Monday, May 26, 2008
Enjoy your Memorial Day
We will conclude our Top Twenty Final Poll next Monday after all of the state championships and sectionals are completed. In the meantime, enjoy and article from Michael Fisk.
You know you've raised your children right when they think the National Anthem ends, "...and the home of the brave. PLAY BALL!" Baseball is the game, not the business. In modern Major League Baseball the game still exists, though sometimes you have to dig past the salary disputes and drug scandals. You have to look past the home runs, too, though they are an exciting part of the game. They are just a part.
More exciting is the triple. Eric Young lines a smash down into the left-field corner that skips past the fielder. As the elusive spheroid caroms about the outfield, EY kicks it into high gear. His Rockies (or Cubs, or Giants) cap flies off and holds his place at second in case he doesn't make it to third. And here comes the throw...is it in time? There's something about that cap flying off. Did Willie Mays ever make a catch or take an extra base with his cap on?
How about a rifle throw from deep right field to nail an overbold runner? Think Larry Walker, or remember the immortal Roberto Clemente.
The squeeze play. Remember the squeeze play? And after the play, squeeze play or any of the others, there is time in between. The shortsighted ones say this is what is boring. But this is the time for the fans to discuss and commiserate amongst each other. Was that a good play? Is the umpire an idiot or a saint (no in-betweens!)? What should everyone have done instead of what they did? Did you hear about the play just like it in the 1948 Series?
Look to the past, to the Great Ones, the Baseball Gods. Forget about the salary cap for a minute. Mickey Mantle. Hank Aaron. Ted Williams. Ty Cobb. Pete Browning. And of course the baseball equivalent of Zeus (or maybe Bacchus), Babe Ruth. The names conjure up a whole series of memories, of life on the diamond and off, for better or worse. But what they have in common is a love of the game. The challenge for today's players is to make the love of the game more dominant than the love of the paycheck.
In fact, they MUST do so, and the focus MUST turn back to the game itself. The beauty of the game is in the playing. The only way baseball will survive is to remember that.