April 8, 1998

Spitting and Scratching . . . Let's Play Ball!

By Robin Davidson
and Vanessa Nygaard

It's springtime again, and after a short hiatus from our columns, (We were on our world tour - 15 central Californian metropolises in three fun-filled days. What could be better?) we're back and ready to attack the world of sports. This week, we're talking about why this will be the comeback year for America's favorite pastime.

Va: Alright, lawn darts in the Olympics! I've got 20 on the Croatians.

Robin: Hey dummy, you must still be on painkillers from your surgery. We're talking about baseball. You're the only one who plays lawn darts.

Va: Shut up. By the way, thanks for the post-op flowers.

Robin: Seriously, do you think baseball is making a resurrection?

Va: Yeah sure, but why do you want my opinion?

Robin: As I can see, the time off has not made you any nicer. The whole point of this column is for me to ask you questions and for you to provide insightful answers about the world of sports. You're our resident expert.

Va: Oh, well in that case I predict baseball to be the next lead character in a Quentin Tarentino movie.

Robin: OK, sounds like those drugs are really working for you. Tell us what your favorite thing about baseball is.

Va: Two verbs: scratch and spit. Totally unacceptable in any other facet of society, an everyday part of baseball life.

Robin: Va, do you like to scratch and spit?

Va: No, I like to watch.

Robin: Well, besides those verbs, what are things the average spectator can identify with in baseball?

Va: I love that it's outside. You can watch and get sun, but watch out for nasty tan lines from the foul poles.

Robin: What about domes?

Va: Like the Taj Mahal?

Robin: Not exactly. You don't get out much do you? Let me ask you this, do you enjoy the atmosphere at ball games?

Va: It's got to be tops for relaxing - best food, not a lot of quick action to follow, if you have to pee you might not miss anything, and of course, inebriation.

Robin: You're not talking about drinking, are you?

Va: Well Robin, I personally don't drink, but I hear it's definitely a good thing to do in the hot sun at a baseball game.

Robin: Well, I'm kind of the resident expert on this. Let me just jump in here. Nothing fits in with a baseball diamond better than a few cold ones. And if you've got a big group, just bring along a keg.

Va: Yeah, and if you squint really hard, a keg looks like a baseball from far away, only without stitches and it's gray with a rope in it.

Robin: I have nothing to say to that. Let's move on. Do you ever really get into the heckling aspect of the sport?

Va: I'm a natural. I've been called the Hulk Hogan of hecklers.

Robin: Really? I hadn't heard that.

Va: Come on you crybaby, you're writing like a girl. Put some mustard on that hot dog. My grandmother writes better than that.

Robin: Oooh, you are good.

Va: Yeah, and that's with no research. My preferred technique is to attack one player with the aim of making him cry.

Robin: I'm crying now. Well, if what you're saying is true, baseball must be making a comeback. The thing I like is that you can bring your glove to the park and if you catch a ball, you get to keep it.

Va: Anything that flies into the stands you get to keep. Freebies and constant physical danger - what's not to like about that?

Robin: I really don't know. But seriously, baseball is different from most other sports. What do you think about the format of the game?

Va: I love the fact that they just end it if it rains. And why nine innings? Just because we didn't feel like playing 10.

Robin: Well what if you get caught at one of those 18-inning marathon games that last forever?

Va: You can leave when you want. It's not like anything's holding you there. You got your nine innings worth. It's not like someone chained you to your chair and made you watch "Babylon 5" reruns.

Robin: I have friends who like "Babylon 5."

Va: You would.

Robin: On that note, we're done. Despite what we may have led you to believe, baseball is definitely back, so get out to the park and catch a game.

On a more serious note, be sure to visit Sea-level Diamond (home of Stanford softball) to be a part of the action this Saturday on the first unofficial Official Becky Unruh Day. Festivities begin at 1 p.m. as the Card takes on California.