Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Thing About Baseball

For the past few weeks, my husband has been watching the baseball playoffs, so I have been, too, and I've decided that I should become a baseball fan. Everything that they say about the game is true: It's elegant, it's subtle, it has this strange mix of skill and luck, players don't injure their brains playing it. Here's what they don't tell you about baseball: It makes you miserable. Watching my husbands face last night while the Phillies were marching toward their one run loss of the game and so the series, it was full of pain. David is usually ebullient. I rely on his positive energy but baseball robbed me of that. Even in profile. I could see the parade of horribles marching across his forehead. And it wasn't just him. Everyone in the stands looked awful. Even when there was hope, when the Phillies had men on base and an out or two to spare, you could practically reach into the TV screen to cut the tension in the crowd. Seriously, it felt like watching the first (and best) season of "24". When I mentioned this state of perpetuated pain to a baseball fan (not my husband) he said, "But that's the beauty of it!" Apparently if you love baseball, you relish the sweet tension of it all. But if you, like me, can't look at a traffic jam without seeing the melting glaciers of the Himalayas, then maybe tension inspired by not knowing what combination of skill and luck is going to work out and for whom isn't what you, or I, need. I don't know if I'll fall in love with baseball next season, but I do know that the one happy accident of the Phillies' failure to make it to the World Series is I won't have to endure the terrible pressure of watching the games. And now, I have the whole winter to get ready for next season. In the meantime, I'll stock up on worry beads.

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