Monday, October 26, 2009

World Serious

Are you serious, baseball in November? Given rain delays and the demands of television which dictate the scheduling it is now certain that the games will extend beyond October.

In our collective imagination baseball is a pastoral game but the pasture is frozen. On city streets the manhole cover is no longer home plate; it’s the new goal line. You can't play stickball with galoshes. Footballs are spiraling, basketballs are dribbling yet baseball goes on.

Abner Doubleday did not invent baseball; baseball invented him. He was, indeed, a real person, a civil war officer but his connection to the game ranks up there with Casey and Mudville. In fact baseball probably goes back to the first caveman when he hit a rock with a stick. Maybe there was a championship game between the Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals. But it was surely played on a hot summer day.

I can hardly wait for the season to be officially done so the real competition can begin with free agency, trades and arbitration supplying our fantasies for the coming year. A baseball fan never sleeps.

In recent years the World Series has become well-named. The major leagues are filled with players from Caribbean countries, Central and South America, Canada, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and has now spread to The Netherlands. There was only one Anglo among the position players for the Dodgers starting team this year. The game has practically been out-sourced and the sweat-shops have returned to our shores. But the players own the shop.

Being a baseball fan is a humbling experience. The best players fail twice as often as they succeed. No one questions this ratio anymore than the distance between bases. It feels like an a priori number. Yet the dimensions of each ballpark are different. Some things must just be accepted. Life ain’t fair. Umps miss calls. If you’re on a streak, don’t gloat. If you knew what you’re doing right you would never have any slumps. Stop thinking so much and remember, for everything there is a season, turn, turn, turn.

1 comment:

  1. Simple solution. Change the name of "Baseball" to "Snowball."