and gravel pit. But then, I been away a long time.

Toronto-history segué: a waiter at the nearby Clinton Tavern once told some of us about having been present at the Pits at the infamous riot of 1933. (Don't worry: our man was Jewish, originally from Russia, not a Swastika Club member).


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 02 March 2005 01:13 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I believe that Uncle Bob (Fulford -- forgive me, Lord) wrote a book on the subject of the riots, maybe ten years ago?

(Gee, that's the second time in two days that I have had to ask the Lord's forgiveness on babble. Yesterday I quoted William Safire. Forgive me again, Lord.)


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 02 March 2005 01:22 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was about to say... who next, skdadl? Billy Buckley? Allan Bloom? Tsk, and tsk again!
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 02 March 2005 01:35 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Buckley I have been known to quote before, but ONLY on the subject of peanut butter, where I feel he has earned his stripes.

Bloom, never, not even under threat of the hot poker in sensitive places.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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