Friday, June 06, 2008

Game Sixty Four: King Felixed

June 6, 2008

It is the 64th anniversary of D Day. On June 6, 1944, the Allies invaded Europe on the beaches of Normandy, eventually freeing tens of millions from Nazi tyranny. We have to stop for a moment and remember those very young men who stood up to as pure an evil as we’ve had in the last 1000 years, and spent their blood and sweat in defeating it. Naziism went from a serious ideology to a laughingstock, a bad joke and a historical artifact. That still means something, after all these years.

According to my phone, Coco Crisp was suspended for seven games for the fracas last night. That defies common sense, except when you stop to remember that Bud Selig is involved. Crisp did slide hard into second base, which I still think was a legitimate baseball play. It was a close play. The game was 5-1, but certainly not out of reach for the Rays. I think it was a legitimate steal and a legitimate play to go hard into Iwamura. Then the Rays essentially call Crisp out, and tell him he’s going down. Then, during his next at bat, he gets popped. He has to be suspended for charging the mound, but seven games? That’s insane.

The Celtics, of course, won a scintillating Game One, defeating the Lakers by ten points. Paul Pierce was carried off the court with a seemingly serious knee injury, only to return minutes later to thunderous applause and lead the C’s to victory. A great game, fun to watch. Pierce’s health is uncertain until Sunday, of course-I’ll have to read up when I get home to see what’s up. If he’s not able to go, they’re going to be in serious trouble. Even if he is, I think Kobe Bryant will be heard from before the series ends-I don’t see any way this series doesn’t go 6 or 7.

In general, I am feeling very pessimistic and hopeless about things in general. I can’t help but see the world situation as incredibly serious and perilous. But I remind myself, as Dan Carlin would probably put it, our forefathers felt that way. Certainly the grunts moving across the sands of Normandy, 64 years ago, watching their mates get cut in two by machine guns and artillery shells, thought the world situation was perilous. Wellington’s soldiers, watching the French cavalry slice them up at the battle of Waterloo, certainly thought the world was in trouble. Washington’s men, freezing to death and marching around with no shoes on in the snow, certainly didn’t think things were looking good. Even the members of the Constitutional Convention faced trial and execution if things didn’t go as they planned.

But there are so many problems, and they all seem insoluble. I just want to bury my head in the sand, and weep, and apologize to my son for causing him to be born.

Barack Obama, in a perverse way, feeds into this. I want him to win, obviously. I cannot stand the notion of another 4 years of Republican malfeasance. But I almost don’t want him to win, because the task before him seems impossible, and I can just see the argument in 2010 that Mr. Smooth was unable to accomplish anything.

I wish I could just be stupid, watch TV and care about American Idol like everyone else.
Henria Gallagher, on Thursday’s “Marketplace”, says that the old milk ad featuring men frantically searching the supermarket for milk while the voiceover says, “Studies say calcium can help reduce the symptoms of PMS,” is offensive. What, exactly, is offensive about that? Is she arguing that PMS does not exist? That calcium has no role in relieving it? Or that concerned husbands or boyfriends should do nothing to help relieve it?

Yes, the old, “Well, that’s just PMS” is sexist, when applied to any woman being assertive or aggressive in any way. But there’s a reality there, too. It’s like the biological clock argument-yes, it should be that women can reproduce whenever they please. But they can’t. And pretending otherwise just leads to heartbreak and suffering on the part of all concerned. Of course, you can’t, and shouldn’t, treat women differently because of it. But to deny that it even exists is overcorrection.

Leo Laporte said on Twitter that was down. Uh oh. If they’re down for any length of time, that is going to be big, big news.

In Boston tonight, the Red Sox got King Felixed, Felix Hernandez tossing six shutout innings in a 8-0 whitewash. Admittedly, the team was without Manny and Ortiz, but still, 8-0? Ugh.

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