I’ve always been a baseball fan, it was my favorite sport to play as a kid, but I never really followed the Giants the way a true fan is supposed to. I couldn’t tell you who was their starting short stop in 1998 or what pitcher led the team in wins in 2004, but I watched them if I happened to come across their game or read about them if I happened to come across the San Francisco Chronicle (which we got for free at my high school). Like Kenny wrote last year, I was pretty much a fan of post-season baseball.
A few years ago, I went to the Giants’ new ballpark for the first time and gave my heart to the baseball team. A beautiful city with smart, passionate fans rooting for a baseball team that hadn’t won a title for a long as the franchise had been in The Bay. Being at the ballpark is pretty much the only thing I remember from that summer, and is the reason I follow the Giants as closely as I follow the Raiders and Lakers now, and it might be the only team I get to follow for the remainder of 2011.
For those of you who haven’t given in to the true joy of following a baseball team, I strongly suggest that you grab some friends, and take a trip down to the nearest ballpark. Grab some brews, eat whatever food that particular ballpark is known for, and watch some baseball. It’s not as flashy and exciting as hoops nor is it as intense and hard hitting as football, but it’s truly a unique sport that you need to have a favorite team to get the full experience.
Once you give yourself to a baseball team, it’s a bond unlike the one you have with other sports. Just the way the game is scored gives you a kind of full game hope that you can’t really say is true for football and basketball. There is no running time, so just one swing of the bat can completely change the dynamic of a game. The game isn’t ever over until the last out is recorded. Just last season, the Rockies were down 9-3 only to come back and score nine runs in the bottom of the 9th.
It’s an interesting game that can double as both the most relaxing to watch and also the most intense in those late innings. The adjustments teams make during games, the precision of the numbers they crunch to decide who’s in the starting lineups against what pitchers, the diving catches, the long home runs, the great pitchers -- all of which culminate to one fantastic summer sport. Since waiting around for the fall sports to pick right back up where they left off could prove to be depressing, give your heart to baseball. You won’t be disappointed.
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!