Queen of Baseball

My major passion aside from my family is Baseball, America’s game. I LOVE baseball. My mother told me it was inevitable because the only cool place in Wichita during the hot summer of ‘45 was the baseball park, so she watched a lot of baseball when she was pregnant with me. I was a September baby. That used to be playoff time. A lot has changed in seventy-seven years.

Over the years I watched evolutions of players, rules, and decorum on the field and off. Can’t say I’m impressed by it all that much. So disappointed in the Astros cheating a couple of years ago. But my excitement and loyalty for the game never wavered. I sincerely hope the talk of robo-umps, an automated strike zone governed by computer, is quashed. I love homeplate umpires, human and fallible, they provide an added element of suspense to the game.

Airbourne

To me, baseball is a combination of bullfighting (mostly bloodless) and ballet. It is an individual sport played as a team. Each player is highlighted when their skill is required. Pitchers on the mound are the bulls, powerful and potentially deadly with missiles sometimes topping 100 mph. The batter is the matador – sidestepping the bull’s charge until it is time to thrust the final blow and send the ball soaring through the air. That is when the ballet begins. Infielders and outfielders race, leap, spin, twirl through the air with nearly impossible physical grace to catch a ball coming toward them and then with equal style turn and twist to deftly throw the ball to the proper place to consummate a play.

When I was eighteen or nineteen one of the issues that bothered me was the players’ incessant need to adjust their cups. They looked so uncomfortable. I told my husband I recognized an employment opportunity for myself – MLB Cup Adjustor. I saw a chance to help those boys be more comfortable as they stepped up to the plate. Alas, it never came to pass. I think the equipment has been improved because I don’t notice as much adjusting these days.

Now as a matron, a senior woman of wisdom, I decided the role for me is Queen of Baseball. No compensation is required, only the acknowledgment and respect the position warrants.

These are a few of the rules that would be issued under my reign:

  1. No spitting during a game
  2. No cursing during a game
  3. No tattoos above the neck until retired from active playing
  4. No silly pitcher posturing – PITCH the ball – don’t look like a bird taking flight, a chicken laying an egg, or a little leaguer elbow-sighting the ball.
  5. No sidearm or submarine pitching – again if you can’t pitch the ball overhand as it is meant to be pitched, find another job.
  6. No extreme player shifts in the field – I think they got that message and it is being rectified.
  7. No sissy bunting – hit the darn ball, hard or soft but HIT it like a man.
  8. All commentators MUST be former major league players. They know what baseball is all about and can coherently share information and perspective with spectators. That means NO women as commentators. It may sound sexist but I’ve never heard a woman be as insightful as a former player when calling a game. If you haven’t been up to the plate facing a ball thrown 100 mph directly at you, stay in the spectator seats where you belong cheering for the boys on the field. That would make me the ONLY woman in baseball – as Queen. I admit that I am very blessed to have a former professional player for a husband. He explains clearly any action on the field that I don’t understand.

As to the 40-man roster of the Queen’s team, I confess it may not be weighted the same as the rosters of major league teams, pitchers to catchers to fielders, but these are my favorite players and I know they can do the job. The list, of course, changes season to season but many of these players are long-standing on the roster. These are not listed in any particular order of preference except Ohtani who is #1 in everything.  I am adjusting to the universal DH concept and would find those among the players listed.

  • Pitchers
    • Shohei Ohtani- unequivocally MVP
    • Gerrit Cole
    • Adam Ottavino
    • Clayton Kershaw
    • Joe Kelly
    • David Price
    • Julio Urias
    • Dallas Keuchel
    • Justin Verlander
    • Kenley Jansen
    • Max Scherzer
  • Catchers – Captains of the game
    • Buster Posey
    • Will Smith
    • Carson Kelly
    • Yadier Molina
  • Infield
    • Freddie Freeman
    • Paul Goldschmidt
    • Anthony Rizzo
    • Nolan Arenado – a tiger at 3rd
    • Rafie Devers
    • Eduardo Escobar
    • Xander Bogaerts
    • Freddie Galvis
    • Bo Bichette
    • Bobby Dalbec
    • Carlos Correa
    • Dansby Swanson
    • Joey Votto
    • Jose Altuve
    • Justin Turner
    • Chris Owings
  •  Outfield
    • A.J. Pollock
    • George Springer
    • Charlie Blackmon
    • J.D. Martinez
    • Aaron Judge
    • Joc Pederson
    • Mike Trout
    • Joey Gallo
    • Mookie Betts

I use a criterion not dissimilar to that of the Miss America pageant to choose my players. They must be well-rounded in every facet of baseball.

  1. Must look good in the uniform – no baggy butts or paunchy bellies
  2. Must have a good character, be courteous to fans, and a plus to their community, no whiners, kibitzers or pouters allowed. (Manny Machado is eliminated by this criteria). It’s a game, folks. Freddie Freeman is the perennial Mr. Congeniality. I love to watch him greet opposing guests on first base. – always with a smile.
  3. MUST be talented – have outstanding skills on the field and always play to win.

This baseball season is coming to a close.  It is impossible to root for just one team because MY players are dispersed among many teams so I root for the player. It gets kind of wicky-wacky when a favorite pitcher is confronting a favorite batter, or a favorite batter hits a fly ball that soars directly toward a favorite outfielder. Dilemmas I must deal with as a fan the Queen of Baseball.