Game Three TeeVee

I was disappointed when the Cardinals got smoked in Larry Walker’s last chance for a Series ring in 2004. My friend The Don has been a Cards fan at least since Tony LaRussa got there – he’s a fan of coaches more than of players, although he wants eligibility requirements rewritten so that Albert Pujols can go straight to the Hall of Fame this week. So as St. Louis is reborn after their Undead stagger to “winning” their division, it was time for me to actually watch a game. Regular readers will know that, for a guy who loves sport, I have an atrocious television. I depend on the kindness, well, not of strangers (though I have picked up a few games in restaurants), but of whatever friends I can impose myself upon.

I went over to the Sélégers’ place, where my Haitian-born buddy Fanfan required only slightly more basic education in baseball than his Canadian-born wife and brother-in-law. Mind you, he didn’t wander downstairs until about the sixth inning, so I wasn’t able to get too much wisdom in between pitches. He has the athletic eye, though. At first, he didn’t know how a pitcher even got a hitter out – or even know what “out” meant (or retrait in French) – but it didn’t take long before he realized that Chris Carpenter was dominating the Tigers. I don’t mind watching the game alone, but it was fun to help a new Canadian with one of the essential aspects of autumn living, not to mention his blissfully baseball-impaired family.

Good game. Baseball rocks. (Slowly, but it rocks.) Fox’s telecast is good, if a little too busy, and I love some of the inventive camera angles, especially the one embedded in the turf in front of home plate. I don’t have much patience left for commercial television, though. Maybe I take life too seriously, but when one of the major sponsors of an athletic event is a video-game maker, I draw a curmudgeonly line. Sure, there’s always been the irony of sporting excellence being underwritten by performance-decreasing substances (greasy foods, cigarettes in the bad ol’ days, beer forever). But something about sitting through an ad for a thumb-friendly entertainment called “Kill All Humans” made me feel dirty, and a little worried about the mental hygiene of some of my fellow viewers. What kind of audience are they aiming at? How did I get in? Not long after came another promo for a zombie chew-em-up game. Yecch. Makes me yearn for Skoal and Copenhagen commercials. At least there, the fantasy was of killing only yourself with style.

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