For all the jumping up and down over the NFL trying to ram its way into England and support of British soccer teams becoming quite the fashion here in the colonies, we’re not hearing nearly as much as we should about the growth of baseball across the pond. England now has a national baseball team, and there stands a chance it could qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
I think this is lovely. I have no British blood, and the closest I’ve been to England is having gained, via reading many Regency-era novels, the knowledge that one is supposed to refer to the mother of a duke as “Her Grace The Dowager Duchess.” When I worked at the Kennedy Space Center, we educators used to fight over who got the visitors from England; when arrayed in folding chairs before a scale model of the space shuttle, they were interested, polite, tip-happy, and easily sunburned. You would have a good day on a bus full of Brits. I do believe they would support our beer-based lifestyle at Great American.
However, it might not be so easy on the field. To prepare for this, everybody needs to invest in the intellectual exercise of watching Master and Commander. Judging by this film, American baseball would be fine in 2020 should we meet our old frenemy.
It was fascinating to watch 18th century concepts of child care, especially in light of the fact that every single time my nephews even looked at a car door, they were by law ruched down and strapped in with a lap bar, a HANS device and five-point harness. During the Napoleonic Wars, apparently, not only were there no baby gates, but little kids were hurled onto active warships without so much as a bike helmet. By my count, one twelve-year-old on board the movie witnessed or endured the following over a two-hour period:
- one suicide
- one arm amputation
- the violent death of a fellow twelve-year-old
- two major naval battles
- many shanties
- one whipping
- the scrupulous documentation of various beetles
In all, it was a disappointing movie, but it concerned me because if this is how children are prepped for everyday life over there, how are they bracing them up here in 2017? How’s that gonna translate onto the diamond come 2020?
Let’s have a scrimmage. Bring the donkey, bring the beer, bring the Russell and the whole floating navy down the Ohio River. They’ll love seeing a whole bunch of Germans ready for a fight.