the long dark pitching change of the soul

photo by Samara Pearlstein

They’ve just started running (or perhaps they’ve been running, but I only just noticed ’em because I’ve been watching endless amounts of football this weekend) ads for Tigers seasons tickets, and I don’t know about you cats, but they’re painful for me to watch. Painful in the sense that it’s a stark reminder of what I am NOT seeing right now. Mainly, baseball.

It’s one thing to see photos and to think about the season, which I do all the time. It’s another thing entirely to see video clips from the season, ENTICING you into believing that baseball is here, you can almost taste it. It’s cruel and it’s evilly smart marketing, because there’s nothing I want more right now than to buy season tickets, this despite the fact that I am not actually in Michigan for most of the summer and, even if I was, things like internships/jobs would make season tickets highly impracticable (not to mention the price). But I WANTS.

It’s about that time of winter where you’re feeling desperate. Football’s still going on, but you know it’s going to be over soon, and then what? THEN WHAT?? Then you have what Douglas Adams would call “the long dark teatime of the soul,” the time when you have to watch basketball and hockey and the Winter X-Games and tennis (seriously, tennis is great; they play it in bizarre time zones, so it’s often on live in the wee hours and is thus perfect for insomniatic college students) even though all you REALLY want to see is baseball.

I’d call it “the long dark pitching change of the soul,” because Adams was British and I am a coffee-guzzlin’ Amurkin, and when it comes to quiet interstitial time I can much more relate to a pitching change than to some genial hour for the consumption of boiled leaves.

[Did Tom Brady just throw an interception? Did that just happen? WHAT WHAT WHAT ARGH. I hate the Chargers and I hate San Diego and I hate the completely retarded new umpire outfits and grrrrraarrrrggghhh NOT ALLOWED TO BE INTERCEPTING TOM BRADY.]

Brief relevant story. Last spring, the very first game I went to was a Michigan baseball game. This one, actually, if you want to see the photos from it. Ray Fisher is a pretty small baseball park, so as I approached it through the parking lot, I could hear what was going on inside. I was there early, so the Wolverines were still taking BP. And, this being college ball, that meant that as I walked up I could hear a low murmur of chatter and the sharp, clear pinging of aluminum bats.

Ping. Ping. It’s not a noise that seems natural, when you’re used to a wooden crack, but it’s still quite unmistakeably a baseball noise.

Outside the park, I had to stop and sit down for a minute because I thought I was going to start crying. It was quite literally one of the most beautiful things I’d ever heard, that joyful sound of bat on ball after a long, LONG winter.

Even ALUMINUM bats. That’s how much I miss baseball. It’s a sort of constant ache, the kind of thing you live with so consistently that you almost forget it’s there, and until I heard that pinging…. well, it was like a warm wind to melt the winter away, to put it floridly, and it hit me all at once. Baseball. BASEBALL.

So these stupid bloody season’s ticket ads, that’s what they’re doing. They’re making it impossible for me to ignore the ache. I’m all “yay footballz woo,” then I see one of these things and I NEED BASEBALL. Then football comes back on and THE PATRIOTS ARE STILL LOSING WHAT THE SNARGLE and it’s not enough to make up for the decided lack of baseball.


This is all fairly pathetic, I realize, but I reckon some of you lot probably know what I’m talking about.


2 responses to “the long dark pitching change of the soul

  1. I can’t even let myself go there right now. But oh yes… I know what you’re talking about.

  2. Waiting, waiting…. it’s all about the waiting. Grr.

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