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.