Saturday, May 18, 2013

Out to the Ball Game

That's where I took the missus and kiddies, to see the Rochester Red Wings, one of "only six franchises in the history of North American professional sports [that] have been playing in the same city and same league continuously and uninterrupted since the 19th century," and to what was probably the best game I ever saw live — Red Wings again knock off Bulls.

What a hoot! What family fun! Minor League Baseball is where it's at! Baseball, since it is not tied to artificial constraints like clocks, is the only spectator team sport I know of that requires so much attention and concentration that a mob mentality among fans simply cannot develop.

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Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Glad to hear the game was great. I am a fan of our local team, the Spokane Chiefs, and love to go to the games. So much more fun than MLB! Your observation about the intellectual qualities of the game are spot on, and you are right about the much more civilized tone of fan activity. A sign of the game's origin in a more civilized time in American life when it came to things like common decency and manners.

Baseball isn't simply a game, it is a game that incorporates an entire way of being in the world. Individual excellence and team-coordination. Fastidious attention to the rules with individual initiative. Decorum and, as you noted, a lack of obsession with artificial time constraints. Get the job done no matter how long it takes.

And, with all that in mind, it shows how baseball reflects an ethos of ordered liberty.

May 18, 2013 at 5:33 PM  
Blogger Iosue Andreas Sartorius said...

Amen, amen, amen. Very well said. The last sporting event I went to was our local National Lacrosse League team, and as fun as that ancient sport with its history is, the mood was much like a hockey or football game: lots of tension and mob mentality. At last night's game, even with the grand slam, no one lost control of himself.

I, too, find the MiLB much more fun than the MLB, but I wonder what reasons you have for that.

May 18, 2013 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Localism. Local teams with local fans, with the game played at a human scale.

Along with this scale is the fact that the players aren't nearly as polished, and that given the pay scale most of them are playing for the sheer love of the game and an outside shot of getting moved up into the majors. When we go to our local field to watch, it is clear that most of the players are playing largely for the joy of the game.

Much of MLB looks staged to me, given the massive amount of money that is spent preparing and training players and planning the games. Minor league -- not so much! And it is the mistakes, the flubs, and the unexpected great plays that make the games more exciting.

That said, I am chagrined that I misidentified our local team in my first comments. Our baseball team is the Spokane Indians. My apologies!

May 19, 2013 at 1:11 AM  
Blogger Iosue Andreas Sartorius said...

Well said! Great name for your team as well, honoring a noble people.

May 19, 2013 at 7:59 AM  

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