Saturday, March 29, 2008

Play Ball!

Ahhhh......Baseball's opening day is just around the corner. Yessir, I'm ready. I have the Seattle Mariners schedule bookmarked on my computer, my authentic replica Ichiro jersey through the wash, and my well thumbed copy of Watching Baseball Smarter - A Professional Fan's Guide for Beginners, Semi-experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks by Zack Hample on the coffee table. 

My obsession with the Mariners is a fairly recent development. It all started three seasons ago when I was disgustedly flipping through the TV channels. I don't do soaps. Game shows are just plain irritating. For crying out loud - a zillion channels and nothing to watch! I used to tolerate inspirational/talk show/self-help type programs, but as I spent more time in front of TV during my resting periods, I noticed a strange development within myself. 

As my world seemed to become smaller after I developed Sjogren's, my emotional reactions to situations became larger. As I watched more and more television, I found myself REALLY caring whether or not Dr. Phil could help Sandra overcome her irrational fear of carrots. Would John and Mary's marriage be saved after Mary's torrid fling with the furnace repair guy?

The night that I drifted off to sleep mulling over Oprah's latest weight loss struggle was the night that I realized............Man, I need to get other interests. Sure, the lives of Hubby and Kids kept me very engaged, but still. Honestly. 

The next day found me channel surfing during my usual afternoon-on-the-couch-during-rest-period session. Purely coincidentally, I flipped to a channel that was broadcasting a Mariners game. Boring stuff, I thought. Yet there was something oddly compelling about it. I turned the volume on the TV down, left the game on, and picked up a book. I found myself glancing more and more frequently at the game, and my book lost some of it's appeal. I turned the volume up just a smidge. Tie game, I noticed. I had a very rudimentary understanding of the game but could still see that at the bottom of the ninth,  home team up to bat, and bases loaded, well, this could be somewhat interesting. A tall player stepped up to bat, and the crowd went wild. They began chanting I-CHI-RO! I-CHI-RO! The book was tossed aside as I leaned in closer to the TV.

The batter watched two strike balls go by. On the third, he sent the pitch sailing away for a grand slam. The stadium erupted in wild cheers and I was hooked. Now THIS is the kind of emotion I can get caught up in, I thought. 

And so my obsession with baseball began. My girlfriends are mystified by this new interest, my children amused, and my husband delighted. Bring on the peanuts and cracker jack! It's baseball season once again!

No comments: