DOES Memorial Stadium, about to be forsaken...


DOES Memorial Stadium, about to be forsaken by its live-in friend of 38 years, Organized Baseball, have hurt feelings?

The evidence is disturbing. Across the first 37 years, games played at Memorial Stadium came out 1,654 times as Baltimore Oriole victories, 1,262 times in favor of the other side. In box score math, that's .567 -- enough to lead the American League East, nowadays.

But this year, with everyone busily reminding the stadium of October and out, the figures are reversed. For the first half of the season, 13 wins, the lowest total in the majors. Is Memorial Stadium sulking?

Now a thing made of reinforced concrete, of brick and grass and six cloth pennants, is not a sentient being. Preposterous, this whole business of assigning personhood and gender to inanimate objects -- ships in the feminine, nations too; deities in the masculine. Surely a structure made of base paths and beer cups, of screams and tickets and parking places, is just a stadium.

As we all remember -- don't we, class? -- in Latin a noun ending in -ium is neuter singular. Memorial Stadium is not a he; neither is it a she. It is only an it.

Surely an it doesn't care, or resent.

Or does it?

* * *

AFTER President Bush recently witnessed an unveiling of his marble likeness, he worried about newspapers reporting that he had been "busted."

As is the due of all vice presidents, a bust of Mr. Bush was placed in the Senate chamber, next to the robust Teddy Roosevelt (William McKinley's veep).

To make room, a massive decapitation ensued, and the heads of Adlai E. Stevenson (Grover Cleveland's veep) and Charles W. Fairbanks (TR's veep) were rolled to less prominent niches.

All 42 vice presidents have busts in the Capitol with the exception of Spiro Agnew. As he noted in a letter to the editor on Saturday, Agnew has no interest in being immortalized.

Next on the bust list: Dan Quayle, whom we are sure is looking forward to being placed on a pedestal.

* * *

APRIZEFIGHT presided over by a man named Discombobulating Jones could be expected to upset somebody. Sure enough, the loser in a recent the light-heavyweight championship allowed as how, even though it was a "good fight, a tough fight," the referee permitted too much in the way of discombobulating -- the champ's repeated yanking of the challenger's head and then punching. Reporters noted the challenger got in a couple of head butts and low blows himself, which might have been a factor in his four-round comeback. But then, in any good prizefight, somebody is bound to be discombobulated.

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