Baseball is…

I wake up early every January morning, take a shower, brush my teeth, and slip on a pair of basketball shorts quickly just to run outside and warm my car up. The 20 second adventure feels as if it is hours long with the blistering wind hitting me in the face, and rough concrete scratching up my feet. I finally reach the front door and realize 2 important things..

1. I need a ‘push to start’ button on my keys to warm my car from inside.

2. I cannot wait for the warm, and baseball season. 

Football season is closing. College football ended and we are rolling into the divisional rounds of the NFL playoffs. Depending on your favorite sports and preferences, after the Super Bowl is usually a pretty dead time in all of sports. Of course there is the NBA and college basketball but most people won’t tune into NCAAB until mid-March.

 For baseball fans, this is a lifestyle. This isn’t a get together every Sunday, see ya next week type of obsession. This is March-October, 162 regular season games, 5-6 days a week. For the die-hards it is a full time job. Baseball is the most romantic sport on the earth. It’s a smart mans game, it’s a gentleman’s game, it’s a pitch away from being an uneventful game to being one of the best games ever played kind of game. 

Ask a passionate baseball fan what baseball means to them, you may sit there for an hour and listen to someone go on and on about what exactly baseball is. If you asked my brother Caydon he’d tell ya it’s… “boring.” Well, I try not to claim him. However, that’s a popular answer among people. 

“I enjoy playing it but I hate watching it!”

“It’s just really slow and I’m not patient enough for it.”

“I don’t understand the rules.”

There are always others opinions on why baseball has no impact on their life and that is fine. But let me explain just what it means to me.

  • Baseball is sitting on my grandpas front porch and just listening to Marty and Joe call a Reds game. I cherish this memory the most, I miss that man. 
  • Baseball is opening my first Reds jersey the morning of my 5th Christmas and wearing the thing until the thread gave out. 
  • Baseball is putting on the knothole uniform on Saturday mornings and listening to my father critique me and encourage me from the backstop.
  • Baseball is starting select league at age 10 and not having much of a childhood, but not regretting one bit of it. 
  • Baseball is mimicking Ken Griffey Jr’s homerun swing and using it playing front yard wiffleball. 
  • Baseball is growing up with an older brother and going outside, rain snow or shine and throwing. And eventually making enough bad throws that he quits and goes inside. (Try hard not to claim him as well.)
  • Baseball is responsible for my childhood best friends/memories. Tournaments starting at 8am Saturday mornings and getting back home around midnight. 
  • Baseball is going to Panama City for a tournament and having to call my grandfather who is on his death bed, after every single game to give him updates. 
  • Baseball is standing in a stadium of 45,000+ and watching Jay Bruce hit the first pitch of the 9th inning to straight away CF to watch the Reds win the NL Central. 
  • Baseball is having a group chat with your 3 closest friends and arguing every time a Reds vs. Cubs debate comes to the horizon. 
  • Baseball is going home to watch Mat Latos give up a grand slam to Buster Posey and witnessing the Reds blow a 2-0 NLDS lead. 
  • Baseball is going to a small college an hour away from home just to get to play.. and meeting some of my best friends in this whole world. 
  • Baseball is gathering up 200 bucks and going to some guys basement to have him tattoo baseball seams on my left bicep. (Judge all you want, it’s a pretty nice tattoo.)
  • Baseball is…. my life. 

I now will have the opportunity to cover baseball. To open up this exciting time of year, I am going to feature a 9 day series. 9 different days  I will post insight and information on the 9 positions on the diamond for the Cincinnati Reds. Tomorrow I will post a piece on the Reds pitching staff. Then the catchers, then the 1B, and so on. 

I will have it layed out in a format similar to this …

  1. 2016 review
  2. 2017 preview
  3. Starter and backups at given position 
  4. 2017 prediction for players at the given position 

I hope people will take time and follow along over the next 9 pieces. Feedback always appreciated! Baseball is right around the corner!
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