|Upcoming reminders of baseball …|
I TOOK PLEASURE in the fact that officials were able to reschedule the Caribbean Series, with only a minimal delay. Real live championship-level baseball will be played beginning Monday.
|… and the return of springtime|
For those of you to whom the thought of championship ballclubs from Latin America is just a little too alien to contemplate, consider that both of our city’s professional ballclubs have held their winter fan conventions – and both managed to spew rhetoric instigating their fan bases into distaste for each other.
From Chicago Cubs infielder Kris Bryant calling St. Louis “boring” (as in the most boring city he visits during the season), to Chicago White Sox outfielder Nicky Delmonico responding to a question about the “most annoying fans” in baseball by saying, “Cubs fans.”
|Nicky (left) already knows truth of Cub fandom|
These are moments not quite as intense as that 2006 slugfest on the field between catchers A.J. Pierzynski and Mike Barrett. But in terms of getting the fans all worked up, they rank up there somewhere near all the cheap shots one-time White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen took at Wrigley Field (“rat infested museum” may be the nicest thing he ever said).
|BRYANT: Thinks St. Louis is boring?|
AND THE FACT that Bryant and Delmonico felt compelled to keep the rhetoric flowing is merely evidence that the hostile feelings the teams have toward each other are not only ongoing, but they’re on their way back.
By early April, the two ball clubs will be again playing games that count – with spring training set to begin in just a matter of a couple of weeks down in the deserts of Arizona.
|I'd argue Cincinnati choice make it lamer|
Literally, right after the Caribbean Series – which is the annual championship played by the top teams of the professional leagues in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, along with Cuba and Panama. Venezuela was supposed to be host, but officials wound up moving it.
TO PANAMA CITY, where games will be played at the Estadio Rod Carew. When combined with long-time New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera (a Panama native) getting inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year, it would seem 2019 will be a memorable year for fanaticos de beisbol in Panama.
Yes, I’ll actually be making a point to try to watch the games. The sight of real, live baseball being played during winter is something I get a kick out of. These games beginning Monday and running through the week will be a sporting kick to help tide me over until the resumption of play.
|Stadium will host baseball next week|
Although for some people, it’s going to be the ongoing verbal sparring between the Chicago fans as they accept the fact that the Bears are through for the year, and both the Bulls and Blackhawks are too pitiful to waste much time on.
So is St. Louis really “boring,” as Bryant puts it? Or are the Cardinals fans (the ones who openly boast they're the 'best fans in baseball,') correct when they say Bryant and other ballplayers who engage in cheap shots are “losers.”
PERSONALLY, I’D THINK Cincinnati would be a more depressing place to have to visit – largely on account of the local fan base wishing to forevermore think Pete Rose is heroic in nature. And not just a guy with a gambling problem who can’t quite acknowledge that reality.
|Panama's other reason to celebrate|
As for Delmonico’s thoughts, I’m not surprised that Cubs fans would be bothered – largely because they go through life thinking that everybody the world over comprehends their absurd support for a team that for so many years was pathetic on the field.
Which isn’t different than them trying to diminish St. Louis as being “boring,” almost as though they think the world of baseball is all about themselves and no one else.
When it’s really so much bigger than the activity of Clark and Addison. Such as the games running from Monday through Feb. 10 that will produce a Latin American champion – with the first spring training exhibitions scheduled for just two weeks later!