Baseball is Back!

Wow.  Its amazing how life can take over and you lose touch with the really important things.  Spring Training definitely puts things into perspective, calms you down, and helps you think more clearly.  After five days in Florida with my two teams – the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals (as well as the Atlanta Braves, the New York Yankees, and the Miami Marlins), I’m definitely ready for more baseball!

Only 11 more days until Opening Night and 12 days until Opening Day!

~ baseballrebecca


Bobbles Come to Those Who Wait

Brian Matusz bobblehead!Sometimes its best not to try too hard.  Thursday night was Brian Matusz bobblehead night at the Bowie Baysox.  I was going to go, but then thought better of it.  The Bobble Quest hasn’t been going all that well this year, and only the first 250 fans would receive a Brian bobble.  The odds were stacked against me.

But believe me, I did consider it.  I could have skipped lunch and left work a few minutes early (even though that’s frowned upon).  I could have ditched my favorite class at the gym.  And I would have had to avoid all traffic and traffic problems (such as the closed roads due to flooding or whatever they were closed for) and hope the traffic lights were working once again on route  214.  But it just exhausted me to think about it all.  Besides, I’d gone to the game the night before.  Two work-nights in a row was a little too much, even for me.

About 9 o’clock that night there was a knock on my door.  An angel bearing bobbleheads?  Ok, it was actually just my sister.  But she did have a Brian  Matusz bobblehead in her arms!  She’d been to the game and was giving me her bobblehead.  (She was also dropping off her key so I could dog sit, but still, it was really nice!)  (Oh, and Brian’s (the bobble, not the pitcher) foot is broken, but still, it was really nice!)

Sometimes, good things really do come to those who wait. 

~ baseballrebecca

Sometimes You Gotta Heed the Warning Track

Warning track in front of out-of-town scoreboard at PNC Park

A sudden change in carpet texture beneath her feet alerted her that she was three yards from the exit. The warning track, as it was called by Peter Solomon, an avid baseball fan.  Trish stopped short, pulled out her key card, and groped in the darkness along the wall until she found the raised slot and inserted her card.  ~ Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol

I love it when art imitates life, or, rather, when art imitates baseball.  A friend alerted me to the above passage from a Dan Brown novel.  The warning track, according to The Dickson Baseball Dictionaryis the track in front of the outfield fence, the purpose of which is to “protect outfielders from crashing into the wall as they back up to catch a ball.  With his eyes fixed on the ball, a player knows he is nearing the wall as he senses the granular texture of the warning track with his feet.” 

Outfield fence and warning track, Bowie Baysox StadiumIgnoring the warning track and barreling into the outfield wall might get you the out you need against the opposing team, but sometimes it comes at a price.  Like yesterday, when the Angels’ Torii Hunter slammed into the outfield wall while chasing down a fly ball hit by Gaby Sanchez, bruising his ribs.  “I have to catch it at all costs,” Hunter said.  “But I paid for it.”  X-rays showed that Hunter is mostly fine, but he’ll be out for at least a couple of days.   

In life, however, sometimes we need to heed our personal warning tracks, even when the thrill of the catch is just a little too tempting.  Like this past week when I:  flew to Houston on Tuesday, hung out with a friend, saw my most favorite band from Spain in concert that night, toured Johnson Space Center and attended an Astros game the next day, all before flying home on Thursday; went shopping and got mani-pedis with another friend on Friday; took a mini-road trip in my car with nearly non-existent air conditioning to see my beloved Bowie Baysox play the Flying Squirrels the very next day; spent Sunday catching up on everything from laundry to food prep for the week (while watching the Orioles defeat the Nationals on TV); went to work and the gym on Monday; crashed from exhaustion and called in sick on Tuesday (though still making it to dance class Tuesday night); and then went to Baltimore on Wednesday for the U2 concert from which I did not get home until after 1 a.m. this morning.

There are plenty of life lessons to be learned from baseball, if we choose to be enlightened.  I ignored the warning track after Houston, kept on going, and crashed big-time into life.  Now I’m exhausted and have a throbbing headache and laryngitis.  I had fun, but, like Torii, “I paid for it.” 

~ baseballrebecca

Baseball is Life

If baseball is life, then baseball vacations are life affirming. Take a mundane, uneventful life and add a little baseball in a city or town you’ve never been to. The result is a little time to remind yourself who you are and what’s important.

Seriously. I need to do this more often. Of course it probably helped that I stumbled upon the “Life is Good” store at Houston-Hobby airport. (Good friends help too.) Generally the “Do what you like, like what you do” slogan just taunts me. Today I realized it’s just a matter of perspective.

Sometimes all it takes is a little baseball to make life good again.

~ baseballrebecca

Prince George's County Stadium, Bowie, MD