|"No matter what I talk about I always get back to baseball."|
There have been recent talks of the idea that baseball should be on a time clock the way that a football game is and I just about passed out. That would be removing one of the great, truly exciting things about the game. I think of how revved up I get when the game goes over and enters the 11th, then the 13th, it starts to drive me nuts and I get jumpy. I yell at the players - or the television - to end it already. But the truth is, I love it. It's one of those unexpected moments again that baseball brings. One of the most exciting things I have ever experienced as a Phillies fan was as a teenager sitting up and watching that all-nighter in 1993. Mitch Williams a hitter, who woulda thunk it?
There is also talk of implementing a replay rule so that the umpires can correctly call games, which I'm still on the fence about. While I think that umpires today need an ego check - specifically the younger ones - I feel like we are messing with the purity of the sport. There is a heartbreaking quality to baseball that I am kind of used to. That would change it and – well ok maybe that's one new idea to consider. I just don't like change. The truth is I get unhealthily attached to teams, managers (Don't get me started), and years. I find myself unable to let go of times past and you can call that any way you want. The same goes for the way it's played. Would it be the same if we added these new elements? Call me old fashioned but it would feel like something was a bit lost if it changed. But that of course is only my opinion. And according to Ed Wade, Ruben Amaro and David Montgomery fans opinions really don't count. Just the hard earned dollars that we stuff in their pockets.
I have learned a lot from watching baseball players and listening to them. You often hear them talk about the importance of relaxing so that they can do their job more efficiently, that the mental aspect of the game is most important and that once you understand that the rest comes to you. Not bad lessons to apply to life. When they focus they can work wonders and when they don't…Brett Myers anyone?
I know these are all just ramblings but it is simply due to my serious fall/winter illness: baseball withdrawal. I just can't cope so this was my way of sending a love letter to the great game as it goes behind closed office doors and the suits try and make it better for the forthcoming season.
Of baseball I will say, please, don't ever change. And i'll close with this, a speech in the vein of one recited at the end of my favorite baseball movie of all time ("Pride of the Yankees" is tied with it though): I believe that luck plays a big part in baseball, I believe that guts are often more important than talent. I believe in bench clearing brawls that go on for twenty minutes, that umpires ruin careers, and that plunking someone is necessary sometimes. I believe in holding onto homegrown players, that pitching is an art form, that Lenny Dykstra should be in the Hall of Fame (Yes I said it) and I believe that Harry Kalas is more of a Phillie than anyone who wears the uniform. I believe in small ball and the complete game. I believe that baseball is the greatest sport on the face of the earth. And I believe in everything that Crash Davis said.