The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘God Bless America’

MLP: Major League Pandering

Posted by keithosaunders on May 31, 2018

I’ve loved the game of baseball for most of my 57 years, but I have to say that MLB makes it more and more difficult to remain a fan.  They have become a league that panders, mostly to a jingoistic, right wing fan base.

Must I be reminded of the worst day in New York City history every 7th inning of  baseball game I attend?  What used to be a corny and quaint sing-along to Take Me Out to the Ball Game is now an enforced, falsely patriotic tribute to our soldiers.

Exhibit B are the army fatigue uniforms that the Padres wear every Sunday and that many other teams, the Mets included, don on special occasions, Memorial Day being one of them.  When I watch games on every other commercial serves as recruitment tool for the U.S. military.  Are baseball fans inherently warlike?

The most inane of all pandering is Jackie Robinson Day,  in which every player wears the Robinson’s number 42.  On that day you can’t tell the players even with a scorecard.  I love and appreciate Robinson but isn’t there a less confusing way to honor him?

On Mother’s Day I actually feel sorry for the players who are forced to wear pink uniforms and caps.  Come on, baseball.  I loved my Mom but I never felt the need to prove it by wearing a dress on Mother’s Day.


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It begins

Posted by keithosaunders on March 29, 2018

Well that off season went by pretty fast.  Another baseball season is upon us and the Mets are 1-0.  Extrapolated to a full season that comes to…[gets calculator]…162-0!  Who am I kidding,  I’ll be happy if Syndergaard and Cespedes can stay healthy for a full season.

This year, in a herculean effort to speed up the game, baseball had limited catchers trips to the mound to 6 per game.  If this is successful the time of game may decrease to that of what it was in the pre-replay review era.  In other words, not much.

In an era where teams carry 13-15 men pitching staffs and relief pitchers are expected to pitch no more than one inning, the idea of having ballgames last shorter than 3.5 hours is a pipe dream at best.

I would be happy, however, if baseball banned the playing of God Bless America in the 7th inning stretch.  If they must have this jingoistic nonsense at least move it to the 6th inning, leaving Take Me Out to the Ballgame to reclaim its rightful place in Americana.

Play ball!


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God bless take me out to the ballgame

Posted by keithosaunders on October 30, 2010

Thanks to the events of September 11th, 2001 we have to remove our shoes and belts, and allow our genitalia to be viewed by airport security.  I would gladly walk through the metal detector naked and submit to a full cavity search if it meant the end of the playing of God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch at baseball games.

One of the great things about attending a ball game is the visceral experience it provides of being transported to ones youth.  You never forget what it felt like to be a little kid with your Dad at a ballgame.  The organ music between innings, the hotdogs, and the look and sound of batting practice are engrained in my senses.  

One of my few acts of enthusiastic crowd participation is to sing along with the crowd during the 7th inning stretch.  It’s one of those times where I don’t mind being a little bit frivolous.  Somewhere along the way, however, and I blame the Yankees for this, it became de rigueur to play God Bless America in the middle of the 7th inning, either before, or instead of Take Me Out to the Ballgame.  At first it was only Yankee Stadium that foisted this dark reminder upon the fans, but lately more and more stadiums have taken up this practice.    

Whose idea was it to remind us of the worst day in New York City’s history during the middle of a damn ballgame?  We attend a game to escape the pressures and tension of real life, not to be whipped into a jingoistic state.  There is no greater buzz-kill than this morbid trip down memory lane. 

What’s worse is that Major League Baseball and the FOX network have codified this nouveau tradition on their telecasts by not breaking away during the playing of GBA during the 7th inning stretch.  Are they out of their minds?  How does this enhance our viewing pleasure?  I’d rather watch Cialis commercials than endure this contrived minute of patriotism. 

I have nothing against the song.  It’s not a bad little melody, actually — I like it more than the Star Spangled Banner — and I would have no problem putting it at the beginning of the game.  Here’s a thought:  Why not play God Bless America instead of the National Anthem?  It wouldn’t have to be every day.  How about Sundays, since God is so prominently featured in the title and lyric.  It’s just a game —  why not let it breathe?

Harry Caray

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