THE POLITICS OF BASEBALL IT’S DJ VU ALL OVER AGAIN!

BY SKEPTIK SINIKIAN

I’m not a fan of baseball. In fact–it’s the one sport that I could care less about. Leave it to us Americans to come up with a national pastime where overweight people stand around aimlessly for hours looking bored and scratching themselves periodically. This is not a sport–it’s the checkout line at the local WalMart!

I personally think that any game where people remain stationary for more than ten minutes is not a sport. If there were rabid dogs chasing players on the field or if you were allowed to hold on to the baseball bat throughout the game and use it for self defense–now that would be exciting to watch. My friend–however–strongly disagrees. He lives by the game and when his beloved Boston Red Sox made the playoffs this year–he was beside himself. (Seriously folks–I don’t think he got this excited when he heard the Soviet Union collapsed and Armenia was free again.) Anyway–it turns out that his so-called BoSox are notoriously bad at the game. In fact–they haven’t won a World Series since 1918.

But before I go on–just to reinforce my opinion that baseball is a ridiculous "sport," I want to know who names a team after an item of clothing anyway? What’s next? The Glendale Baby Blue Muu Muus? So where were we? Ah yes?the Bostontsi Garmeer Koolbahs.

Every year my friend claims that THIS will be the year the Red Sox win the World Series. And sure enough–every year the Red Sox fall short. My friend took me to a bar in Santa Monica to watch the game against the New York Yankees (the arch rivals of the Red "Koolbahs") a few days ago and there–in their as-natural-as-it-can-get habitat–I observed the Red Sox fans cheer–gloat–sulk–and weep throughout the game which lasted a mind numbing three hours and forty minutes. While I watched these crazed fans–a thought dawned on me. Red Sox fans are the Armenia’s of baseball! Every year they hope to achieve greatness and every year they fall short. Sometimes it’s because of poor team management–other times there are disagreemen’s between players–most of the time however–they are just outmatched by the colossal New York Yankees whose combined players’ salaries for one year is more than all the foreign aid that Armenia has received from the United States the last two years ($ 184,193,950 in 2004 alone!)

But why do I think that the Armenia’s are like the Red Sox? There’s the collective underachiever quality they share. The Red Sox have apparently had some of the best players in baseball throughout their history but have never been able to collectivize that talent towards a World Championship Title! That’s not that different from Armenia’s who boast some of the brightest thinkers and most talented artists in the world but put two Armenia’s in a room together and you end up with eight different political parties and at least seven opinions all on the same issue. Here’s another quirky coincidence between the Red Sox and Armenia’s. The last time they Sox won the Series was in 1918–the same year Armenia achieved independence. Makes you think.

As I sat there watching the perennial underdogs of this snail-paced gladiator match fight off inevitable defeat–my friend turned to me–pale faced and depressed and blurted "I can’t watch anymore. I can’t stand losing to the Yanks again." I smiled to myself because I had been wondering the same thing about this year’s Genocide Resolution–the upcoming 90th Anniversary of the Armenian genocide–the poor Armenian Archbishop of Jerusalem who was spat on by a Yeshiva student earlier this week–all the while thinking "This is ridiculous. When will Armenia’s stop being kicked around?" And as the bar emptied after yet another demoralizing BoSox loss to the Goliath Yankees–my friend–who only momen’s ago had looked more nervous and shaken up than a prostitute at Catholic confession–had a calm smile creasing across his face. "We can tie the series when they come back to Boston," he said to himself. "We’ll win all three games in Boston and push a game 6 or 7 in New York." The New York Yankees have won 26 World Series match ups since the Red Sox last won a Series. But my friend still had hope.

I still think that I’d rather undergo a lobotomy than watch an entire game of baseball. Maybe then I’d enjoy it. But watching my friend cheer for the underdog–I understand the importance of picking yourself up when you’re down–dusting yourself off–and getting back in the saddle. It doesn’t matter if your opponents have beaten 20 or 200 times. It’s the one time when they are expecting to win and when you beat them matters. That’s why even if the Congressional Leadership–the White House–lobbyists for Turkey–Armenian organizations who work against the interests of our community succeed in derailing our initiatives this year–we will get up and start over.

As the great US President and roughrider Teddy Roosevelt once pointed out–"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena–whose face is marred by dust and seat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasm; the great devotions–and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best–knows triumph and who–at worst–if he fails–at least fails while daring greatly–so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

After all–it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings. Play ball!

Skeptik Sinikian never wants to be taken out to the ball game even though he enjoys peanuts and crackerjacks. Sinikian can be reached for comment at skeptiksinikian@aol.com or on his blog at www.sinikian.blogspot.com.

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