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The BELL CURVE:

MLB provides therapy

April 02, 2008|By Joseph N. Bell

In all the decades I’ve used professional baseball as my personal shrink, I’ve never been so relieved to see it start as I am this year. I’ll tell you how relieved. Because I couldn’t wait for the first official game, I spent last Saturday night at Anaheim Stadium watching a dreadful exhibition in which the Angels stomped the San Diego Padres, 11-3, — on a football-weather night against an alleged major league team that committed three errors that were charged and a dozen or so that weren’t. I hope, for the sake of the home folks in San Diego, that wasn’t the Padres’ varsity I saw last Saturday.

I finally gave up in the seventh inning when the Padres inserted a pinch runner who was identified on the scoreboard simply as “unknown.” I took this as a signal to leave.

Driving home, I asked myself why I was more needy than usual for a baseball fix. Even in my benumbed frozen state, the answer came clear. I was facing a record level of stress over the next six months that sorely needed the psychiatric couch of baseball.

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Stress from what? Well, let’s start and finish with the Democratic party. The possibility of watching it die a lingering death in this election year from self-inflicted wounds is almost unthinkable. Never before in my long life — even in 1932 — has either party offered up a target as fat and vulnerable as the Republicans this year. They have a whole flock of albatross hanging about their necks.

The heaviest, by far, is the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time, justified on a quicksand of lies and false evidence that has resulted in a growing casualty list of exhausted American troops forced back into combat by the depleted resources of an overtaxed military.

Go from there to an exploding national debt that my great grandchildren will still be paying off. Fold in a multiplicity of such domestic sins as contempt for global warming and reduced taxes for the wealthiest.

Then top it with a candidate who has repeatedly pledged his support to the Bush policies in Iraq, even if it takes 100 years to get it right, despite polls showing that well over half of U.S. citizens want us out of Iraq ASAP.

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