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February 6 2001: It’s All Mental

Absolutely every damn thing reminds me of baseball.

It’s snowing like the proverbial “dickens” today, soggy, thick, and wet–it looks like there’s a man throwing lumps of wet chicken feathers off my roof. But that reminds me of throwing, and therefore baseball.

I just baked chocolate chip cookies, which is a typical winter thing to do for me. And it reminded me of the last time I baked cookies. I baked a special batch of sugar cookies for a World Series party, and glazed and painted each one like a baseball, and emblazoned them with slogans (“Let’s Go Yankees” takes two cookies to fit…) and players’ names and numbers (“Oh, Tino needs a hit! Quick, eat his cookie!” Don’t laugh–it worked.)So, cookies = baseball.

Last night I was in the laundry room folding a stack of towels. I whistle while I work. It wasn’t until I finished the stack that I realized what I had been whistling over and over and over. Take me out to the ballgame.

Then again, I suppose it could have been worse. Last month it was the Star Spangled Banner.

Since I don’t have much actual baseball to think about, this time of year always gets me thinking about questions that didn’t seem pressing during the season, but which loom large now. This morning in the shower I was mulling over this one: does the bullpen catcher get a locker? And what does he get paid, anyway? If he gets hurt, does he go on the DL?

Here’s another one. How many pounds of bubblegum does a major league team go through in a year? For that matter, how many pounds does Derek Jeter go through personally? (If you watch carefully on tv, it looks like he tosses out his gum after every at bat…) And what’s his dental bill like?

Do they serve Pepsi at Turner Field in Atlanta? Or is that Coke territory? And if Gulden’s is the official mustard of the major leagues, why don’t they serve it at Yankee Stadium?

How many uniforms does the average player go through in a season? And do the clubhouse guys have to be bought off if a player’s put on a couple of extra non-muscle pounds over the winter? For that matter, I can just imagine the guys fitting Jose Canseco every year: “Jeez-louise, we don’t make sleeves that big!”

What’s the environmental impact of the manufacture of wooden Louisville Sluggers? Some cute little animal’s habitat isn’t being infringed, is it?

Do baseball players follow some winter sport? (What are the winter sports, anyway?)

If Yankees-Mets was the Subway series, what would they call a Marlins-Devil Rays World Series? The Submarine Series? How about a Toronto-Montreal World Series? The Sub-Zero Series? (or, The World Series, eh?)

The season had better start soon, because I’m not sure how much longer I can last… the tune that is stuck in my head and playing over and over is John Fogarty’s “Centerfield” and I’m having a hot dog craving. Thank goodness I’ve still got the chocolate chip cookies.

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