Say what?: June Gloom is to Southern California as realignment is to baseball
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There are a lot strange phenomena that are unique to Southern California. We’ve got beaches and mountains within an hour of each other. We’ve got a river made of concrete. We’ve got the highest screenwriter-to-Starbucks ratio in the world. And we’ve got the highest concentration of douchebags per capita in the United States (but not the world, because there’s France).
And we, of course, have great weather. But it’s not always 72 degrees and sunny. We have rain sometimes and hot spells, and there is also a weather phenomenon called “June Gloom.” I know, it’s a really clever title, isn’t it? Most people, who have lived here long enough, absolutely hate when people use this. It’s not so much that they use it, so much as how they use it – like they just thought of it right then and isn’t it just the best way to describe the weather and did you notice that it sort of rhymes?
June Gloom is basically when the mornings are overcast because of some sort of climate reaction to whatever. Look, if you care, you can use the Internet and figure it out for yourself. I’m not here to teach meteorology to you guys.
I’m just here to talk baseball. Though my editor says there have been a few complaints about how my articles tend to drift away from baseball off into Never Never Land or Bedford Falls or Gotham City or wherever. So, I’m supposed to talk more about baseball. Here goes.
This time of the year, baseball fans are in a groove. There’s not really a lot going on other than the games. So they chitchat about this game or that game or what players should be at the All-Star game and what players are going to be better or worse or the same. Yeah, it’s all pretty unexciting. This is the boring part of the season. All the fans of crappy teams have resigned themselves to another crappy season and all the fans of good teams are waiting until the last month to see how things play out in the race to the playoffs. The games count the same but it’s hard for anyone other than the parents of the players to care night after night. And even they don’t care that much. It’s a 162-game season that lasts six months.
Oh, right, this is why I was mentioning the June Gloom thing earlier. The (not very) interesting thing about June Gloom is that since it’s not really clouds, it kind of just burns off by mid-day and then it’s just gone and everyone just sort of forgets that it was even there in the first place.
And here comes the connection. It’s around this time that the media “jumps on” some (not very) interesting story about the league that’s supposed to get us all fired up one way or the other. But the story usually fades pretty quickly and no one even really remembers that it was there in the first place. (Boom! There’s your June Gloom!)
This year’s “stimulating” buzz story is divisional realignment. Nobody really cares that much about this. This isn’t civil rights or drug abuse or political corruption. But the media gets all fired up anyway because that’s what the media does – full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Most people don’t really care about how the divisions are set up. Sure, most people think there are some flaws. But there are some fans who go right along with the media and are outraged. “Oh, it’s unfair. We have to play in the same division with the big bad Yankees (or Red Sox or Phillies) and they spend twice as much as we do.” (Spoken with a toddler’s voice.)
You don’t usually hear much from the fans of teams in the weaker divisions where all the teams stink regardless of how much money they spend. Frankly, they like the odds – like that Padres team that got in the playoffs with an 82-80 record. Ugh. There were three other teams with better records in the National League that didn’t make the playoffs, but none of them were in the Padres’ division, so they got to go to the playoffs and get swept in three games by the Cardinals.
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