Saturday, July 12, 2014

You Are A Very a Beautiful: For the Love of the Game

"It's hard not to be romantic about baseball," Billy Beane, Moneyball (2011)

Contrary to popular belief about Catcher's namesake, he is not named after a favorite sports position, nor are his parents such fanatical Salingerites that they just couldn't help themselves. No, truth be told, it was a character from eleven years ago - in a rather forgettable but fun film - that indeed influenced his name. So in some ways we are not as predictable as you think, and in others we are shameless. If he's ever tired of it, or feels like he can't listen to the same five quips about his name anymore - something I'm already sick of - he can always go by whatever the heck he feels like, although at this point I'm concerned that he would choose Mickey Mouse, Peg Legged Pete, or the moniker I have pet named him, "Stinker Binker."

That said, he just got back from spending two weeks enjoying his mother's favorite sport - with no intended reference to his name - for 6 consecutive days, in two cities, and then on the television after that. 

Daddy - but I just call him Tom - has been in producing world, which I imagine has probably resembled Thunderdome for a while now. He's producing a feature this summer and so we decided to give him some space to get the pre-pro work done - much to his protesting - and Catcher and I went to Dallas to watch Uncle Wally's Detroit Tigers play the Texas Rangers and then on to Houston to see them play the Astros. They swept the Rangers and lost two to the Astros, and it was some of the best baseball I've seen in a while, and the first MLB baseball I've been to in about 8 years.

I love this sport; it's euphoric for me. Wally's boys are tearing it up out there, and unlike their tied-for-first rivals the Oakland A's, they're actually playing baseball to be on top instead of coming up with wall street equations for wins. Too political? 

I only know a little about a lot of sports, but I know a lot about little ol' baseball. A lot.

I've had dates go with me to games over the years, only to find themselves a little bewildered by my baseball prowess, and only for me to find myself a little baffled by the fact that they knew almost nothing about it. For me, I was born into it, and I'm not being hyperbolic. Examining it now, baseball feels second nature to me. It's a little like someone asking you, "How did you learn to speak?" and you don't really know how, you just know you did, and it was before you had an active consciousness. Baseball is like a first language to me, cheese fully intended. 

Anyhow, going on dates to the ballpark with gentleman was always like this:

"What's an RBI? Why is that a foul ball? How do they calculate a batting average? What's a double play? Why does a foul ball count as a strike, just not the 3rd strike? Why are they intentionally walking him? What's a pinch hitter? Why is there a seventh inning stretch? Do we have to stay for the whole game? Why can't we leave if our team is losing in the last inning? Why do I find this sport so boring? Let's break up because I'm not attracted to you this way. "

I don't really judge, because it sounds a lot like me watching most other sports, and now I do feel a bit red-handed for being that person for my dad and brothers when I've watched football, golf, and sometimes basketball with them. Those sports are perhaps more exhilarating for some, but they don't speak my language. Baseball is Bresson, it takes it's time and setup. It sinks into you and you sink into it. The ballpark is a warm place, and the fans, the true fans, are of a a different ilk. Baseball is a conversation with a dear friend; sometimes it's just familiar small talk and formality, but it's intermixed with moments of poignant statements and sometimes rage. I don't have to add that it's Americana at it's best, because, duh. But it is. It's also rife with analogies, similes, metaphors and cliches. 

By the way, indulge me and watch one of the best scenes in any baseball film, maybe in cinema itself. 

Catcher sat through six - count 'em - amazing nights of games in a ROW, and was a total champ. I believe he actually started to think it was his new home. When "Deep in the Heart of Texas" played after every "Take me Out to the Ballgame" - Texas imperialism at it's finest - I know he was seconds from doing the clap, I just know it. Not only that, he flew and roadtripped like a champ, too. 

Ok, so maybe he was a little tired by the end

We had a halfway wonderful return flight, only for Catcher to turn the other half into a baby horror film, which everyone knows includes having every bodily fluid come out of every bodily part while bashing his mom in the collar bone and simultaneously knocking a drink out of a business man's hand., also adding a new 'bit' he does that I like to call 'Screamting' (he cries and spits at the same time using his tongue. It's insanely impressive.)  I'm not actually very phased by it, although I probably seem like I am just for sharing it, but even Tom said upon picking me up, "Geez, for that kind of freakout, you were remarkably composed when I saw you."I was actually outside of my body at that moment, watching the conversation from above. But I was fine. I did have a 3 hour nap afterwards. 


He spent the rest of the day and night being more adorable than anyone has a right to be. 

Yep, after his slightly rough start in life, every day since has seemed like Christmas morning. Catcher's name might not having any intentional baseball connotations or denotations, but man it's hard not to be romantic about my baby. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh you kids and your baseball ;) I went with the Sacramento Joyners recently to see the Tigers play the A's. It was crazy-town. Glad you had such a fun time. Catcher is ridiculously cute and I am so glad that everyday is turning into Christmas morning for you!