I have decided to start a blog. The first question is, what do I have to say? I have such deep, insightful thoughts when I am in the middle of doing something else, or laying awake in bed, and yet no recollection of them when I am sitting at the keyboard. I am certain this happens to everyone… we are all brilliant in our own heads. But now I want to shine in the cyberworld. I want to be a blogger on issues of importance and perhaps more importantly, I want my readers to be impressed with my intelligence and wit.
I have a wonderful role model (and natural competitor) for a spouse. Her blog musings on life, law and gender is read by many fans, and she tackles issues of importance to her blogging community. I confess I am intimidated by that...and afraid I will run out of interest and/or inspiration, leaving my readers to wander off to other, more diligently updated sites.
I guess it’s all about asking questions and posing answers for others to consider. I suppose I don’t need to pretend to have the definitive answer (as there often isn’t one); the point is to get a dialogue going that will help us get closer to whatever the answer is. Well, at least that’s my working theory.
For example, why doesn’t everyone love baseball? Is it simply that, as in the case of my spouse before this year, they just haven’t paid enough attention to see how exciting it is? That every pitch, and every sign flashed by a manager to a catcher, a fielder, a baserunner, or the batter, is part of a continuously changing and developing master strategy? The battle between the pitcher and the batter can be full of drama – full count, runner moving – should he try power vs. power, or maybe a wicked change-up? Will the batter take a mighty swing and strike out? Will the ball paint the corner of the strike zone, leaving the batter paralyzed as the umpire theatrically punches his ticket? Will the ball just miss the corner, leaving the pitcher to mutter as the batter trots off to first base? Will the batter protect the plate and foul it off? Will he connect and put the ball in a gap somewhere, as the fans whoop and holler, or will a fielder scoop it up and throw him out in a bang-bang play? Or worse yet for him, will the defense turn a double play and kill his team’s hopes for that inning, as the fans groan and curse? Or will the ball soar into the seats and make him the hero of the moment? How could anyone have anything better to do after a hard day’s work than sit in front of the TV, riveted by this drama?
I have many more questions on many other subjects, but tonight, there is nothing more puzzling to me than this baseball issue. I have heard it said baseball is boring, especially when the pitchers keep getting the batters out. Admittedly, the action is more subtle; there are no big special effects to demand your attention. But if you can enjoy a movie that doesn’t revolve around the loud and spectacular destruction of everything on the screen, you can enjoy baseball, even a “pitchers’ duel.” And if you can appreciate stories about human triumphs and failures, you will love baseball, where the story is rewritten every game. If you are bored by baseball, you are probably bored by life. The problem is then clearly not with the game, and you need to consider therapy.
Since baseball is most decidedly not boring, why else could someone resist being a fan? Of course, if your team is lousy, the act of watching the game can be painful. I can understand that, unfortunately, as a long-suffering fan of the Detroit Tigers. But even then, there is always hope (as this season proves), and there are usually little bright spots along the way – the rookie who gets a chance to shine, the sparkling defensive play, the gritty at-bat where pitch after pitch is fouled off until the batter gets a hit or a walk, the relief pitcher who comes in and strikes out the side. If you can deal with the reality that the ultimate result is likely be a loss (similar to investing in the market), the possibility of a win makes rooting even for a lousy team worthwhile. Conversely, if you can only root for a team that wins consistently, then you must be awfully demanding of others, and I’m glad I’m not related to you.
Another possible reason someone is not a baseball fan is that they don’t have the time it takes. True, it is a commitment. During the season, there is a game almost every night and it will last more than 2 hours, sometimes more than 3. Much can be accomplished with that amount of time, especially if you are working on a cure for cancer, or doing something else that benefits humanity. But I guarantee you, there is nothing better on TV, and it’s a great bonding experience with whomever is important in your life. Even if you aren’t in the same room, it can be a shared experience. When my spouse and I were separated for days at a time, we could watch the games and IM our reactions to each play. It helped us feel close. And we love curling up on the couch together with the game on... although we do tend to sit up suddenly and shout (and scare the cats) when the something particularly dramatic happens. It may not be romantic in the classic sense, but the shared experience, win or lose, is what matters.
I am just stumped about this. Why doesn’t everyone love baseball?