This morning, my sleepy eyeballs were blessed by a beautiful sight. The large hockey lads of the Boston Bruins, so big and so burly, descended from a bus at Fenway Park for the NHL's Winter Classic wearing jerseys that said Boston, but implied something way more exciting than a little outdoor hockey game.
Instead of the bulky pads of their regular uniforms or paparazzi-ready outfits, the players of the Boston Bruins wore vintage Boston Red Sox jerseys. They carried baseball bats over their shoulders, with vintage floppy gloves looped onto them. They had magically transformed into baseball players! Look:
Then there was this, from the Bruins' opponents:
Apparently, I was not supposed to assume that these two teams had come to Fenway Park to play baseball. How silly of me! But I would like to posit an important idea: what if they did play baseball?
Yeah, yeah. I know that this is the NHL Winter Classic, and that the league's annual outdoor hockey game is popular despite the fact that the Earth is rapidly warming and it is far too warm to be playing hockey outside. I know that people "like this" because it's "cool." To that I say: You know what would be cooler? Watching these guys play baseball!
Sure, they might not be good, but who cares! What makes amateur sports good is that anything can happen. If we let the NHL players play baseball once a year they might commit some errors and let a ball drift into the outfield, but they also might turn a double play. Imagine David Pastrnak turning a double play. That's good television. That's what the people want.
It is extremely hard for me to believe that the game would be bad. These men are professional athletes. They are very large, and very coordinated, and very strong. I would bet every dollar I have ever seen that one of them could hit a home run. Probably more than one of them! They are also, by nature of being professional hockey players, very competitive. They will probably try to fist fight on second base! That's great for everyone.
This must happen in every sport. Let the Mets and Yankees play one basketball game at MSG. Let the Lakers and the Warriors play soccer once a year. Let the Eagles and the Cowboys play hockey. That will be the beauty of the games: each season two teams will be asked to prove their athletic prowess on a foreign terrain.
Plus, these two teams already have the baseball uniforms! Why not let them give it a little try? Why not add some stakes and have it count toward the stats for the season? Why not find out which player could be the first to win a game in every league?