It’s the beginning of March and pitchers and catachers reported a few weeks ago. Spring Training games are already under way and this is a special spring, the World Baseball Classic is taking place. Not many Cactus or Grapefruit League games are shown on tv and with the weather warming up, it’s hard for me to resist the desire for a fix of some baseball!
Luckily for me, I got to watch the Netherlands upset the mighty Dominican Republic this morning. Then following this game, the US took on Canada in Toronto. The Americans hung on to win 6-5 in the top of the 9th, as they were the home team. It was fun to watch the game. Baseball to me is a very relaxed game, but requiring mental toughness, strong concentration, and constant development of your skills (heck, in what other sport does a 30% success rate equal excellence!?). I love following the game and lining up the different situations that can occur in my head. As serious as this tournament is, players don’t play the whole game, pitchers are on pitch counts, etc., all in the name of getting them back into MLB shape as Spring Training at their MLB Franchise still goes on. I actually liked this light-heartedness that seemed to be in the game though. But as I mentioned, the tournament and each game is taken seriously.
My case in point – Jason Bay (former Bucco, current Bo Sox) was up for Canada: top 9, 2 outs, down by 1, runner on 2nd. The announcer goes
“You don’t have these types of at-bats in Pittsburgh”.
Isn’t that the truth! This light-hearted game in early March still brought 42,000 fans to their feet in the Skydome (now named Roger’s Centre) when Bay could potentially tie or win the game with one swing of the bat (he later flew out to Right to end the game).
So thanks for the excitement Jason Bay. I’m glad you’re in a town that will lend you to more of those “types of at-bats”. Since my brief conversation w/ Sean “The Mayor” Casey a few months back, I’m proud to be a fan of yours, you’re one of the good guys of baseball, one who can bring baseball back to what we want it to be, what we need it to be. To the baseball purest fans out there, the steroids, the corked bats, the controversies, they all brought too much negative press to the game. We want to get lost in the game again, in each at-bat, each situation. There has been too many distractions in the past.
Can we just play ball?