A proposal for a new national holiday

There is a proposal before the body politic to declare a 12th national holiday:  Baseball’s Opening Day!

Finally, a cause to unite all Americans.  Or not.  I suppose we could also make Super Bowl Sunday a national holiday, to keep the balance of American sports, and since federal workers usually don’t have to work on Sundays anyway, it wouldn’t cost anything.  Or, if 12 is too many federal holidays–that’s over two weeks of paid vacations–we could move a bunch of the existing ones to Sundays, since that once-sacred day is no longer generally set apart anymore.

So what about Opening Day being a national holiday?  Why should our holidays be all about the government, political leaders, unions, and war?  Why not a sports day? [Read more...]

The secret of Greg Maddux

Pitcher Greg Maddux, fellow Atlanta rotation member Tom Glavine, and slugger Frank Thomas were voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Maddux won 355 games over a 23 year career.  How did he do that?  A rocket-fueled fastball?  An over-arching curve ball?  Not really.  Maddux tells his pitching secret to Pulitzer-prize-winning sportswriter Tom Boswell, after the jump. [Read more...]

The World Series is all red

The St. Louis Cardinals will play the Boston Red Sox in the World Series starting Wednesday.  For the first time I can remember, both of the teams that I was rooting for in their respective league playoffs were victorious.  The playoff games were indeed fascinating, and the pitching was awe-inspiring.  In the World Series, I’m for the Cardinals.  I predict they will win it in six games.  What do you think?

Midwestern virtues vs. Hollywood star power

Sportswriter Thomas Boswell sees two worlds colliding in the National League playoff between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers:

When the Dodgers meet the Cardinals on Friday with the Gateway Arch framed in center field to start the National League Championship Series, we’ll see a clash of baseball worldviews and a collision of regional cultures, too.

The Cards have always hugged Midwest virtues while the Dodgers loved movie stars in the box seats and star power on the field. But this year both teams are such extreme versions of their traditional selves it’s just delicious. [Read more...]

The beards of the Red Sox

I now like the Red Sox.  How can you not pull for a team whose players have grown such serious beards?  These aren’t soul patches or little goatees.  These are long, bushy, Duck Dynasty kinds of beards.  This is no “chicks dig ‘em” kind of fashion–I suspect women aren’t wild about them (correct me if I’m wrong)–but a true man’s kind of statement.  Watching the Red Sox is like seeing Alfred, Lord Tennyson at the plate with Stonewall Jackson on deck.

These are, in fact, a revival of 19th century type beards.  Maybe this will herald a new movement:  neo-Victorianism, complete with a new vogue for Victorian values such as  duty, honor, and sexual propriety. [Read more...]

The playoffs

As far as baseball in concerned, to true fans of the game, this is the best time of year.  The playoffs tend to give us some of the best baseball and the most interesting games of the year.  This time we have some perennial powerhouses (St. Louis, Atlanta), a recently-developed powerhouse (Los Angeles), sentimental favorites (the two traumatized cities of terrorized Boston and bankrupt Detroit), a constant contender (Tampa Bay), and appealing underdogs (Pittsburgh, Oakland).

I am pulling for the Cardinals.  They are consistently outstanding year after year after year.  They seldom make mistakes, come through in the clutch, and keep coming back.  At least they have always been that way when I would watch them torment the teams I have followed lately (the Milwaukee Brewers, the Washington Nationals). [Read more...]