The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, the sound of sunflower seeds being spit onto the saliva-drenched turf: there’s nothing like a baseball World Series.

For me baseball is as much a part of summer as sitting bolt upright in bed at 3 in the morning and trying to remember whether or not I filed for an extension on my tax return. Why does baseball hold such an exalted place for many Americans? Maybe it’s the memories of Mickey, Willie and the Duke, or the great memories of days at the Polo Grounds. How did the sport of Polo get brought into the conversation?

Anyway, maybe it’s the simple fact that the Russians can’t play the game. Try as they might, the Ruuskies can’t even master infield chatter, which is what the infield players constantly yell to support their pitcher.

Typically infield chatter sounds something like: Hey babe hum that pea, hey no batter, hum babe, fire that baby, whip that pellet sling that sphere, c’mon heave that horsehide right in there, c’mon dammit we’re all bored really bored, bored, bored out here, bent over in these hot uniforms, let’s unload that globe, let’s fling that orb you sum-bitch, please for the love of humanity before we all pass out.

The Russians have tremendous trouble with this constant chatter. The best they have been able to come up with is: Holy cow you small baby comrade you, you are tossing forth some real fast orbits yuk-yuk.

The purpose in chattering at your pitcher like this was to get him so irritated that he deliberately plunked the batter in the head, which minimized the possibility that the batter would hit the ball and put the infielders in the path of a lethal line-drive.

Another reason baseball is numero-uno in America is the encouraging phrases yelled by the fans in support of the players. Phrases like: “Boooo, you stink you bum, my grandmother could do better you jerk.”

These phrases have dominated baseball since the beginning. So it is easy to see that the old U. S. A. is still the best and you can bet the house that the ongoing World Series this year between the Nationals and the Astros was won by a team consisting of All-American boys, plus fifteen dozen or more guys with names like Juan, Julio or Carlos from spider-infested countries to the south.

That is why the World Series is always one of my favorite times of the sports year.

What I like about it most is that the teams are supported by the most loyal sports fans of any sport. The average everyday folks who sit hour after hour, cursing, spitting and chugging stale beer.

It’s was a tough series this year, but the only prediction I could make was right on the money. I predicted correctly that there would be a sharp increase in the length of the games and number and length of commercials.