Don’t leave! It’s not over!

There must have been a lot of people that have never seen a baseball game at QuickTrip Park this evening. I say this because in the ninth inning, with the score tied at zero, people began leaving. WTF?

So, to all the newbies – football, hockey and basketball end on a timer. Soccer ends on a timer, and then the referee adds a random amount of time for no apparent reason. Baseball games end when someone wins.

The AirHogs lost in eleven innings this evening, 3-1. After a stellar performance from the starter, the closer gave up one run in the tenth which the ‘Hogs matched, but then got torched for two in the eleventh and the offense couldn’t match them. So it goes.

Here’s the strange part – a lot of people missed it. Sure, the home team lost, but it was a really good game, and those spectators threw away the chance to see about a half-hour’s worth. It’s free! Extra innings are included in the price of your ticket!

I almost (“almost”) understand people leaving if their team is comfortably ahead (or desperately behind), but as Ft Worth fans discovered earlier this month, an eight-run lead in the seventh doesn’t guarantee a victory. (Pensacola went into the bottom of the seventh down 10-2 and won the game 11-10. Ouch.) So, if the fans who called it an early night would have stayed, maybe the Cats would have won. What if your cheers were the missing ingredient?

I understand leaving work early – it will still be there tomorrow. I understand leaving Church early – you’re just going to hear why you’re going to Hell (again.) Ball games? You never know what will happen. Stick it out until the end. Unless you have screaming children who bore easily. Then, feel free to leave after the National Anthem.

The Pain of Baseball

These days, baseball is generally played at night. It’s cooler for the players and fans (assuming there’s a breeze) and it means people can go to games after work, instead of having to sneak out in the middle of the afternoon.

There’s only one problem – night games are at night.

The beginning of the game is not too bad – you get off work, maybe grab a snack or a quick drink and then you head to the ballpark.

The game itself is not too bad, assuming your team wins, but actually, I’d rather watch a good game that my guys lost than many other events.

There’s usually not a lot of traffic on the way home – getting out of the parking lot at some parks can be challenging, but it gives you time to discuss the outcome and all of the manager’s decisions that made no sense.

Then, you get home. Now, the fun begins. Depending on the length of the game (and baseball is unpredictable) and the length of the drive home, it’s anywhere between 10pm and midnight.

You’re wired.

You’re on a high because your team prevailed, or you’re crushed because the umpires stole another one from them.

It’s time to go to sleep. Who can go to sleep at a time like this?

So, busy work. Walk the dogs. Check some email. Maybe a little TV. Maybe both. Review the scorecard online to see if there really were that many errors. Update your blog. Update the game database you’re keeping. Have a quick snack. Check email again. Check Facebook.

Look at your work calendar for the next day. Hmm. You have a meeting in six hours. This is not good. Think about calling in sick. Realize you can’t call in sick until somebody else is actually at the office. Think about emailing in sick. Realize that you can’t call in sick 48 days in a year just because you have season tickets.

Think baseball is probably the reason you’re so tired and cranky.

Lie in bed, trying to force yourself to go to sleep. Stare at the ceiling. Think you’ve never been quite this tired and cranky.

Start to drift off. Realize there’s another game tomorrow (which at this point, is technically today), and you’re going to have to go through this all over again. Fall asleep happy.

Fighting Football

Well, the AirHogs swept the hated Ft Worth Cats this weekend, the Rangers are still heading for the playoffs, the Yankees are fighting the Red Sox, but none of that matters, because ….

The Cowboys third-string team just beat the Bengals third-string team in a game that is completely meaningless.

I hate being a baseball fan when football begins. In Texas, it never ends, so it’s even more difficult.