I just finished watching the old Bad News Bears with mom, Mindi, Garrett, Nick and Corey. (Nick is Corey’s 15 year old brother.) We were practicing new America’s past time of television as we learned from its original;
A lot of Americans think this country has gone down the can. There are a lot of republicans rubbing their brows and tugging their hair, and their are a lot of democrats loosening their double windsors, pointing fingers at Mel Gibson and discussing Lindsey Lohan’s mug shot.
When Average Joe reads all of this in his paper, or online (seeing as our printed news is struggling to stay afloat in the black seas of the internet void) he throws it aside in dismay. What is going ON?? is all he can ask himself. Has this country completely run amok??! Poor Average J. He has forgotten everything; he has forgotten baseball.
It’s like this: You can distrust the satellites, fret for your phone conversations, Big Brother, Area 51, socialists, the whole lot. And lets face it, a lot of people do. The smallest embers of my temper really start to spark when I hear idiots; one Ipod earbud in the ear, hip cocked while they stare as they brush their thumb along the screen of their Ipod touch 4, ” I don’t know man, this whole country is so backwards.”
And its true, they have forgotten baseball.
Picture the game, ask yourself why we love it. Smell grass, hear the sunset. It was men, with tan leathery skin and leathery gloves. Sweat and spit, dirt stains on their pants and pressure. There is no hiding behind excuses, fake injuries, or your second place trophy when it is just you and your shaky bat hovering over home plate at the bottom of the ninth with two outs and an even game up on the score board. And when you swung at the ball and missed it clean, there was no mommy telling you that you were still her big champ. Ok so maybe she was, but dad sure as hell wasn’t. There was this thing called shame, and humility. Like Tom Hanks told us, “There’s no crying in baseball.” And when you cracked the smack outta that ball and brought in a run, you felt your hard earned victory swell in your chest.
So sure, our economy may be on the rocks, our president may as well be three sheets to the wind when he cuts hundreds of thousands of jobs, and we just don’t make music like we used to.
But GUESS WHAT; you can still touch that green grass, and tear in the earth, and know that you are FREE.
And you can always, always, start yourself a good ole game, of baseball.