Sunday, August 9, 2009


I truly believe that baseball is the defining metaphor of life. It is as clear and true and reliable as anything you can imagine.

In the Major Leagues--which is my interest in baseball, not concerned about the minors or college ball or Little League--the pitching rubber is 66 or so feet from home plate. The bases are 90 feet apart, forming a perfect diamond. The straight line from home plate over first base and third base extends out into oblivion--or, at least until there is a wall and a 'fair pole' on either side. One variable is that no two fields have the same dimensions on the distance from home plate to the walls. But it is invariable that any ball hit over those walls, inside the 'fair poles' is a home run. (I use the term "fair poles" rather than 'foul poles'--which is what they are called--
because a ball that hits them is 'fair' not 'foul'....Go figure....)

There are many things I love about baseball--not the least of which is that, since it is almost always played outside (there are some stadiums with roofs and artificial grass--shame on them) and therefore heir to what the weather brings. The season lasts from April to October and, given that length of time, is dependant on what the weather brings. It should be possible to let the teams who play in the north--New York, Cleveland, Chicago, Boston, etc.--start the season in places where it seldom rains--Arizona, Texas, LA, etc.--or in domed stadiums (Minnesota, Toronto, Seattle, etc.). Yet the idiots who make up the schedules don't do that so you have games in Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Boston played in April in the rain or snow.... It always rains someplaces--Florida and Atlanta, for example...places that don't have roofs over the field. Good! Rain delays and rain outs are part of the deal about baseball....

One thing about baseball is that there is no time limit (I'll get to that in a while) though other major team sports--football, basketball, soccer, etc.--are 'timed'. There is a 'timelessness' two baseball. It happens when the 9th inning ends (or whichever inning after that ends) and one team is ahead. How glorious, baseball is not on 'the clock'! It is over when it is over. Just like life, I might observe.

I have much more to write about baseball as the Metaphor for life--but I have to eat dinner and watch a baseball game....I'll get back to you when the timelessness is ended....OK?

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.