I was excited when I learned that the season started with the Indians at the White Sox on Sunday night, April 2nd. Excited because ESPN had requested that the game be pushed back from the original Monday afternoon start to Sunday night so that they could air a good division rivalry.
Eric, being the big fan the he is, and me, being the big fan that I am, decided we needed to ring the season in at a place where we could watch the game on a big screen. We found a Damon's and got some ribs. Dave B., Eric's brother in law, and former Ohioan joined us as did Mike P, whom we are slowly but surely converting [back] to baseball.
The game was a drag. They played three or four innings, ended up tied, CC left the game early with a strained muscle in his abdomen, then it rained (in Chicago, that is). It rained for three hours. We didn't stay for the conclusion of the game. We couldn't if we wanted to--the place closed at 10:00. In fact, I couldn't even stay awake for the conclusion of the game once it resumed.
In spite of a let down for the opening day of this season, there are a number of reasons to like baseball. Here's a list of random thoughts regarding the game and what's so great about it.
- 162 games plus spring training and play-offs
- You don't have to wait a week for the standings to change
- A team can overcome a multi-game losing streak and still get to the play-offs
- Minor league development
- Minor league games
- "Duct tape night"
- The "game within the game" --pitcher, batter, etc
- No cheer leaders
- Get into most MLB games for under $10. About as much as going to a movie.
- Fan participation (foul balls, bats)
- Free souvenirs
- No clock to govern the game
- Managers get tossed
- Players get tossed
- Sometimes there's even a bench-clearing fight (close to hockey, Mike and Dan)
- The defense has the ball
- Game of threes: 3 strikes/out 3 outs/half-inning, in a perfect game, each batter can face the pitcher 3 times (27 outs=9 innings)
- No "tie" column in the standings-each game played until somebody wins
- You can get a tan while watching the game
- You can eat peanuts (the perfect snack) while watching the game
- You can leave peanut shells under your seat and someone else will clean it up
- Sometimes guys collide
- Double plays
- Triple plays (I saw one once in KC)
- Hitting for the cycle
- A walk off home run
- Over 100 years of history
- You get to do corporate singing
- No replay review by the umpires
- Cool patterns in the grass.
- A closer striking out "the side" (doesn't happen for Cleveland)
- Unbelievable amount of statistics
- Inside-the-park home runs
- The many useful metaphors in life derived from baseball (step up to the plate, hit it out of the park, three strikes and you're out, etc)
- Mid-season trades