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Baseball: it’s better than killing Osama bin Laden

Oct 10, 2011, 3:50 PM EDT

Bin Laden

The problem with the playoffs is that there’s only, like, one or two games a night and after you talk about them you sort of have to wait around all day for more games.

If you’re like me, you kill that time by reading a bunch of articles in which people who never ever write or even really think much about baseball try to put it into some sort of larger context.  Is it still the national pastime? Is it still the American game? Will it still take our people out-of- doors, fill them with oxygen and give them a larger physical stoicism?  That sort of thing.

Most of them these days come down on the side of baseball being only slightly more relevant to the American scene than phonograph needles and liberty cabbage because football is rich, modern and savage and all of the the things Americans are in the early 21st century (at least the 1% who control everything anyway).  That’s OK. We see what we want to see in these things, and if a lot of people draw such conclusions there’s probably some core truth to it.

Still, I’m a total baseball homer, so I like to see the articles that find some argument for the continued relevance or even the supremacy of baseball.  Even if they contain weird comparisons and analogies that distract you from reading the rest of the piece because they’re just so jarring:

Football is more popular and has more money; basketball attracts more young sports fans … Yet baseball’s magic, on view in the playoffs, excites and rejuvenates an angry and dispirited American citizenry as almost nothing else — even killing Osama bin Laden — can.

Got that? Baseball: more uplifting and rejuvenating than a black ops mission designed to terminate an enemy of the state with extreme prejudice.

Ah, who cares? I’ll take it. Score one for baseball!

  1. halladaysbiceps - Oct 10, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    A picture of Osama Bin Laden and baseball on HBT. I thought I saw it all.

    • paperlions - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:20 PM

      Ooooooooooooooooooh *slaps forehead*…..I thought that was Brian Wilson…yeah, now that I look closer it is that dead Arab dude.

  2. schlom - Oct 10, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    There should be a tortured analogy contest between writers. That one might be hard to top though.

  3. The Baseball Idiot - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    I don’t know. Most, and I stress “most”, ballplayers don’t get to go to work in helicopters and shoot automatic weapons.

    Also, as you pointed out earlier, Magglio Ordonez did spend most of his career in stealth mode.

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:05 PM

      Hey, baseball idiot. How are you doing? Haven’t seen you comment in a while. How’s the life of being an umpire treating you? Is this off-season for you?

      • The Baseball Idiot - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:40 PM

        Hey, HB. Welcome back. I haven’t done any umpiring for a couple of years. Other things going on in life that are more important, like family.

        I’ll probably start up again next season, so I’m spending my time go over the rule book, talking to other umpires on on-line forums for professional development, and watching as many games as possible to stay familiar with rotations and positioning.

        What are you up to?

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:52 PM

        Baseball Idiot,

        I’m still talking Phillies crap, as usual. Nothing different. I did find throughout the course of the season that I respected you more and more with your umpiring background. I look forward to your input next season as well. Take care.

  4. - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    Brian Wilson wants to change baseball’s name to “Black Ops”.

  5. bcopus - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    Baseball….makes people happier than picturing a stranger getting killed. Wow. Baseball….more comforting than dead puppies.

  6. frankvzappa - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    Baseball is better because it is actually happening, unlike that nonsense fairy tale that the government told everybody about bin Laden being killed. Last I checked, you can only die once, and since bin Laden died 10 years ago, well…

    • thefalcon123 - Oct 10, 2011 at 8:34 PM

      *Makes big over the top eye roll and jerk-off motion with right hand*

    • tmohr - Oct 10, 2011 at 8:48 PM

      Don’t tell anyone, but I know for a fact that OBL is working at a Starbucks in Battle Creek with Elvis.

    • thefalcon123 - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:54 PM

      What are you, his mortician?

  7. cur68 - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    Someone went there, in all seriousness, too? I dunno, maybe it’s just society, or the new black or the fact you could hide a squirrel in that guys beard, but I don’t quite see how the one thing has anything to do with the other. Meh, whatever. Go baseball and ill fortune to assholes everywhere who’ll kill thousands out of hand just for the sake of an abstract agenda.

    • Old Gator - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:52 PM

      You mean like George W. Bush? Aww, but he didn’t just kill or maim those quarter million Iraqis in the name of spreading democracy, he liberated them. Unlike Bin Laden, they’re all grateful to him.

      • - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:57 PM

        Because the regime in Iraq were a bunch of benevolent humanitarians before GWB got involved?

      • Old Gator - Oct 10, 2011 at 5:26 PM

        Hell no, but why was that our problem? And would you care to question the several hundred thousand Iraqis who were killed or maimed after Bush “got involved” (not to mention the thousands of Americans who pointlessly died killing or maiming them) and ask them if they think they’re better off now? I would also remind you that while that corrupt, lying, bungling moron was planning his own statue for his irrelevant intervention in Iraq, the real war we were supposed to be fighting in Afghanistan was being bled of resources and manpower for Bush’s little adventure in “regime change” – largely as a result of which, we’re still stuck there now.

        For all of which Bush gets to sit in the owner’s box with Nolan Ryan on opening day instead of a cell in the basement in the Hague, which is what he actually deserves.

      • schlom - Oct 10, 2011 at 5:31 PM

        If you are going to make up a number why don’t you make it bigger? It would sound a lot better if you said George W. Bush killed or maimed 2 million Iraqis, wouldn’t it?

      • aceshigh11 - Oct 10, 2011 at 5:39 PM

        Straw-man, table for one?

        We weren’t sold on the idea of going into Iraq because Hussein was a “mean guy.” There are a lot of “mean guys” running countries all over this planet.

      • Old Gator - Oct 10, 2011 at 5:54 PM

        Schlom: why not take it up with the International Red Cross, that well known subversive, anti-American organization? The quarter million civilian casualties in Iraq is their conservative estimate, which runs as high as another hundred and fifty thousand on the outside. I thought that the alleged consciences of witless jingoists like you would be soothed by the lower number, so I used it out of consideration for you because I’m a bleeding heart socialist.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 10, 2011 at 6:09 PM

        Old Gator,

        I’m convinced now you are an asshole. Why are you bringing up your bullshit politics? Like Chris F. has always told you, your an asshole. Enough said.

      • cur68 - Oct 10, 2011 at 6:10 PM

        FTR Gator; I totally DO mean any and all who fit the description of “assholes everywhere who’ll kill thousands out of hand just for the sake of an abstract agenda”. Precisely why I phrased it like that was to make sure that those who pursue agenda over life could be included under the descriptor “asshole”.

      • Old Gator - Oct 10, 2011 at 6:14 PM

        Hal, sorry you feel that way. Care to argue the issues and numbers instead of slinging names around?

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 10, 2011 at 6:20 PM

        Old Gator,

        Don’t apologize. You play the typical Democrat liberal card on this site. Guess what? Your politics don’t belong on this site. I don’t care about your political views. I come to this site to discuss baseball. If you want to talk politics, go to or the equivalent.

      • Old Gator - Oct 10, 2011 at 6:27 PM

        Hal: I play no such thing. I’m neither a Democrat or a liberal; I have no party affiliation. I am a democratic socialist, but I vote for more conservative solutions when I think they will work better than other available options. I’m not reflexively wedded to any point of view. And you can scroll back for a year or even more before you find anything nice I’ve had to say about Democrats or liberals or Obama in particular.

        I’m not the one who posted that photo of Bin Laden above. And if I recall, your politics were solidly on display in the national anthem threads and elsewhere.

        And Bush’s lies, strategic and tactical blunders and war criminal status transcend party affiliations and ideologies, as far as I’m concerned.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 10, 2011 at 6:32 PM

        You know what, Old Gator. You can keep talking your bullshit “George W. Bush” is a war criminal nonsense, but, truth be told, you are the type of person that hasn’t a clue of how the real world works. You can keep up you poetry bullshit comments that you do daily but, at the end of the day, your opinion of my country is weak and baseless.

      • Old Gator - Oct 10, 2011 at 6:42 PM

        Oh, it’s “your” country, is it? That’s rich – you may disagree with what I say, but you’ll fight to the death for my right to think exactly the way you do? Come on now. Okay, so my opinion of our abysmal collective failure to live up to our own stated ideals is “weak and baseless.” Imay not know “how the world works” – by which I suspect you mean that when someone disagrees with you, you have to beat the shit out of them or they’ll just go on disagreeing with you? I do know that when you commit immense resources to a bogus cause, you let up the pressure those resources could have expended on the real problem. And we both know that plenty of professional military men feel that’s exactly what we did in Iraq and Afghanistan. You’re still just name-calling and not engaging the issues here – the innocent dead, the false premises for a brutal war, the strategic blunders that effectively permitted the Taliban and other radical Islamists to regroup in Afghanistan and destabilize Pakistan, the enrichment of a few members of the Bush crime family’s inner circle, the trillions of dollars desperately needed here for all sorts of things wasted horribly in a war of lies and corruption. You can call me anything you want, but the mess Bush made is still very much with us, even if that clown Obama has only made it worse.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 10, 2011 at 6:50 PM

        Old Gator,

        My point is that this isn’t the forum for your political opinions. That’s the bottom line. I don;t want to talk about it here. I don’t think anyone here wants to talk it. There are other sites to quench your thirst with this subject.

      • Old Gator - Oct 10, 2011 at 7:02 PM

        Hal: I repeat: you had no compunction about talking politics on the Anthem thread, did you? If I’m not mistaken I was arguing that the anthem was musically lame; at no point did I impugn the patriotism of anyone who felt otherwise. You insisted on stressing the patriotic response of servicemen to it. What, precisely, did that have to do with whether or not it was a good song? Do you recall my chiding your interpolations of political matter into that discussion? I don’t. I don’t think it’s unreasonable of me to request the same forbearance on your part.

        Moreover, Craig has repeatedly said that anything within reason goes here – and he’s the one who put up the Bin Laden photo and broached this subject of comparing sports with politics or ideology; it’s not up to either one of us to draw lines around topics for discussion. By all means, find my opinions objectionable if you wish. But I insist on the same prerogatives to stretch the discussion that you presume for yourself – whether or not the conclusions we come to are similar or opposed.

      • metalhead65 - Oct 10, 2011 at 7:25 PM

        right we killed all those innocent iraqi’s on purpose because we all know bombs can kill only the targets they are aimed at right?not our fault these animals decided to use the freedom we gave them to strap bombs to themselves and go around blowing each other up in the name of alla. you want us to leave so you keep killing each other and our soldiers.yea that will do it. I say since according to all the tree higgers this war was all about oil we withdraw all the troops to guard the oil fields and let them kill each other and then deal with the winner.

      • Old Gator - Oct 10, 2011 at 7:42 PM

        metalhead: We’ve already been through that discussion once here. No point in repeating it unless you have another, more original, angle to be incoherent about.

        And what’s a “tree higger”? One of my neighbors is a landscaper and he says he doesn’t have one of those on his truck.

      • cur68 - Oct 10, 2011 at 8:09 PM

        Gator: well, ignoring the obvious misspelling, since the ‘u’ key is next to the ‘i’ key, for grins lets presume he meant this:

        -only in tree form. There is, naturally, a racist connotation to that term that applies, but I shall choose to take the more benign of the two possible meanings he had, ignoring incompetence with the keyboard. After all, what kind of low life goes around saying stuff like that anyways? Certainly not anyone around here, right?

        So, a tree higger . . .from the early,”wood” age, before “stone” was discovered, right? As in the “dawn of civilization”. Which, in way, is an allusion to “Morning Wood”. What he’s got against that is beyond me and, frankly, not something I want to know any more about.

      • jwbiii - Oct 10, 2011 at 9:46 PM

        “The quarter million civilian casualties in Iraq is [the Internation Red Cross’] conservative estimate, which runs as high as another hundred and fifty thousand on the outside.”

        The Lancet‘s estimate was 650,000.

    • yankeesfanlen - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:59 PM

      cur – Is that where TLR’s squirrel was hidden?

      • cur68 - Oct 10, 2011 at 6:15 PM

        Lil Tony Squirrel used it as a winter home for a while. Once Wilson built his, though, he moved in there. Has to share space with some lemmings but there’s a chalupa to eat whenever he gets hungry.

    • - Oct 10, 2011 at 5:50 PM

      I’m not going to down the moral relativity, this many deaths is easier than that number of deaths. War in all cases is an effed up situation.

      I have lots of my own issues with GWB. But your original comment about the situation makes it sound like the Citizens of Iraq were enjoying a nice stable government that wasn’t mudering it’s own citizens, and then the mean nasty GWB messed it up.

      If you’re going to throw GWB in the pokey you have to take Tony Blair with him. He got the same intelligence the US had, and went along with it.

      We’re within out rights to question the uses of our countries military. However, the fact that the Obama Administration hasn’t charged anyone with war crimes despite it’s bases continued demands to do so tells me there’s was something going on that we’re not prviy to. And that, that’s a road no one wants to go down.

      • Old Gator - Oct 10, 2011 at 6:21 PM

        Who said I’m willing to let Obama off the hook? Anyway, you’re welcome to throw Blair in there too. Yes, he was complicit. And yes, he had the same intelligence. Now then, what was the source of that intelligence? We all know it was dummied up. We all know there was plenty of other intelligence that these so called “WMDs” either didn’t exist or had been destroyed by the UN inspectors and repeated bombings following GWI. Bush and his cronies selected the “intelligence” that suited their ideological agenda and most benefited their corporate pimps at Halliburton, Raytheon and the oil companies. And you can pretend all you wish that the numbers aren’t what they are, but we have the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocents on our collective hands that we had absolutely no cogent reason within the scope of our national interests to shed. Yes, war is a nightmare, but it’s especially so when it’s gratuitous, irrelevant, and based on lies and falsifications. You’re already engaging in moral relativism when you use the inherently violent nature of war as somewhere between an excuse and an explanation for innocent casualties.

        And again, the real enemy, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, got an unintended breather to regroup and reorganize because of it. Lose/lose all the way around.

  8. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 10, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    I really don’t want to see bin Laden’s face on this website ever again.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Oct 10, 2011 at 5:10 PM

      They have lots of pictures of Derek Jeter.

    • Old Gator - Oct 10, 2011 at 7:43 PM

      Stairs: me either, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Ayman Al Zawahiri’s face up there once we kill that bastard.

  9. yankeesgameday - Oct 10, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    There needs to be a seperate thread of “Baseball is better than…” Quotes. Here’s one:

    “Baseball is better than tearing your Achilles tendon as your team is eliminated from the playoffs.”

  10. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Oct 10, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    This is a stupid article.

  11. stackers1 - Oct 11, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    Gator For President.

    I’d vote for him.

    • gogigantos - Oct 11, 2011 at 1:58 PM

      sure, a rational, literate man of varied background and experience,, sure, makes sense,,, never never never happen,, he would be shouted down after the first intelligent word about the world, and, well,, campaigning for reptile rights isn’t really a great platform either

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