Over the last few days, I’ve been to two Yankee games. I went on Friday night with two friends and one of them brought two work friends. Yesterday, my girlfriend and I went to the Stadium to see CC do his thing–which he did, excellently. I usually don’t get to go to two games in one weekend, so I thought I’d just jot down some of my thoughts about going to baseball games in general.
The first time I remember going to a professional baseball game was in 1995 when the Blue Jays and Yankees played. I don’t remember much except that the Yankees won and it was the only time I ever saw Don Mattingly play. Of course, as a seven-about-to-be-eight year old, I had no idea exactly what it meant. Looking back, I wish I had made a bigger deal of it. I had been to games before, apparently, but had no idea I was there. Now, I try to make every single game special in some way. For example, I’ll remember today for spending it with my girlfriend while CC struck out ten Jays. Friday night I’ll remember for meeting new people and explaining my approach to baseball to them and my friends.
My baseball game watching experience has changed in a lot of ways. At home, I’m a pretty “active” baseball game watcher: I’ll generally have Twitter and this blog open to converse with you fine people; I’ll have MLB.tv on to watch other games; I’ll have B-R and FanGraphs open to “fact check” the announcers. Still, the most important part is the connection with other people. Even if it’s just Twitter, it’s fantastic to watch a game and discuss it with people who think in roughly the same way you do. That’s what made the TYA meetup so great: I didn’t have people looking at me like I had three heads when I said ‘FIP,’ ‘wOBA,’ or ‘x-win player.’ But, even when I can’t get that experience–watching with family, being at the game–the connection is what I feel the most. Baseball is a spectator sport and part of the joy of watching it is the sharing of heartfelt emotions over a common love of a game or team. Sure, there are things about both situations that bother me (overreactions, trolling, people who don’t get to the game until the third inning…the wave at inappropriate times, misjudging fly balls), but that never fully ruins the game experience. Regardless of what happens on the interwebz, in the stands, or on the field, watching and experiencing baseball is something special to me.
And that last part is why I do this, why I write about baseball. I know that I feel and think a certain way about the game and that you probably feel and think the same way, too. There’s a certain feeling I get when I watch baseball and when I analyze it and I want to share that feeling with you. Hopefully, you feel the same way.
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