Monday, March 11, 2013

Making Odds

We just got (as a gift) this thing that is supposed to allow you to walk indoors. Mona says to not talk about it. I presume she feels the same way about a blog entry on the subject, whatever it is. Guess I'll stick with tennis.

I know - no one has heard of the World Baseball Congress. It's actually a world tournament of the best ball playing nations being played in the warm regions of our desert. A few not-so-well-known baseball nations are also involved.
They're taking it pretty seriously, too. The Mexico/Canada game had a massive bench-clearing brawl. I'm not precisely sure what started the row, but it probably wasn't the question of which team has the best looking uniforms. Italy always has the big edge in appearance, if not in actual play. Too bad Joe DiMaggio isn't around to swing the lumber for old Italia. But then again, his playing days ended about sixty years ago and he was really an American by birth.
The USA team had to rally in their latest game in order to move on to round two of the competition. When they get the highlight film assembled for the whole event it will be filled with terrific plays by first-rate players, but, I know, no one has heard a thing about it. Regular major league baseball doesn't start for about three weeks, so you should check the cable listings. I'm not sure who the favorite is, but I'm guessing it isn't the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, the week's major interest item centers in Rome, but not for baseball. The Convocation of the College of Roman Catholic Cardinals has the job of electing a new pontiff to replace the one who said "no mas" at an advanced age. Have a nice retirement, your Holiness.
I admit to knowing almost nothing about such things, and the convocation is in private, so we won't get any hourly updates from NPR or Fox News on the proceedings. I am prepared to think of the cardinals as being men who have transferred the normal male ambitions of wealth and family to some finely-honed political skills which they employ seeking higher office - all while appearing to not be seeking anything at all. I would not be surprised to learn that making and fleshing out the alliances which will deftly compete this week have required decades of Jedi-level give-and-take.
Nor am I a betting man, but can you imagine all the factors that go into creating the London betting line on this business? You'd have to be wicked smart (as New Englanders might say) just to know who all the viable contenders are. You might even have to bring back your old Latin dictionary to make sense of it all. And some of the syndicate leaders probably fall back on prayer to get the inside track on the next pontiff. But I wouldn't try to blame God if that strategy should fail when the collectors come to take the losses. No, sir.   


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