Last night I went to my 5th Mariners game this season. I was accompanied by evillinn (a.k.a. Deirdre) and Laura.
Laura doesn't like baseball much. She went because it's a sporting event, because she's a friend and it was a change to hang out, and for the "experience."
Deirdre, on the other hand, is nearly as much of a baseball nut as I am. Part of the conversation was about what we love about baseball. So here is my list:
- I love to watch the skill and play. The economy of motion. How fluid a well turned double play looks.
- I love the chance to get up and yell at the umpires for making a horrible call. It's part of the fun to have people make mistakes like a botched call at the plate and heap verbal abuse on them.
- I love learning all the statistics and what statistics contribute to a good player and a good team. Learning about things like on-base percentage and slugging percentage and how they are much more of a determining factor toward a player being good than batting average or even runs batted in.
- I love seeing all the quirks for the individual players that you can't see in football and basketball. Things like Mike Fetters stare at the plate before pitching, or Arthur Rhodes stare down at the ground. James Baldwin's slow walk off the mound, Ichiro Suzuki's constant stretching or lining up the bat before hitting, and Mark McLemore always wiping out the chalkline defining the batter's box.
- I love discussing baseball with the fans around you. Trying to remember who played second for the Dodgers 3 years ago and what team Rob Ducey went to and who we got in return from the Red Sox for Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe. I love comparing discussing the Ken Griffey trade with other fans to argue over whether it was a Good Thing™.
- And the food also. It's horrible food. Greasy and undercooked. But it's baseball food.