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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Garagiola says what's right about baseball - Today Books: Miscellaneous - MSNBC.com: "Being a catcher is like being a fire hydrant at a dog show. If a catcher were asked to march in a parade they'd make him march behind the elephants. He'd have the same lousy view the whole parade and get dumped on at the same time. Think of it that way and it's easy to understand that even Charlie Brown's catcher would rather play the piano."

I just sent this to T., who of course caught from the time he was about 8 until he graduated from college. And survived. But I also like the idea of a book about what's right with baseball. It's often mighty underrated as a family activity, and suffers from the major league problems of the steroid scandal, which of course, must be addressed by the players, owners, and commissioner.

But as baseball people, and people who watch way too much sports on TV, one of our major sources of hilarity during other sports, especially football I think, is the excessive celebration after even the most mundane tackle, catch, or good play.

T. had a young coach once who often told the boys, "Act like you been there," which has become our reply to the various and ridiculous dances, faux-autographs, ball-slamming, etc. that pro football players seem to feel are necessary.

I am no Barry Bonds fan, but can you imagine Barry indulging in ANY of the nutty stuff that even the most rookie football player seems to need to display?

It's part of the culture of baseball--when baseball players showboat even a little--a too-long pause to look after a home run, excessive fist-pumping after a play, etc.--they might be looking at a 95-mph fastball coming right at their head their next time at bat.

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