Spit grosses me out. Thankfully, I am not a spitter — not now nor as a softball player. I didn’t like it when the Catholic schoolboys made spitballs nor do I like it in public when someone “hocks a loogie.” (I am gagging while envisioning this spitting image.)
So the age-old question from us spit-haters is why? Why do baseball players have to spit?
Basketball players don’t spit. Football players might spit some, but they have to lie on the turf after they’re tackled, so they might be more careful about where they put their saliva. Ice hockey players don’t spit (they might but it freezes) and I don’t notice pro golfers spitting on the links.
Camels and alpacas spit. So do cobras. Babies spit up. But baseball players are none of those (well, some might argue …)
“Spit” is an appropriate word for a vulgar action and an absolute nasty habit. Maybe we could start an acronym for SPIT … Saliva Put In Turf.
Socially, spitting is one of the rudest and most disrespectful things you can do to another human and is considered a taboo in many parts of the world.
Ken says it’s out of nervous energy that baseball players spit. Some are spitting not saliva, but tobacco juice and sunflower seeds. Although he says he does, I have never seen Ken spit, though he must have plenty as a ballplayer.
By the way, Ken prefers the word expectorate.
Call it what you will sweetie – spittle, saliva, spit – I have to agree with John Payne from Simsbury, Connecticut, who wrote Ken a four-page letter about spitting. Yes, FOUR pages – on pretty blue stationary. His opinion was quite entertaining.
“There is too much spitting by all the players on all the teams,” wrote Mr. Payne. (He was quite serious about the topic, too; he typed the letter in ALL CAPS.)
“I wonder if these players spit on the floor at home or in restaurants,” wrote Mr. Payne. “Do they do all this spitting when they go out with their wives or girlfriends?”
He thinks the Yankees superstars are the ones who spit the most. So I ran into the TV room to see for myself and to get Ken’s spit input as he watched the Yankees/A’s game. He suggested I count the number of times the players spit in an inning. Three spits later, I was out of there.
I couldn’t watch it any more than Mr. Payne, who said he is so offended by the ongoing spitting that he makes sure to eat dinner before he watches a baseball game on TV. It is hard for him to finish his meal while observing “this nasty, unsightly, unsanitary and unhealthy practice.”
He would like Ken and the other announcers to discuss this spitting problem with the camera people so they don’t show any spitting on air.
Ken said that’s a bit tricky. How are they supposed to know when someone is ready to spit? True.
There’s only one other solution then, according to Mr. Payne. He would like to request of the baseball commissioner, Bud Selig, to make a ruling against spitting during games. “Make an agreement … to help solve this disgusting practice.”
I’m with you on that one, Mr. Payne. Maybe this is the reason it’s so challenging for me to sit through nine innings. Can I blame it on the spitting?
Mr. Payne wrote that he has seen “players spit on their hands, rub the baseball, rub dirt on their hands, then put their hand back in their mouth. This cannot be very sanitary or healthy. My relatives, my friends and I … would love to be able to eat and enjoy our meal while we watch the Yankees on YES.”
I’m guessing Mr. Payne would be very upset if spitballs were still legal.