A baseball game. Four bases, nine players per team, an umpire and people watching on the sidelines.
- The game that the pitcher sees is seen from the center of the four bases, facing toward home plate.
- The game that the catcher sees is from behind home plate facing the pitcher.
- The batter sees the game from beside home plate, at least while at bat. If he hits the ball his perspective will change rapidly, from base to base to base to home.
- What the left fielder sees is not the same thing that the right fielder sees.
- Short stop sees an angle similar to, but not exactly the same as the left fielder. And each base player has an angle unique to their position on the field.
And, sometimes, it seems, that the umpire is seeing an entirely different game altogether than everyone else.
And we’d be right to think so.
Because, he’s seeing the game from behind home plate, hunched over the catcher, with a batter on one side just ahead of him. No one else in the stadium has that exact same view.
There’s also those observers of the game. The game experience can be vastly different each time I attend. Sitting in front of a group of people who’ve had a few extra beers before ever arriving at the game, and then have steadily added to that amount as they’ve watched, will color my experience because I’ll get their unfiltered, fairly loud comments as a sort of spice to the game. My team may lose, but I might walk away having had a hilariously entertaining time. Or I could leave angry and agitated by the drunken fans.
And then there’s the kind of game. A little league game is going to have a different feel and look than a small hometown high school rivalry game. And the major league experience I have watching the Diamondbacks play in downtown Phoenix with the Chase Field roof closed, is going to vary significantly from watching the Colorado Rockies team playing at Coors Field during a rainstorm.
It’s all just baseball. Isn’t it?
We’re talking innings, strikes, balls, outs, fly balls, runs, errors, home runs, mitts, bats, stealing, sliding, catching, throwing. Basic baseball.
So many points of view.
And it’s just a game.
Here’s my question. Okay, questions. Who’s having the real baseball experience? Which point of view is correct? Is there a correct point of view? Can everyone be right? Can every experience be valid? Is the pee wee game where everyone’s a winner just as “baseballesque” as the World Series? Or is something in-between the two extremes the “real” baseball experience?
Am I just talking baseball here?
It feels bigger than that, but I haven’t figured it out yet. I don’t follow baseball. I had to Google “world series” to see who was playing. I think it’s more than baseball though. It feels like a political metaphor. But I don’t talk politics. I steer clear of controversy of all flavors. Any insight you have about why baseball is on my mind would be helpful.
I want all the answers, but I don’t think I can have them all. I think I’m just one player in the game with most of my time spent on the bench, spitting out sunflower husks, making a mess of things.
I feel a little antsy hoping, worrying, watching. There’s only so much I can do from my perspective out in the field or on the bench, or in the stands, or behind the plate.
Does it matter?
Sure it does. To me.
And to everyone else.
What’s your perspective?
- Mark Purdy: Giants are winning weird (mercurynews.com)