… Ask Not

This week Tom Hanks was interviewed on the Today Show. Since he and his wife, Rita Wilson, are survivors of COVID-19, he was asked about his unique perspective during the interview. He drew the analogy that during World War II, everyone sacrificed a little for the common good.

Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan

Over 292,000 American soldiers died on the battlefields of WWII. Another 671,801 were wounded. However, it wasn’t just the soldiers who fought the war. Every American contributed in some way. Throughout those years, there were shortages and rationing. Meat, cheese, sugar, and almost everything else was rationed:

“… the war caused shortages of all sorts of things: rubber, metal, clothing, etc. But it was the shortages of various types of food that affected just about everyone on a daily basis.

Food was in short supply for a variety of reasons: much of the processed and canned foods was reserved for shipping overseas to our military and our Allies; transportation of fresh foods was limited due to gasoline and tire rationing and the priority of transporting soldiers and war supplies instead of food; imported foods, like coffee and sugar, was limited due to restrictions on importing.”

The National WWII Museum, New Orleans

Tom Brokaw called the generation that fought WWII “The Greatest Generation.” He called them that for good reason. Every American did their part. Few complained, and most asked how they could do more. Americans pulled together to fight against a common enemy. With the sacrifices they made, and by working together, we defeated that enemy. They will probably always be remembered as the greatest generation.

The next generation… the “Baby Boomer” generation, got their inspiration from President John F. Kennedy. He challenged us with:

“… ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country”

John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961
Inauguration of John F. Kennedy – “Ask not…”

The “Boomers” took that to heart… at least most did. It gave us and the world the Peace Corps, the Civil Rights movement. It was the early days of space exploration, and we took up the challenge. We put a man on the moon. That gave us all the satellite communications we have today.

Sure… they were the “hippies.” The “Boomers” gave us… “Make Love – Not War”… Peace, Love, and Rock-n-Roll. In time, they became that and much more. They gave us cell phones, electronic wizardry of all kinds, and the internet. Sometimes I think the internet may not always be a “gift,” but like it or not… the “Boomers” gave it to us.

By the way… Tom Hank, one of those “Boomers,” gave us more than I can possibly list here, but must mention Saving Private Ryan, and the bits of wisdom from Forest Gump.

The “Boomers” also had to endure a war… the Second Indochina War… Vietnam. You can argue the merits for or against that war, but what you can’t argue against are the people who stood tall and answered their country’s call. Nearly 3,000,000 Americans served in Vietnam, and more than another million or so served in nearby locations. Today there are more than 58,000 names on a black granite wall in Washington DC from that war.

Again, in this century, the “Boomers” found themselves in a different kind of war On “911,” Americans were attacked by terrorists. Though we still fight that war, the “Boomers” rallied, and it was a time when every American joined against our common enemy.

While they won’t be called the “Greatest Generation”… that name’s taken… I’m pretty sure history will remember Boomers quite favorably.

Today we have a new, more insidious enemy… COVID-19. And a new generation is being called upon to fight this war. Make no mistake about it, it is a war. COVID-19 has already killed more than twice the number of Americans who died in the Vietnam War. With the way it is going, more Americans may die from COVID-19 than died in WWII.

So how does this generation fight this different war? It’s easy. No one is asking you to storm the Anzio or Normandy beaches nor attack the Siegfried Line against withering gunfire from the German defenses. No one is asking you to slog through rice paddies & boobie-traps of Vietnam to find an elusive, determined guerilla force. In his interview with the Today Show, Tom Hanks gave the answer:

“You’re being asked to do three simple things: keep your distance, wash your hands, and wear a mask. How hard can that be?”

So I ask every one of this generation… how do you want to be remembered?

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What follows is John F Kennedy’s complete inauguration speech. More than ever, the unity, dedication and call to action it asked for is what we need now. It inspired one generation then… . perhaps now it will inspire another.

We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom — symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning — signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago

.The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe — the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans — born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage — and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge — and more.

To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do — for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.

To those new States whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom — and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.

To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required — not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge — to convert our good words into good deeds — in a new alliance for progress — to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.

To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support — to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective — to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak — and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.

Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.

We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course — both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind’s final war.

So let us begin anew — remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.

Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms — and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.

Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.

Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah — to “undo the heavy burdens -. and to let the oppressed go free.”

And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.

All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again — not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are — but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation” — a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility — I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it — and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.

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Letting Tourons Back to Key West

I usually try to keep it lite in my posts… especially during hard times. But today, I’m taking a mostly serious look at the situation in which we find ourselves. I was spurred on by “Key West Lou.” I follow his daily blog about Key West and, of late, “no punches pulled political commentary.” CLICK HERE TO GO TO HIS BLOG

One of Lou’s recent blogs started with:

Key West is closed down. Duval dead!

One of Key West’s famous gentleman’s clubs is The Red Garter on Duval. A strip joint with class. There is a large sign in its window: Sorry….. We’re Clothed Until Further Notice.

A delicate touch! A Key West one!

Lou’s comments and the sign are clever ways to point out Key West is in dire straits during the Cootie Bug crisis.

This pic was posted on twitter by Reese Piper, a stripper at the Red Garter. The comment with the pic was, “My club in Florida’ Clothed Until Further Notice’”
Reese @reesepipewrites proclaims of herself: Freelance writer. Mostly sex work, disability, & the intimate details of my life. Stripper.

Key West (and all of the Florida Keys) are almost entirely dependent on tourism. There is no other industry of consequence in Key West. Right now, there is a roadblock preventing all but residents from entering The Keys. During normal times upwards of 20,000 visitors are in Key West every day… sometimes more. While the full-time resident population of “Bone Island” is small, about 25,000, I would venture to say 95% or more of the residents are in one way or another dependent on tourism. Key West is indeed in trouble.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Col. Lou Caputo directs a driver wanting to continue down the Florida Keys Overseas Highway near Key Largo, Fla. Friday, March 27, 2020. The Keys have been temporarily closed to visitors since March 22, because of the coronavirus crisis. Keys officials decided to established the checkpoint Friday to further lessen the threat of virus transmission to people in the subtropical island chain. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)
Road block allowing only residents into The Keys.

I sometimes comment on Lou’s blog… he’ll let anyone comment. So today, I commented about the “clothed till further notice” sign. I said:

Perhaps the sign should read, “We’re clothed until Fantasy Fest.”

(If you don’t know what Fantasy Fest is… it’s held around Halloween every year and can be best described as a “public tits & tease. I wrote about it last October.
For adults… HERE’S THE LINK TO THE FANTASY FEST PAGE. )

After reading Lou’s blog, I went looking for pics or videos of Key West during the shutdown. There’s one video of a bike ride down Duval just about sunset time. It’s eerie. All the places I like to go to have their doors closed and no visitors. Capt’n Tony’s, Sloppy Joes, and yes, The Red Garter, are all locked-up tight. There are no tourists. Even Margaritaville is closed except for take-out food.

Margaritaville closed! The horror of it all!!!!

(Here’s a LINK TO THE VIDEO, which is about 50 minutes long. Seeing The Rock like this is very eerie.)

There is some truth to my “clothed till Fantasy Fest” comment on Lou’s blog. I mean, unless you’ve recovered from the virus, there is no immunity. And with a vaccine maybe 18 months away, what are we to do. Visitors are the lifeblood of “The Rock.” Can it survive all the way to Fantasy Fest… or longer?

 And if Key West does open up for Fantasy Fest… or any time before there is an effective vaccination, what will happen? Of course… Tourons will flock to Key West by the tens of thousands. They will eat, drink, and party all over Key West… especially right down Duval.

(Touron = Tourist + Moron – Not all tourists are morons and vice-versa.)

Of maybe 20,000 visitors every day of Fantasy Fest, a few… maybe 100 or so, will have (or carry) Cootie Bugs into the bars and restaurants… and right down the middle of Duval. They will visit all my favorite places like the Chart Room, the “Trat”, the Rum Bar, or Aqua for dueling bartenders. And yes… Margaritaville!

So… I have to ask: Do you want Key West and the world to wait 18 months for a vaccine, or; perhaps, just perhaps, it’s time to rip off the Band-Aid and get it over with. Yes… it will be a lot like walking naked down the middle of Duval street… all exposed.

But that’s precisely what Sweden is doing. Not the naked part… but the “ripping off the Band-Aid part. They are allowing mostly “business as usual” and accepting that rather than taking months for everyone to get Cootie Bugs, they are getting it over with… and then on with life.

Hummm… thinking about it and considering it’s Sweden… maybe the naked part does apply.

So how long do we wait? It’s six months till Fantasy Fest. Is that long enough? Probably not. In a short period, the Turons are sure to bring the Cootie Bugs into every bar, restaurant, hotel, and t-shirt shop in town.

Southernmost Point before Cootie Bugs
Southernmost Point post “lock-down.”

Can we even wait until Fantasy Fest… six months from now? If we wait that long, then there will be no bars, restaurants, hotels, and trinket shops for visitors to come to. All but wealthy and retired residents will be forced to leave. They will have to find work elsewhere. Then there will be nobody to serve the booze, no musicians, no one to work in the t-shirt shops…. And no one will be at the front desk of the hotels. Those who make Key West the vibrant place that it is will be gone. The Rum Bar, the Trat, and maybe even the Chart Room will be gone. And I’m sure we can’t wait 18 months until there’s a vaccine.

Finally… if we’re not back to normal by Fantasy Fest, I’m walking naked down the middle of Duval street. That should be motivation enough to get re-opened.

So I ask… when should re-open? When do we “rip the Band-Aid off?”  I’m glad I don’t have to make the decision.

Just What The World Needs Now

In the midst of this epidemic, has your faith in mankind been restored?… at least a little bit? I mean… people are kinder… gentler toward each other. Every day… almost every minute you see some act of kindness. People are giving of themselves to others. Throughout time, ordinary people have stepped up to do extraordinary things… ordinary people becoming extraordinary heroes.

Before you read on, click on the Youtube link below and let it play in the background.

Read more about this video and music at the bottom of the page.

Today’s hero doesn’t fit the mold we’ve come to expect… or do they? We’ve come to expect a hero to be someone in uniform that goes into danger. But take away the uniform and what do you have? A mostly ordinary person who is put in a situation and decides they are going to make a difference.

Usually, it isn’t the Generals, Police, or Fire Chief leading the way into danger. More often than not it’s the low ranking, low paid “soldier” down in the trenches. Today’s soldier is the one that delivers your mail, packages, or groceries to your door. It’s the truck drivers delivering TP to your store. (Hurry up… I’m almost out.) They are taking a chance exposing themselves when the rest of us are “hunkered down.”

Those that are wearing uniforms are still out there too. Themilitary, police and firefighters are still on duty… answering the call inthe face of new danger. Then too, some are wearing uniforms we don’t ordinarilythink of as “soldiers.” Nurses, doctors, orderlies are especially on the “frontlines.” They are the soldiers in the middle of the battle.

Most of them will say, I was just doing my job… or it wasthe right thing to do. Today, in every walk of life, we see people stepping upto do the right thing. Sometimes it’s rich people donating their time andmoney, but more often than not it’s the everyday people that are out there “inthe trenches.”

In the deepest, darkest and desperate times of World War II in Great Britain, their Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave a speech telling the people it would be remembered as their “finest hour.”

Perhaps this will be the world’s finest hour. I have seenmore good in mankind in the last couple of weeks than I have seen in a longtime. It’s not just here in the US…it’s all around the world. People are helping out any way they can.

People are working together in ways that we couldn’t imaginejust a few weeks ago. There’s the neighborhood that all go out to say the “Pledgeof Allegiance” with their kids in the morning. Neighbors throw impromptubirthday parties for little kids by driving around in their cars and truckshonking their horns. People everywhere are doing what they can to make adifference. They are looking out for each other. While having to remain apart,they are coming together

Keep it up humans.

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The music for “What the World Needs Now” was written by Hal David (Lyrics) and Burt Bacharach (Music) in the summer of 1965. It became a “top 40” hit. This video version is the “brainchild” of Shelbie Rassler, a student at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. The video below from the March 29 “Sunday Today,” tells about how she and her fellow students came together to put together the video. It is yet another example of people coming together in ways we couldn’t imagine just days ago. (By the way… seems the music of the 60s is still holding up pretty well.)

Journey to the Land of Cootie Bugs

For the past few days I’ve been hunkered-down here on Kokomo Island. I want to avoid the dreaded Cootie Bug until it’s time to fly out to the Great Ho Chi Minh Trail Ride.By hunkered-down I mean I’m hangin’ in my safe-room bunker deep below the earth. This bunker is a cross between a man-cave and the NORAD command center buried deep in the mountains of Colorado. Except NORAD has nothing on this bunker. Mine is deeper into the earth and has much better stuff.

I have big screen TVs hard wired to all the sports channels. Oops… they’re all blank now. That’s okay, I’ve also got live feeds from entertainment venues all across the country. Oops… no live entertainment. That’s okay because I’ve got a tequila pipeline all the way to Jalisco, Mexico. So it’s “party on.”

But… today I had to come out of the safe-room to take care of some stuff I couldn’t put off any more. I had to go to the bank, the post-office and the store. It wasn’t pretty.

The Magic Bus transporter to beam me off Kokomo Island.

After the magic bus transported me off of Kokomo Island, I went to the bank. As I went in, I used my hands to open the door. You know… just the usual way. But then I thought about it and I was sure Cooties must have jumped on my hands when I opened the door.

OH NOOOOOO!!! I’ve got Cooties

I was 7th in line. Everyone in the line kept their distance. They all probably opened the door with their hands so they were certain to have had the Cooties too. Not to worry. I said to myself, “The Cooties are only on your hands, so just don’t touch your face… or any other parts… and you will be ok.”

Have you ever said to yourself, “Don’t touch your face.” As soon as I thought that, my nose started to itch. And I’m sure something was crawling on my cheek. And there was no doubt in my mind that a spider was spinning a web and laying eggs in my hair. Then my ear itched and then my other cheek. Pretty soon was about to leave. I couldn’t stand it. I had to go to the Magic Bus for some anti-Cootie wipes for my hands so I could scratch.

When it itches, but you can’t scratch your face.

But just then, it was my turn at the teller. First I had to put my card in the little machine and then enter my PIN. I hesitated to enter my PIN because I thought of all the people who had been putting Cooties on the keypad. But then since I figured I already had cooties on my hands, more wouldn’t matter… as long as I didn’t touch my face.

Now my face was on fire, but I managed not to touch my face throughout the transaction. The teller had been wearing those baby blue surgical gloves as she helped each customer. So those gloves must have had Cooties too. But, she wasn’t touching her face. I was wondering if her nose itched as much as mine, but I didn’t say anything.

I was getting cash out so the teller dutifully counted the the money. I saw she had it right the first time, and I just wanted to get out of there to wash my hands and scratch my nose. But noooooo.. she proceeded to count it again and again… 3,793 times to be sure the amount was correct. I should have asked her if her nose was starting to itch just for revenge.

Finally she was done. You guessed it… after all that handling, the money was surely covered in Cooties. So I asked the teller to put the bills in an envelope. She did and handed me the Cootie covered envelope with the Cootie covered bills inside. What could I do? I took the envelope.

Now my whole face itched. I ran back to the magic Bus as fast as I could. I used my clicker to unlock the doors. I had Cootie Killer wipes in the car so I ripped one open and cleaned my hands. After I cleaned my hands twice, I wiped down the door handle and the clicker. I put the Cootie infested envelope and money in the glove box. I then cleaned my hands again as well as the whole surface of the Magic Bus. Now I can’t use any of that money until all the Cooties die off… about 17 years from now.

By the time I was done with all that… my nose didn’t itch anymore.

When I got to the Post Office, there was a door and a line there. And the tellers were doing much the same as the one at the bank… handling everyone’s Cootie covered stuff.

I really didn’t need those stamps after all.

But I couldn’t avoid going to the store… I was low on toilet paper. Yep… you guessed it… no TP in the entire Northernmost Caribbean.  So I’ve implemented rationing.

This should hold me for about 73 days

And if that runs out… It’s a good thing I saved all those catalogs from Victoria’s Secret. Don’t scoff at me… I was saving them for an emergency. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Now I’m back in my man-cave – Cootie bug bunker. I flipped on ESPN… no good. I went to FOX Sports… nope. So I went to the emergency recorded material to find tonight’s entertainment.  I made myself a frozen concoction to help me hang on… and a shot of tequila… plopped down in the recliner and began to binge watch seventeen seasons of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Hey… I’m just a guy.

A Tradition of Stealin’

If you’ve known me for more than a day, you know Baseball is in my blood. In case you don’t know if I get a boo-boo, I bleed Dodger Blue

A few days ago, there was a bunch of hoopla about the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox stealing signs. I say to you, that’s just part of Baseball. Stay with me a few minutes here, and I’ll explain.

Stealin’ signs is part of the cat-n-mouse of Baseball. Teams and players have been doing it since day one. Abner Doubleday probably figured it would be there when he invented the game.

STOP THE PRESSES… STOP THE PRESSES!!!

Just as I was about to publish this op-ed, the news came out that the Houston Astros have been fined $5,000,000 by Major League Baseball… manager and general manager fired. Baseball will never be the same. News at 11… maybe

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Ole Abner knew that when the catcher wagged his a sign out to the pitcher, the runner(s) on base would try to figure out what that sign was. The runner wanted to signal back to their teammate what kind of pitch was about to be thrown… a fastball, curveball, screwball… or even a bean-ball.

I mean… this is as much a part of baseball as stealing bases and throwing spit-balls. It’s all part of the charm and tradition of the game.

Let’s take a step back from stealin’ pitch signs and look at all the other signs you see in a game. Sittin’ in the dugout, the manager performs all those quirky maneuvers to tell the third base coach what he wants the batter or runner to do… or not do.

For example, the manager touches his nose, then his chin, followed by his ear, and then grabs his crotch three times. That means nothing… it’s just a decoy… or maybe he just had an itch. But, if in full view of the television cameras, he does all those maneuvers and then scratches his butt twice, that means the batter is supposed to bunt.

Very funny bit… Sending signs… from A League of Their Own.

Following that, the third base coach has a whole different set of signs he sends to the batter… he adjusts his belt, sticks his finger in his ear, takes off his hat and rubs his head, and finally swats at a nonexistent bug flying around his head.

Then the batter steps up to the plate… but when the pitcher throws the ball, it’s nowhere near the plate, so the batter does nothing. And the whole thing starts again. You should see the gyrations managers, and base coaches go through for a hit-and-run play.

Of course, all this wagging, touching, scratching, and rubbing are in full view of the world… including the opposing team. And you can count on it… the opposing team is trying to figure out what all those signs mean too. You don’t hear anyone saying “ain’t it awful” to this stuff.

So, let’s get back to the catcher and pitcher. At the first-ever baseball game, when the catcher held up his arm waving, over his head that he wanted a curveball, ole Abner Doubleday was on second base. When Abner saw the signals, he hollered back to the batter, “He’s going to throw a curveball!” The batter hit a home-run.

After that, the catcher walked out to the pitcher and told him, “I’m going to show you 1 finger out in front of my crotch for a fastball, and two fingers for a curveball… got it?” Of course, Abner figured that out and started signaling back to the batter. And so it has gone for 181 years.

Now catchers have an elaborate set of signs intended to throw off the opposition. Catchers do more rubbin’, scratchin’, tappin’, and finger-wagging than the manager in the dugout and the third base coach combined.

Both sides know what’s going on. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. These days, catchers try to combat sign stealing by changing their sign patterns between innings. Sometimes in the middle of the inning, the catcher will run out to the pitcher to change the sign pattern.

And I think I’m probably right when I say, catchers have decoy signs. Just when they think the opposing team has stolen the signs, they change them to mean the opposite thing. A team steals what they think is going to be a curveball, and they get a fastball.

One more thing… the news media has said there’s so much at stake today, and technology makes it different. I submit it doesn’t make it different. Do you think the 1988 Dodgers thought there was any less at stake during the World Series? I don’t think so. Yeah, the dollar value has changed, but so has the price of a loaf of bread. Stakes now are the same as it was back in Abner’s day when they first hollered, “Play Ball.”

Some of you may think, “Ain’t it awful,’ but consider this. If baseball wanted to keep managers, coaches, or catchers from getting their signs stolen, they would just put a buzzer in the pitcher’s ear. Managers and coaches would use radios to the batters. The catcher would have a button under his big toe to press… once for a fastball, and twice for a curveball. No one could see anything. Of course, they would probably use a scanner to pick up the signals out to the pitcher.

And about that technology thing… first, it was just eyeballs… then it was a spyglass, then it was binoculars, then it was a camera on top of the stadium in centerfield. One day I’m sure they will have satellites looking down at the catcher’s crotch. Yep… stealing signs will still be going on then too.

So get over it. It’s part of baseball. It always has been and always will be.

By the way… “There’s no cryin’ in baseball.”

As for me, I can’t wait till February 21 when the umpire hollars out…

PLAY BALL!

I welcome your and encourage your comments. All comments are moderated and will not immediately appear when you post them. All comments following the basic rules of civility will be posted within 24 hours in most cases.

Rude comments won’t see the light of day.