Monday, August 24, 2009

more about baseball

If the bases were 89 feet apart there would be a lot more infield hits. There are lots of close calls at first base in most any game. Some of them result in arguments and even ejections by the umpires of those complaining. Just a foot difference would change the game greatly--so how did Abner Doubleday, who created the game, most agree, come up with 90 feet? Divine intervention? Go figure.

More and more, players come up to bat in body armour. They all, by rule, wear helmets, and many wear protective coverings on their shins, elbows and arms. Most everyone wears 'batting gloves'--a borrowing from golf, but on both hands--and many have 'running gloves' once they get on base which they hold in their hands while running the bases to keep them from stubbing or breaking their fingers if they have to slide. All these are accouterments over the last few decades to protect players from injury. For a sport that is 'non-contact', lots of people get hurt. "Playing through pain" is one of the most admired attributes of a baseball player, but most of them are millionaires these days and don't want to and don't want to get hurt and possibly endanger their next contract.

Jorge Posada is one of my favorite players because he is one of a few that doesn't wear batting gloves. Plus, he's a catcher, the most dangerous and physically draining of all positions. But he does wear a shin guard to protect his leg from fouled balls when batting.

Pain is part of the game. That is just one of the many ways that baseball is like life....

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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.