Rant ahead. Skip to next post for more in-game relevant content.
Tonight was Spiderman 2 night at the ballpark, ending a week of Ronald Reagan Night at Safeco Field. It demonstrated what an enormous tool baseball is.
Spiderman 2 night included:
– Spiderman foam hands for the kids
– Spiderman home plate and pitching rubber, which were both removed before the game
– Spiderman 2 giveaways, which sucked (the “Spiderman 2” DVD pack included a Spiderman 1 DVD, for instace. They did not give away Kristen Dunst, which would have sparked interest
– The U.S. Bank Great Plays Video Vault had a bunch of short clips from Spiderman 2 interspersed with the highlights themselves. At the end of the video they had to show the Spiderman 2 vitals, of which only the PG-13 rating was legible, in order to ensure that you realized you’d just seen a trailer.
It beats every-night-is-Reagan night, though.
Why, last night we got
– a moment of silence before the game
– instead of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” a video retrospective on Reagan
Before I start, I want to make this totally clear– I grew up on Reagan. I loved to listen to Reagan’s speeches, and he’s the first political figure I knew about.
When Richard Nixon died in 1994, baseball didn’t honor Nixon like this. We didn’t get to see his “Checkers” speech in the 7th inning. And yet, Nixon’s accomplishments are admirable: he went to China in a move that had tremendous (if largely forgotten) consequences, the EPA was established, and every one of us in the country is better for it. The DEA… well, I’d argue we’re all worse fot that. Nixon finally got the country out of an unwinnable war in Vietnam (where, and I mention this just as an aside, widespread torture of America’s enemies did nothing but destroy our own morals and turn others against us).
And his failings were horrifying, too. Nixon waged a secret war against Cambodia that killed hundreds of thousands of people and, indirectly, led to the Hmer Rouge killing a million, two million more. And he abused the Presidency in all kinds of ways, yes (“When the President does it, that means that it’s not illegal,” Nixon once said, which presages the Justice Department memos justifying Bush administration policy on treatment of captives), and healmost destroyed American democracy. And he liked baseball.
But so did Reagan. We can argue whether he won the cold war, but under Reagan the war on drugs eroded civil rights and introduced the forfeiture laws that addicted police departments to continuing those civil rights laws, he ran a secret government out of the White House in direct violation of U.S. law so he could arm our enemies and finance his own secret war in Nicaragua. Iran-Contra would have gotten him impeached if Nixon’s impeachment hadn’t left the presidency in such awful shape. The debt…
Doesn’t matter. If Bill Clinton died tomorrow (Lord forbid) do you think baseball would have a week of silent moments and video tributes?
If not, why not? No matter what reason you cite, wouldn’t a decision to make that evaluation, to base the time and manner a president is honored on subjective criteria be an endorsement of certain people and their ideology over others?
We come to baseball games to see baseball games, not to see baseball drape itself in patriotism, or honor a particular president. I’ve always only wanted to be left alone to enjoy the game.
But attending baseball is not far away from being like staying home and watching on television: constant ads, video ads between innings and during pitching changes, only with better views, extremely high prices for food, and that stupid Moose. And at home I’d have TiVo and at that point, I wouldn’t go see forty, fifty games a year — I might see four or five.
Notes on tonight’s game
Worst Swings of the Night
Innings 1-3: Endy Chavez’s long reach from his timtoes for a Moyer changeup that made Chavez look like he was doing some kind of crazy isometric exercise that threatened to take him out of his shoes.
Innings 4+ Nick Johnson’s half-squatting reach for a low curve on a hit-and-run that sent him spinning around twice. You only get bonus points for that in Tony Hawk Pro Skater there, big guy.
Ichiro’s throw to second on that scoop of a short hop to get Endy Chavez was the most impressive defensive play I’ve seen this year. The hit went up, Ichiro charged — “Maaaaaaaaaybe he’ll get there…”
The ball dropped just in front of him — “Craaaaap, guys at first and–
Somehow Ichiro took the ball on the short hop and threw to second almost in an instant, and Chavez was out. (jaw drop, no thoughts)
I still can’t believe he got that throw off that fast. Endy Chavez is a fast dude (watching him play center… he covers a ton of ground out there) and Ichiro.. man, that was awesome.
So, to try and spark the offense, Ichiro is hitting 3rd. Not that I think this would matter one way or another usually, but in order to accomodate this, Melvin has Winn (.319 OBP) and Aurilia (.301 OBP) hitting first and second. Regardless of what you think changes might do to spark a lineup that can’t score anyways, sticking out machines in front of your best hitter just isn’t very smart.
Fans, remember not to go to the ballpark Monday, June 29th, when the Mariners present Country Music Night at Safeco Field.