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Sportsballs

Opening Day…um

David Freese after his game-tying two-run triple with two outs in the ninth inning of the epic-as-fuck Game 6 of the 2011 World Series against the Texas Rangers.
Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

I’m not gonna lie, I’d been working on sort of a sourpuss piece about the changes Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has implemented (and attempts to implement) for absolutely no other reason than to attract a few NFL and NBA fans to America’s Pastime. But a lot has changed over the past few weeks, so I’ll save the criticism for more important things. I am here to celebrate baseball or, more specifically, the emotions that are attached to baseball, and sports in general.

Today would have been Opening Day for the 2020 Major League Baseball season. Of course, there is no baseball. As it stands, the season is set to begin two weeks from now, as announced by MLB on March 12. This is extremely unlikely. Optimistically, if I were to make a wager, I’d say the season could start in July. But I think it’s very realistic to conclude that the season is in jeopardy–which makes me very sad.

I was inspired to write this because A) I truly do love the game of baseball, and B) I just finished watching Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, and I was once again an emotional wreck. It took a lot of strength to not completely lose it in front of my family for fear they’d think I was an absolute crazy person (remember, this game was nine years ago).

Why do sports–essentially the act of watching grown men and women play a game they love while getting paid a lot of money to do so–make us so goddamn emotional and insane? As someone who gets completely wrapped up in games (baseball only for me, thank Yadi), and screams at the television over a botched play, and howls like wolf in heat after a game-winning home run (to wit: After Albert Pujols hit a massive home run off Astros’ reliever Brad Lidge in the 2005 NLCS I took my pants off and ran down the street, waving them over my head), I still don’t understand it.

But baseball does make me emotional. Baseball does make me happy. Baseball does bring my friends and me together. And now, when some of us need this distraction the most, baseball is not here for us (for good reasons, of course, but it still sucks). I’m sure a few of you reading have retreated to the warm embrace of a classic game or match during this strange and trying time. If not, good for you–you are an emotionally stable person.

I look forward to again watching a live baseball broadcast some day. I guess for now my wallet and my blood pressure thank me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch this again and cry like a baby because I’m a big, stupid baby.