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The Indefinite Article.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Last night, at the Astro's game I thought outloud about how they need better scripted personalities for baseball players. Reading Slate's The Last Great Flake about Roger Clemens, and about Sosa's corked bat, I'm reminded of those thoughts. It would really add a lot to the game if the personalities involved came out a little more. Houston's Jeff Bagwell is a good example on the field, he's an outsized Charlie Chaplin with a baseball bat for a cane, oddly baggy in the leg uniform and low-slung batting and first base stance. Standing at first base, he gets into the "first baseman pose" ®. If you watch the pitcher and Bagwell at the same time you'll see that when the pitcher winds up, Bagwell sticks his glove out and opens and closes it several times, as if to warm up his hand.

Everyone else on the field seems attentive but several steps more apathetic about the chances of a batted ball. I'm thinking that at a minimum, each player should develop a distinctive "action pose" that suits their position. And in between each at bat, the pitcher taking the mound would have a microphone so that he could talk shit about the opposing team for a few minutes. Occasionally he would be so over the top that the ref's would have to forcibly take the microphone away. Also, there don't seem to be enough "dirty tricks." Sosa's bat was pretty good, but maybe a coach in the dugout could have a pair of binoculars to watch the catcher's signals to the pitcher and the coach could signal those to the batter.


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