June 10, 2010
As ballhawks we tend to lose ourselves in the game. Whether it's one particular game or the entire season, we can't help but get lost in the moment, am I right?
We plan games around batting practice, the previous night/day's attendance, who's playing, weather, etc. It goes on and on. There's a lot that goes into the decision of whether we go to one specific game or not.
When we get to the game, we try to be the first in line, the first to the bleachers or stands to find the potential easter eggs. Depending on your personal game plan, some of us even change shirts and hats to appease whoever is on the field for batting practice. We carry rosters to call out certain individual's names instead of numbers to give us that little bit of edge over those that may be around us. We use various retrieval devices to get mishandled balls out of gaps, or off the warning track, or out of bullpens. We play different sides of the stadium for different handed batters, before and during the game.
That's a lot of work and I am sure I am probably leaving some things out. But that's what we do, right? That's who we are, more or less.
So that brings me to my question, do you ever get or want a day off?
About a month or so ago I attended a game with my buddy. Usually, I will leave work early (I normally get off work at 5:30, but on weekdays that I go to a game I'll leave at 3:30 to make batting practice), but on this particular day I got off at my normal time or 5:30 and we went to the game anyway. By getting there at around 6:00 we may or may not catch the last 5-10 minutes of batting practice, but we didn't care. We wanted to go to the game without going to batting practice, which is something we hadn't done in over two years.
You know what, it was pretty cool.
Sure we sat for the first inning or so and talked about the balls we probably could have come away with, but the game of baseball is more important to me than any ball I may snag in batting practice. Period. Not to mention the temperature was near 100 that day, so beating the heat was pretty cool too!
My point is I got back to the basics of being a baseball fan. Don't read anything into that, I'm not saying anyone is not a fan of baseball because they go to batting practice, don't misconstrue this. I simply mean it was kind of nice to just show up and watch a game. We still took our gloves don't get me wrong, we could still catch the elusive foul ball, but missing out on one round of batting practice didn't hurt as much as I thought it might.
How about you? Have you ever skipped a batting practice? Would you ever skip a batting practice? There's no right or wrong answer, I would just like to know everyone else's thoughts on this.
Brian Powell is a contributing columnist to myGameBalls.com and also maintains a Blog.