Though right now it doesn't feel a lot like summer and it is still spring (it is getting down to the 40s at night here and the days are perfect weather--not too cold and not too hot, but just right), the boys of summer are definitely out. Baseball season is on, and I love baseball season. The metaphors are never ending with balls and bats, but honestly, I do love baseball. I have to admit though, that like with all sports, I am not a fan of professional sports. I do not like the MLB, though I do consider myself an Atlanta Braves fan, and I think I realized that I was gay with my love of Jose Canseco back when he played for the Oakland A's (before he became a pumped-up steroid buffoon). Canseco was so hot back then. I collected baseball cards, but most only his. I mostly enjoy watching college sports. The only professional athletes I watch are in men's tennis.
I know what you’re wondering. Why is he so excited about baseball? What is so appealing about a three-hour game where no one gets tackled (football), no one dunks (basketball), guys aren’t punching each other’s teeth out on the ice (hockey), there are no spectacular wrecks (NASCAR), and where there can be sometimes lengthy stretches when, frankly, nothing happens. Why should I watch such a sport? Those above may actually be reasons why most of us may not like sports, but there are many reasons why I love baseball, and I find it so much fun to watch.
Let me get out of the way the totally superficial eye candy reasons why I love baseball. Baseball players have fantastic bodies. They have uniforms that accentuate their assets, and let's face it baseball players tend to have fantastic behinds. What's not to like? Yes, it can be slow, but that is one of the things I love about it. If the game gets boring, you can get up and do something else or take a nap, but still wake up or get back to the game before it ends. Look away from most sports for just a minute and you may miss a huge play, except for NASCAR, when you are guaranteed that they will turn left around the track. However, with baseball, you look up and there is guaranteed to be eye candy on the screen. In the words of Yogi Berra, "Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical." The two together make it a glorious game.
Baseball is, at its core, a conversation. Something happens on the field. We consider it and wonder what might come next. Then another thing happens and we contemplate further. I love baseball because it affords me the opportunity to forget about the mundane concerns of everyday life for a while. Baseball is, in the truest sense, a pastime, i.e., "something that amuses and serves to make time pass agreeably." In a world that demands much of us and our limited time here, there's something to be said for passing it agreeably. As Walt Whitman said, "I see great things in baseball. It's our game - the American game."