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Sure Beats Who’s The Boss, huh, honey?: Baseball for Two June 27, 2006

Posted by doctorolove in Sports.
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Summer. A time of sweat, stickiness and the occasional big budget hero flick starring the starlet of the moment, usually screaming, or in danger, or half naked in the freak sudden rainstorm nobody predicted. There’s the sound of ice cream trucks as they rumble down the street, the screams of children as they frolic in various cooling water receptacles, the endless drone of an air conditioner that almost, if you cup your ears just right, sounds like Fiona Apple in bag of cats humming Stars and Stripes Forever.

But summer to me means baseball. The quintessential American game, if by quintessential, you mean long stretches of people doing nothing, occasional bursts of sudden excitement, more nothing, a flicker of excitement and then suddenly, dancing mascots dressed as sausages chasing one another. In other words, a metaphor for the American struggle….for intestine covered spiced meat.

Baseball has its’ fair share of detractors who complain about everything from the lackadaisical pace to the long season to drugs to crime to vicious blood crazed fans. Truthfully, the reason people so vehemently complain about baseball is America’s deepest darkest secret. It is inherent in every male to watch a competitive event, no matter what the stakes are and no matter how boring or inane it might be. (Example.) So, how could this classic game of grace, power, skill and sausage have so many naysayers?

Easy. Their girlfriends, wives, lovers, stock girl at the Safeway, just don’t get it.

Not all of them. I knew a girl who was so obsessed with the Cleveland Indians, she got a Chief Wahoo tattoo in the small of her back. When you’re advertising your love of a team in the area that is basically the “party girl” area (as per the Sorority Cliché Code of 1987), you better know your baseball.

But for the most part, guys, the women just don’t get it. Heck, baseball has so many rules, I don’t even get half the things that occur during a game. But, put simply, instead of having to sit through a game with their significant other and try to explain why the ball that bounced over the fence and then came back into play after bouncing off the Liberty Mutual sign is not aground rule double because there were two men on base and its’ a Thursday in a Northeast ballpark that faces north and is named after a member of Hanson, they give up. And watch Desperate Housewives or Zoom, both of which are shows that revolve around a group doing various things (On Zoom, it’s crafts. On the other, it’s your neighbor’s ex-husband.)

I’m not here to explain the rules. Rather, I’m going to give you four little tips that will make your female companion an instant baseball fan, rule comprehension or not. And if none of these work, try renting Beaches and fall asleep until the nude scene.

Tip One: Look at the Scoreboard!

Now, the game is all about who can score more runs, right? Simple concept to grasp. But look at the other two categories. Hits and errors. A team can have more hits than the other and still lose the game. Because, at the end of the day, the only hits that matter are the ones that bring you home. Sure, you can stroke a double now and then (Read: Go out drinking with the friend she doesn’t hanging around with, either because he’s a Scientologist or a felon) but the hits that matter are the ones that bring you back to where you started. (Read: Back to her) And as for errors, every mistake you make in a ballgame is advertised for all the world to see. What women wouldn’t love the fact that every error is cataloged and broadcast, no matter how mundane or routine they may be? That alone should get her interested. A game that remembers all the mistakes you may make, but whose sole purpose is to get you back home as fast as possible before you’re out (Read: Drunk on your buddy’s kitchen floor). Genius. Pure genius.

Tip Two: Comment on What They’re Wearing

Men don’t get accessories. To us, it’s a perfectly good way to ruin a perfectly good jean and T-shirt combo. That, and it requires extra work when undressing and frankly, we’re too lazy to bother. But, just look at the ball player’s outfit. He has to don a snazzy helmet and change it between innings depending on the situation. He must always match the glove with the particular hat. Different situations call for different gloves and each player has, quite often, a customized glove per his status on the field. Make sure to point out the catcher, who is so inundated with accessories, he’s giving Cher a run for her money. By comparing the players to nothing more than fashionistas, you have made them more identifiable. If that fails, feel free to comment on the “cute butt in tight pants” thing, but you’re playing with fire there. Plus side, she knows you’re in touch with your feminine side. Negative is, you come home early one day to find her doing the washed up Triple A pitcher who happens to live across the hall. (And yes, I think that was a plot point on Desperate Housewives.)

Tip Three: Look at all These Pauses!

By playing on the notion, that baseball is a slow game, she may be more inclined to be suckered into the fact that the game will provide that ultimate in relationship homeostasis: We Both Get What We Want. By noting every time a player shakes off several signs in a row or the mound conferences that always seem to come off in rapid succession, you are showing her that even though you’re watching sports, there will be times she can talk to you. You’re providing her with opportunities. Again, be careful, because this one can explode. Nobody wants to be arguing during a ninth inning pitching change in a one-run game. Avoid this by noting pauses early on in the game, like the National Anthem, the home run trot during an impending blowout victory, or during an ad for Dharma and Greg.

Finally, Tip Four: Lie Like The Announcers

Half of the stats the announcers dredge up are fed to them by some pimply faced mathematician in a truck, yet they deliver it with all the conviction Alex Trebek does when he rolls his r’s during the reveal of an answer that is Spanish in origin. You too can play this game. Don’t know why a player did something? Make up the reason. I still to this day couldn’t give the exact definition of a balk, but I still know a few of my ex-girlfriends who probably are still referring to it as the “Extra Base Pitchy Dance.” Spew out some unnecessary and untrue facts about the past exploits of the players on the screen. Give them fancy sounding nicknames that you made up on the spot. Make your favorite player the greatest hitter of all time by dropping official sounding stats, like on base percentage and runs scored on his wife’s birthday. Feel free to describe the origin of your favorite team, but make it as epic as possible. Utilize Greek mythology, if you feel the need. Again, a few ex-girlfriends think the Yankees were formed by a 1920’s businessman using parts of Zeus’s left rib. Why lie? Because it shows you’re passionate and can actually remember things. Maybe, if she can love this game as much as you, the things you often (Read: conveniently) forget would became easier to remember. Baseball is a game of numbers, that only a few people remember anyway. Those guys probably have perfect girls whose birthdays are always remembered. They suck.

Now, these tips are merely suggestions. Feel free to apply their rhyme and reason to other sports, provided you keep in mind that every sport has its’ own rhyme and reason. The tip about errors in football might work (Penalties…what women doesn’t like a man to pay for his mistakes?) but don’t play on football’s pauses because that’s your opportunity to relive the bone crushing hit the DB just laid on the quarterback. Tailor the rules to you, but by no means describe how soccer is eleven men trying to get their ball into large holes guarded by other men.

That just might explain the Europeans, though, hm?

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