29 August 2007

Stadium squirrel

Sorry, but I hate baseball. The Great American Pastime is anything but that, in my eyes. Don't like it, don't understand it, don't even want to try. I'd rather watch cloud formations in the winter sky on a starless night.

So when photos began to show up recently depicting a squirrel at a New York Yankee game, sitting atop something known as the "right field foul pole" (whatever that is), I realized that there was, at last, some action at Yankee Stadium I could finally understand and even appreciate.

The fact that the squirrel stayed for the entire game (the Yankees were playing the Boston Red Sox), indicates that he either was so terrified he could not move or, perhaps he (or she) was a fan.

Knowing how spectators at sporting events can become unruly, rude and sometimes downright out of control, my worry, of course, was immediately for the squirrel. Would folks in the stands amuse themselves at the squirrel's expense, harassing him or throwing projectiles? Or would harm befall him in the form of a fierce pitch (or a hit) gone astray?

Fortunately, none of that happened. No matter which team the fans were rooting for on the field, almost all the fans seemed to be on the squirrel's side. Likewise, the media: the squirrel ultimately achieved as much exposure and and fame (or notoriety) as some of the rival teams' top players. In fact, the headlines in the local newspapers displayed the word "squirrel" in the same size type as that used for the names of the stars.

There were no reports about what the squirrel did after leaving the stadium, but I presume - well, I hope - he did so without incident.

I think in the game of baseball that's called being "safe," isn't it?

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