08 October 2009

October Baseball!!!!!!

Well, well, well. What is this? A blog entry by Richard Deneault. Yes, indeed, folks. I have escaped from my fox hole just in time for the MLB playoffs. And no sooner do I poke my head out than I find literary inspiration in a sunflower seed.

You see, we all surely are aware of baseball's players penchant for "jawcular" (a word I just coined to mean "relating to the jaw" - a play on words on the word jocular, meaning to jest) hobbies. You see, long before there was big league chew, there was snuff, or chewing tobacco for those of a more verbose domain. Today's ball player enjoys the seed of Helianthus annuus, or the common sunflower for those readers not of the Latin tongue. Whatever your passion, ball players have been smacking their lips for generations in anticipation of, I can only presume, something happening on the ball field. Don't get me wrong, I love baseball. But sometimes it seems odd how much of the game time is spent by nothing happening.

To fill this void, today's television producers have shied away from the usual 3rd baseman's jockstrap adjustment and went for a more subtler approach: persistent, yet random, views of various ball players and managers chewing on sunflower seeds. Honestly, watch a game and tell me how often you DON'T see someone with a wad in their mouth.

Oddly enough, in tonight's NLDS (that is National League Divisional Series for all you Honus Wagner virgins out there) Game 2 between the Cardinals of St Louis and the Dodgers of Los Angeles, one Matt Holliday - acquired by the Cardinals at the All Star break to help give offensive help to uber stud and all universe All Star Albert Pujols - could be seen removing a bag of sunflower seeds from his back pocket. This may only seem mildly strange to those sports fans who are not used to seeing their favorite athletes enjoying snacks while on the playing surface during the game, but what was rather strange for Holliday's chow-down was that it came directly AFTER he had made a game changing error, which eventually cost his team the game, and, dare I say, most likely the season, now that they are down 2-0 in the best of 5 series.

Ask yourself this question - if you had just made an error allowing the opposite team to essentially get back into the game, what would you want to be seen doing? Most likely hiding under a rock away from the camera's lens. But barring this option, you probably would want to look contrite and stunned. In harsh contrast, Holliday could be seen happily chewing away on his sunflower seeds, which I will remind you, he had stuffed into his back pocket. The back pocket of his playing uniform. Good grief. Can you imagine a hockey player having a chocolate bar keep in his elbow pad and taking out after falling down on the blue line, thus allowing the opposing team to have a breakaway? Or maybe a football lineman pulling out a sack of potato chips out of his shoulder pads as the opposing quarterback huddles with his team?

What truly amazes me actually is that there is no stat for sunflower consumption in baseball. Surely the Sabermatician will be coming up with this one anytime soon? And this kids is why I love baseball. Glad to be back in the blogging world!