DENVER, CO – With all that’s going on, some Americana-capturing quotes to start us off:
-“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” – Babe Ruth
-“If it wasn’t for baseball, I’d be either in the penitentiary or the cemetery.” – also Babe Ruth
-“I’ll promise to go easier on drinking and to get to bed earlier, but not for you, fifty thousand dollars, or two hundred thousand dollars will I give up women. They’re too much fun.” – yes, The Bambino
-“I won’t be happy until we have every boy in America between the ages of six and sixteen wearing a glove and swinging a bat.” – you guessed it – The Babe
Baseball, as it was back in the day, was the greatest exportable commodity on Earth that never got exported. There wasn’t a culture on the planet, save for some crazy prohibitionists, that wouldn’t embrace a game that could be played while drunk. There wasn’t a culture on Earth that really had a game worth watching day in and day out. Soccer wasn’t what it is today. Cricket matches took five days to complete. Rugby was well… Rugby – and no one watched. The Sultan of Swat wasn’t thinking big enough. What if the Bambino had said, “I won’t be happy until we have every boy in the WORLD wearing a glove and swinging a bat?”
Second only to good sex, the feeling of hitting a baseball pure off a wood bat is the greatest feeling on the planet. What if we had given that feeling to every kid in Europe? Personally, I think that if we had given that feeling away to the world at the time Babe was playing there would be world peace currently.
Baseball is the only team sport that doesn’t have a clock and must have a winner. It is the only sport wherein all members of the team on the field must attempt to contribute. It is the only sport where failure is success. Baseball is an allegory for American ideals. The good news is… it’s not too late.
I think we should airdrop millions of bats, gloves, and apple pie on all of eastern Europe. In a few years maybe Russia would be like Japan or South Korea. When we gave those countries the gift of baseball they transformed into Americanized democracies over time. There hasn’t been a time in history that I can think of wherein Russia was truly a democracy. The Romanovs ruled for centuries with an iron first. Before them the Mongols were well… Mongols. Common thread? No baseball equals a greater chance of a country falling prisoner to all sorts of bad isms.
Here at home we are no different at current. Rob Manfred is currently trying to ruin this country by changing and cancelling the greatest game ever played. Stop the nonsense Rob. The world needs baseball now more than ever. Get on the ball field and let’s ship baseball to the East so we can save the world. If we aren’t going to actually try to help Ukraine we might as well give them baseball in the hopes that it Americanizes a false democracy in Russia over time.
Speaking of false democracies, come back tomorrow for our crazed leader, Short Matt.