June 16, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ballgame...

Caught (i.e. saw) a minor league game yesterday. The plays added up - the good catch in left, the well-hit balls to center, the double-plays. It makes me want to read George Will's "Men at Work" again to remember why it is that watching a game at the stadium feels so different from watching it on a screen. In Bunts, Will writes that "baseball is the most observable of team games - everyone is nicely spread out on an eye-pleasing green stage. And the rhythm of the game and the general absence of hysteria make for an intimacy between game and spectator, when the park permits it."

This park permits it.

A pleasant interlude was the between-inning entertainment. A golden retriever appeared on the field and fielded frisbees. But the real "golden" moment was when said dog carried a bucket containing three bottles of water to behind the second base bag where umps in the vicinity gathered and sated their thirst. Even better was when the dog took over the bat boy's job and began retrieving the bats, swiftly going to and from the batter's box and the dugout. Philip mentioned about how the batters must have slick bat handles from the saliva of the dog.

The game awakens a thirst for prose such as that of Rogers Angell or Kahn, without the "pathos" that Will mentions in Bunts: "Because athletic careers compress the trajectory of life, from aspiration to apogee to decline, writers about athletes are constantly tempted by facile pathos."

No comments: