Mike Salk celebrates the return of baseball on Mariners Opening Day
Baseball makes me happy.
I mean, it makes me feel a lot of different emotions. It often makes me frustrated, nervous, angry, joyful, excited, bored, sappy, sentimental and too many other things to name. But the fact that I feel all of those things also makes me happy.
It’s my favorite sport and it has been since I was a kid. It is different from all the other sports. It doesn’t have a clock. It is constant. It wears you down. It affects your mood every day. I like that.
Baseball has issues. It doesn’t appeal to a younger audience. It doesn’t fit an ADD culture. It may not market itself well. And it isn’t the same as it was. It is missing some of the intense rivalry that it once had. I miss that.
It ties generations together. It’s slow pace lets us talk to each other while the game is ongoing. It isn’t deafening for three hours – and that is a good thing. It lets us be with each other.
It isn’t football. That’s OK with me. I celebrate the differences.
Baseball is fun to talk about. I grew up with a version of sports radio that was obsessed with baseball. Every day provided an opportunity to talk through the previous night’s decisions, second guessing and commending what worked. Every trade deadline and offseason is a chance to add reinforcements and improve.
Baseball has always had a sense of desperation to me. I grew up rooting for a team that was cursed and would never win. Soon after they broke that curse, I started rooting for a new team that has never won (nor really had a chance to do so). I’m comfortable with the familiarity of desperation and disappointment, though. Maybe that’s because now I know what it feels like to see that end.
Maybe this will be the year.
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