The Umpire’s Hug

Few things are as exciting as the sights and sounds of a Major League baseball game.  The way you know by the smack of a ball that it’s heading out of the park.  The way out-of-shape millionaire athletes, who have mistaken spring training in Ft. Myers with spring break in Ft. Lauderdale, need an oxygen tank after running the bases.  It’s all good, although there is always room for improvement.

I can never understand what the umpire is saying. The words are “strike” and “ball.”   I think a few extra vowels get slipped in there.  Steee-riiike!  On the other hand, the guys who sell peanuts and beer can be heard screaming their wares for miles outside the park.  Either let these vendors ump the game, or have them translate the umpire’s babblings through the stands.  Peanuts!  Ice Cold Beer!  Strike 2!

Some of the umpire’s hand signals are also unclear. To signal the sign for “safe,” the umpire stretches his hands out in the opposite direction. That’s the same sign parents give to tell their kids “That’s enough!”  If the umpire would just give himself a hug, we would all feel safe and loved, including the player who made it to base.

Whoever thought of the idea to give men white uniforms to slide around in the dirt and mud?  Clearly not a mother.  The people who clean those uniforms have to be subjected to enough bleach fumes to drug an entire terrorist ring.  Either that or they would have to throw away the uniforms after each use, which would be a complete waste of money.  The obvious choice here would be brown uniforms, which would have the added benefit of camouflaging any tobacco juice stains. 

The catcher’s stance hurts my legs just watching him. I’ve had times when I’ve squatted down to weed for a while, and I practically needed medical assistance to straighten up again. Does the catcher really have to squat the whole time?  Can’t they just offer him a chair?  It’s not like he has to run around much.

The players drop so many balls, maybe they could switch to the Velcro gloves children use.  The outfielders have so much ground to cover that perhaps they should add a fourth player.  To avoid slamming into each other, give each player his designated area and then install invisible fences.  If someone tries to cross the line, he’ll know it. 

Everyone knows the game of baseball is way too long.  Even the DMV moves faster.

Here are some ideas to consider:

There’s nothing worse than enduring one foul ball after another, especially when they originally appear to be a home run.   The fans get emotionally invested, and then their blood pressure rises, increasing their need for medication and eventually inflating health care costs.  All hits should count; just get the fans involved in the play.  They do anyway, so this shouldn’t be a stretch.

This whole concept of “three strikes and you’re out” breeds an attitude of entitlement on and off the field.  Next thing you know, people everywhere are whining, “Just give me another chance!”   Players should swing once. If they miss, they can just go sit on the bench and calculate how many more millions they just earned.  

Extra innings can get a little arduous.  If they can’t stand leaving it at a tie, they should just flip a coin, because most people have a long drive home and have to get up for work the next morning.

A lot of time is spent waiting for the pitcher and catcher to get on the same page.  They have to come up with complicated and cleverly disguised signals so they can communicate in secret code. The rapid advancement of technology should make the pitcher/catcher signals obsolete.  Even texting would be faster than what they do now.

From pitcher:  fb (fast ball)

From catcher:  lol!

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