Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Take Me (back) Out to the Ball Game...

Baseball has a strong tradition where I grew up in Nova Scotia. Religiously my Uncle and I would watch the Boston Red Sox every weekend as our cable networks were feeds from Bangor, Maine. As late as when I started University I was such a gung ho BoSox fan that I was convinced any woman wanting to marry me would have to consent to having the ceremony at Fenway Park. Movies like “Bull Durham”, one of my all time favs (partially because I’ve always had a crush on Susan Sarandon), captures so much of the spirit of what Baseball was to me. Needless to say, in my Baseball diamond of religion, if the Red Sox were god, then the New York Yankees were the devil and the Mets proverbial Judas’s.

Then the strikes happened, salaries became beyond ridiculous and Baseball fell from grace. Its fall and my disgust with its endless scandals made me so disinterested that I didn’t even watch an inning of the Red Sox epic win over the Yankees, coming back from three games down to win the World Series, effectively breaking the curse of the Bambino! There was a time when if I could’ve seen a live MLB game that I would have jumped at the opportunity. Last June, however, when I had a chance to see the Braves play the Padres in San Diego, I walked past the stadium before the opening pitch feeling a only a slight pang. In spite of all that, I was wearing my BoSox cap, surprised at all the comments folks down there made. It seems that wearing a particular baseball team cap down in the States is like wearing a soccer jersey in Europe, but resulting not in hooliganism, but rather a couple words exchanged between strangers. So, in America at least, it appears that the spirit of Baseball is very much alive.

Now, as I write, opening day has just passed and I’ve found myself being drawn back to Baseball and the Majors. There is definitely an academic side to the game that has always been part of its appeal. There is also a particular je ne sai quoi with Spring arriving and that overall sensation of kicking back and watching the boys of summer do their thing. I still can not forgive Baseball for the disgustingly high salaries and the fact that championships are largely being bought, but, unlike many other pro sports, at least a Major League game has cheap seats allowing peons like myself to go. For example, I live in Edmonton where the legendary Edmonton Oilers NHL hockey team are based and haven’t been to a game in years as even the nosebleed seats are ridiculously expensive. Hockey – the NHL that is – is dead to me because of this, capped off by the lock-out last season. In spite of my anger, one can hardly blame the players as I’m certain there are very few of us out there who would go to our bosses and tell them not to pay us so much for our job. If anyone it truly to blame it is the fans as we are the ones who perpetuate the cycle of high salaries, fuel the merchandising machine and continue to pay high ticket prices.

So, with the revolution not happening anytime soon, perhaps I take in a few more ballgames on the tube this year. Go Sox!


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