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The blog-post equivalent of a game of pepper

December 14, 2010

It’s been ages since I’ve updated the blog, and now I’m in the midst of the same guilty quandary that happens when you let a friendship go too long between correspondences: There’s so much to catch up on that the thought of doing so is totally overwhelming, and the problem only gets worse the longer you wait.

Solution: Bullet points! Bullet points solve everything, and they’ll allow me to do cursory justice to a few of the stories that have intrigued me this week. Without further delay…..

  • Bye-bye, Brendan Ryan. There’s a certain kind of Cardinal fan that takes a lot of flak for loving ultra-high-effort, middling-yield players like Rex Hudler and Brendan Ryan. We can’t help ourselves. We love their enthusiasm and their occasional ding-a-linginess. We give them nicknames that involve dogs. And we get deeply nostalgic when they’re packed off to other teams, as Brendan Ryan was to the Mariners this week. All of Cardinal Nation will miss his show-stopping defense; we may also grow to miss his bat—or what could have been his bat, anyway—if he relocates his swing under the tutelage of someone whose name isn’t Mark McGwire. I’ll miss his goofiness, too; the last time I saw him up close, he was boarding the team bus in San Diego, balancing a plate of cookies in one hand and yelling excitedly about (who else?) his mom to some guy in the crowd, and come on, who wouldn’t love a guy who would shoot an ad like this for the team that always treated him like an annoying kid brother? Have yourself a merry old time in Seattle, Brendan. While spinning.
  • From the <headdesk> files: Heaven knows we need to encourage any kind of crossover between the world of sports and the world of gay. But what are we supposed to make of this quotation from Kenji Yoshino’s otherwise respectable Slate article on the fallacy of arguments against same-sex marriage?: “….if a prerequisite of marriage is procreative capacity, then are the marriages of infertile opposite-sex couples not called into question? [Anti-gay scholar Robert P.] George and his co-authors are quick to reassure with another sports analogy: ‘A baseball team has its characteristic structure largely because of its orientation to winning games; it involves developing and sharing one’s athletic skills in the way best suited for honorably winning. … But such development and sharing are possible and inherently valuable for teammates even when they lose their games.’ In other words, infertile couples are still playing ball, even if they never win a game. They are the Phillies, except that they have no hope of ever improving.” Oh, Kenji. Did you fail to notice the part where the Phillies have won a World Series, a pennant, and another division title in the last three years? Did you fail to notice that as of today, their starting rotation consists of Jesus, Zeus, Thor, Jesus again, and Cole Hamels? If you’re going to go for the sporting reference, make sure you don’t screw it up….especially if you’re representing for the gays, and especially if your flub forces me to type complimentary things about the Phillies that make me want to hurl.
  • Feller not felled: In college, we used to read the Lorain Morning Journal when we needed a media fix that was worldlier than our campus rag but not as big and scary as the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. The Morning Journal made its own headlines the other day by announcing the death of Bob “The Heater from Van Meter” Feller. As you probably know by now, Feller isn’t dead. I would make some joke here about the  fact that what’s dead is the Morning Journal‘s standard of integrity, except 1) it wasn’t all that great to begin with, and 2) I’d rather use the space to wish Feller peace and comfort, since he’s awesome.

There’ll be more to come, friends, because of the felicitous confluence of the end of the semester and the resurgence of my own jonesing for baseball. Thanks for your patience!

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