Season’s Greetings! Opening Day as National Holiday

So, it appears that various humans of the seamhead breed are spearheading a decidedly ’Murcan crusade: namely, to secure Opening Day as a national holiday, thus positioning the day of the inaugural overpriced hot dog alongside such perennial classics as Thanksgiving, Easter and Shark Week.

Frankly, this seems an effort worth fighting for, and fighting hard, perhaps with bleeder nunchucks and mind-control tactics not unlike those on The Manchurian Candidate. Why? It’s not just because we’ll all get a day off from the steel mill. It’s also because we’ll get a really big parade! And parades are what we Americans do. Mostly for the exercise, because of all the sitting.

One imagines master of ceremonies Ryan Seacrest cooing to the network camera, “And here comes the Yankees float! Its theme: ‘The Smug Satisfaction In Having More Money Than God And Warren Buffett Combined!’ It really is magnificent, isn’t it? I especially like the small-scale ‘Baseball Diamond,’ which is actually the famous Hope Diamond made to resemble a baseball diamond. Get it? I know I do!

“If you look closely, you’ll see that it features infield dirt made entirely of Tartufo Nero Black Truffle Salt; grass made exclusively of D.B. Cooper’s ‘missing’ banknotes; foul lines made of shavings from Qatar Royal Soap; foul poles made with a proprietary blend of Beluga caviar, the Gutenberg Bible, Rasputin’s penis, Beethoven’s ear hair and 10 Le Burgers Extravagant – priced at $295 each – from Serendipity 3; bases made of paint flecks from Jackson Pollock’s No. 5, 1948; and most valuable of all, a home plate made entirely of Lolo Jones’s virginity.

“Atop the diamond are nine miniature Yankees, each made of red beryl emeralds and two fluid ounces of Heidsieck Monopole 1907 champagne. Now, keep watching and you’ll see that Derek Jeter is crossing home plate … now. And look! Isn’t it just like Jeter, the consummate team player, to go back and tag home plate again, just to make sure he scored?

“Oh, and here come the Marlins! Just look at that float, would you? But be advised to use the protective goggles the network has issued you, even if you’ve conditioned your eyeballs by attending the recent Lil Wayne-Flava Flav Celebrity Bling-Off, benefiting the Boyees & Girls Clubs of America. Because honestly, outside of Lady Gaga at a Liberace tribute co-hosted by Bjork, have you ever seen anything so garish? Of particular ‘float note’ – copyright pending – is how 2 Live Crew keeps soaring above a Miami Sound Machine performance at a Dexter crime scene while Tony Montana fires Horatio Caine T-shirts at Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs.

“Mind you, this doesn’t happen each time the Marlins hit a home run, but, rather, each time Jeffrey Loria places last in a popularity poll. At this point you’ve got to feel for Luther Campbell. He must be experiencing some horrific motion sickness, not to mention the nausea that arises from repeated viewings of Emilio Estefan’s receding hairline.

“Ah! And here’s the Diamondbacks float, complete with a bowl full of grits and a pool full of Dodgers. And speaking of the Dodgers, here comes their float … with wheels made entirely of the National League West. And yes, here comes the Cardinals float, complete with fans who mechanically pat themselves on the back.”



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John Paschal is a regular contributor to The Hardball Times and The Hardball Times Baseball Annual.


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