What Baseball Was Missing -- Fans
(This just in: fan makes cheesy catch of home run ball.)
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Clearly, baseball missed its fans as much as the fans missed baseball.
Now we fully understand the pandemic pall of the truncated 2020 season -- no fanatics, no diehards, no leather-lungs, no lunatics, adding color and noise to the play on the field.
Never again underestimate fans.
Even with the modest percentile of fans allowed in ball parks in states where governments respect the murderous potential of the virus, baseball feels more like baseball this year.
Fans with distended facial features and thrashing arms try to summon a rally. Fans stand and applaud a gallant catch, a timely hit, a strikeout pitch by the home side.
Even back in our solitary dens, staying safe, we enjoy the game more this time around because some of our fellow fans are out there, doing what we do not yet dare to do – cheering, booing, beseeching, heckling, though their masks.
Those fans are there for us. This was apparent Wednesday night as the Mets won their third straight game on a manic homestand.
Some fans even displayed mid-season form in the skills of the game.
James McCann, the experienced catcher who has already picked a runner off second base – first time in eight years for the Mets! – slugged a long fly ball to left field. Two Phillies made frantic runs to the wall, one digging his spikes into the padding, but the ball was over the railing – and into the glove of a fan in his socially-distanced position. The fan looked like a latter-day Mickey or Willie or The Duke as he softly squeezed the ball.
Heroes all around us. Seconds later, a fellow fan applauded the catch, and the TV announcers duly noted the brilliant positioning and soft hands of the civilian.
Better yet, somehow the Mets’ TV crew located his wife, Jessica, and their twin sons, celebrating McCann's first home run with the Mets. Last year that family moment could not have happened.
Baseball has life again -- despite the mad-professor innovations in majors and minors: the goofus runner on second base in extra innings, the threatened extra foot from the mound to home plate, other silly little gimmicks in the fevered minds of Major League Baseball executives who apparently hate the game for which they are allegedly stewards.
But at least there are fans again – cheering, heckling, groaning, applauding.
Some fans can even catch a major-league fly ball.
4/15/2021 08:08:05 pm
Moved to song...”Buy me some peanuts and crackerjack, I dont care if I nevere get back....”
4/16/2021 03:54:11 pm
Ed: Thanks for the lyrics, but I can't find them in a web search.
4/17/2021 12:20:55 am
GV, it is from my Brooklyn Dodger memories, called, “Oh. Give Me the Moon over Brooklyn.”
4/16/2021 07:55:23 am
Woke up this morning to this amazing sports report from WCBS:
4/16/2021 02:06:41 pm
roy....guy named gibson probably felt the same for a lot of the '68 season. often think of koufax in the world series. ERA was, i think, .095 and his record was 4-3.
4/16/2021 04:07:54 pm
Bruce, 2 things.
4/16/2021 03:57:40 pm
Roy, good point, I worry, also. DeGrom seems challenged/happy with his hitless wonder teammates but at what point do he and his agent decide there's something wrong with this picture, and you need a 20-victry season or two to get into the Hall of Fame,
4/16/2021 06:02:32 pm
4/17/2021 11:47:07 am
Yes, baseball season is back. Maybe some warm weather in Western Mass will follow.
4/16/2021 09:20:43 am
Wonderful commentary on the return of life as we once knew it. Fans, heckling and more. I want to go to a game! Let's hope the Mets can keep up the magic.
4/16/2021 04:10:59 pm
Di, long season...let's just hope for some awakening by the people who think masks and shots and precautions are a threat to their civil liberties. Right now I don';t trust crowds...But I've had this ballpark discussion with several other friends...we're in good company, See you soon. G
4/16/2021 02:11:19 pm
4/16/2021 04:15:08 pm
Bruce, I have to admit, I don't keep up with the other teams -- dont like network noise, etc. and miss boxscores in the NYT, (I know, they're online....) I'll pick up the pace. I kind of love the Canadian division, but a lot of miles in that one. GV
4/17/2021 01:05:23 pm
4/17/2021 12:29:14 am
Eureka! A speedboat racer and restraunteur, named Guy Lombardo wrote it!
4/17/2021 12:35:42 am
4/17/2021 12:56:19 pm
Why did I know we would hear from you? On LI, NYC, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canucks, was a recurring presence, every New Year’s Eve on tv, too! In jazz circles, he was described as a “square.” Lawrence Welk took his place, and Lester Lanin.
4/17/2021 01:10:01 pm
4/18/2021 08:39:36 am
Bruce: I totally forgot Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians, Here in Nassau County, Long Island, he was Guy Lombardo from Freeport (street and other places named for this loyal resident.)
4/18/2021 08:55:39 am
4/17/2021 07:52:39 pm
4/18/2021 08:43:48 am
Altenir: It's true. I was watching fans in Colorado yesterday, after the snow had been cleared -- some were in shirtsleeves for first game of DH, others were bundled up. My heart went out to all of them, watching 2 for the price of one.
4/18/2021 07:44:58 pm
.From April 7, comment. Any second thoughts, Jim? 14 strikeouts, nine in row, era. About 0.50. Video of strike outs suggests, great movement, wonderful position, breaking balls, and change ups, not just fastball, although the third strike of number 14 was 100mph even at that point.
4/18/2021 08:02:34 pm
watching willie davis go from 1st to third on a hit to the outfield was a thing of beauty.
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“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.