Day #96: The Black & White Years – “Power to Change”
Baseball loyalist, Danish, wrote a pretty excellent rebuttal to my professed hatred for the game. It really warranted its own post, so here we are. I don’t know if it is too late for me to find the same excitement in sports as those who grew up with game in some form, but I’m willing to give baseball another go. Perhaps it’s a matter of context. Maybe sitting among rabid fans at a critical game, and being immersed in that collective emotion would be enough to change my perspective.
“If people don’t want to come out to the ball park, nobody’s gonna stop ‘em.” -Yogi Berra
You’ll have to get in a line as long as the one for Shake Shack at Nationals Stadium if you want to complain about baseball being slow and boring. Though you’re not the first to kvetch on the subject, I am so deeply struck by your hatred for something that I love that I must endeavor to change your mind. And something tells me that even Nintendo executives (who are sitting in Tokyo watching the Yomiuri Giants while sipping over-priced Kirin Light) would endorse my efforts.
United we stand for the seventh inning stretch because we pause to share in the delights of a game that simulates a reality we like: apart from incredible athletic feats, recall that there are secret gestures, stealing, and when all else fails, players can advance by employing theatrics to fool the arbiters. Check out this piece on Derek Jeter doing just that – what’s cooler than a boy scout going rogue?
In the interest of space, I will spare you my pitch about baseball being uniquely American as well as my own nostalgic tales about the energy of a packed Yankees stadium. More important, in your case, is the story of baseball and statistics. No sport, game or master professor imported from China has single-handedly defended and advanced statistics the way baseball has. You can nerd out to infinity and beyond – want to know the number of bases stolen after having viewed a John Hughes film? No problem.
All this while indulging in our favorite munchies and yes, over-priced beer. I too lament how a domestic draft could be $8.25, but then I remembered “safety first”. And as you learned in that econ text book under your bed, we need this price to promote safe behavior. How will we catch a ball if we get sloppy?
Your aggression towards last night’s low scoring, low slugging game is misguided. The snap, crackle pop of a hard-hitting offense-laden game is indeed a hot ticket, but a defense game can be equally entertaining if you let it. Surely you have heard of a “no-hitter” – I’ll be the price of a Budweiser that the suspense factor is greater than waiting for a second opening band to perform at the 9:30 Club. By the way, at a baseball game, unlike a concert, we can hear one another debate the merits of a special guest-worker visa program for sluggers born south of the border.
Baseball is simply not about the music, but I will indulge you on that subject. Part of the reason our ticket was so cheap is that the Nat’s stadium DJ is, like so many locals, an intern. I do like the question of picking our own walk-out songs and the fact that you raise it means that you’re already connecting with the sport. Yet, the task could be as difficult as picking your personal karaoke song, so let’s give Lauren a fraction of those 169 games to decide. I submit for the running “It’s now or never”. Elvis’s song, released during the golden age of baseball, was for the love of the game.
In a nut shell (yes, found at the bottom of a cracker jacks box), Baseball and attending baseball games have all the ingredients of a great story with one exception: there’s no crying.
‘Ready for another game before 2013? You get the ticket and I will buy the beer.
Challenge accepted, Danish. I prepare for further enlightenment. Although, no more stadium fries, please.