Baseball is a beautiful sport. I can remember sitting in the back seat of my father’s 1988 Volvo listening to a scratchy cassette tape entitled, “Our National Pastime.” From the speakers came the grainy sounds of Bobby Thompson’s Shot Heard Round the World, Steve Goodman’s “Dying Cubs Fan’s Last Request” and “Baseball in Ballet,” a song whose singer has been lost in the deepest memories of my childhood.
Isn’t it true, however, that baseball is a ballet? With all apologies to Earl Weaver, and with full disclosure that I am, and always will be, a “National League Guy,” I believe the most beautiful things in baseball are not occasions of brute strength. No, the well-turned double play and the triple: now those are instances to remember. And by triples, I should note that I do not mean those resulting from misplays and miscommunications; no, you know what I mean: the batted ball travels over the first base bag, the umpire flips his index finger towards the field of play and the right fielder dashes to dig it out. After that it’s a race between relay and runner: a cloud of dust and the most exciting play in baseball.
Perhaps that’s why Baseball Jeremiad has come into existence. You’ll notice on the header of the site appears the subtitle, “A Curiously Intelligent Baseball Blog.” While I’m not certain if Matt and I will live up to our goal, we’ll do our best. We’ll celebrate the beauty of the game, the one that takes place between the lines of the field, raising up both the best achievements and the worst foibles for your reading pleasure. We’ll certainly do our best to remain objective; or at the very least to acknowledge openly our biases. In other words, I might admire the Phillies or Yankees with clenched teeth, but please never expect me to do so openly or without a grimace. On the other hand, Bobby Valentine will always be my first choice as Mets’ manager.
In the coming days, we’ll better explain the types of links and entries that we’ll attempt to post. Matt and I will divide between us six major league teams that call the northeast home and provide a bird’s eye view of their triumphs and travails. At the same time, we’ll keep our eye on the rest of the baseball, relying heavily on some of our favourite blogs and writers to do so. Periodically, we’ll undertake larger topics including our baseball memories, book and movie reviews and just about anything else baseball related. However, in all of our work, what will be most apparent is our mutual love for the game in all its nuances and our desire to eschew the type of baseball writing that is shrill and poorly written and altogether too frequent.
One final note, a blog is nothing more than batting practice if it’s not being read. In other words, email us and let us know how we’re doing. Comment on posts. Send us links. If you think something we wrote is great, send it to your friends.
A jeremiad, you may know, only works if it’s heard.