austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

We're born again, there's new grass on the field

I don't think much about the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays, since most days they fall into that broad class of ``things not presently attacking me with badgers'' and so they can be left on a lower priority. Sometimes they command more attention, such as when they're playing a baseball game that my father insists on watching on the living room TV while I exercise, apparently unaware that I'm trying to watch stuff on the Tivo in there, I can't exercise in another room, and his bedroom TV is perfectly free. This week has had a series of such days, leaving me caught halfway through Jacques Tati's Play Time (although it's at one of those moments where I can't say why it's funny except it's overwhelmingly funny).

Anyway. Recently, apparently, the Rays made the third out of the final inning by tagging out the runner at third. This doesn't strike me as exceptional, although one of the announces on tonight's Yankees/Rays game insisted that it was an important part of Baseball Traditional Strategy for the past 125 years that you do not make the last out of the inning at third base. Despite my fondness for baseball I don't keep much Traditional Strategy in my head since if you start doing that your brain will be filled up with lunatic notions.

For example, you might be the one announcer on this game, who was apparently deeply offended that the Rays had dared to make the final out at third base. He was talking about how, yeah, the Rays may say they want to ``take risks'', but what's the reward of taking such a risk as tagging the runner at third for the final out? In his world this is about as sensible a proposition as trading on Wall Street while entirely nude and communicating only in a series of chicken squawking noises.

I can say he feels it this passionately because he talked about this for two solid innings, and kept challenging everyone doing voice-overs with him to justify the Rays' outrageous behavior of making the tag at third base. He pulled up clips of the previous night's game, and of a press conference where the Rays manager was apparently not expecting a fourteen-hour grilling on whether there can possibly be a God in a universe which allows a final out to be made at third base. I mean, sheesh, perspective, guy. We're not talking about something pure evil like Interleague Play or Bud Selig, here, it's just a successful third out.

Trivia: Jackson, Michigan, won an 1867 baseball tournament in Detroit with a controversial team dubbed the ``Unknowns'', as the players were all-stars imported from other towns rather than representing the best of Jackson's amateur players. Source: But Didn't We Have Fun? An Informal History Of Baseball's Pioneer Era, 1843 - 1870, Peter Morris. (This was part of the process of openly professional players becoming accepted.)

Currently Reading: Clowns And Pantomime, M Willson Disher. It's actually a bit of a slog, with a lot of vague praise of the acts of clowns and circus performers who were maybe familiar when the book was first published in 1925 but who now are one name I faintly remember (Grimaldi) and a lot that I don't. But I'm finding I'd really like to know more about the history of clowning and related phenomena, so what's there to read?


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