Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Baseball first, teams second

Let me start by saying that I love baseball first and foremost.

No disrespect to the Mariners, but if they went away, I'd most likely still enjoy the game. There is an inherent beauty to it that I don't find anywhere else in life.

Why? Because I love the game. I enjoy playing it, watching it, reading about it, and talking about it.

For me, baseball is a year round deal. There's almost always something going on, and if there isn't, you can talk about what went on, what might go on, or what you want to go on.

There's a rhythm to it, a pace, and a mindset that is in sync with my own rhythm, pace, and mindset.

My earliest memories of baseball go back to watching Mariners games with my grandma in the back room of her house; she'd make Jiffy Pop on the stove and I'd get the game on. We'd spend the hot summer days watching the Mariners struggle against whomever they happened to be playing at the time. It was in that room with her that I watched the earthquake strike prior to the 1989 World Series between the A's and Giants, and the worry we felt because my uncle - her youngest son - and his family lived in Oakland and we couldn't get a hold of them.

I never played baseball competitvely, for reasons I'm still not sure of. I had a glove and a bat, I dressed up as a ballplayer for Halloween a couple of times, I played catch in the yard, but I think that since my grade school didn't have a team like it did for basketball, soccer, and volleyball, for some reason playing baseball didn't get on the radar.

Side note -- I may at some point try and have a sit down discussion about why I didn't play baseball as a child. I've tried to discuss it, but coming from a family rooted in conflict avoidance, I can't say I've gotten a satisfactory response. Stay tuned for an update.

Nevertheless, I've come to the point where I think I should stop this post -- my mind is drifting, and as I am writing this while I watch the Mariners battle the Yankees in a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the 8th with T.J. Bohn pinch-hitting for Chris Snelling, which means that Bohn is making his major league debut trying to drive in the go-ahead run against Ron Villone and the Yankees in front of 42,000 people. No pressure. What happened? You should have been watching or listening.


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