Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

7 April 2009

"There is a heartbeat to this game"

'Cash, listen,' Torre said. 'I don't know how long we're going to be together. But do yourself a favor: never forget there is a heartbeat to this game.'
Joe Torre to Brian Cashman on letting Bernie Williams go
-- as quoted from "The Yankee Years"

I almost didn't go to my traditional opening day baseball game last night. It was the end of a long day and I truthfully wanted to go home and be attacked by kid-sized hugs and fall asleep in the 6th inning using my wife as a pillow. But I love opening day with my friends... so out into the stereotypically Canadian spring blizzard I went.

Thankfully, Baseball rarely disappoints me. I see so much good in it. Even Blue Jays DH Adam Lind (who had 6 RBI last night) said that he was numb with excitement until the 4th inning.

Opening Day in Toronto is a seasonal oddity. The stadium is full of people... lots of them young, rowdy and vocal with dual beers in hand. Outfielder heckling is constant (that included me. Hey if Fernando Rodney didn't want to be heckled he shouldn't have been playing with a piece of string all night!) ... There are fights... random moonings... projectiles thrown on the field... rousing orchestrated cheers for successful paper airplanes landings... it's a bit of a zoo. Opening Day is not a "beautiful ebb and flow of the grand ole game" day. But I saw something in the zoo last night. Something good.

Sitting a section to my right was a group of Laurier Brantford University Students. They were a wild bunch led by a guy with a bright blue Mohawk and another guy with the body of George Costanza and the personally of John Belushi. They were loud, pointy, wave-starters... and they were likely even in the group of people being called idiots in the media today for stopping the game in the 8th inning from player-fears of paper airplane attack.

Quite honestly, my Dave reflex is to roll my eyes and say... "watch the game you blowholes!" (as I'm busy being a blowhole myself). My learned Christian reflex is to eye their steady flow of beer, mutter something about debauchery and automatically assume that they would be better off to be with our group of Pastors and Christians. Why do we still have this judgement in us?

I looked at Belushi Boy in his natural habitat and he was doing his thing man. He was embracing things I love about baseball and life in his own way. He was clearly flirting and doing the mating dance. He was givin' er man... he was full out embracing the moment. And he was enjoying the baseball game too. He's a character with a real live heartbeat... and he is a vital part of what went into building a wonderful night at the ballpark. It made me wonder if I was being as free and living as fully committed to the moment as I could be.

When Joe Torre made that quote... he was lamenting the ugly era of professional baseball where steroids, egos and selfishness reigned over the character and humanity that have long marked baseball. Fortunately... Baseball is not cure-all tonic. It's not THE answer. But it's personable. I never leave a baseball game not feeling GOOD. There is a heartbeat to this game.


Chris said...

Last night was the first home opener I've missed in the past six years. I'll be heading down soon - sounds like I missed a great game!!

Need to find some video of the whole ball-tossing incident.

Dave Carrol said...

Yeah man it was a riot. There was one ball tossed but I've been to every opening day for about 15 years and this was actually tame compared to the last couple. Streakers and fights last year... and a few years ago there was the throwing the magnet calenders as nunchucks.

Gotta love that one a year they can still fill that place.

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