With football fast approaching and the final month of the season upon us, I decided to reflect on the little things that make me come back to the greatest game on earth every spring.
Earlier this year I tried to think of all the reasons I enjoy watching baseball. I came up with a few…..
I love the subtle strategy on the field, like the way a base runner times a pitchers pick-off move and the way a pitcher tries to disguise it.
I love watching all the hitters go through their routine before stepping into the box. A grip of the glove, a tap of the toes, a twirl of the bat, all with a precise rhythym . Each one completely different, yet all ending with the same goal….be productive. (Nomar Garciaparra will always have the best one in my opinion.)
I love watching a pitchers wind up. From Fernando to Nomo, like the hitters routine, none of them are identical, yet they all want the same result. (I will never forget seeing Fernando Valenzuela pitch for the first time. I looked back at my dad in awe, who shot back, “I better not see you try that on the mound!”)
I love the different stadiums and how they effect the games. Of the four major sports, baseball is the only one where the actual construct of a stadium and its’ relation to the field of play, not the noise of the crowd, can effect the outcome of a game. Hockey, basketball, and football can’t claim this. In Boston they have the Green Monster and Pesky’s Pole, in Chicago they have the ivy and the “wells” in the right and left field corners (let’s not forget the bullpens that are practically in the field of play). Houston has Tal’s Hill not too mention a flag pole in center field.
I love watching the managers pace the dugout. I try to figure out what they are thinking at any given moment.
I love a soggy hot dog wrapped in tin foil. I eat them bare. No condiments.
I like grass, not astro turf.
I love bad beer in a wax cup. It only tastes good in a ballpark. A $7 Budweiser never taste so good. The second I get home it tastes like crap.
I love Peanuts by the bag full. Shell on.
I HATE August baseball when my team is out of it! It lasts an eternity! (I had to throw one dislike in there)
I love September call ups, especially when there is good young talent to watch.
I love watching an umpire call a strike. Some guys are very subtle and generic. Some act like they want to be the show itself.
I love how a team can suck one day and look like World Series champs the next.
These are just a few, what about you?