There is more to it than being right.
There is being right the right way.
And I have the feeling that, sometimes at least…
I am watching a roundtable discussion of experts on the Major League Baseball Channel – an announcer, two commentators, a couple of former ballplayers – debating the current issues of the day. Not “Global Warming” and loosening sanctions on Iran – the current issues in baseball. Though that was probably understood without clarification.
While I am watching, I detect in myself a growing build-up of impatience and irritation. Why? Because – don’t laugh – I was not included in the conversation, believing sincerely that I should have been. As in,
“In our discussion today concerning the current issues of the day in baseball, we have six certifiable experts, and Earl.” In my bottomless narcissism, that expectation seemed to me to be eminently reasonable.
Plus, I unequivocally knew the answers to the questions under discussion, and the experts – I was going to sarcastically say “experts”, but they were actual experts – did not.
The first issue concerned Pete Rose – a magnificent ballplayer who was caught gambling on baseball and was banished from any further participation in the game for life, the banishment including Rose’s being denied consideration for induction into baseball’s eternally hallowed “Hall of Fame.”
Triggered by the appointment of a new Commissioner scheduled to reexamine Rose’s predicament, the question was:
“After twenty-five years of exile, should Pete Rose be reinstated into the baseball fraternity?”
The experts’ opinions – perhaps premeditatedly to ignite fireworks – reflected the predictable spectrum of possibilities:
– “Twenty-five years’ punishment is enough. Allow the guy back in.”
– “From ‘Day One’, every player is admonished against betting on baseball and of the severe consequences if they do. Rose’s lifetime excommunication should stand.”
– “The ‘Hall of Fame’ should reflect on-field performance only. Why single out Pete Rose for permanent banishment when already enshrined ‘Hall of Famers’ behaved comparatively heinously, or worse?”
There were various other arguments, the expert panelists committing to one side or the other.
I’m sitting there watching, aggravated because I am certain I have the answer, and that nobody has mentioned it. Though viewers are invited to participate on “Twitter”, I unequivocally demur, being ignored on enough communicational platforms as it is. (See: “Earl Pomerantz Submissions” – The Huffington Post – “Number of Visitors”: 0.)
Besides, there is a more demonstrably satisfying way to go.
I immediately jump into “Fantasy Mode.” Suddenly, I am magically transported through the TV screen and onto the panel. I wait seemingly endlessly for the expert panelists to run out of gas and, in a tired, quasi-exasperated tenor, I intone,
“For every player in the ‘Hall of Fame’, there is an official plaque, commemorating their accomplishments. You let Pete Rose into the ‘Hall of Fame’ – because he’s earned it – and you inscribe on his plaque:
‘Pete Rose accumulated more hits than any player in the history of baseball. It was also proven that, contrary to the clearly delineated regulations, Pete Rose gambled on baseball, and was permanently banished from the game.’
“Done. Rose is immortalized, for visitors to Cooperstown to study and remember, as baseball’s most prodigious ‘Hit Machine’, and also as an indefensible miscreant. That, gentlemen, is the answer.”
It is the answer. I had it. And the experts didn’t.
The panel of experts then proceeded to another issue:
“Will speeding up the game make baseball more popular?”
I shall summarize my imagined response – because I was not actually present – thusly:
Adding elliptically that “People who do not like baseball will never like baseball, because it’s baseball.” Adding further, to the disgust of the obligatorily optimistic panel of experts:
“In fact, with the now-popular implementation of ‘Specialty Relief Pitchers’ who are brought in to pitch to a single batter and are then replaced by another relief pitcher, the duration of the game will not become shorter; it will inevitably become longer.”
My non-expert opinions are, if not unassailable, meritorious of consideration. Yet both I – and they – are unilaterally overlooked. Not to mention, due to my supercilious intonation…
Met with detectable eye-rolling irritation.
In both my fantasies – and, more importantly, in reality – I need to focus on my temperamental “Delivery System.”
(And consider the possibility that I am wrong.)