As some of you might have noticed, I’ve become a HUGE baseball fan of late. Actually it started when we still lived in Germany. Last year before and including the run-up to the World Series (when yes, I not only was living in Philly but considered myself a #1 Phillies fan) I started loving baseball.
Now that I live outside Cincinnati, I was content to watch Reds games and still be a Phillies fan. I even wore my Phillies hat to not only the Phillies/Reds game June 30 but to a regular Reds game (they were playing the lowly Pirates.)
Last week things changed. As CP and Thor have commented
I’ve gone to the dark side.
That is, I rooted against the Phillies for the Reds/Phillies series in Philadelphia last Friday-Sunday. The Reds admittedly got swept four games to none. That was seriously hard to take as I sat (as the only member) on the Reds side of the couch with my hat while my family all sat on the other side of the couch, the Phillies side.
Thor did not let me live down a single second of the Phillies four wins. In fact, the kid needs a little lesson on sportsmanship if you want my opinion about the whole thing.
I like baseball. Even though I never watched a single game on TV that I can remember growing up (my dad liked football – which I despise.) I went to a few minor league Spokane Indians games as a child. But baseball was neither here nor there for me. I had a take it or leave it attitude. Until a few years ago.
I started enjoying going to a few games when we visited the US. I got wrapped up in the excitement of the crowd (there is no crowd like a Phillies crowd). Then I started looking online for the update on the score and listened via the Ramstein Air Base radio station in Germany. When we moved back to Philly last July, I actually started watching games. And not just watching games but actually enjoying them. I even went so far as to be superstitious about the playoffs believing that if they won one night, I would have to do the exact same thing the next night to ensure that they won again.
Baseball is insane that way.
Since we moved to Cincinnati, Great American Ballpark is twenty minutes away. Tickets are cheap compared to Philly because for whatever reason, no one here cares about the first place Reds. I have no idea why. They have a great team (did I mention they’re in first place in their division?) They have four players headed to the All-Star Game Tuesday (Rolen, Phillips, Rhodes, Votto). They have an amazing pitching bullpen (Hello? Did anyone see Wood’s almost perfect game the other night?)
They are winning. And yet no one here seems to care. But I do.
I love baseball. I love watching baseball. It’s true you can see better on tv, food and drink is free and the seats are more comfortable but there’s just something about going to the ballpark that doesn’t top that. Nope, I’ll take sitting in a hard plastic seat, under the glare of a hot sun, surrounded by people hawking concessions for everything from beer to cotton candy to ices.
Give me the ballpark. The crowd. The sound of the crack against the bat. The chance to stand up and scream as Votto hits another impressive home run. Baseball is where it’s at for me.
Where do you like to spend your time? Do you have something you’re passionate about?