I've had a love/hate relationship with baseball for many years, as I related in this piece about my fleeting career as a baseball writer in the 1980s.
(You can read a polished version of that amazing piece and much more if you buy this book by Buddy Dooley.)
Sometimes the game of baseball induces utter boredom for me, which causes me to wonder why I ever liked it to begin with. At other times, particularly when I recall playing third base in high school and junior college many years ago, the juices start to flow again.
Or at least trickle.
As I discovered early on the left corner of the diamond was no place to nap unless you wanted to risk being murdered by a line drive. Even then I might grow sleepy, but that is because I was a dreamy lad. I managed to lose track of both the pitch count and the number of outs in an inning on more than one occasion, just as I do now as I try to read Being and Nothingness while watching the BoSox vs. the Yanks.
Baseball is timeless, have you heard?
I've watched a handful of Major League baseball games in person over the years, and now I've mainly forgotten them.
I did watch Catfish Hunter throw a no-hitter in Oakland once, I think.
Another time, in San Francisco, I sat next to a band of Dixieland Jazz players wearing pork-pie hats. That was pretty cool.
I know I didn't see Hunter's perfect game, but I saw this one on television last year.
"Yeah...Woo!" I documented the damn thing like I was there and not sitting in a bar talking to the guy next to me who never played baseball.
One other memorable televised baseball moment occurred for me as I watched a game in 1986. I was as stunned as any mild-mannered baseball fan has ever been as I watched a grounder go between Bill Buckner's legs.
To this day that is as funny and fucked up as anything you will ever see.
I chased a foul ball down in the third tier of the old Seattle Kingdome one time. A ten year-old baseball memorabilia collector offered me fifteen bucks for it on the spot.
I threatened the kid with ultraviolence and he backed off.
Just kidding, I gave the ball to my daughter, who will one day give it to this little slugger, which is the way things ought to work, the way they do work in a decent world.
The Kingdome was the worst baseball venue in the history of the game by the way.
Best thing that ever happened to Seattle.
Speaking of baseball memories, here's a shitty little story.
Anyway, Major League Baseball starts today, and former Boston slugger Kevin Youkilis now plays for the Yankees.
See what I mean? Why shouldn't we boycott these uncaring millionaires?
But this is Opening Day... maybe I'll take another crack at Ulysses and watch a couple of innings. With any luck, Jon Lester will knock Youkilis on his keister a couple of times.