Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The sad side of sports

There are few things more enjoyable on a summer evening than to watch a major league baseball game.  Baseball is probably the greatest game ever devised, and when you're watching big leaguers do their stuff, you're seeing the most talented people in the world play the American game.

Baltimore's old Memorial Stadium used to sell bleacher seats for a dollar, and we would often see Johns Hopkins students and other young professionals camped out in the cheap seats, sometimes even reading a book or newspaper while enjoying a ballgame on God's green earth in front of them on a pleasant evening.

The secret to enjoying baseball is knowing how the game works well enough to think along with the managers and players as a game unfolds.  And then see if the manager calls for a steal or sacrifice bunt when you do.  

You go out to a ballgame, you can have some food ranging from hot dogs and popcorn to pit beef and crab cakes, and a beer or a soda, and just have a whale of a time. Enjoy the game!

However, it's best to stay calm.  It was sad enough to hear that a spectator at Saturday night's Yankees-Braves game in Atlanta fell over a barrier some 50 feet and was killed in the accident, but as reports emerged that he had been at the barrier hollering down on the field at Alex Rodriguez, the tarnished Yankee slugger, and lost his balance in his agitation, leading to the fall, it became too tragic for the sports news, often referred to as "the toy department of life."

“When they called A-Rod coming to bat, he got all excited, and his momentum took him over (the railing),” fan Marty Burns told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"You pays your money and you speaks your mind" is an old slogan around ballparks. Within reason, a fan may holler as he or she sees fit to encourage their team or deride the opposition.  This alone is enough to make baseball a much better sport to watch than tennis or golf, sports in which so much as an ill-timed sneeze can get one banished or hollered at by Eldrick "Tiger" Woods.  As long as the fans keep their language somewhere on the civil side, and don't interfere with others, baseball fans can give vent to their emotions.  
Stunned shocked faces of the crowd

But safety and common sense have to be kept in mind!  The reports say that the Atlanta fan, 60-year-old Gregory Murrey of Alpharetta, Ga. The Braves say he was a season ticket holder for 23 years.

It's often said of avid fans that they live and die for their team. It is simply too sad when that becomes the literal truth.

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