Global Outrage of an Educated Man.....vol.3
"Baseball Ray, Baseball"
It is that time of year again. The leaves are going to be waking up to drops of rain, crying to be turned green. The arms stretching, the legs acheing and the opening of the cabins, after almost getting the fever from another winter. It is the rebirth of the seasons, the spring ahead and the eager anticipation of what is to come. It is the time of early evening, late afternoon strolls through the neighborhood, with the eminating smells of barbecues, the sounds of children laughing and the dogs barking at the passers-by. It is the ever burdensome chore of having to rake leaves after work, to mow the lawn again, to brush the salt from the curb into the street and to tolerate the ever changing mood swings of the weather. It is the time of traditions, stolen from the lines of CBS, "unlike any other".
For me and for the many countless mass of others, it is the hope that maybe this year will be the year that the Cubs will finally win a World Series....because hell, the end has to be near....if the Red Sox can do it, why not the Cubs? It is the breath that is being held to the hope that Joe Mauer's knees will hold out to produce what we as Twins fans know and fear, that maybe in the long run, we may have had Mark Prior....but then again, look what he's become the last year and a half.....and he may end up like another promising Donruss rookie card...ie; Gregg Jefferies or Ricky Jordan, and don't worry if some of you don't know what the hell I'm talking about, because, there are only a select few with the tolerance and patience and some sort of loss of common sense to care and love a sport that has been defined as our national pastime...and you know who you are.
A game without a time limit. A game that began with the soldiers of the Civil War, while in between battles of killing their fellow Americans, decided that they needed to unwind in a matter unbeloved by many, cherished by a multitude and tolerated by many a wife on a Saturday afternoon, and thanks to ESPN, Wednesday and Sunday night. From the suicidal hard hitting, base stealing, quite possibly the greatest to ever play the game, racist recklessness of Ty Cobb, to the almost baffoonly brilliant vice gripped sultan of swat, who may have been the best pitcher as well for that era, our cherished Babe, to the graceful strides of Dimaggio, the barrier breaking of Robinson, the confidence and perfection of the swing of Ted Williams, the ability to track down fly balls with his back turned to the infield Mays, a left handed fireballer named Kofax, a green monster defender simply known as Yas, because his last name is too hard to spell, and a showman called Reggie...to our now present time of drug testing, lockouts, 70 homerun seasons and salaries that eclipse life saving doctors, courage embedded fireman and the never dying hope of teachers everywhere that despite their lack of salary still continue to do what is necessary. To the men and women who see that the solution is to not build more prisons....but maybe ballparks.
But despite all of its present drawbacks, it is still and only a pastime. A way to relieve the stresses of our growing ever so rapidly monotonous routine of the traffic jams of 9-5, Monday thru Friday for 30 to 40 years of our lives....that makes it all worthwhile and necessary. To toss peanuts under your seat at the stadium, spit sunflower seeds in the summer sun, to throw the lids of our recently purchased frosty malt cups, to holler at an umpire and players hundreds of feet away, and to discuss will Ichiro be the man to finally hit .400 again? Where one doesn't have to be a 6-5 giant of 300lbs to be a success or 7ft tall, have a vertical leap of 45" or run a 4.2/40. All one has to do, is to do what is considered the most difficult thing in all of sport, and that is to hit a round ball coming towards you at 80-90mph with a round wooden bat, 60ft 6inches away. Now that's science....and that's what I call fun. The game that was and is our national pastime has a purpose. It is needed. It is America. Like the sport, we are not perfect, but we strive to be. So "friends, Romans, countrymen", lets play ball.