March 30, 2008

Doug Glanville: Baseball and the Plankton of Opportunity: "Since a baseball player has the memory of an elephant, my first spring training with the Chicago Cubs might as well have happened yesterday," nine-year Major Leaguer Doug Glanville writes in today's New York Times. "My first roommate was a sleepwalker. He woke up in the middle of the night yelling at shadows; once he crawled into my twin bed after a late-night rant. After that I slept with one eye open and a Pro Stock model M159 baseball bat nearby." More wordsmithing to mark opening night comes from George Will and William Ecenbarger.

posted by rcade to baseball at 10:07 AM - 5 comments

baseball games are like sunsets -- even the worst of them are worthwhile. I watched the games from Tokyo. I'll watch the game from Washington tonight. But the true opening day is tomorrow (Monday). It's a national holiday in my life, and I don't go to work. The start of the regular baseball season means spring is here, and summer won't be far behind. Glanville's story brings up something I've always been curious about. For a young player, starting his first full season with the big club, things must seem like a blur. So many games, so many places, bigger crowds, higher expectations. But he brings up a good point about guys being willing to give it all for the majority of their young lives in order to take a shot at possibly making it. It sounds glamorous, but for most, the realization they aren't good enough and it will only be a matter of time before the game they've devoted so much time to bumps them out, it has to be a tough pill to swallow. Ecenbarger's story was poignant and brings up the exact reason I do take opening day off. You rush through life practically every day, trying to keep up with the norms society has decided are supposed to be important to everyone and wind up losing the simple, good things that should be enjoyed. Baseball is one of those good things.

posted by dyams at 02:40 PM on March 30, 2008

Three great choices for posting, rcade. It's nice to have baseball in Washington again, if only so writers like George Will can devote some words to it. I noticed in the biographical sketch at the end of the Glanville piece that he had majored in science systems and engineering at Penn. I don't think I've ever met an engineer who can craft sentences like that. Obviously he did something in his college career other than play baseball. I agree with dyams on the Ecenbarger column. Watching a baseball game is the perfect time to sit and talk, sometimes about baseball. Sport, and particularly baseball, is the common language between me and my son. I can only pray that when we are forced to stop talking that I have said enough.

posted by Howard_T at 03:09 PM on March 30, 2008

Doug Glanville's great. If Amazon.Com ever devises a service to pre-order books by people who ought to write one, he'd be one of my first orders. The Nats began the season (the non-international portion at least) with a walk-off by Ryan Zimmerman at its new park. Baseball looks great in HD.

posted by rcade at 06:51 AM on March 31, 2008

That was a great way to start the season in North America with that walk-off homer. How dramatic. Just an incredible way to open a beautiful new ballpark in front of a sellout crowd and a national TV audience. Washington fans in attendance will always remember that. Hopefully the weather at Yankee Stadium this afternoon is better than where I live in New York, because it absolutely sucks here. Tuesday doesn't sound much better.

posted by dyams at 07:29 AM on March 31, 2008

Great piece. I have been trying to get the baseball spirit going in my friends and family, and even myself, but it has snowed every day this week. I keep saying "It's opening day!" to people and all I get are laughs. Oh well, I guess I'll grab a shovel, clear out a couple of spaces and have a catch with the boy. It's a sad state when I read about a plankton of opportunity and immediately think of a scheme to steal crabby patties.

posted by THX-1138 at 10:39 AM on March 31, 2008

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