This Is The National Pastime?

“OH SAY CAN YOU SEE …” || By FITSNEWS ||  There is nothing more American than baseball.  It’s not a sport, it’s our national pastime – an institution with a soul, a cadence, a respect and a tradition unique to the history of what was once the greatest country on the planet….


|| By FITSNEWS ||  There is nothing more American than baseball.  It’s not a sport, it’s our national pastime – an institution with a soul, a cadence, a respect and a tradition unique to the history of what was once the greatest country on the planet.  Ever.

It is our game … something we should cherish with our children.  Something that should remind us of what it means to be a child.  Something that ought to invoke the elegant baritone of James Earl Jones telling us that while our country has “rolled by like an army of steamrollers … erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again,” baseball has endured.

Or the magnetic prose of the late A. Bartlett Giamatti, the former commissioner who stood up for the game’s integrity while penning poetic lines about how we rely on it to “keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive.”

But then something changed.  In 1994, a strike over money cost us the World Series.  Only the second time that had ever happened – and the first time in nine decades.  In the years that followed we witnessed the steroids era – where cheaters like Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez stained the game with their drug-enhanced performances.  And their bald-faced lies.

And now?  Now we have Oriole Park at Camden Yards – a facility our founding editor marveled at on a visit way back in 1992 (its inaugural season).  The park – with its retro stands, cobblestone bullpen paths and imposing warehouse facade in right field – was full on that cool fall afternoon.  A near capacity crowd.  Cal Ripken, Jr. was at shortstop – playing in one of his record-breaking 2,632 consecutive major league games.

Camden Yards seats 45,971 people … but on Wednesday April 29, 2015, it held precisely zero fans.

That’s because the game played there on that date – an 8-2 victory for the hometown Baltimore Orioles over the visiting Chicago White Sox – occurred against the backdrop of the Baltimore riots, an outpouring of violence caused by police mistreatment of black suspects.

Or by outsourcing.  Or by poverty.

It all depends who you ask these days, doesn’t it?

In addition to the cancellations and the “empty stadium” game, the Orioles weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays was moved out of town … over fear for the safety of players and fans.

Sad …

WWHCD, people?  (What Would Harry Caray Do?)

Or better yet, WWWFAHCD?  (What Would Will Ferrell As Harry Caray Do?)

Probably eat a hot dog …

But more to the point …


Is this America?  Do we seriously live in a country where multi-million dollar athletes play games in empty stadiums guarded by military humvees because marauding gangs of thugs pose such a threat to public safety?

Yes.  Yes, we do.

And that’s not a commentary on baseball, people … well, not for the most part.  Plenty of players have let us down, for sure.  And the game’s leadership hasn’t been the same since Giamatti died.  But more than anything else, what happened at Oriole Park this week is commentary on a country that’s turned its back on everything it fundamentally needs to be great … everything that was once so essential to its national fabric.

Baltimore’s empty park is the latest, starkest visible manifestation of a downslide everyone knows is happening – yet doesn’t want to admit.  The failure of a dream that was in the whites of the eyes of the Roanoke settlers, the nerves of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, the beating heart of Teddy Roosevelt, the principled standoffishness of Calvin Coolidge, the tousled hair of JFK, the eloquent, non-violent dignity of MLK and the thumb drive of Edward Snowden.

And yes, it was there in the sweet swing of Ken Griffey, Jr. – whose remarkable 56 home runs in 1998 were overshadowed by the steroid-enhanced totals put up by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.  And Griffey did it while doubling as the best defensive center fielder in the game.

Baseball is – as countless writers have expressed – a symbol of the greatness America once embodied, and could embody again if its people only summoned the courage to hold their governments, their corporations, their fourth estate – and each other accountable.

And themselves accountable.

Baseball is that reminder.  That challenge.  The true expression of that three word manifesto hijacked by our current “leader.”  Yes we can, the game tells us.

But on this day, there was no one there to see or hear the message.


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Tango playing ball by himself April 29, 2015 at 5:22 pm

Reminds me of Tango’s blog.

The Columbia Star Reporter April 29, 2015 at 5:36 pm


shifty henry April 29, 2015 at 6:52 pm

now cut that out!

TroubleBaby April 30, 2015 at 10:45 am


Saluda Rapids April 29, 2015 at 7:48 pm

Nice one.

Bible Thumper April 29, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Both state planes flew to Teterboro Airport on Wednesday, according to tracking website FlightAware. Teterboro Airport is about a half-hour south of Volvo’s North American headquarters in Rockleigh. N.J.

Read more here:

Volvo April 29, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Stop trying to may Volvo happen, it’s not happening.

Nick April 29, 2015 at 9:47 pm

It has already happened. The present show is just that, a show.

Centrist View April 29, 2015 at 6:38 pm

Did you check to see if any Georgia state planes also have recently make that trek?

Georgia is pitching a 1,900 acre coastal site for Volvo plant

GrandTango April 29, 2015 at 7:06 pm

Detroit, Baltimore. …Obama’s vision of an American city on a hill…

fc April 29, 2015 at 8:48 pm

Baseball is cursed until the ‘Hit King’, Pete Rose, is allowed into the HOF.

grandtangosuglydog April 29, 2015 at 8:59 pm

You two idiots (oopsies my bad..the same fucking idiot) never surprise me on the sheer stupidity of your statements. Some how baseball is once again tied to the same vein as..”dam i stubbed my toe..dam you Obama!!” or the smaller idiot FC wanting one of the biggest cheating assholes in baseball to make it into the institution he pissed all over. Yeah you two idiots are a special kind of stupid.

fc April 29, 2015 at 9:02 pm

Hey folks…LMAO

Silvio Dante April 29, 2015 at 7:47 pm

Looks like any other O’s game when the Yankees or Red Sox are not in town.

fc April 29, 2015 at 8:54 pm

Bart Giamatti was a lying,chain smoking,booze drinking,high blood pressure POS that got what he deserved. Pete Rose didn’t do it too him.

He was a Red Sox fan and why I pray for him everyday. :)

The money destroyed baseball.I recall Rose signing for $100,000 in 69 or 70. Pitching dominates. They need to lower the mound again like they did because of Bob Gibson in late 60’s.

SYNTwist April 29, 2015 at 9:46 pm

I’m sorry some of you guys missed your BALLgames, but IMO there are far more pressing issues to worry about.

Sports generates a lot of money, a lot of people love it – good for them. I only like it if it were legal to bet on, but since it isn’t, I don’t have a bookie nor much of an interest.
I think sports should be like any other business, privately funded. So let’s talk about those selective “free markets” ;)

We’ll start with Pro and work our way down to college:

Use of Taxpayer Money for Pro-Sports Arenas Draws Fresh Scrutiny

College: Even Forbes contributor agrees:

“Fine, let’s suppose that football makes money. Then it will do just fine as an independent business. Get it out of the universities, and let each team pay fees for use of the university’s name, the stadium, practice fields, and parking on game days. Then the football club can pay its coaches whatever it wants, and it can pay the athletes, who are disgracefully paid nothing right now. And the university will still have its team, but without the corrupting influence of money.”

fc April 29, 2015 at 9:53 pm

Good idea.We get rid of Title 9 and eliminate all WOMENS sports that generate ZERO revenue…we finally agree on something..

SYNTwist April 29, 2015 at 9:56 pm

Awwww….I thought this site was about free markets? Or is it just “selectively” free markets?

You never know in a truly free market, women just might kick ass! But there aren’t a lot of subsidies for females sport. I mean, seriously, how many female quarterbacks do you know?

fc April 29, 2015 at 9:59 pm

‘free market’ ?…not a women’s team in America at ANY level in ANY sport can survive without a ‘subsidie’…WNBA is best example at professional level…

SYNTwist April 29, 2015 at 10:13 pm

I beg to differ, if there is a demand or desire for it, women will do it. You men just want to make sure your sports get the funding.

Do you support free markets? If so, sports is one that also needs to be privatized.

My biggest gripe about sports: College Football. You see what happens when people donate or the sport is subsidized, coaches get a big fat salary to recruit. Now what happens to education?

Once a sport takes off in a given college, the applications for acceptance go up. The demand for higher SAT scores go up. So only the smartest get in, yet those schools claim the highest in academic ranking. Is it education or sports?

One can argue both, but the truth is, the reason schools with better sports teams typically rank higher has little to do with classroom education and much to do with their ability to screen applicants so only the smartest get in. When the smartest do get in, they get less academic support.

Women sports? I can’t think of a single woman I have personally known that has gotten a college scholarship based on any sport. Yes, I am sure it happens, but that is not the majority.

Again – what about those free markets fc? I thought supported those? Or is it selective?

fc April 29, 2015 at 10:46 pm

Title 9.Look it up.Leave the wine alone and become more informed. :)

SYNTwist April 29, 2015 at 11:13 pm

Are you stalking me? LOL

I’m too old to play sports, so I prefer the wine ;). I am looking it up, and while I reserve the right to change my mind, I still favor privatizing college sports.

If I want my daughter to play sports, which I likely will, I am willing to pay for it. I really prefer she not be so athletic as intelligent, and if she must participate in sports, let it be mild. I know my days of athleticism, did not come without injury.

I also have another very athletic child, just not football – but nearly everything else. One particular sport was not funded, I managed the concession stand during high school years to help fund it. Others were opptys afforded, like skiing, wake boarding, and so on. All of which came with injuries.

SYNTwist April 29, 2015 at 11:45 pm


SYNTwist April 29, 2015 at 11:48 pm

Awww….you are talking Title 9 federal:

Hmmmm…..I’ll have to do research to comment further, but you and I both know women don’t typically get into college based on sports.

Limbaughsaphatkhunt April 29, 2015 at 10:20 pm


fc April 29, 2015 at 10:39 pm

You mean the terribly boring league that’s propped up by the NBA and should’ve folded 10 years ago but doesn’t because David Stern is the commissioner of a league with a 7:1 tattoo:player ratio and thinks his commitment to the WNBA helps the NBA’s image? Yeah, that league sucks. But hey, if you want to pay for it, Dave, knock yourself out. But don’t tell people it doesn’t suck. And don’t interrupt Sportscenter with women’s highlights because you want to be politically correct (unless you like it when people change the channel). – See more at:

Limbaughsaphatkhunt April 29, 2015 at 10:48 pm

“terribly boring” – emotive opinion. Lots of women, little girls and men find it entertaining.

Players have tattoos….what’s that got to do with anything?

Your “sources” were opinion pieces. Let’s deal with facts, not misogyny. If you want Fox News type shit, take it somewhere else.

Limbaughsaphatkhunt April 29, 2015 at 10:19 pm

Got some good news for you that sort of came in under the wire, the NFL has decided to relinquish their tax exempt status starting this year.

Roger Goodell didn’t like the “distraction” it was causing the league.

SYNTwist April 29, 2015 at 10:21 pm

That is very current – thank you. Now let’s hope college sports follow their lead ;)

Limbaughsaphatkhunt April 29, 2015 at 10:16 pm

Sports and rioting…gosh…it takes me all the way back to when….well, just Google “College Students Riot After Game”….and that should keep you busy for a while. Too many links to count.

Mike at the Beach April 29, 2015 at 10:56 pm

It is funny (maybe ironic or strange is a better word) that so many folks elevate sports and sporting events to some kind of mythical, quasi-religious thing, no?

Limbaughsaphatkhunt April 29, 2015 at 11:01 pm

Guilty as charged. I am a Clemson fan through and through and have been known to unintentionally cause my young kids to get scared from all my yelling at the TV when we scored all those TD’s against the dirt peckers last year.

Mike at the Beach April 29, 2015 at 11:08 pm

That doesn’t make you a worshipper…I may have yelled a few choice pieces of advice to Spurrier through the years, although evidently my 60″ LCD doesn’t actually have the capability of letting him hear me (and I *know* he can’t hear me from where my tickets are). I was talking about the people who act like the crowd missing this ball game is some kind of national tragedy. One of my guys today was in near tears, and when I told him to get a grip he looked at me like I had a dick growing out of my head…

Limbaughsaphatkhunt April 29, 2015 at 11:21 pm

LOL…yes, “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat”.

It is a very good life lesson, and let’s face it…Americans love to win and hate to lose, which in and of itself is not bad…but I teach my kids that when you lose it’s not the end of the world.

Mike at the Beach April 29, 2015 at 11:50 pm

True, indeed. Except during the USC – Clemson game… ;-)

Alias The Buzzman April 30, 2015 at 7:58 am

Don’t make fun of people with dicks growing out of their heads. You might hurt GT’s feelings.

Oooops! Sorry, my mistake. He actually has a huge but hort dick, with, strangely, a pointed head, growing out of the middle of his shoulders.

SYNTwist April 29, 2015 at 11:16 pm

Damn, you sound frighteningly like my dad. I remember him leaping out of his chair in excitement- I also remember all those shows I missed due to stupid football every weekend ;)

Limbaughsaphatkhunt April 29, 2015 at 11:25 pm

That’s why we have a trampoline and a rumpus room if the kids don’t like “daddy’s shows” as they call it.

SYNTwist April 29, 2015 at 11:28 pm

We had a hilly front yard to play in if we didn’t like daddy’s show, or we could also exercise the option to go to the bedroom. I did find it a bit fun to place non-monetary bets on who was going to win. I still remember the day my team Oakland Raiders beat Dallas Cowboys. I hope I got that right, but at one point I knew who the quarter back was for Oakland Raiders – he was my hero. I won the bet! :)

Crooner April 30, 2015 at 1:53 pm

If you were truly a Clemson fan through and through you wouldn’t have been watching that game on TV.

Alias The Buzzman April 30, 2015 at 8:00 am

How many decades has it been now, since baseball really was the national passtime?

The Colonel April 30, 2015 at 9:15 am

Game took less than two and a half hours – something to the idea…

Otto Greif April 30, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Put down the bong, amigo.


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