I’ve Lost That Baseball Feeling
I’m a sports talk show host, which means I have to watch sports. Literally, it’s my job and I must do it if I want to continue in my line of work.
But I’m also a sports FAN, which means I would watch sports whether it was for my job or not. This is very convenient.
However lately, when it comes to baseball, the line is getting blurry. But before I start, let me get a couple things clear:
1. I’m not attacking you or your love of baseball. You do you. It’s not that I don’t understand the game or think you’re a bad person for loving it.
2. I’m a lifelong Giants fan. You may think it’s some sort of extended hangover from the last decade and the trophies that came with it, but I’m telling you- I’ve been hearing this dull buzz of disillusionment grow to a roar for a few years now.
3. I’m not talking about playoff baseball. That’s completely different.
I also feel the need to extend to you my baseball credential:
I played baseball my entire childhood, all the way through high school. I’ve played every position. For a 3 year stretch in elementary school, I smashed about every ball I hit. The game was easy. And for 3 years in junior high/high school, I was a pretty good pitcher. Touched 89 on a Cleveland Indians’ scout radar at 16. I loved the game.
As a fan, I rooted for those 100 loss Chili Davis/Johnny LeMaster teams. I remember Jeff Leonard and his one flap down, Roger Craig’s Humm Babies, and my favorite athlete in any sport ever: Will Clark.
I anguished when Dusty Baker pulled Russ Ortiz in ‘02, when we won over 100 games and finished second to the Braves in the NL West (!), and finally those Bochy led title years.
One last thing: my parents both graduated Florida State University. They used to dress me in FSU onesies. Buster Posey was a ‘Nole, and has played his entire hall of fame career for the Giants.
I’m a fan.
But increasingly, opening day beckons and I just don’t really care. Games come on and I watch them out of the corner of my eye. It’s background noise. 1 of 162.
The season is sooooo lonnnnnnnnng.
The games are soooooo lonnnnnnng.
Football and basketball excite me. MMA excites me. Heck for the last few years I’ve watched more golf than baseball, which is insane.
Is it how they market their players?
Is it that the season is too long?
Is it the game has changed?
One last thing- my pals Willie, Chris, Brett, Sean, and myself would stay up all night Saturday nights during the summer until the Sunday edition of the Sacramento Bee would come out, the one with the two full pages of baseball stats (team by team, player by player).
We’d then grab donuts and coffee and drive to Willie’s Dad’s shop downtown because it had a computer. We’d take turns reading Will the numbers, and at the end of a 4 hour session we’d crowd around the winner to see who was in first place in our fantasy league.
Before ESPN or CBS or Fantrax or any other place, back when people thought an “app” was something you ate at Applebee’s before the entree, we did our fantasy baseball stats by hand.
Was it the magic of my youth? A different time? Baseball was by far and away my #1 love, but now that love is waning, and I don’t know why.