We were watching the Home Run Derby last night on ESPN- we figured it might be a fun way to kill an hour or so, but it turns out that this thing can kill about 4 hours at a clip. It goes for 17 or 18 rounds, the not-quite-the-best home run hitters in the game going head-to-head (the real sluggers want no part of this). After the first 11 or 12 rounds, the players are dying to get out of this thing. When nobody hit a home run in one round, they had a “bat-off” where the worst of the bunch competed just to get into the next round, and man did they look crestfallen to have to go through it again.
In a regular baseball game, the most fun and exciting thing that can happen is that someone hits a home run. In the Home Run Derby, you are rooting for just about anything else. A pop fly that hits a bird, a fight in the stands, even a squirrel would perk things up. After a while we started focusing on the little kids that run down the balls that aren’t home runs (a surprisingly large number of them). Every time a fly ball was hit these little weasels would scatter like roaches when the lights come on. “Holy crap! There’s a ball coming this way! Let’s get the hell out of here!” Couldn’t little league teams or schools nominate the best fielders on their squads to participate, so that we could see some good plays out there? Think it over, MLB. The only good catch you’re likely to see is one that bounces off another kid’s head.
Then there is the pitcher. My theory is that there is a pitcher in every minor league system that it’s impossible to get rid of because of the Union. A guy with marginal talent, who keeps fleecing the refrigerator of Evian, spits sunflower seeds all over the place, and always leaves the toilet seat down. At this time of year, the manager calls him into the office and says, “Kid, you’re going to the bigs. You’re pitching in the ALL-STAR BREAK!” And the kid grabs about 20 waters and gets on the bus, and pitches his heart out. The next day, the manager calls him back and says, “Kid? I’ve got some bad news for you: You gave up 233 homers last night, and we’re going to have to ship you down to 1/3-A ball. Here’s some Evian water- it looks like you may be choking on a seed.”
Incidentally, the teams to host the All-Star game most often are the Indians and Pirates, with five times each. And by the way, it is politically incorrect to use the term “pirate.” Instead, the phrase, “Native Somalian” should be used.
I saw the Jonas Brothers on Regis and Kellie Lee the other day, and found the experience very strange. First of all, what a coincidence that all of their names are “Jonas.” Secondly, at the end of every note, the Jonas who was singing at the time squeaked like a faulty clarinet. It seemed obvious that he was either doing it on purpose, or had not soaked his reed enough.
It also was painfully apparent that the band does not drink nearly enough beer, although they did not look old enough to buy it themselves. I can offer a few tips on that from experience. When I was in college I think the minimum drinking age was 11 or 12- you would take a six-pack with you to your driver’s license test, and give one to the guy grading you. But times have changed- no more drinking and driving, or you would never be able to text a coherent sentence while operating the turn signal with your knee.
Anyway, the Jonases seem to already have a wealth of life experience, judging from their song lyrics. And it is these pithy croonings that lead me to believe that they may be taking themselves too seriously, and I think seven or eight beers apiece, administered by a qualified professional, could help.
They also seem to have mastered the art of looking like they are lip-syncing, even when they are actually singing, so that you can never tell the difference. It’s like watching a Godzilla movie. It’s daunting what you have to know how to do these days in order to succeed in a band: dancing, posing, hair & make-up… Actually playing is not really necessary, since there is a full band of adults behind them, who definitely look old enough to buy beer.
Incidentally, the Jonas Brothers appeared in Washington to sing the National Anthem for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Better that than to throw out the first pitch, or worse, catch it.
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