Game 7 of the 2017 World Series has been written about ad nauseam. It’s modern baseball’s defining game, a culmination of two long running subplots to each season.

It’s perhaps the fault of the phenomenal Cubs/Indians series that baseball writing has been focused on fixing the game, even in mainstream outlets like the New York Times.

Ultimately, the issue isn’t intentional walks, pitching changes, or extra innings (although a pitch clock seems like an amazing idea). The baseball season is simply too damn long. For a casual fan, this is baseball’s prime failure; this is the reason why so many fans tune in for the playoffs and not much else. Social media is filled with support during each World Series. In June? Almost nothing.

Major League Baseball needs to market the variance, rather than almost arbitrarily make decisions to change things.

After all, what is baseball but a reflection of life? Each game, like each day of living, somehow concurrently means both very much and very little. (I mean, come on – I purchased a ticket eight rows behind home plate at an upcoming game for 30 dollars). Events are magnified in our consciousness, analyzed down to every last detail. We spend hours of waking life thinking about things we’ve done wrong each day. (“Did I call that cashier ‘mom’?” “Have I had my zipper down all day?”) In reality, these events are unlikely to be remembered months, or even days down the line. Each minor circumstance of living, however, has value as part of the journey. Little moments add up to shape our inner being, just as baseball teams are defined by each win or loss.

Baseball, like life, is about the long haul. And in a 162-game season, that should be the big sell. Baseball, unlike any other activity, prides itself on the numerous variables that go into its remarkable existence. The permutations are enormous. Am I going to turn on my television (or more realistically, MLB.TV) and see Clayton Kershaw throw 9 shutout frames, or will it be Jeremy Guthrie allowing 10 earned runs in 0.2 innings?

Sure, the season can seem like a slog. But at the end of it all, what makes it memorable is the sheer volume of it. There’s no better measure of the talent of a group of teammates over a full season, and no other game that puts individual consistency on full display.

The sum of who we are is a combination of those forgettable moments and the extraordinary ones. So is baseball, and that should be embraced.

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One Response to “On the Innate Beauty of Baseball”

  1. Alex Hume

    Some of the games I remember best are ones where my favourite teams lost.

    My first two live games with my dad, the Jays lost 17-2 and 11-5>
    My family took my grandmother to the then SkyDome for the only time in her life, to take in a 7-0 loss to Detroit for her 86th birthday.

    My favourite memory of a game with my mom was a game where Sammy Sosa hit two home runs for Baltimore in a win over the Jays.

    The beauty of baseball is how quickly it can be found beyond the boxscore.

    Reply

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