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"Stop!" yells the Babe. "Whaddaya mean keeping these boys in here, when there's baseball to be played."

Today's Lockout Theatre features Babe Ruth in PERFECT CONTROL, a 1956 short film that has been cavorting on social media lately. 

In it, George Herman does his best Nicholas Cage, as the King of Swat crashes the most tedious class lesson since Roger Waters concluded, "We don't need no education, we don't need no thought control..."

"ARITHMETIC?" The Babe scolds. "Four times four is sixteen. Three strikes you're out... That's all you need!"

If only...

This weekend convenes the last big NFL Sunday of the 2021-22 season. (Super Sunday doesn't count.) 

Next week, the sports-industrial complex will plummet into the February abyss - a cesspit of basketball blowouts, hockey brawls and awards shows -which would normally be brightened by the anticipation of spring training. 

I'm becoming a broken record here, but the billionaires of baseball chose the worst time imaginable to stage their lockout. 

Today, we sit in the throes of a global pandemic, rising inflation, supply chain issues, an exploding climate, a polarized electorate and a looming war in Europe, with consequences we cannot begin to fathom. 

And no baseball, not even a wisp, to take us briefly away.

At some point, this impasse will end. And when it does, we will feel a vast longing to welcome the game back into our lives. 

But there's an old saying, "Trust is gained in teaspoons and lost in buckets." 

There must be consequences for what the owners - and, yes, the players, too - have done. 

In the meantime, let the Babe whisk you away to a happier time. Quickly, now... six times nine is what? 

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