Me meets baseball

It’s official — I (sort of) follow baseball.

It’s not my fault. It’s certainly not the fault of the game, which I’m still learning about and which I still consider a bore compared to soccer. It’s my city’s fault, I blame Washington.

This what happened. Washington finally got a baseball team this season — the former Montreal Expos, now the Washington Nationals. The city was excited to the point of tears — the District had a team and its residents a closer ball park to drive to than the home of the Baltimore Orioles.

Still, I’m far from what you would call a fan. I can only name one Nationals player and I’ve only been to two games. But with the team in play-off contention, it’s somewhat excited to follow the last dozen or so games.

Let me get things straight. With more than 150 games per season, at an average of three or so hours per games, baseball takes a heck of a lot of time and rarely delivers the thrill of a Champions League night. But you can’t beat city-centered patriotism, and it so happens I’m starting to pay attention to the Nationals.

But there’s a world of different from paying attention to whether the Nationals won or not to following their schedule and reading the post-game stories.

I feel like a Romanian wife who complains to the national television for broadcasting live all the games of the World Cup, practically chaining her already lazy husband to the sofa. And then, about the time quarter finals roll around, a team or a player (usually the latter) somehow hooks her and every afternoon she sneakily pulls the sports paper out of the trash to read the post-game analysis.

I became this Romanian wife this morning, when before 10:40 I had already read four baseball stories:
– a New Yorker story on Rickey Henderson, a baseball multiple-record holder now embrassing himself in the minor of minor leagues. In the paradigm of “why the heck don’t you just retire” this sounds like the baseball equivalent of European soccer stars transferring to Major League Soccer when they turn 35 (goalkeepers excluded).
– a Washington Post story on “wild-carding.”
– the Nationals’s Web page post-game story on the team’s victory against the San Diego Padres, which in my opinion is about the coolest name a team can have.
– a Washington Post magazine column on jinxing the Nationals by showing up to their games.

Geeez. I’m starting to pay attention to baseball. What will I do next? Take a ball to the park and start pitching?!?

One Response to “Me meets baseball”

  1. Congratulations Cristian. It’s very different from soccer but still a wonderful sport, eh?

    I hope you build on your newfound glory, and maybe we can actually go to Wrigley one day.

    Looking forward to seeing you next month.

    —Hone Simpsone

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