The crack of the bat still rings sweetly

Jeff Fox
Headed for trouble

Simple pleasures matter. All of it – the endless grind of work and other obligations, the swift flow of the days, the distress of the times – takes a toll. We need a break more often than we might imagine. 

Jeff Fox

Is there a better tonic than a baseball game on the radio? Two people in the booth, telling a dozen stories – Salvy’s home run pace, another timely double play, another young pitcher maybe figuring it out – all at once from the game at hand. Plus a dozen more from the past, either for tonight’s context or just for giggles.  

Baseball is said, by boring people, to be boring. Look a little harder. More is always going on than any one fan can keep up with – and that was before the development of all of the advanced statistics that, for good and for ill, shape the game today. 

Baseball comes in all flavors. In this era, it’s all strikeouts and home runs. Not my favorite. I say leave that all-or-nothing mentality to football. 

I like a tight 3-1 game, the kind of game that could turn on any pitch or misplayed ball. But we’re not going back to 1968, and pining for it doesn’t help. We have the version of the game that the owners think the fans want. Thankfully, it sounds much the same on the radio as what I recall from the past. 

It’s August. The cicadas drone in the background, and the ballgame is perfect accompaniment for an evening of chores in the garage. My team, full of potential, finds ways to underperform, but Denny and Ryan make it enjoyable nonetheless. 

The TV remote lets us click from one garish spectacle to another. That’s where the world is, and baseball has tried to adapt. But there are simpler ways to savor the great game as well. 

It’s been said that baseball is some kind of miracle because even the owners unable to see anything beyond than their own greed haven’t killed it despite generations of effort. There’s something to that. 

But take nothing for granted. 

Among the many harsh life lessons underscored during the last few years is just that: Take nothing for granted. Remember the past and learn from it, but don’t stay stuck there. Have hope for what might yet come, but be careful about projecting potential into firm reality. As with everything, we’ll see. 

Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s editor. Reach him at 816-350-6365, jeff.fox@examiner.net, or on Twitter at @FoxEJC.