Baseball is back…

…but it really isn’t baseball.

Sure, they are playing the game. That part I like. I have missed it. Spring Training, when I was there in February, feels like a lifetime ago at this point.

But, with the shortened season, rule changes for said short season, and all the protest stuff going on before and during the game, it doesn’t feel the same. I love the game, but it just isn’t the same.

I likely won’t watch.

I maybe probably will listen. Maybe. Probably.

I am torn.

selective focus grayscale photography of baseball

Photo by Rachel Xiao on Pexels.com

Sit down

man wearing green polo shirt sitting in front of wooden counter

This is not the guy and this is not the bar. But you get the idea. Photo by Daria Sannikova on Pexels.com

Ok, so I missed a day. Yesterday.

I tried really hard to not have something to Piss and Moan about. I almost actually made it the whole day. I mean, really, what could I possibly find to complain about while I am on this vacation? Baseball. Sun. Beer. Best friend. Good food. Can it get better than that? Probably not.

But, the day just wasn’t the same if I didn’t find something…and then it happened. Tonight at dinner. Talk about irritating.

We were at a sports bar and having some food and drinks. There weren’t that many people in the place, maybe 20, so there were lots of empty tables, even empty seats at the bar.

So, we found a table that was up against the wall so we all could see the TVs above the bar. One TV had the opening night of the NFL Combine. One TV had the Houston & Washington spring training baseball game on. The other TV close to the bar had TMZ on (what the hell??).

We ordered our food and because watching the various TVs and then this guy comes in and takes a chair at the bar in front of the TV with the combine on it…which is the seat right in front of us…and then he doesn’t even sit down, he stands instead of using the chair. So, he blocks the view of the TV completely.

Dude, sit your ass down! No, better yet, find a different seat. There are a hundred other chairs in this place and you have to sit right in front of the TV, in front of us, so we can’t see it? Can we say someone was a little just into himself and oblivious to anyone else in the world?

Rude, dude, rude.

Astounded

opened mouth black haired boy in gray full zip jacket standing on grass field taking selfie

Photo by Film Bros on Pexels.com

So, at the end of next month I’ll be attending Spring Training in Arizona for the first time. It’s a trip I have long looked forward to and, honestly, I can’t wait to get away from everything right now and just inhale baseball (even though I am irritated with the sport right now). I just like to sport too much to not have a good time.

Anyway, as I am prepping for the trip I am going to be adding some team attire to my wardrobe. Just general team attire, nothing with an athlete’s name on it. I don’t really believe in wearing someone else’s name on my back (though I would probably do it if it were free or a gift, but I definitely wouldn’t buy it for myself).

So, as I am scrolling through the selections I can’t help but be astounded that teams are still charging full (or very near full) price for shirts/jerseys that have the names of players who are no longer on the team. Traded, retired, disgraced, dead…doesn’t matter who they are, they still want a near premium for the clothing. Astounding.

Why do people spend money on team attire for a player who is no longer playing on the team? Are they in the Hall of Fame? Might be justifiable. That’s the only reason I can fathom at the moment. Great player, or one of the greatest for the team? Possibly, but not really a reason to pay near full price.

I just don’t get it. But then, I don’t really get wearing someone else’s name on your back either.

Guess I don’t buy into that sort of propaganda.

 

Cheaters

sport ball baseball play

Photo by Anastasia Zhenina on Pexels.com

I love baseball. I always have.

I hate cheaters.

Sadly, the sport I love has been spoiled by cheaters. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time and that makes me really sad. Maybe sad isn’t the right word. It definitely leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Houston = cheaters. It seems very likely that Boston will also = cheaters. Possibly the New York Yankees and New York Mets will be found to = cheaters. How far does this really go? Will we ever really know?

This whole thing about stealing signs isn’t really a new thing, per se, but it’s how they did it. Secret cameras, analysis, and then relaying that information to batters is really underhanded.

There have been cheating scandals before. Steroids. Corked bats. Pine tar. “Foreign substances” on pitcher’s uniforms. It’s all been done before. But, in most cases, those were really done by individual players and often (we assume) not at the approval of management or others on the team.

That’s why this is different. This was organized, and systematic. It may have been “player driven,” but management approved it and implemented it.

I am headed to spring training in Arizona at the end of February for the first time. It’s been a goal of mine since I was little. I am looking forward to the trip because of the people I’ll be with and for the baseball, because I love the game.

But, I have to admit there is a little bit of me that thinks the pop of the glove, the smell of the grass, and the crack of the bat just don’t have quite the same appeal as they did before.

What do you think about the whole thing? Is it a big deal or not?

Non-competitive

white baseball ball on brown leather baseball mitt

Photo by Steshka Willems on Pexels.com

So, up here in the Seattle region, there have been a lot of years where our professional sports teams haven’t been competitive.

We once had the Sonics who won the world championship way back in the last 70’s. They don’t even exist any longer. We have had the Seahawks really step things up over the last 7 or 8 years with a playoff team and two trips in a row to the Superbowl, even winning the first. There is the Storm and they have won several championships, but there aren’t really that many people who pay attention to them. We also have the Sounders and they have won some a title or two as well, and for the “most popular sport in the world” they do draw huge crowds of rabid fans here. Finally, there are the Mariners…40+ years of mostly irrelevant baseball.

The Mariners have been a modern demonstration of Sisyphus. Yes, there have been a couple seasons where it seemed they might actually break through, only to have them end with a mighty crash and burn. As fans, we actually go into every season with hope for the boys of summer but actually know it is just a practice in futility. This season is no better.

It’s “rebuild” season again…and they’re bad. Competitive in two seasons? Yeah, not likely.

Good thing I just love baseball or I would have stopped paying attention a long time ago.