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As Long as We Remember...

April 3, 2005

Batter Up!

Tom McLaughlin

(Humor by Tom Mclaughlin) Take me out to the ball game! Take me out to the crowds! Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks! I don't care if my weight comes back! Will root, root, root for the home team, be it Baltimore or D.C! It's one, two three strikes your out at the old ball game!

Oh, the dilemma! My beloved Frank Robinson! The player of my youth! The great leader of bygone World Series’ now managing the Washington Nationals!

And the Orioles! Still my favorite team even though the three stooges could pitch a better game. (Be nice, Tom, the season hasn’t started yet!)

Now it will be a choice to travel from Frederick down 270 to see the Nationals or across 70 to watch the Birds. Of course, it is much easier to travel to Camden Yards and chortle, “National Beer, National Beer, wet cold delicious National Beer! And while I’m singing I’m proud to say it’s brewed on the shores of the… Ches…ah…peake Bay!” (This advertisement opened each game on the radio with announcer Chuck Thompson.)

Who is going to sponsor the Gnats? I guess lobbying firms will fly around as television commercials and annoy our eyes and ears. Unfortunately we can’t swat them away. Bug juice won’t do any good either. (Tom, it’s the NATS) Probably the big sponsors will be the defense contractors. “Your never OUT with a plane from Northrop” or “Hit a HOME RUN with aircraft from Lockheed,” or some such nonsense. “Canadians drugs are a POP UP,” could be another.

I wondered what had happened to the dearly beloved and respected owner of the Redskins during the last season. You hardly saw him with eye candy draped across an arm or sitting behind him.

The Washington Post reported he has been occupied with an amusement park all winter. It seems he purchased 8% of Six Flags at about $6 per share and decided he knew how to run the roller coaster better than anyone else. (Can you imagine him arms straight over his head yelling as the coaster speeds down hill, or wearing a pair of flowered swim trunks cascading down water slide with children and a big smile? Neither can I!)

Apparently, he sent an avalanche of letters to management suggesting, no demanding, changes, but they just ignored him. Sound familiar? I also wish he would stay out of the stock market in areas only I can afford. Now, thanks to his mettling, the price has dropped to about $4.39 (February 25).

Well, on second thought, I can jump into the merry-go-round empire and buy about 25 shares without the broker’s commission which will probably be about $100.

I guess he tried to remake the organization in the image of Redskins Park by charging a high admission price and billions of dollars for the add ons once inside.. Talk about a monopoly. They make J.D. Rockefellers’ trains look competitive.

For example, the cost to enter the arena is $39.99 for adults and kids under 54 is $29.99, but lunch can run $47.50 for a child under 2. This is about the same for a hot dog at FedEx stadium.

I don’t know how many podiatrists have reaped a fortune in foot shaving for kids: “We are going to Six Flags” as the doctor nods his head knowingly and /or heads shaved bald to save money. Mothers stuff lunch into their cast off maternity dresses while fathers hide ice chests behind large old clothes after a massive weight loss (oh, Tom, you wish).

Baseball season is upon us and each of us must now pledge a loyalty to the greatest Oriole who ever lived, or the team by the Bay. We can all have the best of both worlds and become bi-teamers and wear a different T-shirt every other day. Who ever does your laundry will love that one.

We now have an excuse to purchase a large screen HTVD, LMNOP television for around $3,000 to watch the Gnats on half of the screen and the Birds on the other. Do birds eat Gnats?

Take me out to the ball game! Take me out to the crowds! Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks! Just keep Snyder out of the pack!

(Editors Note: Tom called and wanted the following added: This column is dedicated to Baltimore announcer Chuck Thompson who received his third strike of a stroke at the age of 83. "Ain't the beer cold?"

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