Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Spit Happens

by Sarah (The Fanatic's Wife)

It is truly a phenomenon to me. I am happily watching a baseball game on T.V. and the camera slowly pans the dugout…and there they are, chewing huge wads of tobacco or gum, or munching on seeds. Whatever their poison, all of these guys are spitting. Now, the tobacco I understand because if you swallow that crap you’ll most likely throw up. Disgusting, but I’ll save that one for another time. Spitting?! Really? Is that absolutely necessary?

One guy that really spits a lot is Terry Francona. He devours whole packs of Big League Chew. They should give him an endorsement. The chews like he’s really pissed off at the gum. And every so often, he spits. Memo to Terry: I chew gum too. And every so often, the muscles in my throat contract and the saliva in my mouth stays in my body! Isn’t that amazing! I am pretty sure that swallowing is one of our most basic reflexes (for more information go here). Why fight it?

My new theory is that the spitting trend that baseball is famous for has to do with men and testosterone and the fact that you can’t pee on the field. If baseball was played by dogs, they would pee on the bases, on the mound, and in the dugout to mark their territory. Luckily for us, humans peeing in public are frowned upon, so being resourceful creatures, we choose the next best thing.

Once the whole steroids/cheating thing gets taken care of, the next big issue in baseball should be to ban spitting (and chewing tobacco while they’re at it…but I digress). Not only does spitting spread germs and gross me out, but it has to make the dugout floor so slick that it’s only a matter of time before someone slips and is hurt. Can you imagine a player being out on the DL because he slipped in a puddle of saliva?

If they can discourage it in other countries, why not here?

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