• Rickt: I am the biggest Cal Jr fan around but one of my good friends played minor l...

Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee, FL: Braves 6, Astros 4

Biggio, mighty Biggio, advancing to the bat

Moreso than any other sport, baseball is an iterative game.

If you have not yet had the chance to wake up, drive an hour to a ballpark, watch two teams play a ball game, drive 130 miles to another ballpark half a state away and watch two different teams play a similar game in a similar stadium in front of similar fans, I recommend you do so some day. And then (even better) get up and do it all again the next day!

It’s an odd, warm feeling, that sense of sameness blended with delightful difference. Here the grounds keepers come out in the 6th inning instead of the 5th. There the national anthem is sung by a massive, soulful black man, but here it is played on violins and cellos by an orchestra of little children. In that town “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” is played by a quartet of saxaphonists, in this town it blares over loudspeakers, sung by a choir over some sort of techno beat.

And yet always there are the balls and strikes, the lockstep rythms of batting practice and taking infield, the way the umpire waddles around to the front of home plate and bends over to brush it off. Timeless forms, ageless motions, circumscribed by habit and tradition, imitation and basic human psychology. Done slowly. No clock. By a thousand thousand umpires and players on a hundred thousand thousand ballfields across America (and now the world).

It’s that familiarity that makes going to the ballpark like coming home to your mother’s kitchen.

And it’s that same familiarity which makes the great plays and the unusual occurances stand out all the more in mind and memory, like blazing stars.

Let’s take today. Today, I saw Carlos Lee misplay two routine fly balls into doubles in the span of three innings (worst $100 million contract ever?). Today I saw Shawn Green make a fabulous catch diving toward the rightfield line as the Dodgers bullpen scattered like sparrows. Today I said “hi” to Tommy Lasorda.

Who can say what tomorrow will bring?

The Dodgers taking infield

Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie, FL: Mets 6, Dodgers 5

No Responses to “Grapefruit League Diary: Day 3”

  1. WaatheFfff? says:

    New Yorkers would LOVE to see Pavano fail, however, not at the expense of losing a game. Also, must keep in mind this IS the bed he’s made. Not only has his baseball career been on hiatus, his love life has a Jerry Springer episode.

    I think collectively the word is his stuff has improved..and he WOULD be pitching against the Devil Rays…nuff said, give him the ball.

  2. Oh come on WaaatheFfff…New Yorkers would LOVE to see Pavano fail, even if it be for the entire season.

    These are the same people that have publically rooted ALL season that Isiah Thomas lose so that he would be fired upon completion of the season. What? Knicks are in the playoff race? Who cares, lose lose lose!

    I have no doubt that Yankees fans WANT Pavano to get the bajeezus beaten out of him so they can boo him even harder in his 2nd start…and 3rd…and 30th.

  3. Zvee, you are retarded. Yankee fans want Pavano to be great. Yankee fans (and all New Yorkers) cheer a winner and boo a loser. Up to now, Pavano has been a loser. He deserves the boos.

    New Yorkers once booed Mother Teresa because she failed to save a few orphans from malaria. But then she got on a hot streak and rescued some lepers so New Yorkers gave her a standing ovation.

    If Pavano pitches Opening Day, he will be cheered.

    Until he starts sucking.

  4. Coley Ward says:

    I agree that Yankees fans won’t boo Pavano right out of the gate. But make no mistake about it, he’ll be on a very short leash. If he gives up a home run, he’ll get booed. And it will be loud. And they will be mean. Meanwhile, if Derek Jeter goes 0 for 5 on opening day with 5 strikeouts, the fans will hold their tongues.

    The same applies for Pat Burrell in Philly. I don’t think the fans will boo him (much) when he first comes to the plate, but if he strikes out in his first at bat, he will hear it.

    Does that mean that the fans are rooting for Pavano and Burrell to fail? Not exactly, but they will be thoroughly prepared when and if they do.

  5. WhattheFff? says:

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/03302007/news/nationalnews/pavano_gal_pal_drops_bomber_nationalnews_richard_johnson_and_david_k__li.htm

    Ok, heard this was the “separation agreement” between Carl and Gia, she was allowed to “leverage” this breakup for her career, and say she did the dumping. It was in actuality Carl that dumped Gia, it had nothing to do with cheating or not being there for her. Did she need him to make sure she was wearing sunblock on her topless bikini shoot, or maybe she needed him to be there for her when she was sitting in HIS houses, all day while she had NO job. CLASSLESS, I’ve got to hand it to the many who had posted endless negativity on this girl, but it’s a good thing for Carl, I hope it backfires on her flat ass, noone cares about her aspirations as a model, there are plenty of hot girls that didn’t need a surgeon or major league baseball player to get them that way and to keep them in the news.

    Gia, grow up, do you think having your picture on the cover of the NY Post, then making comments like you don’t want to distract him from his comeback start, and only wish him well, is going to put you in a positive light? You look like a scorned bitch looking for a way to make yourself look good, and help your career. Shut up already!

  6. yankee fan says:

    Carl choked today..4 innings?? 4 runs? not good!

    so is Alissa in Maxim’s hometoewn Hotties to get back with Carl? Or just to compete with Gia?

  7. yankee fan says:

    so what was Alissa to Carl? and What was Carl to Alissa? I have heard that Alissa was head over heels over the guy?? I cannot imagine he had the same feelings??? I am ssuming he saw her as the hot bartender that could be some fun???

  8. yankee fan says:

    I figured Alissa wasn’t really dating Carl. She kept mentioning she was dating a pitcher from the Yankees. She kept acting like it was getting serious.

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