Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wimbledonova, Shakespeare In The Ballpark

1) The Championships continue at the All England & Very Much East Europe Club with semi-finalists: Lisicki from Germany; Sharapova of Russia, Kvitova, a Czech, and Azarenka, from Belarus.

They defeated: Bartoli/France, Cibulkova/Slovakia, Pironkova/Bulgaria, and Paszek/Austria. Is this what happens, when you grow grass on top of dirt packed as hard as Lenin's heart? 

Bulgarian tennis. Exciting. Like watching the new rain-roof go back and forth or having a sleepova.

2) How do the Mets' owners, Mr. Wilpon & Son, like their crow served as the season's halfway mark nears? Poached, Pan-fried? Can crow be Blackened? 

The Mets are 41-39 as of this morning and were already showing signs of life before Elder Fred bashed them all in The New Yorker. The Mets hit two grand slams within two innings in Detroit this week, which is two more than they had hit in their last 299 games. This should be instructive to their owners.

The Tigers replaced a storied Tiger Stadium a few years ago with a thing now called Comerica Park, which resembled one called Yellowstone. Funny, but Tiger fans did not think that 3 walks taking an average of ten pitches and a single were as much fun as a single homer. A few adjustments were made.

The Black Crowes
The Mets built Citi Field as if they had a pitching rotation of Koufax, Seaver, Koosman and Podres. Even The Duke of Flatbush himself would find it hard to hit one out to center at this monument to Brooklyn's old Ebbets Field.

3)...which brings us to, you'll forgive the expression,  the LA Dodgers. They survived many, many years without a World Series win, lost a pennant on the Giants' Shot Heard Round The World homer, finally beat the Yankees in 1955 for their first Series, and headed west after the 1957 season, leaving Brooklyn to its long decline before becoming the artisanal suburb of the East Village it is today.

The Dodgers finally ran into a screwball pitching duo they could not hit named The McCourts. The Bums declared bankruptcy in Delaware, of all places, this week and if that doesn't show how corporate baseball has become, little else will. If the current issue of Vanity Fair is to be believed, and who are we to doubt Conde Nasty himself, it is possible to own a major league baseball team by putting down close to squat of your own money, if any at all.

And that's just the beginning of the fun: you can then bilk the revenue in order to buy about six houses, arrange six-figure no-show jobs for your kids, start a "foundation" paying its chief $400K annually despite the fact that it does not seem to do anything of value for anyone. Finally, you can use the once proud team to finance a divorce, as if it were just another possession like the pool house in your third biggest mansion, owned by a bank, which taxpaying fans had to bail out with their own money in the first place.

This is a tale of such monumental greed, Everest-like ego, and non-stop consuming and primping that it could make even a Kardashian blush with embarrassment.

Dodger Stadium, Deep Hole
What were the other owners thinking when they approved the McCourts as owners? Frank McCourt's only redeeming act may have been the bankruptcy in which he at least gets to rub Commissioner Selig's nose in this Dodger mess and have a judge in charge of what happens with the team, rather than MLB or his estranged (never was a word so apt) spouse.

I have been a Giants fan for life, and we seldom bestow any good wishes on our former cross-island foes, but, deep down, we want to score a zillion runs against a chest-thumpingly worthy and proud opponent, not this sad pretender.

4) ...which brings us to the Giants, who are in first place, despite losing young Buster Posey for the season and having a deep fear of too many toes touching home plate to make runs. A miracle which may not last.

Baseball is the greatest game precisely because it is not so much a game as it is theatre. Only Shakespeare could rival the Tragedies & Comedies taking place each long, looping, five-act season, in which, just when you think some Hamlet or Macbeth will dominate, along comes Falstaff or Romeo.

The owners can try to turn March into April and November into October. They can turn blind eyes to artificially pumped up balls, bats, teams and muscles. They can finagle a bond deal for new stadiums in which they sell $12 cups of beer. But this is all pulp fiction. Groundlings know the real thing when they see it.

These lower case and caste  Montagues & Capulets can fight it out in Delaware. Meanwhile, Juliet is out there in the bleachers waiting for her Romeo, and he will show up by October making us all forget this whole messy scene...

...until next year.

5)...speaking of which: what do we call Tsonga beating Federer after being down two sets to none?


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