Tagged: Deep Thoughts

Deep Thoughts: How Baseball Compares to the World

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On occasion a ‘deep thought’ enters my brain.  These
thoughts, however, are not unlike the ‘Deep Thoughts’ by Jack Handy skit,
that were famously parodied in the early 90’s on Saturday Night Live.   This doesn’t really make them ‘deep
thoughts’ – just silly ones.

Now that off-season blogging has begun, I feel that I can now delve into a
little more creative writing – the initial goal of this blog.  All the off-season
speculation can get a little over done.  For instance, when you have blog
writers like me posting about topics that he nowhere near qualified to post
about.  I will just sum up my opinions on the Jay’s 2010 off-season in
some brief bullet points:

Alex Gonzolez makes the team better defensively at SS.  I
question Scutaro’s ability to play that position in the future.

– I think the Jays will get a hefty sum for Roy Halladay this off-season,
not unlike the offers we were presented at the deadline last year.

– Working Adam Lind in at first base is a very good idea.  Snider
in the outfield might become an issue.  I’m okay with Randy Ruiz
starting at DH this year, but don’t expect ‘the world’ from him.  Would be
a ‘great story’ if he excelled though after spending the majority of his career
in the minors! 

– We need a catcher!  Barajas likely won’t be back.  I hear talk of Yorvit
Torrealba
?  Almost not significant enough a move to talk about.

– Improved scouting and player development under GM Alex Anthopolous
Very good!  Thumbs up to him.  Hopefully, we will be able to freakin
SIGN some of his picks!!! 

How Baseball Compares to World History

Finding loose, comical
parallels in comparing the history of baseball to significant moments in World
History. 

 

Ancient History 

 

The ancient history
of baseball evolves out of a game played in
England called ‘Rounders.’  Rounders was game that took it’s form from
games such as Cricket and Polo.  In fact,
throughout the early history of baseball the game was constantly evolving and
improving to suit time.  This evolution
has not stopped, as today we see the implementation of instant replay, and
dampened baseballs in
Colorado for instance.  The evolution of
baseball compares to the natural process that is Charles Darwin’s ‘natural
selection’ theory.  We adapt, and improve
to conquer our surroundings.  From
bacteria, to
Australopithecus afarensis, to **** Erectus, to Neanderthal and so on. 
Baseball’s origins came from oddly unfamiliar relatives, just as
humans.  The early years of baseball saw
many different forms and improvements in the equipment, the uniforms, the rules
and the organizational structure. 
Baseball went from unorganized groups where games were played in
backyards with loose rules and little knowledge of what they were actually
participating in, to an international game played in billion dollar stadiums
employing millions of people.  Human kind
came from a group bipedal apes sitting around trying to find a way to keep
warm, crack nuts and keep nourished, to nations, cities, politics, commerce,
the internet, Shamwows and the Snuggies. 
             
       

 

Civilization and Religion

 

June 19, 1846
– Baseball became most similar to the way it is played today.  The innovations made on the Elysian Fields in
Hoboken, New Jersey
would set baseball on a path towards the great game that it is today.    There Henry Chadwick went on to become the
game’s preeminent reporter developing baseball’s statistics and scoring system.
He

elysian-fields-baseball-game.jpg

became known as “The Father of Baseball.”  I don’t want to compare Henry Chadwick, to
you know who, but the religion of baseball, still practiced today, lies in the
constant statistical work and reporting of the game. Whether you deny it or
not, this area is the Mecca of
baseball.  The New England, New York area
is/was home to Cooperstown, the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Giants, Babe Ruth’s
playing career and Elysian Fields, where many scholars agree is the ‘true’
birthplace of baseball, even though this is a debatable suggestion.  This area has influenced far stretches of the
baseball world, similar to the ‘Holy Roman Empire,’ except
this empire remains in baseball even to this day.  Some compare the United
States to an extension of the Roman
Empire, so I will use that logic for the sake of comparison.  The Roman Empire fell
in a way that compares to the way baseball’s great franchises in New
York lost themselves to expansion.  The Dodgers moved to L.A.
and the Giants moved to San Fran causing a collapse in the mecca of the New
York baseball during the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s.  The destruction of Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn
symbolizes this fall, only to gain strength later in a different form, Pax
Americana.  The in-between time saw
baseball prophets, icons, political leaders, heroines, kings, queens, martyrs
and cultural representations emerge. 

 

Branch Rickey …
Abraham Lincoln (freed baseball … freed
America)

 

Ty Cobb … Ivan the
Terrible

 

John McGraw (little
Napolean) … Napolean (both were truly great strategists)

 

Jackie Robinson …
Nelson Mandela

 

Dottie Hinson (A
League of Their Own character loosely based on Dottie Green of the Rockford
Peaches 1943 to 1947) … Cleopatra

 

Yogi Berra … Winston
Churchill

 

Pete Rose … Harry
Truman (great president … one big mistake. 
Great player … one big mistake)

 

Barry Bonds …
Machiavelli (use whatever means as long as you get the end result:  Steroids)

             

Rafeal Palmerio …
Richard Nixon (just despicable)  

That is all I got right now! 
Anymore?

 

Reform

 

Free agency, no-trade clauses, agents and big money have
made the game what it is today.  These implementations
have also expanded the game further than any thought it would have
internationally.  The gospel of baseball
took a dramatic turn with the advent of these measures.  The Protestant Reformation conducted by
Martin Luther in 1517, coinciding with the creation of the printing press allowed
for religion to be spread and interpreted all over the world on levels that it
had never seen before.  Baseball as an
institution could now be influenced by the players that play the game.  This is similar to the Protestant
Reformation, where people began to influence religion more than they had been
able to before in the era of the ‘Holy Roman Empire.’

 

Today

 

Baseball, along with life on this planet is moving now in
rapid speed.  The internet has created a
world where baseball can be covered, analyzed, broken down into a mirco-science
like never before.  Improvements to
scouting, statistics (with sabermetrics), reporting and promotion have
propelled baseball into the technological age. 
Teams know now to jump on the next best thing coming out of Cuba,
Venezuela, or Timbuktu
that throw 100 MPH.  We live in a smaller
world, and globalization has taken hold of baseball as well.  The World Baseball Classic is in its infancy,
but baseball is also expanding into unimaginable countries now.  Yet, the peace on a baseball field remains
untarnished despite the new world order. 
That is the beauty of it all.    

 

What is next?

 

I envision a game where humans
take on robots that can statically
compute information before every pitch. 
No, no really. 

 

Better yet, baseball games used to decide conflict, or
war?  If only we could get the Taliban to
agree to that??  It would be a whole lot
more fun than the alternative, I’m sure most would agree.          

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