Spring, Baseball And Getting Older



Did you enjoy the spring-like weather last week? How ’bout them 60-degree temps, huh?! As Larry David would say, “Pretty, pretty, good.” But you know winter will return just in time … for spring.

But hope does “spring” eternal because spring training is officially under way! That’s the good news. The bad news is Major League Baseball (MLB) is messing around with the sacred traditions of our national pastime.

Last week, MLB announced the elimination of the 4-pitch intentional walk!

Hogwash! Balderdash! Poppycock! (Thanks thesaurus.com.) Now all that will be required for a batter (or is it hitter?) to be issued an intentional walk is a signal from the dugout. Pitchers will no longer have to throw four extremely outside, unhittable pitches. Or … are … they … unhittable?

I did a little research and found a video from 2006 of our very own Tiger super star Miguel Cabrera, who was with the Florida Marlins at the time, extending his bat and hitting one of those “intentionally” bad pitches for an RBI single. He’s worth the price of admission, that man is — and even worth the price of a hotdog, chips and a beer; which today will only set you back a measly $137.

It’s just another attempt by MLB to try to speed up the game. Well, I, for one, need that extra time. Four intentionally bad pitches give me a great headstart to the restroom.

Since I’m venting … I recently leased a car. It came with a decent amount of bells and whistles. I just wish it had only real bells and whistles; period. I don’t know how to use all the standard high-tech options. My decades-old record of not knowing how to connect the wireless garage door feature to my car remains intact. So, I defer to my trusty hand-held garage door opener, which is to a car what a flip phone is to modern communication. Sadly, when it comes to most of the equipment I own, my learning curve is limited to on/off.

More venting … Can someone please tell me where I can find a restaurant that ISN’T SO LOUD! (I didn’t realize that 62 years old marked the onset of old-man crotchetiness.) You’re with me on this, right?

I practically have to scream at the person sitting across from me. Conversation: “Glad you could come to dinner.” … “Thank you, I am thinner.”  Thank goodness, I can fall back on that old reliable, intimate form of human communication at a time like that … texting.

Now an update since last month’s column … You might recall I wrote about the weird things I’m doing now that I’ve reached the big 6-2. One example was the increase I’ve noticed in the number of times I’m forgetting to zip my pants. Well, you can add two unzips to my total; both last week! In one case, I was wearing a long winter coat, sparing public humiliation. On the second occasion, it was in the privacy of my home. Just thought I’d let you know if you’re keeping score.

Oh, sorry, I almost forgot one more very important thing to vent about … Please, cable news networks, stop your annoying running clock countdowns in the corner of my TV screen that, for example, there are just 36 hours, 14 minutes and 22 seconds remaining until one of your upcoming scintillating shows. Running clocks were meant for sports, microwaves, etc. But since I brought it up, I might as well inform you that I am fast approaching my column’s 600-word limit … three, two, one … bye!

By Alan Muskovitz

Alan Muskovitz is a writer, voice-over/acting talent, speaker, emcee and a regular guest host on the Mitch Albom Show on WJR AM 760.  Visit his website at laughwithbigal.com and “Like” Al on Facebook.

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