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Was It A Bad Game Or A Good One? . . .Yes

August 27, 2019

The field was the same. . .the impossible verdant green that you can only dream about your lawn looking like.

The building was new to me, but still the same. A retractable roof. Seating for 37,442. There were nine men in uniforms. A bat and a ball.

But, it was also different. One team I’d never seen in person. The location was Miami. And the biggest difference? There were 6,169 of them. The stadium was 80% empty. That’s what happens when a terrible team (Marlins are 47 and 84 and in last place, 23 games behind their division leader) hosts a bad team (Cincinnati is 62 and 69 and eight games back) on a Tuesday night during the dog days of August.

You might think that meant it was a bad game. Not true. Tonight’s game was a competitive the entire game. All the way up until the last out. The Reds were leading 8-5 going into the bottom of the ninth. The Marlins got tagged for two quick outs and then started a rally. Two men walked and that brought the tying run to the plate.

Looking around the stadium, I think all 6,169 fans were still in attendance. Sadly for the home team, their first baseman, a guy named Walker, hit a liner to the third baseman and was thrown out by a step at first.

Was it a bad game? Was it a good game? Yes. Baseball is kind of like fishing. The very act of participating is what makes it enjoyable. The outcome is interesting, but not crucial to the enjoyment.

While I went to see the Reds take on the Marlins, I’m not really a fan of either team. They play in the National League. The NL is fun because the pitchers are also batsmen. It makes for a much more strategic game than the American League and its designated hitters. My favorite team is the Seattle Mariners. They play in the American League.

I’m used to losing teams. The Mariners have made a habit of it. This year they are 56-77 and 30 games out of first place. It’s a rebuilding year. They’ve been in rebuilding mode for most of their history. Mariners remain the only MLB team to never get to play in the World Series. Seattle isn’t cool about it like Chicago was, or depressed like Boston was. But, both of those teams have broken their World Series curses. Seattle is still waiting.

If I watched baseball to watch my favorite team win I’d not get to see much baseball. But, I have a love of the game. The smell of the ballparks, the taste of the hotdogs, the sound of the ball hitting the catcher’s mitt at 97 MPH, or the crack of the ball off the bat. That distinctive crack that instantly tells you it’s not going to find anyone’s glove.

Marlin’s Park is the 12 Major League Baseball park that I’ve watched a game in. Thirteen if you count the old Kingdome where the Mariner’s played before they built Safeco Field, which is now called T-Mobile Park. Or, as I call it, based on T-Mobile’s corporate color, Pink Park.

Someday, before I die, I’d like to watch a game in every park. There are 30 MLB teams. And each one will be both a new experience and a familiar one. It doesn’t matter if the games are good or bad. In the end, they are baseball and that’s really all that matters.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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