YOU are the proprietor, too. You get to enjoy the relaunch joy and the Opening Day craziness that comes with it.
Are you enjoying the relaunch? Caught up in the craziness? Don’t you just feel the love from MLBlogs?
April Fools Day!
Here at Some Ballyard, we don’t get fooled again. We’ve seen enough. MLBlogs has demonstrated one too many times that it is not suitable for serious blogging. We will keep Some Ballyard up for some trivial purposes, but we will be blogging in earnest at Some Clubhouse. Do drop in and pay us a visit!
For those of you who are hanging around, we’ll still come by your blogs. Best of luck (you are going to need it), and see you in the bigger blogosphere!
It was a glorious opening night for the new Nationals Park. My son and co-author here on SBY watched the game at Gators, a nearby sports pub, at least through the fourth inning when we packed it up and headed back to the house to watch the rest of the game. Franchise third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, from right here in Virginia Beach, blasted a walk off homerun in the bottom of the ninth to fend off the Braves. Of course they did it in typical Nats perilous style, surrendering the lead with two outs in the top of the ninth on a passed ball. I had almost finished ranting and raving about how the Nats were going to lose this game stupidly and might finish with a hundred losses this season when Zim hit his shot.
You gotta believe
If you just can’t wait until tomorrow night to get a peek at the new Nationals Park–and even if you can–check out the construction cam. Not only does it provide a current view, you can go back to any date, or even view a time lapse of the construction.
Check it out here.
Wow! The Nats finally released John Patterson. Maybe they are serious.
Patterson had an outstanding 2005, but, if you remember, that was an odd year. The Nats in their new Washington home were hotly competitive, at least until Atlanta, in that final dynastic breath, handed Screech his bird butt. Since then Patterson has embodied the Nats misfortunes, starting as an ace every year until revealing himself to be a joker.
No huge knock on Patterson, per se. He is a middling middle-to-late starter on a middling team. But he came to represent something lackadaisical about the Nats, that attitude that they were going to lose anyway so it didn’t really matter. As The Prince of New York notes in his 2008 Baseball Guide, that isn’t the attitude manager Manny Acta is instilling in his team as evidenced by Washington playing like they were still in contention late last year versus the supposed to be in contention Mets. I suspect his release was meant to be a wakeup call to any other sleepy heads in D.C.
Keep an eye on this team. They are on the way up.
I am an enthusiastic proponent of international baseball, but exporting opening day was not a good idea. I could deal with the Sunday night contests, which were sort of like opening one Christmas present on Christmas eve. You fell asleep and then it really was Christmas.
There was something very special about Opening Day, the sense that the races were beginning. But tomorrow they will be playing spring training games as well as regular season games. Goofy.
I don’t like it.
The Chinese government has defied international anger at its crackdown on Tibetan independence protests, accusing the Dalai Lama and his “splittist clique” of being out to destroy the Olympics and damage China’s international reputation.
And exactly what reputation might that be? Certainly China can’t be deluded that their abominable record on human rights has somehow escaped the world’s attention. You don’t run over people with tanks and not create a sensation.
Of course China may be right. There is something unseemly, unholy almost, about the endless stream of protests designed to exploit the world’s attention attendant upon the Olympics. The idea behind the Olympics is to lay aside political differences for the games, not resolve all of them. Zeus knows the ancient Greeks went back to fighting each other as soon as the last meddle was awarded.
What makes this particularly intriguing is that the Dalai Lama functions as a kind of spiritual guru. If he is, indeed, interrupting the “spirit” of the Games, then that raises some interesting questions beyond the political. The Dalai Lama, to his great credit, recognizes this and is threatening to resign if the Tibetian issue cannot be resolved peacefully.
Maybe Richard Gere can sort it all out for us, carrying the Dalai Lama out of this conundrum like he did Debra Winger in An Officer and a Gentleman. Lord lift us up where we belong.
Just ordered The Prince of New York’s 2008 Baseball Guide. Paul (Lebowitz, aka The Prince of New York) has forgotten more about baseball than most of us will ever know, so despite ribbing him it had better be good, I guarantee from having read his blog for awhile it will be. Plus let’s face it, the book is a small price to pay to encourage a fine independent sportswriter and allow him to ply his trade. Pick up your own copy.
The way I see it, it’s a great thing to be the man who hit the most home runs, but it’s a greater thing to be the man who did the most with the home runs he hit.
Hank Aaron, I Had a Hammer
There is growing talk of a boycott of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in protest of the brutal repression of Tibet, which the Dalai Lama calls “cultural genocide”:
The Dalai Lama called Sunday for an international investigation into China’s crackdown against protesters in Tibet, which he said is facing a “cultural genocide” and where his exiled government said 80 people were killed in the violence.
The demonstrations were the fiercest challenge to Beijing’s rule in the region in nearly two decades, leading to sympathy protests elsewhere and embarrassing China ahead of the Olympic Games.
Of course Major League Baseball is ignoring the unfolding tragedy, blinded by the vision of billions of Chinese wearing overpriced official logo gear:
Perhaps no emerging nation presents the potential for economic benefits like one with 1.3 billion possible baseball fans. Selig, having lived through the Cold War, noted the symbolism of the flags of the United States and China flying together beyond the center-field bleachers.
The thought of that old Cold Warrior Selig with his cap over his greedy heart singing the national anthem of still communist China makes me mist up. (Wasn’t it Selig who coined the phrase “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”? Who writes this schlock for MLB.com? Oh, nevermind.) He was probably scheming on a deal for Tibetian bats.
As anyone who has read this blog very long knows, I am a strong advocate of the internationalization of baseball. This is one thing Selig has actually got right. There are, however, significant issues to be faced which I’m sure has never entered his amoral equations. Shall human rights be ignored? How do you deal with international conflict? The Olympics have never adequately resolved these and a host of other issues. Is it reasonable to expect MLB will?
Or will they just take the money and look the other way, like they did with steroids, another issue already familiar to the international athletic community?
One thing is for certain: MLB is as facile as the Chinese government with strong arm tactics, and, as we’ve seen here on MLBlogs, as comfortable with suppression of freedom of expression. So perhaps communist China is the perfect cultural fit for MLB. Tell the Dalai Lama he is welcome in the Red Sox Nation.