It’s springtime and that can only mean one thing…
It’s baseball season.
Which in turn means one other thing…
It’s the time of year when I concentrate an inordinate amount of self-produced enthusiasm to things such as the NHL Playoffs, NBA Playoffs, the Masters, etc. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if I am anti-baseball, I’ve loved the game forever and I always will. And it’s also not as if I love every second of the NBA and NHL either. Aside from watching my ugly yet beloved Flyers and the occasional Nuggets game, the two leagues are on the ‘back burner’ for me until the One Shining Moment montage is completed. However, I just can’t get excited for the beginning of baseball season. It’s because I’m afraid I’ll kill it.
Every summer of every year I watch baseball. I eat hot dogs, I crack sunflower seeds and I watch the beautiful national pastime from the top of the first, to the bottom of the ninth, with an occasional stretch in the seventh. I love the simplicity of the game, the sound of the crack of a bat, the extraordinary spin on a breaking ball and the heavy helping of Americana that is layered within it all. However, I love those things in the summer. Not now. Now there are professionals in other leagues scrapping and clawing for births in the playoffs. In a couple of weeks they same leagues will be full of teams staving off elimination and the ends of their seasons. Would I rather watch Jon Rauch labor through a seventh inning jam than that? No chance in hell.
My enthusiasm grows with every day that the heat index rises and the ability to move without sweating diminishes. I want baseball back in my life, but I have to wait until July and August to get comfortable with it again. Until then, it feels so forced. By the time the middle of the summer rolls around, I’ll be ready and my relationship with baseball will blossom again. A beautiful thing. It will come into full bloom when the pennant races are heating up and the playoffs begin. I’m afraid that if I begin our relationship any sooner, it will die out before we even get to watch Independence Day fireworks together. It may wither and drift away.
I’d like to ask all the baseball aficionados out there to excuse my explanation, seeing as how I’m probably not completely sane to begin with. But in the interest of baseball and myself resuming a functional (albeit conditional) relationship down the line, I have to give America’s pastime some space. It’s not the game, it’s me.