America’s very rapid pastime

(Photo from NYTimes.com)

I don’t know about you, but I’m so used to All-Star games lasting many, many moons or going into extra innings or involving some creative bullpen management using airplane glue and smelling salts that a short game, clocking in at just over two hours and twenty minutes felt very odd to me. Seemed President Obama threw out the ceremonial first pitch and twenty minutes later, we were handing the MVP trophy to Carl Crawford.

Of course, the rapid pace of the game didn’t stop me from falling asleep during the later innings due to fatigue and what was, if we’re being honest, not a terribly exciting game. And since Fox was playing what sounded to me like the Jurassic Park theme music every time they cut to or back from commercial, it lead to some interesting half dreams on my part. HJ would tell you I’m prone to babbling complete nonsense in my sleep (seriously, he could tell you stories). And apparently last night was no different. Falling asleep on the couch, I believe I told him that I figured out how dinosaurs died out. It had nothing to do with meteors or ice ages but rather that they’d taken to grazing in the outfield at Major League Baseball stadiums and but since the professional groundskeepers were so good at their jobs, the grass wasn’t long enough to sustain the dinosaurs so they died out.

I believe I then declared that I had solved the mystery of the dinosaur’s extinction and therefore, science could focus on more important things now like those flying cars and robot maids we were all supposed to have by now.

Seriously. I said all of that.

Which leads me to believe that the All-Star game happening in my head may, in fact, have been slightly more interesting than the one that went down in St. Louis. Aside from Albert Pujols’ embarassing error in the first inning in front of his worshipping home town fans and Carl Crawford’s bacon-saving catch to keep Jonathan Papelbon from getting all cocky, it was mostly excellent ballplayers doing what excellent ballplayers do best. Except for hitting home runs. That didn’t so much happen.

And no matter what you may think of them personally, it was a little weird to have an All-Star game without Alex Rodriguez or David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez. It just felt somehow incomplete. Also, whither Tim Wakefield? I know that he was likely only going to get into the game if it went into extras or if something untoward was happening with the American League but I still really wanted to see Wake pitch. Maybe next year. Maybe he’s only getting better.

Despite the relative snooze-fest of the game, I did enjoy President Obama in the booth which added some much needed, you know, competence to the idiocy that usually goes on between Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. And though I don’t love the White Sox personally and I think Ozzie Guillen is a complete and total mad man, I appreciate the fact that Obama doesn’t pander to the electorate with a generic “Baseball” jersey or a jacket depicting a giant American flag or eagle or some such. The man is a fan of his team and I respect that. I mean, he flat out said that he doesn’t root for the Cubs. That takes some stones. That’s why he’s President. Honestly, I wish he could have stuck around a bit longer – as did Joe Buck as he practically begged him not to leave him alone with McCarver – but I suspect Rahm Emanuel was standing in the corner motioning for him to wrap it up because he was concerned about what prolonged exposure to the idiocy of Tim McCarver would do to the leader of the free world. The man has problems to solve.

Like that dinosaur thing. Someone should get on that.

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