Baseball is ridiculous right now. And it is annoying. But I’m not giving up on it or shouting my outrage because why would I? There are so many worse things in this world to be outraged about right now. Tragic things. The delay of baseball is not tragic.
Sports are a business, we all know that. And where money is involved things can get ugly. This is not a surprise. Baseball, at times, can seem especially dysfunctional. Why the mechanism that is baseball would take so long to get its act together, resulting in a delay of their very own opening day is a head scratcher. It’s self-defeating. They’ve had since November 2, 2021 to get it together. Four months. Before that really as presumably they didn’t start thinking about the 2022 season on November 3. But maybe they did. There has been Major League Baseball since 1903. They’ve had 119 years to come up with a plan to settle their business before baseball season starts. You’d think, even with the inevitable contract negations, fine tunings of the game (necessary and unnecessary) and complicated scheduling they’d pretty much have a template in place. So yeah, it’s annoying.
But…baseball is sweet. It’s a confetti of American history, sport, family, hot dogs, winning, losing, being soaked to the skin in spring rain and almost on fire in the stands in the summer if you live in St. Louis. It’s your favorite players, it’s the coaches and managers you either love or hate, it’s a large red bird prowling the stands. It’s your fellow fans you celebrate with or with whom you share your disappointment/disgust. It’s the grass. It’s the National Anthem squeaked honked out by some middle school band. It’s the incredible double play. The heartbreaking strike out. The impossible, improbable win.
I grew up in Central California listing to the San Francisco Giants on a scratchy radio in the backyard with my Dad. Willie Mays, Willie McCovey (my favorite), Bobby Bonds, Gaylord Perry, Juan Marichal. Those were my guys. I was crushed when I found out I would never play first base for my beloved Giants. I couldn’t believe it. How could that be? But I still loved baseball. When I moved to St. Louis twenty-three years ago I was not onboard with the Cardinals. I tolerated going to their games. It was too damn hot that’s for sure. The fog never rolled in. In 2020 I decided it was ridiculous not be a Cardinals fan and I tried but it didn’t take. Then last year, the 2021 season, everything clicked into place and I was one hundred percent in with the Cardinals. I was their number one fan.
Now I wait to see what happens next. I know baseball in 2022 will happen. It’s just matter of time. I know that when I go to my first game or listen to it on the radio in my own backyard everything will be like it always is with baseball. Happy, sad, fun, frustrating, salty and deliciously sweet