Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

February 3, 2014

STUMPTALK: Some things just aren’t right

CROSSVILLE — Some things aren’t right, for example, aluminum baseball bats. The people who introduced aluminum bats should be prosecuted. As one who grew up hearing thunderous zocks! from wooden bats hitting baseballs, I cringe every time I hear the effeminate poink! of an aluminum bat. No wonder fewer children now play baseball. Who wants to listen to that?

When I played ball we had wooden bats. In one league each team had a bag of assorted bats from which we selected our favorite. Needless to say, one bat emerged as the most popular and it wasn’t long before it was broken. After that we had to use less favored bats. That’s probably the reason we now have aluminum bats. Some baseball hating, cost cutting school or college athletic director decided he could save money with aluminum bats. My solution: just as each player buys his own glove and his own spikes, let him buy a wooden bat and help return beauty to the game. 

And speaking of baseball, another thing isn’t right, the designated hitter (DH). He’s the guy who hits but never plays the field. In the American League designated hitters hit in place of pitchers who are generally poor hitters, but not always. Some pitchers hit very well. When I was young my home team Washington Senators had a great pitcher named Early Wynn, who hit so well he was sometime used as a pinch hitter. And baseball lovers know that Babe Ruth began his major league career in 1916 as a pitcher with the Boston Red Sox. Good thing they didn’t have the DH in those days. I always loved both parts of the game, hitting and fielding. I can’t imagine not being able to do both.

Another thing, and this is too much. Some people want to take the violence out of football! I began my football playing days on the elementary school playground, covered with mud after playing tackle without pads. The teachers tried to convert us to touch football, but we tackled when they weren’t looking or on other occasions outside school. In fact, when I first wore pads as a13-year-old junior high team player, I hated them. I had to learn to run, throw, and catch all over again.

Football is played in an environment of violence the way ice hockey is played on ice. Hockey can be played on composite hard surfaces with in-line roller skates but it’s not the same, nor is flag football the same game. Young men learn life lessons playing tackle football that they rarely learn anywhere else. Leave it alone.

Moving on from sports: here’s another thing that’s wrong, and that’s clothing that doesn’t fit. Someone has convinced the producers of shows like Suits and White Collar that otherwise fit looking young men look good in suits that are too small, shirts that appear to choke the wearer, and neckties tied by someone’s five year old child. The last young men I remember with ill fitting suits were the 1964 Beatles, who wore suits from Carnaby Street in London, a look popular with rock and rollers in those days. Of course, at the other extreme we have the “gangsta” look, clothing too big, with trousers way down on the buttocks. Who thinks that looks good? Commenting on this style, the creator of the comic strip Zippy the Pinhead had characters carrying signs that said, “Will work for clothes that fit.”  

Not that women get by without a mention. I also see young women with ill fitting clothing, and these are not poor women. They appear as news readers and weather reporters on television. It seems none can get a suit coat that isn’t pinched and gathered in the wrong places. Then there are those otherwise attractive young women who think that too small hip hugging slacks and too tight, décolleté tops look good. Earth to them: they don’t, especially on those who appear to want to reproduce the plumber working under the sink look.

And not to pick on women but to help. I have always been in favor of freedom for women. That’s why I cannot understand why women continue to think they have to carry fifty pounds of handbag every place they go, especially to the supermarket checkout line. I guess they think fumbling for a check book in a heavy bag increases upper body strength. 

Men have pockets. Women could have pockets (they could leave the check books at home and carry debit cards in their pockets). I know that women with young children need roomy handbags but I still see grandmothers with them. Free the grandmothers! Give them pockets!

 • • •

Stumptalk is published weekly in the Crossville Chronicle. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. To contact Stumptalk, email coordinator Jim Sykes at sykes113@frontiernet.net.

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

  • Tidbits: Make the best of your road trip

    I didn’t care for road trips when I was young. It was so confining to have to sit in the back seat, staring out the window for hour after hour, hayfield after hayfield. And when you’re a kid, time doesn’t pass like it does when you get a little older. Just the trip from Jamestown, TN, to Crossville, roughly 30 miles, felt like an eternity!

    July 14, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Biased climate agenda will cost trillions

    For anyone who has been educated in the history of science and scientific method, this whole issue of “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” is an embarrassing and painful exercise.

    July 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Time for an oil change

    The land of Iraq, earlier known as Mesopotamia, has a long history going back to Neanderthal times some 60,000 years ago. Later, around 10,000 years ago, it became the site for some of the most important developments in human history: the invention of the wheel, planting of cereal crops, the development of cursive script, mathematics, astronomy and agriculture. Today it is recognized as one of the cradles of civilization.

    July 8, 2014

  • We the People: American women, be informed and vote

    Voting for today’s Republican Party and its Tea Party members, means you are voting against more than most realize.  This is especially true for women.

    July 8, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014