Hurray! Spring time!
Spring always makes me happy as the flowers begin to bloom. It is a wonderful and unpredictable time of the year.
Unpredictable is a great word for any athlete or sports team. With March Madness, prognosticators predict the higher ranked teams, yet there are always one or two Cinderella teams who sneak in. I love cheering for the underdog. This is probably the reason why I never win an office pool and have stopped entering them. It's easier to bury the money in the ground, 'cause I know that I never win. I am the worst gambler (probably in the world). With Atlantic City in driving distance, I have never won a jackpot or taken home my money. I can lose my money in seconds, then have nothing to do while friends and family collect their winnings. Therefore, I have stopped gambling, no more trips to give "The Donald" or Harrahs or Borgota my hard earned money. The ten bucks stays with me....no more slot machines....poker...or roulette....done!
OK, how does unpredictable relate to baseball? The answer is 'many many' ways. Yesterday, I listened to Buddy's game on the radio again. I knew that he would not enter the game, yet stayed glued to the Ipad and the play by play description. The team managed to squeeze a victory passed the nationally ranked team due to great pitching and a few key hits. While listening to the game, one of the opposing team's infielder overthrew his target at third base and the ball sailed into Buddy's dugout. This happens on a number of occasions. No big deal...right? Wrong!
The announcer started to excitedly describe the players in the dugout having words with the infielders and pitchers...then he said that the players in the bullpen as well as the rest of the team stormed onto the playing field and there was some pushing and shoving as well as 'salty' language. Listening to the description, I heard 'bullpen', 'players', 'pushing' and 'salty language'....Immediately I thought "Buddy! you had better be in the bullpen behaving yourself!" Yet, I knew that he was one of the guys on the field protecting his team mates. A good thing perhaps? Inspiring...loyalty abound as each player looked to match up with an opposing player to push around...nice...very school yard....elementary school, perhaps?
After the game was over, Buddy called home and described the scene. He laughed as he talked about the coaches' responses as well as the players....lots of obscenities screamed at one another and a few pushes...that's it. No one was thrown out or injured....a pretty tame scene, he reported.
So, from my perspective, the unpredictable nature of any sport can be inherent in the score, the players' and their abilities to overcome a greater foe, as well as the chance of a melee adding drama to the day. In a way, I wish that I could have witnessed it. But to be honest, hearing the drama played out on the radio gave me a greater appreciation for announcers who have the skills to conjure an image in the listeners' minds. I was on the edge of my seat listening to the game. It brings me back to my days as a kid when I would watch my dad work outside and listen to the Phillies games. He never missed a pitch or at-bat, because he attended the game in his mind. Seeing a game in one's mind requires an imagination and the willingness to let the broadcaster take you on a journey to places like New York, Los Angeles, and Kansas without leaving the comfort of your home.
Have a good day!