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Rick Lubbers: When the game is on, don't phone it in

Apparently there isn't a place left on the planet that we won't take a cell phone. I discovered that a few nights ago while driving by a baseball diamond and catching the left fielder tapping on his cell phone -- his glove securely placed in his ...

Rick Lubbers
Contact News Tribune sports editor Rick Lubbers at rlubbers@duluthnews.com or (218) 723-5317.

Apparently there isn't a place left on the planet that we won't take a cell phone.

I discovered that a few nights ago while driving by a baseball diamond and catching the left fielder tapping on his cell phone -- his glove securely placed in his armpit -- while a batter was stepping into the batter's box.

Huh?

What possibly could have been so important that the left fielder needed to carry his cell phone with him onto the playing field?

Was he downloading pictures of Pippa Middleton?

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Catching up on Charlie Sheen's twisted tweets?

Buying a Lady Gaga single off iTunes?

Finding out how far behind the Twins were?

Downloading "Angry Birds"?

Receiving a text about the latest shakeup on "Dancing With the Stars"?

Changing his Facebook status to "Playing Baseball While Texting"?

I just hope he wasn't Googling the proper technique for shagging fly balls.

It's bad enough that the electronic glow of cell phone lights has replaced the traditional Bic lighter at rock concerts, or that more and more church parishioners are searching for Scripture verses electronically rather than cracking open a Bible. But is there any valid reason to bring a cell phone onto a diamond, court or field, let alone a dugout or bench?

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Shouldn't there be laws against this sort of thing? We already can't drive and text because of the danger mixing those activities invites, but who wants to take a fly ball to the noggin because they were too busy watching a replay of Oprah's farewell on YouTube to notice the ball shooting toward them?

I know, I know. It's 2011 and we'll soon need a Batman-sized utility belt to carry all of our iPhones, Nooks, Droids, iPods, Kindles and iPads wherever we go. Make that two utility belts.

I get that -- and I have one or two of those gizmos myself. But they don't follow me into the bathroom or boardroom, church sanctuary or movie theater. And certainly not onto a baseball diamond.

We love our electronic toys, and they do a lot of fun and useful things, but can we summon the courage to cut the cord every now and then? Like maybe when we're playing a baseball game?

Can you hear me now?

Contact News Tribune sports editor Rick Lubbers at rlubbers@duluthnews.com or (218) 723-5317.

Related Topics: BASEBALLTECHNOLOGY
Rick Lubbers has been in his role since 2014 and at the News Tribune since 2005. Previous stops include the Superior Telegram (1999-2005) and Budgeteer News (1997-1999). Prior to that, he worked at the St. Cloud Times and Annandale Advocate in Minnesota, and the Greenville Daily News and Grand Rapids Press in Michigan. He received his journalism degree at Central Michigan University.
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