Will Durst Will Durst, 4/6/2013 [Archive]

Play Ball 2013

Play Ball, 2013

Raging Moderate, by Will Durst

Forget the robin. Ignore the tulips. Do not let the Easter Bunny, hummingbirds or awakening bears hoodwink you. The first baseball thrown in anger is the true harbinger of spring and calendar alarm for the lazy discard of the heavy encumbrances of winter. Ditch the parka and pull out the windbreaker. Stash the boots and burn the long underwear. Trust me. Burn the long underwear.

Civilization dodged another bullet. The dragon once again neglected to eat the sun; the light is returning and summer has embarked on its lollygaggingly capricious path. Barbecue grills are getting a good scrubbing. Complicated intra-family schedules are being examined through molecular microscopes for reunion potentialities. Carnies are accidentally shearing the heads off of retaining bolts to the Whip-A-Whirl. All activities destined to be accompanied by the mantra of summer -- a play-by-play broadcast on AM radio.

Opening Day is the true American holiday of renewal, showcasing that memorably mortal moment when anything's possible. This IS next year. Second chances ARE real. Welcome to zero when every team has the same theoretical opportunity to make a run. Win a pennant. Stuff the 30 Flags trophy in a display case. Or just beat the Dodgers like a red-headed stepchild. Hope. Springs. Eternal. Not even the Cubbies have been mathematically eliminated yet. The Astros and Royals, maybe.

Baseball's long-haul season is another of its peculiar charms. 162 games. An eight month long soap opera in cleats. Plenty time enough for spectacular feats of athleticism, mythic comebacks, grandiose stumbles, the heroic shattering of records and an occasional ball bouncing off of a head over the fence. They call it the National Pastime, not the National Surgical Strike. And those who pay attention will see something every day that has never happened before. #snowflakes.

Baseball players are also easier to relate to as humans than other athletes. They are not augmented in outline by layers of armor plating. Nor are they freaks of nature towering above the populace like redwoods in a forest of pussy willows. Their job is to run and throw and swing a stick and catch a ball. "Hey. I can do that." Just not as good.

Encounter one of the Boys of Summer on the street and you could mistake them for plumbers or lawyers or corporate event planners. Very buff plumbers and lawyers and corporate event planners, with forearms the size of telephone poles -- but still.

Sure, some make fabulous money, but they seem more like blue-collar workers at heart. Golfers require absolute quiet while approaching a teed ball with a metal club, but in baseball, the batter is assaulted by shouts and jeers and the heckling of tiered multitudes in his quest to swing a wooden bat at a white sphere approaching 100 mph thrown not too distant from the vicinity of his head.

You can smell it in the air. The musty team t-shirts pulled from the backs of closets and bottoms of wardrobes. The roasting of foot-long bratwursts on an open grill behind third base. The toasting of the half-naked fans in the center-field bleachers. That odd, pungent odor emanating from the men's room. Baseball is back and all is right with the world. "Play Ball!" And Go Giants!

Five-time Emmy nominee Will Durst's new one-man show, "BoomerAging: From LSD to OMG," opens previews at The Marsh, San Francisco, on April 16. Go to themarsh.org or willdurst.com for more info.

Copyright© 2013, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate. Call Sales at (805) 969-2829 or e-mail sales@cagle.com. Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail Will at durst@caglecartoons.com. Check out willandwillie.com for the latest podcast. Will Durst's book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing," is available from Amazon and better bookstores all over this great land of ours. Don't forget to check out his rooftop comedy minutes at: http://www.rooftopcomedy.com/shows/BurstOfDurst.

Download Will Durst's color photo - Download Will Durst's black and white mug shot photo
Why not run a cartoon with the column? We recommend the cartoons below as a good compliment to Will Durst's topic.
Click on the thumbnail images to preview and download the cartoons.

Related Cartoons

Baseball Hall of Fame Rejects
By: Steve Sack

January 11, 2013

Baseball Hall of Fame Rejects color
By: Steve Sack

January 11, 2013

New York Daily News Crying In Baseball
By: R.J. Matson

June 4, 2012

New York Daily News Crying In Baseball-COLOR
By: R.J. Matson

June 4, 2012
 

We do not accept and will not review unsolicited submissions from cartoonists.
Sales & Information: (805) 969-2829 sales@cagle.com
Billing Information: (805) 969-2829billing@cagle.com
Technical Support: support@cagle.com

FREE cartoons for your website if you're already a paying print subscriber!
Artwork and columns are copyrighted by each creator. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. [Privacy Policy]