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Green Room: Dear Baseball, Catch Me If You Can

March 31st, 2011 by Ben Collins Editor

It’s baseball’s opening day. You know what that means: It’s time to cry like a puppy dropped off in a padding-free basket outside of Moammar Gadhaffi’s house.

Yep, it’s time to re-watch the end of Field of Dreams.

Here it is, presented with only a little context but a whole, heaping bushel of squelched paternal love. I could write anything right now (“I bet my mortgage The Pirates will win the 2011 World Series!” Or, “Charlie Sheen is the best babysitter in the world and I’m going to let him prove it!”) and you wouldn’t even know, busy trying to make your crying at the office look all natural, all smooth-like.

It’s not working. Let it all out.

I’m a little jaded with baseball right now. I made the mistake of actually delving into it, going into locker rooms (mostly legally) to talk to people, watching the players’ fatness dribble on the ground like a basketball at Madison Square Garden. Esquire’s Chris Jones laid this out well today, maybe even kindly:

“Worse, years later, I actually covered baseball for a living. Nothing will turn your heart a deeper shade of black than daily interactions with some of the most loathsome people on the planet. I believe I could take the most rabid fan and put him in the middle of the Baltimore Orioles clubhouse circa 1999 — Cal Ripken, Jr., Will Clark, Albert Belle, Mike Mussina, Sidney Ponson, Scott Erickson, Brady Anderson — and he would grow to hate not only baseball, but life itself.”

It led me these two solutions, which I truly and seriously considered before the start of the season:
1) Screw this, I’m going to root for the Royals.
2) Screw this, I’m going to take up archery or cooking or something!

But in either case, I’d wind up horribly mangled and burned. I’m watching baseball this year, and I can’t help it.

Opening day came around again and I watched Field of Dreams and I read articles like Chris Jones’ today. I watched a bit of the Yankees game as I wrote this article and hated them deeply for no real reason, even though one of the only decent people I met in the sport is their manager. I’ll hate baseball out loud all year, but it’s not going to make me immune to the only men’s Lifetime movie that is Field of Dreams.

Damnit, baseball, wanna have a catch?