(Posted: 3/18/11; update 3/19)
What should baseball learn from the new 64-31 score against the war in Afghanistan? It should see that, buy cialis cialis as a Wash Post/ABC poll shows, viagra sale fans have had their fill of militarism and should not be required to participate in ballpark “honorings” of our troops.
Silence on the subject from the commissioner’s office means the seventh-inning super-patriotic displays will likely again be part of the game-attending experience. Ball fans are supposed to cheer the service men and women and their (often-provocative) presence in 175 countries around the world. The solicited cheers recall the popular support extracted originally for the invasions of Iraq as well as Afghanistan. Now, strong support for the older of those endless wars has dwindled – the poll says – to 17 percent.
The national security state thus has a tough challenge in selling what we’re doing abroad. It needs baseball’s help, an assist that Glenn Greenwald calls worse than misguided: “A nation shouldn’t be fighting a war — especially in another country — if such a small fraction of its citizens believe it’s truly necessary. (It follows that nothing) justifies sending fellow citizens off to die — let alone killing people in the country we’ve invaded.”
One reason, stats aside, there’s such small fan reaction to the continuing conflicts: over 99 percent of us don’t feel the pain. Less than one percent of the population – 100,000 volunteers – is doing the fighting. More importantly, while the deficit debate goes into extra innings, hardly anyone mentions the $150 billion spent each year to finance the wars. That outlay has been declared separate, distinct and not relevant to the discussion. The DC Post’s opinion writer Matt Miller aptly calls the situation: “evidence of the moral rot from which our enemies say America suffers.”
However peripherally, baseball risks being perceived as part of that rot.
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Luis’ Likely Successor: After talking to GM Sandy Alderson on YES Friday, Mets broadcaster Kevin Burkhardt predicted who would replace the just-released Luis Castillo as the team’s second baseman: Brad Emaus, the Rule 5 pick from the Blue Jays. Alderson said the Mets need offense at second base as well as acceptable defense. Burkhardt felt Emaus comes closest to filling that bill. Justin Turner does, too, but he has minor league options, which almost certainly means he’ll be sent to Buffalo. Castillo would have made the team – it says here – had he not been associated with one of Omar Minaya’s several overly generous contracts ($25 million for four years). It meant, we know, that Luis was a target of fan resentment when he couldn’t produce at a level commensurate with his pay.Emaus batted .298 and hit 10 HRs in 87 games in Triple-A last season.
Grist from a Hawk and a Stone: With almost two weeks still to go, these are the dog days of spring training: meaningless games and mostly redundant information from broadcasters. The White Sox team of Ken (Hawk) Harrelson and Steve (Stoney) Stone on WGN-TV is an exception. The other day, during a White Sox-Giants game, Harrelson recalled a conversation with Ted Williams on batting with a three-and-0 count. “He said he always was allowed to hit away but only did so five or six times in his entire career.”(“Many players don’t like to hit three-and-0,” said Stone. “Afraid of being embarrassed.”) How did Ted prepare for any at-bat? “He needed to know three things, he said – the pitcher, the wind, and the home-plate umpire.”
Ex-pitcher Stone, on where a pitcher has the biggest advantage over the batter: Los Angeles (or Anaheim) at 5:45 p.m. (Pacific time)
Cards’ Future Closer? Adam Wainwright (on MLB-TV) talking about the possibility he’ll return from Tommy John surgery next year as a relief pitcher: “I wouldn’t mind that, but I don’t want to be a set-up man to (Ryan) Franklin.”
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