The two words that baseball fans clamor for as the spring nears.
Those words that many professional teams select a kid or two to say before the start of a game.
The words an umpire will often say before the first pitch.
Just two words that mean so much at a baseball game.
And just like that, it’s time once again for the Can of Corn Challenge, after taking a two-year hiatus. Enough of that, though as you can read about the challenge, how to get involved, and all the themes by checking out the original post.
Before I get into the main part of this post, though, let me explain the name of the challenge as a few people have asked me. Can of corn is a term used in baseball for an easy/routine pop up/fly out. As the story goes, the term came about in the early 19th century because clerks at grocery/general stores used sticks to hook canned goods off higher shelves, and then use their aprons to catch the can – somewhat like a fly ball.
Anyway, on to the post.
For me, the season is upon us. And for those who know me, you know I’m a baseball junkie. It’s gotten worse the past two summers after I gave up playing softball. That gave me, to a point, more time for games.
To me, baseball is the perfect sport. Though it can run long at times, it’s a well-paced game with a lot going on. There’s a lot of thought and a lot of action, though it’s not going 100 miles an hour the whole time.
I’m also a bit of a baseball nerd. At games, I keep a scorebook. I watch and try and dissect things that are going on. I question decisions and think about what I would want to do in situations.
Overall, it’s a wonderful experience for me.
I know many people who think differently. They can’t understand why I’d want to spend time at a baseball game. And that’s fine – fair and legit at that – but I always say it’s my peaceful place.
Baseball isn’t just a game to me. It’s the whole experience. When I watch, it’s easy to just drift off into the game and not think about everything else going on in the world or my life.
And I like that.
For 2-3 hours, I can disappear into the stands and just watch. Or grab a hot dog and just bask in the day.
I mostly attend minor league games, though I am still on my quest to see all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums. Minor league baseball, in my eyes, still has some purity. That’s something missing at the majors (see the latest Astros junk going on), though the trickle-down effect likely will be there.
The powers that be at MLB have worked to change the game a bit over the past few years and I’m not a fan of much of it.
Baseball isn’t a game made for television. It’s made to be in-person, or on the radio. There are nuances about the game that aren’t easily brushed aside, as much as the powers at MLB would like to think so. While I do agree with several of the changes (fewer mound visits, instant replay), there are some that boggle my mind. Not having to throw for an intentional walk, for example, That takes away some strategy.
And automated balls and strikes being talked about. Really? I have a better idea – what about making the umpires be accountable if they are garbage? If a player fails, they get sent to the minors. It should be the same for umpires. If you stink, down you go and somebody from the minors can come up and try and show they are better.
Baseball has survived time. And it’s done so without some of these idiotic changes being proposed.
Leave the game alone and let it evolve naturally.
And while you’re at it, play ball!
Can of Corn Challenge 1: Play Ball! linkup
The Can of Corn Challenge is a monthly blogging challenge that runs from February-October. You can see all information, as well as themes for 2020 by visiting this blog post. Feel free to join us for any and all themes! The linkup will remain live each month for about seven days.