Baseball is a passion. If you are a true fan, you bleed your team’s colors and you live and die by every pitch, every ground ball, every puff of dirt that flies off of home plate when a player crosses it during it a game. As true fans, we don’t understand those who call the sport boring or accuse every player of being a steroid junkie. How can the anticipation that comes with every pitch allow it to be classified as boring? As a self-proclaimed, boistorous, opinionated, passionate Cardinal fan, I believe that true exhuberance and love for this game comes from really understanding it. There is beauty in it, but not everyone sees it. And though I sometimes wish that more people saw it, I secretly believe that we who see and understand it are special. It’s kinda hard to really be a bandwagon baseball fan. The rules are complex, the pitches are hard to read, and the jargon can be hard to understand. To really love this game, you have to understand it. And to understand it, is to love it.
Oftentimes, baseball has been used as a metaphor for life. “When life throws you a curve, hit it out of the park.” How many times have you heard that expression? “It’s time to step up to the plate and blah blah blah.” Another cliche. I love the way it trancends time and culture and economic status. How many movies can you think of that feature baseball as the main character? And how many of those movies give you chills when you watch them? How many people can quote more baseball players than U.S. presidents? It is a passion.
The title of this blog may be perplexing, but it’s based on one of my favorite sayings. About three years ago, when Oakland A’s pitcher Barry Zito was on his way to winning the 2002 Cy Young, I heard it said that he throws a curve ball that drops like a broken heart. I loved the metaphor, the image I got in my head when I thought about it and when I looked at the faces of players he struck out with that curve. Curve balls, like baesball, can break your heart.