It Is What It Is: Reading baseball

It Is What It Is: Reading baseball

I think I’m at a point where I enjoy reading about baseball more than watching it.

Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy a good ballgame. I grew up near Boston, and have fond memories of Fenway Park. When I was in high school, my buddies and I figured out that going to see Boston’s triple-A team, just down the road from us in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was cheaper than going to the movies.

And when we first moved to Kenai, we discovered the Peninsula Oilers. Our first apartment was just beyond the outfield fence of Coral Seymour Memorial Park. We didn’t have any disposable income at the time, so we spent many a summer evening over at the ballpark, where admission was usually free, courtesy of one local business or another.

Not many people know this about her, but my wife also is a baseball fan. She grew up in New Jersey, near New York City, and her mom used to let her cut school to go watch the Mets at Shea Stadium. (Hey, at least she wasn’t a Yankees fan.)

As much as I enjoy baseball, though, I’ll admit that my baseball-watching window has shrunk. I still try to catch a few games early in the season, to get a feel for this year’s team. And if it’s close down the stretch, I’ll try to tune in once we hit September.

But June, July and August? Unless a Red Sox-Yankees game happens to be on TV, I’m content to glance at last night’s box score and get on with my day.

While I’m no longer hanging on every pitch all season long, when the postseason rolls around — especially if the Red Sox are involved — I’m all in. For my money, it’s better than any Netflix binge. There’s drama, there’s action, there’s heroes and villains, stories of redemption, thrilling victories and soul-crushing losses. What’s not to love?

One of this year’s World Series games in particular embodied all of that and more. Game 3 of the series, between the Red Sox and the Dodgers, went 18 innings, and lasted 7 hours, 20 minutes — both World Series records. The game was epic, ending on a Dodgers walk-off home run, and I watched every single pitch.

Here’s the thing, though. My wife and I were down in Homer for the weekend to watch my daughter at the region swim meet. We were staying in a quaint little cabin on the bluff overlooking the inlet. It was a beautiful evening, but the first thing I had to do was to close the curtains, as that late-autumn sunset was coming directly in the picture window and creating too much glare to see the TV. So that view was lost on me.

The place also had a hot tub out on the bluff, and we planned on watching the game, then taking a soak. The beautiful evening had given way to a very pleasant night.

But the game just wouldn’t end. A couple of other swim team families were staying at the same place, and a few folks had wandered out to the hot tub, waiting for the rest of us to join them after the game. They might as well have been waiting for Godot. By the time Max Muncy hit his home run and I recovered from my Aaron Boone flashbacks, it was too late.

Of course, the Red Sox came back in Game 4, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The thing about history, though, is that you have to read about it to get a thorough understanding and appreciation. So, I’ve been reading everything I can find about the series. I’ve read about the team meeting the Red Sox had after that Game 3 loss, and the reason why the team had a buffet breakfast together before Game 5, which proved fortuitous. And I’ve read all about the locker room atmosphere fostered by Red Sox manager Alex Cora, and how every player on the roster bought in to his all-in style. I’ve even had links to stories about business management based on the Red Sox philosophy sent to my work email.

But you know where it would have been nice to read all those things? Sitting on that cabin’s porch while watching the sunset, or even better, while taking a soak in the hot tub.

Oh well. As Cubs fans are fond of saying, there’s always next year.

Will Morrow lives in Kenai. Email him at wkmorrow@ptialaska.net.

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