Moller: The return of baseball
Nate Moller | Friday, August 14, 2020
The return of Major League Baseball a few weeks ago was truly a blessing to me. It was the first time in months that I was able to sit on my couch in the evening and watch a sport that I truly love. While boxing, golf and a few other sports had been televised, there is definitely something special about watching a ball game on a hot summer evening.
When I sat on my couch July 24 and watched the opening preview for the Twins-White Sox game, chills and tears came to my eyes. After months of no sports, hope was finally on the horizon. I sat on my couch and watched every pitch of that game, which ultimately ended up being a 10-5 win for the Twins. Although it was clear that both teams had pitchers who were a bit off their game, that didn’t make the game any less fun.
Watching that entire game reminded me of what it’s like to watch a sports game. I nearly forgot the highs and lows that go along with being a loyal fan.
The first pitch of the game instantly reminded me of the jubilation sports can bring when Twins’ right fielder Max Kepler launched a fastball off Lucas Giolito into the right field bleachers. I jumped off my couch the second the ball was hit, and I felt an adrenaline rushing through my body that I hadn’t felt since college basketball in March. The Twins put up a four spot in the first, and I was ecstatic about it.
This happiness quickly diminished, however, and I was reminded of the lows that can occur during the course of a game. Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios struggled mightily in the second inning and gave up a three-run homer to White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada, resulting in a 5-5 tie. Seeing that ball fly into the right field bleachers made my stomach drop, and I could feel the anger and anxiety building in my body.
Ultimately, the Twins went on to win the game 10-5 behind a couple of clutch hits with two outs. Watching that game showed me how out of touch I had become with watching sports. Although I had spent much of my quarantine watching old games and reminiscing about the past, nothing can live up to the stress, joy and despair that can come out of watching a live game.
Additionally, I forgot about the little intricacies of baseball that I love to see. Watching the catchers try to frame pitches, seeing the pitchers adjust their delivery for runners on base and watching hitters’ routines when they came up to bat were just a few of these intricacies that I missed.
While a 60-game season with over half of the teams making the playoffs figures to be wild, none of that matters to me. Having something to watch and being able to cheer on my Minnesota Twins is all I can ask for.
After watching that game, I was the happiest that I had been in months. While I have always known how much watching sports has meant to me, this whole pandemic has made me have a different appreciation and perspective on watching sports. From now on, I know I need to be thankful for all the nights I can crash on my couch and watch sports because that is no longer a guarantee.
Throughout history, baseball has shown that it can be a beacon of hope during a time of darkness. Now baseball is showing us that there is hope that this pandemic will end, and that is all we can ask for.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.