Ever since I was five years old, baseball was a part of my life in some way, shape or form. Whether it be tee ball, little league, backyard games or watching Major League Baseball. In the game of baseball, just like the game of life, you have your up’s and down’s. We have our good days and bad, and everything in between. We see some of the highest of highs and lowest of lows, but there is a difference between the game of baseball and the game of life.
Let me start with this little tangent that will tie back into my main point. As of right now, I currently work for the Baltimore Orioles event staff. My job entails doing several different things at the ballpark to make sure the fans are having a safe and enjoyable time. Being that I have worked every single game so far, I recognize how hard it is to go to work so many days in a row, like baseball players, and I’m not even the one training like a professional athlete.
I get to work an hour and half early probably every single day because I’m an anxious wreck if I’m running late to anything. Outside of that, I like to get there early to see how the teams warm up on the field, weather permitting, several hours prior to a game. It gives me a glimpse into these guy’s lives a little bit that they are out here training well before they even need to because they want to better themselves in their field.
Three and a half hours until first pitch, Chris Davis is out on the field, practicing hitting balls to left field, something he has worked on since last year. It is easy to sit back and criticize him when he strikes out, pops up, etc. but you cannot knock that kind of work ethic at all. I have a new found respect for Chris Davis now, along with guys like Ryan Lavarnway, David Lough and several other players who take time out of their schedule to work out early to try and better themselves.
In the grand scheme of things, baseball is just a game, whether you want to admit it or not. The main difference between Major Leaguers and Little Leaguers is that Major Leaguers get paid to play baseball. This leads to them caring more about themselves whether it be their health, skill or pretty much anything else related to them in some way.
We seem to forget along the way that this is a child’s game being played by adults for our entertainment, and that is all it is: entertainment. I find overwhelming joy when I see a 99 MPH fastball strike out a guy with the bases loaded or somebody hit’s a walk off home run or even the simple pleasure of a slow roller just staying fair down the line.
I understand and empathize when somebody gets upset over something regarding their favorite player, team, etc., but to a certain extent. This past off season, Nelson Cruz chose to play for the Seattle Mariners instead of the Orioles for reasons we can only guess. This in turn made a lot of fans angry at the Orioles, Cruz or both parties and I did not understand why. It is a choice Nelson made and we have to live with it whether we like it or not. We do not control what he does in his life to make decisions for him.
In theory, we are mad at the people who control the twenty-five guys we like to root for because they did not wish to extend a contract to bring back one of them back from the previous year. In turn, the player decided to join another team of twenty-five guys run by a separate group of people and we have to sit back and watch it happen.
It sucks, right?
Well, that is life for you. You can only control so much and that usually is in your own actions.
Now we have come full circle, back to the highest of highs and lowest of lows and baseball. Both can be intertwined but should never be mistaken for one another. We can get mad at the things we can purely control within ourselves but not the actions of others. I am sure a lot of people, including myself, wish it was not that way, but it is.
We also need to learn to separate a sport people play for a living to it being of any world changes. Sure, we turn to baseball for entertainment. Hell, some of us want to pursue a career in it in some variety of a job. I feel though that the one thing we should focus on with this is: it is a game meant for our entertainment. That game your team blew in the nignth inning will not matter in the grand scheme of your life and a walk off win will make you happy, but only temporarily.
Unless you are getting up and going to work at a baseball stadium four hours before first pitch to learn how to hit balls the other way, maybe you should learn to turn a blind eye to a strikeout every now and then. It is a child’s game, and we all just want to enjoy it.