Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Local Columnist Woefully Out Of His Element

Illustration for article titled Local Columnist Woefully Out Of His Element
Photo: Topical Press Agency (Getty Images)

One possible explanation for the existence of this Albany (Georgia) Herald column, in which Carlton Fletcher fields all the questions a “female person” might have watching her first baseball game, could be that it was accidentally sucked through a wormhole decades ago and finally reappeared on Sept. 7, 2019. That would also lend reason as to why Fletcher is holding a corded telephone in his author photo.


Fletcher’s article, headlined “Answers to ladies’ questions about baseball,” really does feel like an ancient artifact. Columns like this were stale in, what, 2008? Fire Joe Morgan was wrapping up by then. Maybe news travels a lot slower to that part of Georgia. You know you’re in for a treat from the beginning, when Fletcher starts off with a lyric from that fucking John Fogerty song. But then he quickly gets to the rather more selfish reason as to why you should watch with a “female person”: It’ll make your baseball viewing experience better. Just make sure to watch one of those Diane Keaton movies with her afterward.

Some people, though, are always looking for ways to add a little flavor to their baseball viewing. For those folks, here’s a suggestion: Watch it with a female person who either doesn’t particularly care about the game or, better yet, watch it with a female person who not only doesn’t particularly care about the game but also knows nothing about it.

(By the way, if that female person is willing to sit through a game that she cares and/or knows little or nothing about — without complaining, mind you — she might just be a keeper. And, guys, it wouldn’t hurt you to repay the favor by watching some kind of Chick Flick or dumb reality show with her, either of which might put you off your dinner. Just a friendly suggestion from a guy who understands the fairer sex about as well as quantum physics.)

Don’t get this guy going on the Kardashians, because there’s no way he knows who they actually are. Take my wife, please, and teach her what a double play is!

The last part of this piece is really something, as Fletcher explains to his non-existent conversation partner why baseball players fiddle with their crotches so often:

QUESTIONS: Why are the players always adjusting their junk?

ANSWER: Part of the official baseball uniform is a torture device known as “the cup.” The triangular piece of equipment is worn by players to keep batted or thrown balls from hitting them in ... ummm, let’s just say a place where guys really don’t want to be hit. Problem is, the cup is so poorly designed, it often moves into perfect position to hurt as badly as getting hit by a batted or thrown ball.

Funny thing about cups is that Little League baseball adopted the pro rule that made cups (which are, by the way, inserted into a pocket in jock straps worn by players ... and that’s my entry in the TMI derby) mandatory equipment. But many Little League programs had girl players who had absolutely no use for cups. But some A-hole stickler umpires (most likely guys who hated that girls were allowed to play) said, “A rule’s a rule” and insisted that girls without cups could not play. Eventually, a little commonsense won out, but it was a thing for a while.

So, there you go, ladies. You now know the answer to all the questions about baseball you’ve wondered about but have avoided asking your man. You’re welcome. And, as an answer to your final question: No, neither I, your guy nor any other fan can get you Dansby Swanson’s or Freddie Freeman’s phone numbers.

It’s strange that cups are mandatory in Little League, he writes—as he orbits so close around the point that would nullify the entire premise of this column—because girls play baseball too and they don’t need them. The mandatory cup rule was probably instituted by some sexist umpires who didn’t realize that girls could take interest in the sport. I hope this FAQ has helped all you female people—and oh, by the way, I can’t help you fuck Dansby Swanson. Classic. Women be shopping and trying to hump baseball hunks! They just can’t help themselves!

[Albany Herald]