Great Expectorations

I'm not trying to be profound, this is really trivial, but:

What is it about baseball and spitting, anyway?

I don't notice players in other sports spitting. It would probably be oonsidered unsportsmanlike, maybe even draw a technical foul, to do it on a basketball court; someone might slip, someone would have to come out to clean it up.

I don't watch a lot of tennis or golf, but … no, it's unimaginable. Tiger Woods spitting as he's lining up a putt? No. Not to mention Anna Kournikova.

Probably football players would be able to get away with it, if they could manage not to gob up their facemasks. But, although I don't pay a lot of attention to what football players do between plays, I've never noticed them spitting. Crotch-scratching, sure. Everyone does that in sports. Well, OK, the guys. Never noticed Summer Sanders doing it.

I also assume that baseball players and coaches don't spit inordinately outside the confines of the game. Again, just an impression, I'm not really paying attention, but I would think I'd notice.

So I'm mystified. Chewing might have something to do with it; there's a grand tradition of tobacco-chewing in baseball. Gotta spit there, or so I've heard. But those guys can't all be chewing tobacco during the game. Or can they?

I suppose I could do some research. Google "baseball" and "spitting". But I haven't; there are some things, if I'm going to learn about them, I'd rather learn by accident.

Last Modified 2012-10-26 4:39 PM EDT