Craig Calcaterra

Texas Rangers' Ian Desmond tosses a baseball to a fan before a spring training baseball game against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Ian Desmond is thankful for his underwear

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Men don’t think too much about their underwear. It’s functional, for the most part, but not particularly interesting. And we take that functionality for granted. Really, there’s a lot of bad men’s underwear out there. Underwear that impedes free movement of all of the, um, parts that should not be impeded.

And you can go too far the other way! Some underwear — I’m lookin’ at you, boxer shorts — are just too free. Some level of containment is important. But not too much!

You have to figure that this problem is far worse for professional athletes who have to move way more than us couch schlubs. They have to move but other parts have to remain stabilized, but not too stabilized. And that’s before we get into the highly-complicated relationship between an athlete and and his athletic supporter and cup, which is another layer of complication on an already complicated subject.

Athletes, like the rest of us, probably take a lot of this for granted too. But not Ian Desmond. Desmond is thankful for his underwear:

 

Gotta love the name “SAXX” for men’s underwear. It’s to the point. They have a long story about their corporate philosophy, but really, it’s all in the name, isn’t it?

The Royals are sorry they made the Mets watch their pregame flag-raising ceremony

The 2015 World Series Championship banner flies next the the 1985 banner before a baseball game between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, April 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Associated Press
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When the schedule came out showing the Mets visiting the Royals for Opening Day, everyone knew it would be weird that the very same Mets the Royals vanquished in the World Series would be forced to stand on the third base line and watch the World Series flag being raised. And the video montages and all of the other celebratory stuff that came with it.

Some folks thought it was kind of delicious. The morning after, however, the Royals regret that it went down that way. Ned Yost:

“It was just strange, the pregame ceremony . . .[it was] a bit like sending your ex pictures of your honeymoon . . . I think I would have enjoyed it more if we played another team.”

Yost didn’t plan that ceremony you can understand his awkwardness about it. He could probably imagine what it was like to be on the other side of it. All in all, that’s pretty nice of him to say.

For what it’s worth, the Mets don’t have any hard feelings. Here’s David Wright:

“They’re the champs,” Wright said. “They should celebrate it. If the outcome would have been a little different and we won, I’m sure we would have played a nice video as well. They’re the champs. They deserve it.”

Jeez, guys. This is some pretty fertile ground for a media-fueled controversy about an esoteric area of the unwritten rules (i.e. how to celebrate a championship properly). And here you all are acting REASONABLY and RATIONALLY. Where the heck is the fun in that?

Opening Day Quote of the Day: Terry Francona

Terry Francona
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In the fall, we all recite Bart Giamatti’s quote about baseball being designed to break your heart. In the spring we tend to go with Walt Whitman’s words about the game and how it will “repair our losses and being a blessing to us.”  Never mind that . . . he may not have said that.

Still, even with giants like those men waxing poetic about our national pastime, there is room for more poetry. Or some good prose anyway. Even from non-literary lights. Like Terry Francona, who said this wonderful thing to the Boston Globe:

“It’s one of the most amazing feelings there is,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for a long time because I’m getting older. I’m not sure how something can be the same over and over and over and over again and yet be so wonderful. There’s a lot excitement. There’s certainly some anxiety. There’s probably a small piece of terror. Did we cover everything? Things like that. But it’s the same every year. It never changes. I hope it doesn’t. It’s a great feeling.”

It’s not going to win poetry awards, but that bit about how something can be the same over and over and still be wonderful is the very essence of baseball and why I love it.