Today was a good day in the field, left field that is...literally. A few times a year the Diamondbacks play a day game during the week and it is my guilty pleasure to take a good friend and hang out with about 20,000 other people who are playing hooky from work at the ball park. Most people who know me know that I really like baseball, in fact my boss even called me a “rabid baseball fan”. But the things I like about baseball don’t generate a rabid intensity, that would be like saying you are a rabid Buddhist.
I like a lot of things about baseball, first and foremost, there is no clock...no best two minute offense...no ten second countdown...it is as Yogi Berra said “over when it’s over” and that strikes a chord with me. I’m one of those people with a genetic time keeper that makes it almost impossible for me to show up late for anything, even when I want to be fashionably late, it just doesn’t happen. That served me well during my 30 years in TV news where we all lived or died (or at least our news directors thought we did) by deadlines. In all that time I never missed my live shot time slot. Was it always pretty?...well, let’s not go there. So I appreciate maybe more than most the idea of “it’s over when it’s over” not when time just runs out.
Baseball is an easy game that anybody can play, but is it a deceptively difficult game to play well. Hitting a good fastball is really, really hard. And I admire the guys who can do it as well as the guys who can hurl it. I marvel at the right fielder who can throw a bullet to home plate and deny a run or a speedster on the bases who stretches a single into a double. It’s even fun to watch the manager and umpire get into a good dirt kicking fight once in a while. But the thing I like most about baseball is that when I watch the game I can enjoy it on whatever level of involvement I wish to employ. I can sit back with a beer, or two, and a hot dog, or two and just take in the simple “hit the ball, catch the ball, throw the ball” aspects of the game or I can get caught up in the strategic complexities the managers apply to each hitting situation. For a simple game it has a rule book the size of a Buick, but it can be as elemental or as complex for me as I wish to make it on that day.
So, yes, I like baseball - for all that it is and for what it doesn’t have to be.
One more thing I find interesting; baseball is the only sport where the defense controls the ball.
Think about that for awhile.
And how you might apply it in your life.