Baseball Blessings

If you’re an American, then you love baseball. It’s not really a matter up for debate, because baseball is really the only thing America has that they haven’t borrowed from another country and claimed as their own, and even so, I’m doubtful that baseball is even all American. But despite our “Finder’s Keepers” policy, we still keep insisting there’s some sort of “American” core to this nation because we readily forget that this country is just a medley of cultures smashed together and stolen by white people who then in turn stigmatize the people who actually created those various cultural aspects.

So if you’re an American reading this, you love baseball. Case closed, no discussion. I don’t want to get political or anything, so we won’t get into the whole division of baseball teams across the land, but basically all you need to know is that the Indians rule all because Cleveland.

I actually attended a baseball game a couple days ago (what a HUGE coincidence that this blog is about baseball then, no?) and it was pretty cool. Naturally, it was an Indians home game, against some team who’s irrelevant (irrelevant because I can’t remember which team it was so I deemed it unimportant) and the Indians smoked them. (Is that phrasing appropriate?)

Like I said, I’m not going to get political, but being an Indians fan is a tricky obstacle to navigate. First of all, I want to start off with a quick anecdote about the misleading team name.

When I was but a small lass, my parents had a babysitter for me named Amber. I loved Amber because she was a cool college student (honestly she was probably a middle schooler, but I was 7 so everyone older than I was seemed so freaking mature and cool) and she played school with me (I loved playing school as a kid; I couldn’t get enough of it), and I liked her because I loved giving my little brother a hard time about the crush he had on her. Parker was at that age where he had a crush on every girl older than him and I loved teasing him about it. It was a real shame when our neighbor Sally went off to college when I was 10 because she was my main source of embarrassing him.

Anyway. So my parents arranged for Amber to come over and babysit us one night. “We’re seeing the Indians tonight,” they told me. “What? The Indians?” I replied. “Yes, we’re going to see them play in Cleveland.” I was so confused. Why would they want to see the Indians? That sounded so boring. What a lame date night; at least I got to play school on a weekend night–they had to go watch some Indians!

You see, when they told me they were going to see the Indians play, in my 7-year-old brain, I imagined a huge circular stadium funneling down into one small circular stage on which a Native American performed some sort of drum-ritual. The mental image was a little racist, perhaps–but as a 7-year-old, my understanding of Native Americans (or, Indians) was limited to what I was taught about Thanksgiving, which was almost a worse scenario than just not knowing anything at all about Native Americans rather than be misguided by misinformed teachers of European descent.

So like I said, I’m not getting political or anything, but the Indians? What kind of a team name is that? As a kid, I was totally misled by that name, to where I didn’t even understand it was baseball my parents were going to watch. It’d be one thing if our baseball team’s name was the Native Americans, because at least that’s a semi-respectful term, but the Indians? Isn’t that kind of dragging down Native Americans and Indian people? Of course, there’s the argument about it being an honorary thing, as though making a caricature of a group of people and using it to market a baseball team and make money is a sign of respect. Respect!

Since I’m not getting political, I’m not going to say that Chief Wahoo is racist or anything. I’m not going to say that I’m happy the Indians’ logo has changed to a bold “C” or that I think perhaps there may be a better team name for a Cleveland baseball team than the “Indians.”

In any case, baseball is totally cool. It’s fun going to games because you can do cool things like pay $12 for a small beer or $12 for some nachos that will make you shit profusely and you get to check out all the players’ outfits and watch all the interesting city people and find patterns in the advertisements’ rotations. I mean, you can watch the game, too, but that would get in the way of some serious gift-shop browsing or line-waiting for a $5 bottle of water. (When we got there, I jokingly said I was thirsty but didn’t want to pay $5 for a bottle of water; to my great surprise, I then glanced at the concession board–“$4.25 Bottled Water”–and I nearly spit out the water I wished I was drinking as I discovered my facetious exaggeration turned out to be precisely accurate.)

Anyway, I know I’ve kept this pretty down-the-middle politically, not really even touching on sensitive topics at all or spouting liberal nonsense, but if you’ll excuse my crassness for one second while I get a little political here: the outfits. I just cannot get behind the full-pants look. If you’re going to play baseball, you need to pull your socks up to your knees outside your pants! How am I supposed to tell an Indians player from a Target employee if they aren’t flaunting the capri-pants look as an indicator?? The loose pants look is just so lazy. Baseball players these days, showing no respect for themselves, not taking pride in their team identity, man. I need the tan glorified-sweatpants to be tucked into their socks. This is an issue I just won’t budge on. And I only saw two of our players with their socks as such. It’s a damn shame; a damn SHAME.

Sorry I went on a liberal rant there, but I’m just very passionate about baseball players looking like baseball players. I’m sure ya’ll feel the exact same way; yup, I said it. Saying what’s on everyone’s minds that they’re too shy to vocalize themselves.

Anyway, so the Indians won against the Oakland Losers or whatever their team is called. It was a pretty cool game, except the pitchers got my hopes up that I might be witness to some sort of record-breaking strikeout streak, but then they flopped last minute. You know, because half the fun of sports is just racking up and spewing hundreds of stats for every day of the week, week of the month, month of the year, until next thing you know, I broke a record for the first Indians fan to attend a game in Cleveland on a Tuesday in May while wearing blue underwear and sporting a scorpion tattoo, to utter the words, “I gotta piss like you won’t BELIEVE” under a partly cloudy sky and with the social security number is 581… Uh, but yeah. That’s what sports stats sound like to me, how they get so intricate and ridiculous.

So, yeah. I had a good time with my friends at the game. I did some clapping. Took a few pictures. Tried to score some free stuff. Quite a time. On our way out of the stadium, my friend found a baseball hat just sitting on a bench. It was gray with a yellow Chief Wahoo logo embroidered on it. She was going to take it, and carried it with us for several yards, but ended up setting it down on a bench because we discussed how it was kind of racist and she couldn’t really let herself wear it or support it. When she set it down on the bench, I looked at it, and realized how it was fair game at that point, and how I didn’t have an Indians cap, but I ended up leaving it there for someone else instead of taking it home for myself because gray’s really not my color–not to get political or anything. I just can’t wear gray, and I won’t budge on that.

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