Sunday, September 29, 2013

Is Baseball D.O.A.?

We don't write letters anymore, we tweet. We don't wait for things to boil or cook, we want instant. We don't take the time to stop and smell the roses, we have too much to do.

We are a society bombarded with sights and sounds at ever rising decibels. The art of reflection is disappearing. And so is the romance of a game that in this day and age can be agonizingly slow.

It arrives in late spring and doesn't leave until the winter coats have been pulled from the closet. It has too much time from one staccato piece of action that may take a second to complete to the next, too many pitching changes, too much standing around. It is most often now a late night exercise, no longer allowing the warm sun of a summer afternoon to radiate upon one's face. It doesn't scream, it talks.  It is not frantic but calm. It doesn't demand our attention. It is not very much 21st century.

Football and basketball have time clocks. There is frenetic movement of large bodies of people. Music often assaults the senses from loudspeakers that won't permit contemplation and rest. These are endeavors that lend themselves to video games with their immediacy and their intensity.

I may be one of a dying breed of lovers of the game of baseball. Yes, I am often distracted and may be even occasionally disinterested while in attendance. So what is the allure?

Maybe it is just me trying to hold onto the smell of a new leather glove, of putting a rubber band tight around it to bend it into shape. Maybe it is just me clinging to the memory of my father, standing in the third base coaching box as I hold the bat firmly in hand and await the opportunity to show him what I am capable of accomplishing.

Maybe it is just that I like the chance this game permits me to have my now grown children in a place where we can focus on one another and not all the distractions of the universe. Maybe this is an oasis where there is nowhere I have to go, nothing calling my name, no next, only this moment and these people, at our speed and our pleasure.

Whether intended or not, there is clear double meaning in the title of this piece. "Is the game over?" reflects an impatience on our part that is perhaps an inevitability in today's increasingly fast paced world. 

1 comment:

El Ganso said...

It's a maddening game - It can be slow,and time consuming, but it can also be incredibly beautiful when you see a great play or when you enter a stadium for the first game of the season, and you see and smell the tailored infield clay and manicured outfield grass.
It's a game that transcends the seasons, and it is a game that while it is played in the present, it recalls the past, and it portends hope for the future - there's always next year!