Lori and I have the weekend off and we need to get out into the world. We stay home pretty much every weekend and enjoy it a ton..it's relaxing, low stress and we get to reconnect with each other...but this weekend we're feeling the need to do something recreational. Since we almost never leave the house voluntarily, I solicited some ideas from my friends at work. They were mostly useless except as comic relief.
I was trying to come up with something cheap and local since gas is so expensive. I asked Val if she'd ever been to a Miners game (the Southern Illinois Miners is our local minor league team) and she said, "I actually thought baseball season was over. It seems like it's already been going on for a really long time, doesn't it?"
Okay...maybe we're not the only ones who need to get out of the house occasionally...hmmm?
For those of you longing for a mercifully short baseball season...baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. It's 162 games during the regular season and 20-ish more in the playoffs. The object of the game is to still have at least 9 players at the end of that time who are uninjured AND don't suck. And if you've got an extra pitcher or two who isn't just trying to make it until his post-season elbow reconstruction surgery, that's a plus.
Baseball isn't like NASCAR...it's not one brutally hellish day in the hot sun drinking crappy beer. It's 80 hellish days in the hot sun, and another 80 in the bug-infested night. It's 10 mile long lines to get into the women's bathroom, it's $9 a cup Budweiser, it's a $12 hot dog. It's tradition. People who get up in the seventh inning to "beat the crowd"? Losers. Quitters. For my $35 ticket in the nosebleed seats, I want my money's worth. Not only an I going to stay for the entire game until they shut off the stadium lights, but I may hang around the clubhouse, follow a player out to his car and steal his hubcaps. Hell, he makes more money in the 30 seconds it takes to call 911 than I will in my lifetime.
I came of age during the Ryne Sandberg/Leon Durham/Ron Cey era of the Chicago Cubs. No one understands the concept of overpaid underachievers like we veteran fans of the 80's Cubs. We listened faithfully, knowing that we'd never be able to get thse 486 wasted hours per season back again. The important things were that A) the Cubs played in the daytime, so you could listen to Harry Carey's idiotic babble at work, and B) you could enjoy the spring successes while still looking forward in anticipation of the inevitable post-All Star break crash. Will it be July? August? When will the Cubbies have that 20 game losing streak?
Because baseball is a patient person's game.
So yes, Valerie...there is a baseball season still. And it will still end in heartbreak for most of the nation's fans. Long after the $9 beer has been urinated in the parking lot, long after the stupid Mardi Gras beads, the big foam finger, the Health Care Worker Tribute Day souvenir ball cap are all thrown away...there will still be another 120 games left in the season.