Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bum me out at the ballgame

For years, baseball has relied on special promotions to fill the seats eighty-odd times a year. Some of them are delightful -- I'd go to St. Louis for a Tony LaRussa Bobblehead Doll, complete with sunglasses. Others have not worked so well. What genius in the Yankee organization came up with Bat Day, or, as it is still known in Bronx emergency rooms, Blunt Force Trauma Day? Then there was Ten-Cent Beer Night -- ten beers for a dollar, yay! Only someone forgot that vendors lack the authority to cut customers off and take away their car keys. That one disappeared at the request of the police.

Last Sunday was Mother's Day, which major league baseball marked with the worst promotion of all time, Breast Cancer Awareness Day. My mother died of breast cancer and even I was offended. Nothing wrong with increasing awareness and early detection, nothing at all, but not at the old ball game. This should be a day for big hulking players to grin awkwardly into the camera and say, "Uh, happy Mother's Day, Mom, OK? I love you, OK?" Maybe take Mom to lunch and then to a game, if she's a fan. Instead, players had to wear pink ribbons on their uniforms (which means the equipment guy had to sew them on and remove them the next day), sport pink wristbands and swing pink bats. Sports, silliness and sanctimony rolled into one. Can we have one day a week without being nagged?

Next month is Father's Day. I understand ticket-holders will receive a giant foam-rubber finger, to remind Dad to schedule that annual prostate exam. Good grief.

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