Last night, I felt one of the deepest depressions I've felt since my high school girlfriend broke up with me in 10th grade. My baseball season was over. The Rangers had an amazing season that finished in a cold September that left us out of the playoffs for the first time in 4 years. But you know what? This is the reason baseball is great.
I was a late bloomer in my admiration for baseball. I didn't really grasp the game until about 5 years ago when the Rangers started their upswing towards becoming a championship team.(Note: they still haven't won that championship) But honestly, that wasn't why I became obsessed. I'm a young uncle. I'm 28 years old with 8 nieces and nephews. And my second oldest nephew is a damn fine ball player. I started watching his games whenever I was in back in town in east Texas and watching those games made me recognize the brilliance that the MLB offers.
Unlike basketball or football, the clock isn’t an enemy. Games can go on forever. So at the bottom of the Ninth with one strike left, the game can completely change. (For an illustration of this, check out my Rangers in the World Series a couple years back) This is the reason baseball is so emotional. You might be down by 10 with less than a minute left in football, and the feeling is slowly sinking in telling you it’s over. That feeling doesn’t take place in baseball until the last pitch has been thrown. And you’ve probably heard about dad’s igniting at their son’s little league game and laughed and said it was ridiculous(it is), but they are igniting for a reason. Their son’s confidence just got blown away by that umpire’s missed call. And generally speaking, that doesn’t go away in the Majors. You will still see pitchers get rattled or batters having terrible stretches of weeks at a time where they can’t find the ball with their bat because baseball is foremost a mental game. Check out “The Art of Fielding”? if you need this point illustrated even more. It’s an entire book about a bad throw by a short stop.
I get it. We are now in the heart of football season and I, like many, have spent a lot of hours on the couch watching college football and the NFL this season. But now that it’s the MLB playoffs, I am switching over. Join me. Sit down, grab a beer or some scotch, and watch. See why it was your granddad's sport. It may not be as in your face as the NFL or UFC, but once you get invested, it's sure to make you feel more emotional than anything else.