As American as ____

There was a time when there was nothing as American as apple pie. In this day of globalization and NAFTA that is not necessarily true.

The top three sources of imported apples and apple products for the United States are Chile, New Zealand and Canada. Chances are that the apple pie you are about to devour was made using imported apples.

If we can’t rely on apple pie as the all time American dessert, there is always baseball. Everyone knows that baseball is the favorite American pastime, unless you’re a dyed in the wool football fan. If you are, your opinion at this time does not count - there is something called a lockout that is going on which means there may not be any football this fall. On the other hand, football fans might argue that there is nothing more American than a lockout. Bad argument - a lockout is not to be confused with a strike. A strike is as American as apple pie - oops, we've already established that's questionable. A lockout however borders on fascism - which is hardly American. But I’m going around in circles. Lets get back to baseball.

Lets face it, the game is tainted and nothing tainted should be America's pastime. The game of baseball was supposed to be played by 9 players on each team. Now we have one league, which dares to call itself American, that allows 9 ½ on a team. The ½ player is called a designated hitter. The position is reserved for an elderly player who can no longer catch or throw a ball but can swing a bat. He is not a baseball player any longer , he is a bat player. This is almost as bad as imported apples in apple pie.

If the designated hitter is not enough to eat away the fabric of America’s favorite pastime, interleague play is on its way to completing the job. In the glory days of baseball, there was an American League champion or a pennant winner who played the pennant winner of the National League in The World Series. With interleague play it is possible to have a champion in a league, who earned the honor by defeating more teams in the other league. Not fair! 

If I’m wrong I will be glad to eat humble pie which is better than eating crow. Of course all of my arguments melt away when one realizes that there is nothing more America than making money. In America money talks ( as long as the debt limit keeps rising). If the designated hitter brings in cash for the owners it must be OK. If interleague play makes the registers play “ Take Me Out To The Ballgame” it must be OK. Last but not least, if the apple pie is delicious, does anyone really care that the apples came from New Zealand- although that’s getting pretty close to China who by the way supplies the money which people invest in baseball teams.

When push comes to pull, trying to label something as American is spinning one's wheels. NASCAR? Why not?

 ( Having the designated hitter in baseball can be forgiven as long as Jim Thome and his aching back come through with  home run number 600 in the near future.  Go get it Thome and then give that weary back a long rest.)



Erin O'Brien said...

NASCAR mantra: it's only cheating if you get caught.

Of course, that was back in the day when "stock car" meant stock car.


Tony Rugare said...

Right on! I should have added that mantra.