Saturday, January 08, 2005

Failure of Duty

I realize that as an American citizen of the twenty-first century I'm required to have an opinion (however fatuous and ill-informed) about everything, up to and including the personal lives of celebrities I've never met. It is with considerable embarrassment, then, that I must confess the following shortcoming.

I don't care about the ball that recorded the last out of the 2004 World Series. It doesn't bother me that Doug Mientkiewicz has kept it. It doesn't bother me that the Red Sox want it. It also doesn't matter to me in the least who prevails in this matter.

Amazing things happen to some baseballs. In 1954, a baseball ended up in the glove of Willie Mays, streaking full tilt from home plate in centerfield. In 1960, a ball off the bat of Bill Mazeroski, not known for his clout, ended up over the fence in Forbes Field, completing one of the more improbable upsets in World Series history. In 1986, a ball trickled...excuse me, I've got to throw up in a bucket and mail it to Charlie Sheen. Amazing things happened to these baseballs, and I'd pay good money to gawk at them.

The ball currently in the possession of Doug Mientkiewicz bounced once, landed in a glove, and was then tossed into another glove. Its progress concluded something remarkable, but what happened to the ball itself was pretty mundane. I can't imagine a group of school kids, twenty-five years from now, being stung by its absence in a display on the 2004 World Series.

If I have an opinion on any of this, it's that the writer who broke the story is an embittered, muck-raking troll, gratuitously interfering with a matter better conducted in private. But then, that largely squares with my pre-existing opinion of the writer in question, so I'm returned to my original sense of the story. It's a non-event.


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