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Posted by Feb - 8 - 2013 0 Comment


How do these words sound to you….”Pitchers and Catchers report…”? To die hard Tribe fans (me and a few of my close friends) that means another set of words…”..hope springs eternal…” which brings us to ANOTHER set of words….”wait till next year”!  Yes, it is time for another year of Cleveland Indian’s baseball! Ever since 1901, when the Tribe became a charter member of the American League, we fans have been taken on a year long journey, only to be rewarded just two times, 1920 and 1948! Two times in 113 years! Damn are we gluttons for punishment! Although I have stayed at a Holiday Inn, I am no therapist, but I’ll give it a try.

Baseball has so many nuisances that make it such a unique game, and to me, an attraction that has turned into an addiction to me. (Actually it is a good addiction, but some may disagree, and I digress.)  I am sure everyone knows these little tidbits about the “Nations Past-time”.

1)  Baseball has no time clock.  Basketball has timed quarters and halves. It has a 5 minute overtime period if needed. Football has four timed quarters and timed overtime up to a point.  Hockey, again, three timed periods, with a timed overtime period up to a point. Baseball has nine innings without any time constraints.  It has a fixed requirement…3 outs…before a change takes place.  What is more relaxing than not having to get something done under the clock? You work under a clock deadline; you have a limit of sunshine in a day to enjoy; and you have so many minutes/hours to enjoy the family.  But baseball…sit back a relax. One inning can take less than 3 minutes.  1st pitch fly out; 2nd pitch grounder to 2nd; 3d pitch foul out to 1b. Change! Yet you can have an inning where 9 runs are scored BEFORE the first out!  So, baseball gives you the setting that allows for timeless demands on the fan,when everything else demands time from you.

2)  Baseball is on the offense without the ball.  Football requires you to have the ball in order to score points. I know a safety is when the OFFENSE has the ball and is tackled in their endzone, but in order for the DEFENSE to score, it has to tackle the player WITH the ball to get the safety. Basketball and hockey the same, you score when you have the ball/puck.  Baseball is just the opposite. You are on offense when the Pitcher (defense) has the ball. You cannot control what the pitcher does with the ball; he has defenders behind him helping; and all you as the batter can do is do the impossible, hit a fast traveling sphere with a rounded cylindrical object! And make sure that the impact of the two puts the ball in play. Now outside of the home run, you gotta do it again and again and again to score at times. So, the ease of scoring, or lack thereof, brings #1 back into play.  Could you imagine playing baseball under a time limit?

3) Baseball in played on a field not equal to each other. True it is 90′ between 1st; 2nd; 3rd; and, home; and 60’6″ from the pitchers mound to home plate, but that is it! Each stadium within which the field is set, creates another element that the others games do not have. Yankee Stadium with the short right field;

fenway park

 Fenway Park with the “Green Monster” in left field and “Pensky Pole” in right field; Wrigley Field and ivy covered fences/wall surrounding the playing field; old Tigers field with the upper deck hanging out and over the lower deck and coming into play on fly balls.  These are some of the old stadiums; the new ones have their own, like the catwalks in Tampa; the slopping up of center field in Houston; deep power alleys in some parks; with short pokes down the lines in left and right fields. So, each game is played on different environments and this too adds to the uniqueness (beauty to me) of baseball.

So if you look at baseball as I do, and see the subtle differences of the game, and know that you can do this at your leisure, you may now know why I cannot wait for the last group of words attached to baseball….”Play Ball!”

@jnmentor   — Twitter

Categories: Cleveland Indians

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