Baseball notes

I've watched a lot of baseball these last few weeks, and I've found that about three-quarters of the commercials are either for cars or lawn care products. So would we even have televised baseball if the suburbs didn't exist?

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The best change that could be made in baseball - other than fully socializing revenues among the teams as the first step toward converting the majors to parecon relations of production - would be to change the name of the Cleveland Indians. It's bad enough they're called the Indians, but they insist on retaining their racist caricature logo too. I think they should rename themselves the Spiders. The Cleveland Spiders played from 1887 to 1899 in the old American Association. Cy Young, one of the greatest pitchers to ever play the game, started his career with them and led them to the championship in 1895. Then the owners of the team bought the St Louis Browns and moved all the Spiders' good players there. The 1899 Spiders team was the worst in baseball history, finishing 20-134 and 84 games out of first place (!!!!). The attendance at games was so low (averaging 179 per game) that other teams refused to come to Cleveland, so the Spiders had to play their last 36 games on the road. They lost 35 of those. That was the last season the Spiders played. The team that would eventually be called the Indians started playing in 1901.

Avenge the betrayal of the Spiders! End the racist Indians! Revive the Cleveland Spiders!


Baseball '07

Starting with the playoffs last year, I've been getting back into baseball. I was a huge baseball fan from age 10 till my freshman year of college, but after that I stopped following it. I'm pretty committed to getting back into the game, and baseball games have now replaced Law & Order as my means of avoiding work. Today I've already watched parts of three different games, and spent no time on the research paper that I told my professor would be done last week.

My team has always been the Yankees, which I know is out of keeping with my politics. But I have two solid defenses: I inherited it, since the Yankees were my dad's team, and it's not right to forsake your team just because you become politically conscious. And second, for the years and years I rooted for the Yankees, they couldn't win a thing - 1996, the last year I followed baseball, was also the first year the Yankees went back to the Series. So I'm no fair weather fan.

In the old days, aside from the Yankees there were a number of other teams I pulled for based mainly on whether I liked their team colors and logos - the Mariners, Astros, Angels, and Indians (I now find that last one difficult to explain; the Angels have unfortunately switched back to their atrocious old logo). I absolutely despised the White Sox for complex reasons. Growing up in Iowa, the Sox were the only American League team I could regularly watch on tv (the Yankees are also in the American League and at the time there was no interleague play), and their play-by-play man Ken Harrelson was intolerably partisan. Their big superstar, Frank Thomas, had the ugliest swing in the majors. That doesn't seem like much, but for something so arbitrary as sports loyalties it was enough.

Now I've revised who to secondarily support: those teams that play in good cities (i.e. those low on sprawl), especially those in small media markets who can't afford to throw their money around like the Yankees can. So the Mariners, A's, Tigers, Twins, Indians, Blue Jays, Mets, Phillies, Cubs, Brewers, Cardinals, Nationals, and Giants are in, while I have to resolutely oppose the Braves, Astros, Diamondbacks, Marlins, Devil Rays, Dodgers, Rangers, and Angels. (As a Yankees fan, of course I can't publicly provide any support for the Red Sox, but I will say that Boston is pretty good city.) Altho Chicago is probably my favorite city in the country, I still can't bring myself to root for the White Sox.