Friday, October 22, 2004

Baseball Writing

Baseball, as an American Sport, is the subject of much love and loss, angst and excitement, pleasure and pain. Baseball, the game itself, is as enjoyable to watch as it is to play, it is unlike any other popular sport, where a team responds to the actions between two players-one throwing- the other batting- and separate team support for these two in their moment relies on the awareness of this play. An extremely democratic game, where the confrontation between two opposing factions is face to face-and the Teams must compete to support this confrontation, much like a candidate and their party support. The game ends when one side wins - there's no real time limit on a game- an inning may be minutes or hours, the pace can be rapid or leisurely- patience may be tried, opportunities missed, a stolen base here, a passed ball there, a clean up hitter left to start the next inning. It is truly a wonderful pastime. Baseball also gave rise to delicious sports reporting of such emotional content that it rises above any other American journalistic endeavor and influences other topical items with allusions to the game in the coverage of American Politics, War, and Culture. Our conversations are peppered with comments like "missed the ball", "struck out", "home run", "on deck", and "in the bullpen". We root for our teams like they are our family. Ecstatic wins and depressing losses, instances which defy logic, canonization of a player's achievement or demonizing failures make great matter for opinion which may be interpreted as a stunning defeat or a miraculous win -depending who's root root rooting for the home team. These are the facets of the diamond which have made Sports journalism a lively read, and provides a full spectrum of interpretation from logistical to the incredible, skill and chance make for an unpredictable game whatever the statistics might suggest, a good team can fail, a bad team can succeed in a game and that game can be all of itself or part of season, it all makes for great subject matter filled with human drama outside our personal dramas. So as these Red Sox try to break the curse (it's not achieved yet), be certain it will matter not if they win or lose but how they play the game. For if they win, they will be perceived to do the same next year, and if they lose, they will be perceived to try again. And that is what Baseball is all about and someone will write about it one way or another.

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