Monday, July 29, 2013

A Filthy Habit!

For the last three years I have written about this habit and I will continue to do so.

I was always taught that spitting was unsanitary, unhealthy and a filthy habit. The only time it was acceptable was when a bug flew in my mouth or I got hit in the mouth while playing a game or just fooling around and you had to spit blood. Spitting was never done in polite society.

Over the last few weeks I’ve watched a few baseball games with my Yankee fan wife. Baseball players spit everywhere, they spit at home plate, they spit on the pitchers mound and the outfield. At first I thought the only one who doesn’t spit is the catcher because he has a mask on, but then I saw one lift the mask, spit and go back to signaling his pitcher.

I know this is gross, but can you imagine the collective accumulation of germ-infested saliva in the dirt around home plate and the other bases and especially in the dugout. I’d hate to be the guy who has to swab the dugout floor after a game. And I’d hate to be the catcher who has to look at that stuff in the dirt and then catch a ball that’s bounced in a glob of body fluid. What does this teach to our Little Leaguers?

Major League Baseball is a big, big business. They bill themselves as wholesome family entertainment; they promote high moral and ethical standards among the players, yet baseball is one of the few sports where spitting is constant and the camera always seems to have a close-up of the player in the act.

It seems to me Major League Baseball could suggest and encourage its players to be a little more courteous to the fans who watch on television and the players who have to catch a ball bathed in spittle.

And it’s not just baseball; recently Tiger Woods was criticized for spitting on the green at the British Open.  

Spitting is a habit and habits can be eliminated with conscience effort. I call on major league baseball to memo each player and manager to curb the disgusting habit. In golf? How about a loss of a stroke for each glob that hits the ground.

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