The problem with the playoffs is that there’s only, like, one or two games a night and after you talk about them you sort of have to wait around all day for more games.
If you’re like me, you kill that time by reading a bunch of articles in which people who never ever write or even really think much about baseball try to put it into some sort of larger context. Is it still the national pastime? Is it still the American game? Will it still take our people out-of- doors, fill them with oxygen and give them a larger physical stoicism? That sort of thing.
Most of them these days come down on the side of baseball being only slightly more relevant to the American scene than phonograph needles and liberty cabbage because football is rich, modern and savage and all of the the things Americans are in the early 21st century (at least the 1% who control everything anyway). That’s OK. We see what we want to see in these things, and if a lot of people draw such conclusions there’s probably some core truth to it.
Still, I’m a total baseball homer, so I like to see the articles that find some argument for the continued relevance or even the supremacy of baseball. Even if they contain weird comparisons and analogies that distract you from reading the rest of the piece because they’re just so jarring:
Football is more popular and has more money; basketball attracts more young sports fans … Yet baseball’s magic, on view in the playoffs, excites and rejuvenates an angry and dispirited American citizenry as almost nothing else — even killing Osama bin Laden — can.
Got that? Baseball: more uplifting and rejuvenating than a black ops mission designed to terminate an enemy of the state with extreme prejudice.
Ah, who cares? I’ll take it. Score one for baseball!