A way to enjoy baseball, win or lose

So far this season, I have been enjoying the fact that I’m not following a local team.  When I decided that Washington State was where I would like to live, I switched my favorite major league baseball team from the Los Angeles Angels to the Seattle Mariners.  I have been a subscriber to MLB.TV for several years.  As an Angels fan, I could never watch a live game on MLB.TV.  Because of exclusivity agreements, teams in the viewer’s local market are blacked out from live broadcast.  It forces you to watch the game on a local television network.  Now that I follow the Mariners, I can watch every game live.

There was one problem with this arrangement as an Angels fan.  Angels games are not always broadcast on a channel that everyone in the local market can receive.  Take this evening, for example.  The Mariners were playing the Rangers with a first pitch time of 5:05 pm Pacific Time.  I was enjoying the game up until 7:00 pm when the Angels game was supposed to start.  My wife is still an Angels fan.  The TV channel guide and the MLB web site said the game would be broadcast on Fox Sports West.  But there was no game being broadcast.  Instead they were running something called Car Wars.  After exhausting other resources, I checked the Twitter feed for Fox Sports West and found a tweet that said the game was being broadcast on KCOP Los Angeles.  No Angels game for my wife tonight.  We don’t get KCOP.

The Angels have not been doing well of late.  My wife made the comment that it didn’t matter the game was not televised for us, the Angels would probably lose again anyway.  Her comment didn’t register until the game I was watching came to a close.

For the game this evening between the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers, the Mariners were ahead for most of the game.  Early on, they scored 2 runs off of Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish.  The Mariners pitcher, Felix Hernandez, did a great job.  In the bottom of the 9th, after leading 2-1, the Mariners ended up losing 3-2.  It was a disappointing end to what was mostly a great ball game.

After the game was over, I went online and noticed some comments on social media.  Many were not pretty.  In fact, there were several comments that were quite rude.  All of a sudden, it hit me.  Why are we watching this game if we are not enjoying it?  We might as well watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune instead, which is what my wife had to watch.

I really like to watch baseball.  For the last half of the 9th inning, I didn’t enjoy it.  No one likes to see a team lose that they are cheering on.  But is it really the end of the world if they do lose?

Many years ago, I had a set of golf clubs, which I used regularly.  I probably played golf for a total of about 5 years.  During that 5 years, I think I broke 100 once.  Anyone who knows anything about golf knows that is not very good.  I was just not very good at golf.  I lacked consistency in my play of the game.

The times when I played golf and kept score, it was common for me to not enjoy the game.  It was especially frustrating to be trying to play with other golfers trying to pass me from behind because they believed I was playing too slowly.  The times that I really enjoyed playing golf were times when I left the scorecard in the golf cart, untouched.  If I did not keep score, I could enjoy the good shots and try to learn from the bad ones.

After thinking about my experience with golf, a light came on this evening.  I can’t enjoy watching baseball if every time the team loses is a disaster.  If the Mariners don’t make it to the post-season this year, is the Earth going to stop turning?  It would be nice to see them in the post-season, but that’s not why I watch baseball.  I watch it for the great plays, the home runs, that diving catch.  I also watch the Mariners because my heart is in the Pacific Northwest.  They are now my team, win or lose.

Tomorrow, when I watch the final game of the 4-game series with the Rangers, perhaps the Mariners will come out ahead and then head for Miami with a series record behind them of 2-2.  What I won’t be checking is the standings.

If you enjoy the game of baseball and your team isn’t in first place, my advice is to stop looking at their record.  Watch and enjoy the great baseball plays you see most games.  Baseball is not an easy game and the players are not perfect, they are human.  Regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s game, I will enjoy it more than I did today.

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