The Washington Times-Herald


April 20, 2013

The thrill of the grass

WASHINGTON — In the spring, they say a young man’s fancy turns to — baseball.

I, like so many others, see the arrival of spring as a time when hope springs eternal and the painful moan of last autumn’s “wait ‘til next year”  is replaced with enthusiastic anticipation of being able to say, “This is definitely going to be our year.”

Every spring from my past was greeted with the same nervousness and excitement of having THAT really cute girl sit next to you in home room. You weren’t really sure how to handle it, but you knew it was a good thing and it helped make junior high that much more tolerable.

I knew what was right with game — the pastoral nature, the timelessness, the way fans felt like they were watching a season unfold — knowing there would always be another game tomorrow.

I grew up a Red Sox fan and although every season during my youth would be an exercise in futility and disappointment, it was a way, I, like so many others, cataloged the passage of time.

However, for some reason, over the last few seasons, have become more and more disengaged from the game. I don’t think it was a moment or incident which changed my perspective, but my interest has certainly waned.

I would say at first, I made all the standard excuses like .... Too long, too many games, over saturation on TV, labor issues and too much focus on home runs and strikeouts.

But then you realize some of those are actually some of the things are what initially drew you to the game.

The game didn’t have clock or timekeeper other than the one God provided. The home run still is most exciting moment in sports and the strikeout seems like the ultimate act of defiance. I knew it would take more than a “McExcuse” to break up with baseball.

So why would a game that prides itself with such a tangible connection to my past seem so disconnected in my present? I think if anything, it’s not the game that has changed, it’s the way we now watch the balls and strikes.

Everyday we become more programmed to expect life to be presented to us in an immediate, compressed digital form.  One does not need to spend three hours watching a story unfold when one can have it reduced to 15 seconds on (which is less time than watching Mike Hargrove face just two pitches).

Baseball is a game which has to be experienced with all of the senses.

Try to Tweet Fernando Valenzuela or Luis Tiant’s delivery in 140 characters or snap chat the battle between Lou Brock and Don Drysdale, as second base lay in the balance. Can we really understand the majesty of these green cathedrals when they are being viewed on a tiny cell phone screen?

I think baseball is a game that is best viewed live in CinemaScope, wide vistas and high definition. It is game where one’s imagination paired with Jack Buck, Ernie Harwell or Harry Caray’s voice created a place one could go home to 162 times a year.

I guess I just can’t go home to the Twittersphere, where the angry take the game and dissect it to the point where the parts never equal the whole.

I don’t know what will draw me back to the game, but I doubt it will be someone whose only interest in the game is to win a fantasy league.

I rooted for a uniform, a ballpark and a history that connected my family across generations.  If you fit all that, along with a hot dog and beer in 140 characters, maybe I’ll be back.


Todd assumes that he will have no such issues with the NFL in the fall. You can follow him on Twitter @blasterdog

Text Only
  • OPN - WT082114 - McMurtryMug - NBS Update on Oak Grove Cemetery situation On July 21, a meeting of concerned citizens, hosted at the request of Mayor Joe Wellman, was held in the City Council chambers. Present at the meeting were representatives from city and county government, Daviess Community Foundation, local funeral

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTER: Salaries are a matter of perspective Salaries are a matter of perspective Editor:The Indiana Hospital Association and Daviess Community Hospital were disappointed to read a recent story in the Washington Times Herald brandishing the salaries of hospital employees for all to see. Publish

    August 13, 2014

  • Snails do have some issues Go on a hike with kids and one of the things they always look forward to finding are snails. There is something about a snail that seems to attract children. After finding a snail the first thing you hear is, “Can I take it home?” I usually say it is

    August 12, 2014

  • Melon time is the best time of the year I love the month of August. The produce is bountiful, the sun is bright and there’s nothing better than a slice of juicy watermelon straight from the field. Some of my most vivid memories come from the field in the form of the extra-large 80-plus-pou

    August 9, 2014

  • Back to school marks time for politicians to keep their hands off of education Back to school time here in Southern Indiana. While the high school football season may be just around the corner, the game of using education as a political football never seems to end. There is a constant wrestling match between Indiana Governor Mi

    August 2, 2014

  • Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat Cheating has been part of college athletics probably for as long as people have bothered to keep score.Sometimes it could be as simple as a C-note handshake or a little cash slipped into a player’s socks outside his locker with a note telling him to

    July 25, 2014

  • Letter: Sex is clearly defined Sex is clearly definedEditor:I say “Amen” to Pastor Showers’ letter to the editor. Sex in its pureness is only between one man and woman in the bonds of marriage, till death do they part. No others on the side.Man lying with man, woman lying with wom

    July 18, 2014

  • Hobby Lobby court ruling a right one for religious freedom The Supreme Court recently issued a ruling that marked an important development in the ongoing national debate on religious freedom.In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the contraception coverage mandate, imposed by the Obama Administration under

    July 17, 2014

  • Good work DCH for helping vets Good work DCH for helping vetsEditor:On behalf of the veteran organizations of Daviess County, we wish to take this opportunity to recognize Daviess Community Hospital’s CEO David Bixler for the representation of our community hospital and the servic

    July 17, 2014

  • I am proud to fight against the 'War on Coal I recently signed on as an original cosponsor to a bipartisan bill led by one of my Democrat colleagues from West Virginia that would stop the newly released Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on existing coal-generated power plants.He

    July 16, 2014