Monday, October 5, 2009

not getting it

Baseball playoffs start (unofficially) tomorrow, with a 163rd game between the Twins and Tigers.

For the first time in years I don't have to miss them because of a show. (Heck, it's good to find the silver lining in theatrical unemployment, right?)

There are more baseball freaks in theater than it appears, but still, you inevitably run up against someone who makes two mistakes:

(1) they assume that baseball is just another sport;
(2) they think that baseball is boring.

To the first point: is baseball corporate, out of touch with its best qualities, and soulless on its highest and most profitable level? Sure. But so's theater.

To the second...sigh. Just sigh. Baseball is ridiculous. If you know how to watch the game -- if you're not just waiting for the pitch but watching all the players in the field -- it becomes clear that there is something happening every second. Exhibit one, this annotated sequence:

Take the time to watch this five minute clip as Kubel at bat and Mauer on second conspire to manufacture a run.

If you're not looking for it, you see Verlander and his catcher unable to agree on signs, a lot of stepping off, stalling, and an eventual sacrifice fly to center field. But in reality there's a cat-and-mouse game going on between two opposing catchers, a pitcher eager to throw caught between them. And what seems leisurely is suddenly revealed to be unfolding at a frenetic pace.

Still don't believe me? Fine. Whatever. Just lemme alone until after the World Series.

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