Friday, February 20, 2009

February 20, 2008

    Here we go again!   Pitchers and catchers and baseball clichés.  A sports writer noticing spiked shoes on top of street shoes in a rookie's locker--kid doesn't know how to arrange it yet--versus the neat order in the vet's locker next door.  There's the rookie next to the All-Star--do I speak to him, or let him go first?  There's the aging vet--no, they didn't make me any promises, I have to make the team just like anybody else.  There are the coaches and managers, some happy, some resigned.  I always remember Leo Durocher, years ago, watching the first workout of some expansion team and asking, after half an hour or so, "Can't anybody here play this game?"
    The Washington Nationals--worst record in baseball last year and don't bet against them to repeat--have something actually new this year--a scam which involved their paying over a million dollars to a Dominican kid who turns out to have lied about his name--I don't know why--and his age:  he was four years older than he told them.  Lots of shadowy figures in this--agents, Orson Wells types lurking in the shadows.  Can the kid play?  Who knows?  Will somebody go to jail? Quite possibly.
    Some things are more traditional--the New York Yankees have added a couple of superstars to their lineup.  Does that mean they'll win?  No, but they certainly might.
     And then we come to tradition--my team, the Chicago Cubs. They haven't won a World Series in more than a century, if you can imagine.  This year?  No way, man, no way.
     But what does it matter?  Baseball's back.   First exhibition games are next week. See you at the park.

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