The Catbird Seat

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In my latest column for Urban Tulsa Weekly, I make reference to a James Thurber short story which defines the phrase you see above, an apt description for the situation the Tulsa Drillers find themselves in.

You can read Thurber's "The Catbird Seat" by following this link. It has little to do with baseball, but it is a clever turning-the-tables story with a surprise ending that will make you smile. Here's how it starts:

Mr. Martin bought the pack of Camels on Monday night in the most crowded cigar store on Broadway. It was theatre time and seven or eight men were buying cigarettes. The clerk didn’t even glance at Mr. Martin, who put the pack in his overcoat pocket and went out. If any of the staff at F & S had seen him buy the cigarettes, they would have been astonished, for it was generally known that Mr. Martin did not smoke, and never had. No one saw him.

It was just a week to the day since Mr. Martin had decided to rub out Mrs. Ulgine Barrows. The term “rub out” pleased him because it suggested nothing more than the correction of an error – in this case an error of Mr. Fitweiler. Mr. Martin had spent each night of the past week working out his plan and examining it. As he walked home now he went over it again....

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1 Comments

sbtulsa said:

In one of the great ironies of sports, Thurber's term was used by the great Red Barber as his carch phrase when broadcasting New York Yankee games on radio. He reffered to himself as being in the "catbird seat" meaning he had the best view of the game in his opinion.

Lamson and the Drillers are in the best position to survey what the market has to offer and make an informed selection. Would that Kathy taylor had stayed on top of the situation and known where the competition might come from, then communicated with Lamson on what kind of site he preferred. instead, she had to react at the last minute and is trying to coerce the Drillers to move downtown.

The Drillers are a civic asset, as is Lamson. They deserve better treatment from the city.

Some weeks ago, I told Freeman and Medlock that I would not go downtwon to a baseball game. Subsequently I made the statement I would go anywhere to see a game in a stadium Lamson designed. The two comments are contradictory, showing my ambivalence about the Drillers move. In the end, any Mayor should identifiy the cities best assets and be in contact with them throughout his or her administration. that's how you make people feel wanted.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 29, 2007 8:10 PM.

OKC writer puzzled by Tulsa's approach to downtown was the previous entry in this blog.

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