To us, baseball is like opera. Long boring, actionless stretches, punctuated by searing excitement. Then, back to the recits (sung talking in opera known to non-fans as recitatives). Players have to have great concentration, their heads full of mental calculations about “what to do if…” so they will be ready to act instantly if any of the scenarios occurs.
It is also, to us, the quintessential American game. Thinking more about this concept, we realized it is a game for people who get Western ideals of totally responsible individuals playing cooperatively. Sometimes it seems the whole game depends on the pitcher. Other times on the hitter. The Japanese get it – now. Central Americans and people from the Caribbean get it.
It is a game of individuals and heroes, playing as a team, where individual players back each other up in blazing displays of bang-bang teamwork. One of the most exciting plays in the game is the double play of throwing a runner out on second and the quick toss to get the hitter on his way to first base. It’s so fast you could miss it if you aren’t paying very close attention. Far more exciting than a home run, though a bases-loaded home run is a close second.
With no Major or Minor League baseball available to us these days, we enjoy college baseball – Oregon State Beavers! Yay! There was a fabulous, tension-filled game today, which the Beavers won 4-2 over Stanford. Two good things about Beaver baseball these days: it is carried on the Progressive radio station. We suspect most its listeners don’t like baseball. And two, Oregon State is an ag school, so there are lots of ag-related businesses that advertise during the games. Again, the usual listeners must not like that, either. So American and apple pie. Grrrrr.
There are excellent career lessons to be learned watching or playing baseball.