Leaving The Ballpark

There are many great things to find in a life spent writing and obsessing about baseball. But it's not everything.
Share |

It recently dawned on me that I’ve been writing about baseball on the internet for four years. This may not seem like a long time, but it is to me. A lot has changed in four years. A lot hasn’t. When I started a baseball blog, Pitchers & Poets, I was 22 years old, unemployed, living in a giant city that was not home; I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I did not know how. Now I’m 26, under-employed, living in a different giant city that is also not home. I still want to be a writer, I still don’t know what I’m doing.

The city that I live in now is Mexico City. I’ve been here since October. I’m still figuring things out. One thing I’ve figured out is that Mexico City is so big and so unwieldy that sometimes, you just need to retreat inward. For me that means watching Law & Order reruns, or going to the movies, or eating dinner at P.F. Chang’s. Sometimes it means staying in the apartment with Janelle and pretending the outside world doesn’t exist. When you live somewhere else, the stupidest-seeming comforts from home begin to take on symbolic importance. An obvious place to retreat would be Major League Baseball: watching it, talking about it, writing about it.

But you shouldn’t always retreat. When you move as a gringo to a place like Mexico City, you have to embrace the mad scale of everything that surrounds you, the persistent volume of the streets, the inevitable stomach problems, the language. Otherwise you feel like you are wasting time, wasting away. For me, that means letting go of baseball this year, ever so gently. It means quitting my keeper league, and opting out of MLB.TV’s automatic renewal program. There was a time when I felt compelled to keep the pulse of baseball, duty-bound to know everything that was happening. That time is gone, but I still feel traces of the instinct, like lingering muscle memory.

I also quit Twitter, which has less to do with baseball and more to do with my own inability to manage time and direct whatever creative energy I have toward productive things. Still, it has had a liberating effect on my baseball fandom. Without an immediate outlet for my frustration about, say Matt Guerrier blowing lead after lead in the Dodger bullpen, I am learning to simply get less frustrated; to direct my energy elsewhere. Twitter is like an IV drip of informational opium—on one hand filling you up with the pleasant buzz of knowledge, and on the other hand sucking away at your energy and clarity of mind. It’s hard to pull the needle out of your arm, but after awhile you start to see things in color again.

In some ways, I picked a stupid time to make this decision. I’m devoting more time of my life than ever before to “being a writer.” The cost of living in Mexico City is low enough that I can actually make writerly earnings a foundational part of my total income.The smart business move would be to bear down, watch a lot of baseball, write a lot about it, and see where my career is in October. But you to spend time in one world at the expense of another. I’m finding it harder and harder to find things to say about Major League Baseball, and finding myself less and less comfortable with the notion that I have to say anything at all.

Plus, there is a baseball here too. I hope that by watching it I can rediscover some of the spirit that made me want to write about baseball in the first place. After all, learning is what the best writing is all about. There is much to discover in Mexico. I can approach a fully formed baseball universe without predisposition; learn its culture from scratch, unburdened by knowledge. I can separate the game itself from the baggage of American baseball history as I know it, appreciate the beauty of a single swing or catch without prejudice.

Twenty years ago, the novelist Richard Ford wrote an essay in the New York Times called “Stop Blaming Baseball,” making the long, nostalgic argument that baseball was changing for the worst (“many teams no longer play on actual grass”), then deciding that baseball was not actually worth being so upset over (“It may have broken Bart Giamatti's sentimental heart, but it will never break mine”). The whole thing reads like the work of somebody who has just thought about baseball for the first time, but thinks he has discovered the next theory of relativity. Of course baseball is simultaneously large and small, significant and trivial. That’s the whole point: It’s only a game, but it offers depth as such, and gateways into other less minor subjects.

One of the problems with Ford’s essay is that he sees Bud Selig’s contemporary MLB as the only form of baseball on the planet. He can’t separate the sport—with all its rich layers and history—from the spectacle that surrounds it, or else he sees the spectacle corrupting the sport, which in turn requires viewing baseball as this high, pure institution, which, come on. Ford talks a big game about baseball’s meaninglessness, but he himself is caught up in the search for something bigger. By backing away from American baseball, I’m not trying to make some kind of grand statement like Ford’s “But finally it's not even that important to me.” It’s still important to me. It’s just that other things are too.


Share |

Comments

Many thanks for the exciting blog posting! Simply put your blog post to my favorite blog list and will look forward for additional updates. Simply wanted to write down a word in order to say thanks to you for those wonderful tips. carpet cleaning perth

I have been searching for hours and I haven’t found such awesome work. home care in bristol

This is a really decent site post. Not very numerous individuals would really, the way you simply did. I am truly awed that there is such a great amount of data about this subject have been revealed and you've given a valiant effort, with so much class. In the event that needed to know more about green smoke audits, than by all methods come in and check our stuff. judi poker

I can see that you are a specialist at your field! I am dispatching a site soon, and your data will be extremely helpful for me.. Much obliged for all your help and wishing all of you the accomplishment in your business. judi poker online

Many thanks for the exciting blog posting! Simply put your blog post to my favorite blog list and will look forward for additional updates. Simply wanted to write down a word in order to say thanks to you for those wonderful tips. Instagram Photo Post Likes kaufen

This blog is truly awesome in all aspects. kahler disease

I'm keen a put up. It happens to be fantastic to ascertain most people verbalize out of your spirit not to mention ability on that fundamental topic area are generally comfortably found. ideas viewpoint online site. bullet hole stickers

oftentimes, human beings recognition best on web sites with ="hide">excellent="tipsBox"> authority (pagerank) in Google, wherein the one-way link are followed via the usage of spiders and skip juice for your web page. web2.0 blogs | keyword that suits service

You might be a single extremely trustworthy website article writer. After all, generally, people reveal concerns as well as the details they feature just isn't since sensible. An individual alternatively; whatever you point out pencils out there. The advice regarding the usage of as an example has been the most effective. This web site is perfect! essayhave.com website

Can you use software to get back-links? yes, but don't move to crazy and keep getting 10'000 an hour, as google can rank you decrease if it matters your simply spamming and now not getting relevance Unique Da Backlinks | web2.0 blogs

As i plan to explain which really find out more about your webblog and even As i realize it's highly important and even insightful.. Comprar carteira de motorista

A good blog always comes-up with new and exciting information and while reading I have feel that this blog is really have all those quality that qualify a blog to be a one. mens designer clothes

A boy’s voice breaks, he develops greater masculine facial functions and his shoulders also broaden. however, closer to the age of 30 and early 40s, the extent of testosterone hormone starts to decline. ultimate testo explosion

Its an incredible joy perusing your post.Its brimming with data I am searching for and I want to post a remark that "The substance of your post is amazing" Great work. phentermine

Great data on your website, thank you for setting aside an ideal opportunity to impart to us. Stunning knowledge you have on this present, it's pleasant to discover a site that points of interest such a great amount of data about distinctive specialists. domino qq

I like all details that you provide in your articles. adu q

Thanks a lot very much for the high quality and results-oriented help. I won’t think twice to endorse your blog post to anybody who wants and needs support about this area. lisaolson.org.uk/

You guys make it really easy for all the folks out there. pain below right breast

You made some decent points there. I looked on the web for more info about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.
joy ful costumes

I just thought it may be an idea to post incase anyone else was having problems researching but I am a little unsure if I am allowed to put names and addresses on here. jogos friv2

I just thought it may be an idea to post incase anyone else was having problems researching but I am a little unsure if I am allowed to put names and addresses on here. bracelets for men in silver, silver chain bracelets for men images

I like viewing web sites which comprehend the price of delivering the excellent useful resource free of charge. I truly adored reading your posting. Thank you! dieting-tips

I sent your articles links to all my contacts and they all love it including me. Mikrowelle Test

Pleasant to peruse your article! I am anticipating sharing your enterprises and encounters. Mikrowelle unterbaufähig

I have as of late begun a web journal, the data you give on this website has helped me significantly. A debt of gratitude is in order for the majority of your time and work. novoline-online.com

Thanks for sharing this interesting blog with us.My pleasure to being here on your blog..I wanna come beck here for new post from your site.men designer bags

Get best and Simple Responsive Website Templates on Creative Template for top Website Builder professionals and choose from 100+ Business website and Blog.
energytech 2013

You may downright count on that the Destroya Fleshlite with ruin the Riley Reid Utopia pocket pussy ever time.. Launch

I discovered your site ideal for me. It consists of wonderful and useful posts. I’ve read many of them and also got so much from them. In my experience, you do the truly amazing.Trulyi’m impressed out of this publish. incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in

After reading your article I was amazed. I know that you explain it very well. And I hope that other readers will also experience how I feel after reading your article. new songs download

I am having a basic time today ! To a brilliant degree strong information unfathomably the last part I direct such data a lot. red clutch bags

The data you have posted is exceptionally valuable. The locales you have alluded was great. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing.. gutter cleaning

I like this post,And I figure that they having a great time to peruse this post,they might take a decent site to make an information,thanks for sharing it to me. dental assistance programs

I'd like to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this website. I really hope to see the same high-grade content from yyou in tthe future as well. In fact, yor creative writing abilities has inspired me to get myy very own site now
Fabrizio politi

As a search engine optimization troupe devoted to honorable seo offerings, all our strategies are a person hat. We submit our change relationships seriously and aim to throw long on-lineament.. Cheapest SEO Pricing

Your web journal furnished us with significant data to work with. Each and every tips of your post are marvelous. You're the best to share. Continue blogging.. drinksati.com

Much thanks to you a cluster for offering this to every one of us you really acknowledge what you are discussing! Bookmarked. If you don't mind likewise look for guidance from my site =). We could have a hyperlink change contract between us! weight loss

This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!. client testimonials of mittelwest german shepherds

Once you find your division, search for your images and add them to your account. We shot both runs each day, so be sure to find and add both runs. Both runs will be in the SAME roll number. https://dureeffet.webstarts.com/

You don’t have to be a literary genius to make money from freelance writing. Online freelance writing is a growing market, particularly in the area of article writing. https://welovenonsense.wordpress.com/

I have perused your web journal it is extremely useful for me. I need to express profound gratitude to you. I have bookmark your site for future redesigns. slip-watches

Many of the remaining photos have been re-captioned with the raw truth behind her feelings while taking each photo. buy instagram likes

Oh well, what's the best restaurant in this particular region?" You'd never go to a list where the restaurants just paid. That would give you the conglomerates and the people who can ford to spend the most and the worst. Fort Lauderdale SEO services

I truly value this awesome post that you have accommodated us. I guarantee this would be gainful for the greater part of the general population. Jackpot

to triumph over the at-will presumption, a claimant need to present evidence of an employment agreement (express or implied) providing a hard and fast term (i.e. agreement imparting 6 months, and many others., of employment). overtime California 

I am all that much satisfied with the substance you have said. I needed to thank you for this extraordinary article. womens health

Goodness! This could be a standout amongst the most valuable web journals we have ever go over on thesubject. Really great data! I'm additionally a specialist in this theme so I can comprehend your exertion. cccam server

The blog and data is excellent and informative as well. porn cccam server

Totally awesome posting! Heaps of helpful data and motivation, both of which we all need!Relay welcome your work. womens health work out gym fitness

Easily, the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. free credit score government