Culbreath: Return of baseball offers welcome change of paceWritten by Matt 'Shaggy' Culbreath | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The NCAA Tournament is entering its final weekend. The NHL and NBA are deep into their final runs into the playoffs. Even NASCAR is spitting hot fire with its new qualifying format. The sports world is just screaming loud.
All of which means it’s suddenly time for the sport that has no clock. The sport that takes its time. The sport that can be played with a mouthful of sesame seeds.
For baseball purists, it’s a moment of divinity. An opportunity to get out from beneath the roofed arenas and away from the noise. To take an opportunity to enjoy the game that takes the opportunity to enjoy itself.
For the rest of the sports world, it’s a little bit … awkward. “Yeah, I see you over there, baseball, but look, I’ve got these other things going on. I’ll get over to you in a bit.”
And they do. But be honest — between the tournament, playoff races and even some poor souls draining their energy into the glorified lottery draw known as the NFL Draft, they’ll pay attention on Opening Day — but then they won’t come around until everything else settles down.
But baseball most definitely has its place in the world. Consider the winter months — hell, consider this particular winter. How many days were you confined to the inside of your house? For more than one day this year, it was literally illegal for you to be on the roads. (I say “you” because this poor sap gets the sad designation of being “essential media,” and has to brave the roads. Yay me.)
When you’re stuck inside, you need the fast-paced action of football, basketball and hockey. If you can’t run around the house like a madman, at least you can watch someone else do it.
Finally, in April, the weather breaks. You’re able to leave the house. And between repairing the damage winter caused to your house and doing your typical fair-weather activities — gardening, getting out to a Metropark, I’ve heard rumors some people exercise — it would only make sense that the sport of choice for this time would be the one that moves at the speed of “coast.”
So when it comes to the start of baseball, some of us need it more than others. After the winter we’ve been through, I think Toledo will keep Fifth Third Field packed all season long. The stragglers will come through when their playoffs and drafts are all finished up, and they’ll drink in the sun with the rest of us.
Here’s to baseball, the sport we need at the time we need it.
“Shaggy” Matt Culbreath is sports director at 1370 WSPD.