Whither Goest Baseball?

Baseball fans seeking autographs get creative.

Baseball fans seeking autographs get creative.

Sports have occupied a significant swath of my own personal history. Baseball is the one that has garnered the majority of that attention.

Baseball was the first sport that I played; it was the sport that my father handed down to me and in turn, I passed on to my own son. I was a talented player throughout high school and into college and continued to play some form of competitive baseball until the age of 39. I then coached and ran a local college-level summer league for five years. I even wrote a book about baseball and its history in Maine, post-WWII.

To say baseball was significant in my life minimizes its role in who I was. That’s why it feels odd this spring to have so little interest in what once was one of the prime anchors in my life.

I can’t tell you why I no longer cared a few weeks ago when Mut and Merloni (on WEEI) were discussing whether Jackie Bradley would make the Red Sox club out of spring training. For Sox fans, it was a major storyline. Five years ago I would have had an opinion. Three years ago, I would have followed it and been knowledgeable about the finer points of the discussion. This March, I was ambivalent.

I’ve written about opening day in the past. This year, I didn’t even know the time of the first pitch when the Sox opened in New York. I thought the game started later in the day. Only the workplace discussion around the middle of the afternoon tipped me off that the game had begun earlier.

I still follow NBA basketball and my beloved Celtics. Why the lack of interest in baseball this spring? It baffles me a bit.

Part of this shift in interest might involve the awareness that sports require an investment of time that I no longer have or want to give. When people say that “there aren’t enough hours in the day,” that expression has taken on a new meaning in my life at the moment. I have a lot I want to do and accomplish this year and baseball games cut into that precious commodity. The scarce leisure time I have, I’m choosing to spend it with my better half, Mrs. B, doing some things that we both enjoy. Why stay married for 30+ years if you don’t enjoy spending time with your honey?

I’m sure that I’ll check out a few box scores over the course of 162 games.  I might even take in a game at Hadlock at some point, but it will be more to socialize, and less about the action on the field.

This lack of ardor for the sport that once was my first love probably signifies something deeper; I just don’t care to delve into it today. Maybe I’m just sick of it.

4 thoughts on “Whither Goest Baseball?

  1. Sports, as a “commodity”, is exhausting. For some reason, the Celtics don’t have the same “commodity” quality as the Red Sox have had since they reversed the curse of the Bambino. Maybe it’s Fenway Sports Group contaminating the water with their bricks. Sure, there’s plenty of green hats at the (insert corporate name here) Garden, but Pierce, Garnett, and Doc have larger than life personalities that transcend the hype and the marketing.

  2. I’m wondering if this version of the Red Sox can remove, or at least taper the bad taste from the previous two seasons? Does winning cover a multitude of franchise/ownership sins, or is there a segment of former Sox fans that just never come back?

    When Pierce, Big Ticket, and Doc are long gone, will I be writing another blog post about how I no longer care about the Celtics and the NBA?

    I will tell you that I regularly check San Diego Padres’ box scores for Chris Denorfia, given his Wheaton Lyons’ pedigree, and the obvious Baumer connection with Wheaton College baseball.

  3. I lost interest in the Celtics after Bird, McHale and Parrish were gone. I was living in Terps country when Lenny Bias signed (ecstacy, imagine this fast breaker coming off the bench for Bird, no team could stop them) and then coked himself to death. It was the clarion of the end, with injury after injury quickly following, and then Reggie Lewis.

    Baseball? When the bastards in their greed shoved enough commercials into a televised game to make a1.5 hour game stretch to 3 hours, they lost me. Who has time for that?

    I prefer rugby, 80 minutes of play done in about 100 minutes. And that’s 80 minutes of play, not six seconds of play and then 45 seconds plus a commercial break until the next snap.

    • Rugby’s an interesting sport. Mary’s niece and her husband played it out of college for a number of years. Her niece, all 115 pounds of her, was a ferocious player. Hard to believe some of the women players, especially the larger women, and how rough the game was. Aja’s husband, Nick, broke his nose and his jaw. Tough sport and tough kids.

      I enjoy the Celtics, commercials and all. Pierce and Garnett are throwback players and could have played with Bird and Co.

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