I don’t watch a great deal of television but I love the sound of a baseball game. From July to September, my evenings are often accompanied by the sound of a game on the television. Between ESPN, the MLB channel, and the broadcast of my two local teams, I can usually listen to a game or two every day. Sometimes I sit down to watch, but often I’m simply listening to the play as other tasks are completed.
A June ball game is a whole different animal from a September game, when the stakes have begun to be significant. In June, the games can feel leisurely, as teams find their pace and style of game. There are sometimes amazing plays; just as often there is confusion in the field as the teams find their way. Things have changed by October, when every game seems meaningful because most are important; games that will determine whether or not a team advances in the playoffs.
Left to my own devices, I’m a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants. Daughter of my father that I am, I’ve a soft spot for the Oakland As and I hate the Dodgers. T is a Royals fan from way back, and of late they have been a fun team to watch, so I keep up with them. My boss is a diehard Mets fan, as is JT’s baseball coach, and some of my 7th graders. They are a local team and I can always watch or hear the broadcast, so I know that team well. This year, Mets games have been such a treat that I’ve seen or heard nearly every game they’ve played since August.
I’ve a Sunday night habit of turning on ESPN’s Sunday Night game. That tradition is done for the season but for most Sundays since the regular season ended, there has been a playoff game to watch. This past weekend, there was no baseball game to be heard on Sunday and my evening felt oddly quiet. I realized that I’m staring down the tunnel of months without a baseball game to think about. I’ll use football to fill the gaps, though my growing awareness of concussion injuries makes that game less fun. Soon enough, college basketball will ramp up and I’ll have those games as the sound of my evenings. But it’s baseball that I most enjoy.
In the meantime, there are at least a few games left in the World Series. It’s a particular irony to me that the Series features the Royals and the Mets, two deserving teams that I like and know so well. It’s a battle between tremendous pitching and scrappy hitting. With two games in the books, the series is shaping up to be some very good baseball, the sort of struggle that fans can chew on for years to come:. When it’s over, I’ll enter a long drought without baseball. I’ll miss the sounds and feel of a baseball game in my days. It won’t be long until I start counting the days until pitchers and catchers report.