the Vernon Journal

Serving the Kingdom in Southeast Asia

My (Inter)National Pastime

Nope, this is not an April Fools joke. Actually, I have been wanting to write about this for some time and it's not April 1st that inspires this post, it's April 2nd. Opening day of Major League Baseball. When I lived in the states, Opening Day was a holiday. A time to renew hopes that the Rockies would not be a horrible team this year. A time to celebrate the off-season acquisitions of the New York Yankees, and to renew my dislike of the Red Sox.

For those of you who do not love baseball, allow me to explain. Think of tomorrow as New Year's day for baseball. In the long run, January 1st really has very little impact on the remaining 364 days in the year - yet we celebrate it. This is Opening Day in baseball. Win or lose, our teams have 161 more games to prove themselves, but this is the holiday to celebrate the new season.

Hamburger Doughnut Combination at Baseball ParkAs with every year, the 2006 Baseball season brings promise and excitement - and gimmicks. So here are my observations / predictions on America's favorite pastime:

Best Gimmick: This one is easy. The Gateway Grizzleys (minor league) of Illinois have released what they claim is the Baseball's Best Burger. It is a combination of two things we just can't get in Thailand - a good old American Hamburger and Krispy Kreme doughnuts (Burger King has nothing to do with this promotion, I just thought the image would look good - plus McDonalds has had some rough publicity lately). Although I can't say I particularly find this combination very appealing, it is uniquely American.

Biggest Newcomers: I have to name two here. The most exciting up-and-coming teams in baseball are the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers. I don't think either make the playoffs this year, but they will be fun to watch.

Best of the AL: Again two must be named, the teams to beat will be the Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels.

Best of the NL: Hands down the St. Louis Cardinals. No one else is in their league.

Play Ball!

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