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Aug '10 02

Old World Pastime – Hello, Baseball Gods?



Old World Pastime

John Miller, who is playing and coaching for the Brussels Kangaroos in the Belgian 2nd Division and is a reporter for a big American newspaper, is now also the Little League Commissioner for Belgium. He is also back chronicling the 2010 season in his “Old World Pastime” column on Mister-Baseball.com for a third straight year.

Hello, Baseball Gods?

Yes, hello, I’m calling with a complaint. You made me an Oriole fan, and I can’t shake it, and they’re 32 and 72, and somehow I still care.

Hold the line, we need to find somebody to take your call.

Hello, Turk Farrell speaking.

Who?

Turk Farrell, I won 106 games for three teams between 1956 and 1969.

And you’re a Baseball God?

Sure, there are thousands of us. We make all kinds of decisions, from the Major Leagues to the Belgian leagues to Little League. Every god is assigned a game per day. You do the math.

And why do I get you?

Because I was killed in a car accident in England in June, 1977, only two months before you were born in Belgium. Also, you’re a catcher for the Brussels Kangaroos. Who did you expect, Ted Williams? He’s busy babysitting A-Rod, by the way.

Lotta Major Leaguers die in Europe?

Seven. Me, four guys who died in France during the World Wars, and two guys in Austria, Lord knows why. I got nixed in a car accident. Bad luck.

And Babe Ruth’s not around? I’ve talked to him before.

Sorry, the Babe’s playing celestial homerun derby. That, or a whorehouse.

Ah, ok. Anyway, here I am listening to the Orioles lose to the Kansas City Royals on the radio, and it’s still more fun than tuning into the Yankees-Rays or Red Sox-Tigers game. Can’t I become a fan of another team?

You’ve given up the faith already? It’s only been, what, 12 straight losing season. What about Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, the 1960-1980 period during which the Orioles won more games than any baseball team, which means more games than any team in any sport in the world? 1983!

Yeah.

And this week, you get a new manager, Buck Showalter.

Yeah.

OK, I can kinda see your point. Sure, you have Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, Adam Jones, but what are they going to do, start crushing the Yankees, Rays and Red Sox? Haha.

What I’m saying.

You’re young, you have your whole life ahead of you. You’ll survive this. The Orioles will win again.

You really believe that?

Hey, we can only tweak baseball’s future. We don’t work wholesale miracles. Those Orioles need to play better baseball, and the breaks will fall.

Yeah.

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