Baseball was once America's favorite sport. America was "baseball, apple pie, and Mom." And I think the order was correct. It's since fallen back a bit in public appeal. I like baseball. Couldn't play it worth a darn when I was a kid but that doesn't matter. I didn't really fall in love with it until my son took an interest. When he entered into the Pony League system (the Little League wasn't as readily available) at age 8, he was awkward, uncoordinated. Face it, he was a clumsy kid.
Baseball didn't change that, he remained clumsy. What it did was teach him how to compensate for that clumsiness. He became a utility infielder... and a pitcher... and got good at it. And I became interested in baseball. My love of baseball has waned over the years, I rarely watch a game on TV now. I no longer have a favorite team. I couldn't tell you who's leading what division. Mostly, I no longer care.
Still, when I read the following article, I was intrigued.
Think of it, you are pitching the game of your life, it's the top of the ninth with two outs and just one batter stands in the way of a perfect game. Twenty-six batters have come up and twenty-six went down. You throw the pitch, the batter hits a bouncer between first and second, the first baseman fields it, tossing it back to you as you cover first and you and the ball beat the batter to the base and the first base umpire calls... "Safe!"
That's baseball. It is heartbreak and joy. Game fall on both bad and good calls. But everyone seems to agree (including the ump) that this one was The Bad Call.
So, maybe they should expand instant replay to all calls instead of just home run calls.
Or maybe not. I think back to all the bad calls that cost and gave games to the teams my son played on and I wonder. Isn't that part of the game? The lesson my son (and I) learned was that you may do everything right and someone else might turn it into failure. Life hands out unfairness liberally and you must learn to shrug it off and keep going.
So I am not so sure we want to sanitize it, make it mistake proof. Besides, it would take all the fun out of booing the umpire. And it would no longer be the game my son played.
A Night Unremembered
7 years ago