GQ’s Keith Olbermann was watching some baseball on Tuesday night, specifically the Giants-Rockies game. He observed first baseman Mark Reynolds tipping an open bag into his mouth — sunflower seeds — and tweeted about it. The Rockies zinged him pretty good in response.
There’s no rule against players eating on the field. We’ve been given great moments like this as a result:
For a long, long time, players using chewing tobacco was as much a part of the game as the crack of the bat and the smell of the grass. Sunflower seeds, too, to a lesser extent. As we learned more about the dangers of tobacco, its use waned and players started chewing gum and eating sunflower seeds more. If you ask me, that’s a good thing.
Not to Olbermann. I’m not sure I get why this is even an issue. Who is hurt by players eating sunflower seeds on the field? The salt on the seeds is bad for birds, but I doubt Olbermann is arguing from a bird’s rights perspective. And I also doubt he’s starting this crusade on the behalf of stadium workers who have to clean up discarded sunflower seed shells.
At any rate, I’m not sure the Rockies’ lack of postseason success from 2008-16 can be tied to Mark Reynolds’ on-field sunflower seed habit in 2017.
Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.
And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”
What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.
But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:
A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.