We haven't had a Muser column for a while, so here goes:
(1) Craig believes that he could no-hit an average peewee league team of nine-year-olds. He has accepted a challenge to that effect, which he intends to perform as soon as he gets around to it sometime in the indefinite future. The notion is that he would be throwing adult-speed hardball pitches past, or at, these little intimidated weenie kids.
Maybe; maybe. I happened to see a group of nine-year-olds playing league baseball a few weeks ago, and I could not believe how completely incompetent they were. I guarantee you, when I was nine years old, I could catch a hardball thrown to me. We used to play something called "500" where one kid would throw the ball on the ground, on the line, or up in the air, and the one kid would either get or lose points for catching or muffing the ball. We would do this for hours, so we had some facility – not a lot, but some -- in fielding when we got to the diamond. These days, the only practice these kids get is in the leagues, and it's not enough. They're terrible. It's not even cute, it's agonizing to watch.
So the question I have for Junior is: What happens in the case where a kid gets some wood on the ball, resulting in some kind of a fielding play? Will incompetent fielding, even if it is not a booted ball, count as an error, keeping the no-hitter intact? This will happen most of the time, especially since a batted pitch thrown at high-speed will come off the bat faster than most peewee league hits. It is entirely possible that a roller that a competent human would field will escape the infield completely innocent of any glove leather, which in the bigs would be a hit.
So I see two possible outcomes: either a sure loss for Junior in his challenge, or a run-hit-error line that looks something like 0-0-47.
Oh, by the way: make sure The Ticket's liability insurance is fully up to date in anticipation of the possibility that even from 40 feet away, Junior will plunk some kid in the melon.
(2) I was very interested in George's discussion of how someone – in particular, a sports-talkshow host – can be a fan of a team, but still critical of certain aspects of it. He was responding to lamebrained correspondents who get all accusatory when they hear any negative talk about their favorite team.
Which, of course, made me think about My Ticket Confession. I have certainly done critical pieces in this space, and when I do I will frequently get exactly the same reaction: "You claim to be a big Ticket fan, but you seem to have a hard time with [whatever the topic happens to be]." It's a dumb criticism for the same reason George points out. You can have a strong rooting interest in a team or radio show, but it's your very expertise on that subject that qualifies you to speak up when something isn't quite right to your way of thinking. As long as you have reasons and convey them in a civilized tone, you shouldn't have to defend yourself against charges of disloyalty.
This does sometimes affect what I publish. I am a big admirer of Gordon Keith, but I heard something of his back a few months ago that I really, really disliked, and I wrote an article about it. Strongly negative. But I never ran it because I felt that it would leave the impression that I had a big problem with Gordon generally, and that would have been a false impression. I suppose the unsatisfactory solution is to load up a piece like that with disclaimers, but that looks insincere if the real purpose of your piece is to smack someone around. So it's in the MTC boneyard.
(The fact that this site is anonymous also sometimes inhibits some of my more incendiary STDs. Especially as this site has come more popular, I'm sensitive to the unfairness of taking potshots at Ticket guys from the bunker of anonymity.)
|This is the actual photograph promoting a Musers appearance at|
the Grenada. But it actually works, because
when I think Musers, I think "comical breast enhancement."
(3) CONFIDENTIAL TO GORDON KEITH [this is not the article I was talking about]: Consider abandoning your irrational terror of creating drops. You select numerous sex-related news stories for your broadcast, but stop so frequently to shift into a disguised-and-sometimes-incomprehensible voice to say the naughty words that Muse in the News is starting to sound like one long hiccup. Even Craig had had enough this morning. You had paused over the story about the dispatcher who threw up some ill-considered phrases on her Facebook page to say "I'm not quite sure how to say this," and The Joonz snapped at you with what sounded like sincere impatience: "You're a newsman – just read the story."
Kind of have to agree with that. Sorry! Sorry!