Sardonic Sports Sampler

B aseball: For as long as I’ve been following baseball, I continue to be dumbfounded by fan behavior. And I’m not even talking about losers running on the field to assault someone or those who ransom souvenirs emblematic of someone else’s achievement.

That’s part of the dysfunctional times we live in.

No, I’m talking about something that is fundamental to the game. Such as the rules.

Ever notice that when a pitcher fakes a throw, there automatically ensues a chorus of “balk?” Does anyone even understand what a balk is anymore?

The other is even more basic.

Fans, even those who bring their own gloves, cannot go after a ball in play. But they do; again and again. As if it were a front row entitlement. How’s this for a concept: only someone who is actually PLAYING — not someone who is paying to watch the playing — is permitted to field or attempt to field a ball in play? It doesn’t get more fundamental than that.

It’s a good thing they’re not allowed to bring bats.

Ted Williams: Enough of this unseemly family affair. Ted Williams: RIP. And it doesn’t mean rest in pieces.

Softball: I caught a snippet of the Little League Softball World Series the other day. One of those visual drive-bys you do when you’re on a stationary bike and you look up from your Wall Street Journal editorial page.

It was a team of 11- and 12-year old girls from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania against counterparts from Canada. I glanced and saw this freckled-faced tyke of an 11 year old at bat for Upper Darby. The graphic at the bottom of the screen gave her name, which escapes me, and “The person she would like to meet.”

It was, uh, 50-Cent.

There’s no hope for the culture. None.

Florida State: Yet another sign that the wheels are coming off of the FSU football program.

The last two years, of course, have featured too many losses and too much police blotter publicity. And thanks to Adrian McPherson, whose best play last year was a no-contest plea, the Seminoles may still have to do some explaining to the NCAA.

But here’s the final indignity. The ‘Noles’ Travis Johnson was arrested on a sexual battery charge. More embarrassing headlines. Fortunately for FSU and Johnson, he was found not guilty. In a postscript, however, an assistant state attorney criticized FSU for trying to settle the matter back in February. He called it “unacceptable and outrageous.”

But that’s not the final indignity.

The FSU defensive tackle was accused of sexually battering a female FSU shotputter, who nearly outweighed the 240-pound Johnson. In Tallahassee, even the Criminoles have fallen from previous standards.

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