For years I have considered the clank of a metal bat hitting a baseball to be sacrilegious.
Baseball should involve the crack of the ball coming off of a wooden bat.
As a baseball fan since I could get in to watch the Cincinnati Reds for free because I could walk under the turnstile and sit on my dad’s lap during the game, it has been so.
But, as country music star Patty Loveless once sang, “Life’s about changing…”
Baseball, at least at Major League Baseball, changed when the 2020 season finally got underway in August.
One of the things fans most enjoy about baseball is the traditions. The seventh inning stretch, the peanut vendor, rain delays, day baseball at Wrigley Field in Chicago, arguing with the umpire and players standing during the playing of the national anthem before the game are among the most famous.
While the stretch remains, the peanut vendor now has to fight with the people selling split the pot tickets and other formerly unknown items. Rain delays are a thing of the past in many cities thanks to retractable roofs. The lights went on at Wrigley Field. With the institution of instant replay, Major League Baseball added a rule that a manager that even began arguing with an umpire was immediately ejected. And when the 2020 season began, a number of baseball players followed other professional athletes in kneeling for the anthem.
As a result, I, and a number of fans, elected to tune out Major League Baseball.
Outside of the Reds, I have found more and more of the players on other rosters had me asking, “Who’s that?”
So it wasn’t that big of a stretch for me to tune out completely.
But after several years near the bottom of the National League Central Division, and all of Major League Baseball, the Reds had made moves to improve.
I didn’t care.
The 2021 season began last Thursday.
I didn’t care.
But there would be fans in the stands, unlike 2020 when there were a bunch of cardboard cutouts.
Maybe that would help show the kneeling players how the public felt.
Yet, Major League Baseball doubled down on pushing away fans like me.
In light of a new law passed by the Georgia General Assembly, Major League Baseball elected to pull the All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver, Colorado.
The law in question involves changes to Georgia’s election laws. Whether the changes are good or bad is a subject for another column. But Major League Baseball did something for the sake of doing something by pulling the game out of Atlanta.
I’m not a fan of the All-Star Game. It is a big popularity contest as opposed to the best players chosen.
But Major League Baseball has forgotten that its fanbase is all across the political spectrum.
In addition, several pundents have asked the question about what will Major League Baseball do if the Atlanta Braves make the playoffs and/or World Series?
Again, another topic for another column
Days before Major League Baseball’s season began, high schools across Kentucky opened their baseball and softball seasons.
For the next two months, Corbin, Whitley County and Williamsburg’s baseball and softball teams will be hitting the field.
While it will involve a clank instead of a crack, and I will have to bring my own peanuts, and have to settle for a fifth inning stretch, I look forward to seeing these players in action.
The games will be played on grass, outside, and our local players will be standing during the national anthem as I witnessed Tuesday night.
Definitely closer to the game that I love than the one that Major League Baseball is putting on the field.