As another season of mitts and bats dawns around us, my mind wanders in and around that glorious game: baseball.
The game is almost mind numbingly slow. Six innings in tball can run over 2 hours. Yup, with no commercial breaks or technical time outs, they can top two hours. And this is without pitching! Add the scratching and stalling that usually goes with all of that, and we would be clocking cricket times. This isn’t without it’s advantages. It’s nice not to have to be paying attention every single second. It affords time to catch up with friends at the game, or make new ones. But it is hell on the bed time routine…
Real Major League games are slower than molasses in January as well. They have implemented all these new fangled rules to try and speed up the game. But how can you speed up a game like baseball? You would have to shave an inning or two off the top, and I don’t see that happening any time soon.
It’s a goofy sport: you control the ball on defense and only have one player at a time working on offense.
It is a non contact sport, well, at least it is supposed to be. No one gets throttled, there are no pile ups, and there is very little violence. Bench clearing brawls are rare. Managers might get kicked out but it is more likely to be due to saying nasty things then for being physical. When a batter gets hit by the ball he is tough only if he shrugs it off. In what other sport do you show your mettle by not wiping the dirt from your uniform? Shouldn’t your uniform always be dirty? This is supposed to be a sport, after all.
The season for the bigs is insanely too long. You start when it could be snowing and end when it will almost definitely be snowing. Heaven forbid the Twins ever make it to the Series now that they don’t have a dome. I wonder what the rule book says about playing thru flurries?
Baseball players wear slacks and spend the majority of the game sitting on a bench or standing still on the field. Most of the sweat is generated because of atmospheric conditions.
So why do I bother signing up the terrors for whatever form of this game they are eligible for every year?
I usually prattle on about team sports and learning how to put the team first and not having all the pressure on you blah blah blah. If I am honest, I don’t know the real answer. I don’t see any college scholarships in their future. I love to play, but that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans for the boys. But the thought of them playing Spring soccer instead…well…what? Soccer? It’s time for BASEBALL.
I was not a Mom who bought them mitts before their first birthdays. I never assumed my love of the game would translate to having boys who played. I didn’t even sign J up for tball his first year of eligibility. I asked him (in February, when you sign up) if he wanted to play and he said no. Of course once the sun was shining he changed his mind and ended up playing. But I will not let it take over our lives. It would be possible for them to play baseball all year, but they get through the regular season, that’s it.
I tear up every year when they put their uniforms on for the first time. It is an American right of passage. Somehow it anchors you in our country’s past, while at the same time makes you part of its future. Because no matter what changes in our lives, boys and girls will always swing for the fences come good weather.
And I will be there, with a hot dog and a cold beverage, to watch.