It Was Just A Distraction

© The Baseball Bloggess

The Dodgers won the 2020 World Series last night. The World Series that, back in July, I was pretty sure we would never get to.

And, now we have. And, now it’s over. And, now we rest.

I didn’t believe Major League Baseball could pull it off.

As with many things, I was wrong.

(Or, maybe I was right … since Justin Turner of the Dodgers was pulled in the 8th inning last night after testing positive for covid … and then returned to the field for the celebration. What kind of quarantine is that, MLB?)

I haven’t written much on here … this pandemic has squeezed the words right out of me. But, I refuse to let October close without saying something.

Baseball was a sorely needed distraction this season. Maybe not for you. But, it was for me.

It never rose above that, though. It was always just a distraction.

It was like watching a small-town parade … it passed by and it was nice, sure … each game was the high school marching band or the float pulled on a flat-bed trailer by the local bank or the team of 10-year-olds twirling batons and marching down Main Street.

That’s all it was … each game a tissue-paper float in a small-town parade.

But, baseball has always been more than that for me.

More than just a parade.

A parade disappears. No one remembers a parade after the last town car, carrying the Parade Princess and her Court, turns the corner and slips out of sight.

This season baseball was just a forgettable distraction. Nice, sure. To be able to turn away for just a few minutes from the news, the covid, the politics, the protests, was a relief. Not to ignore the bad things, but simply to take a breath and think of something else – anything else – for a couple of minutes.

Maybe the beloved movie Animal House can explain this better than me.

I am Flounder. John Belushi’s Bluto is baseball.

 

“My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.”

(I could continue the Animal House analogy – the state of the world today is Flounder’s brother’s car. And, we shouldn’t have trusted our car with … well, anyway … back to distractions.)

I’m not sure I was truly engaged in any game I watched. Not even the Baltimore Orioles … who started off pretty well, slid to mediocre, and then just dog-paddled about at the shallow end of the pool … slipping out of contention sometime in the middle of this mini-season, ending poorly, but not as poorly as some other teams.

I watched. Half-watched. Half-interested. Half-entertained. Often half-asleep.

It didn’t feel right. Well, honestly, nothing feels right anymore, so why should baseball be any different?

I half-watched my way through the playoffs. And, I half-watched my way through the World Series.

And, I half-rooted for the Dodgers for three reasons.

First, my dad wasn’t a huge baseball fan, but when he was, he was a Dodgers fan.

Second, Utility Outfield-Infield-I-Can-Play-Anywhere Guy Chris Taylor played at the University of Virginia. Wahoo Forever.

Embed from Getty Images

And, third, I will always root for Mookie Betts.

 

© The Baseball Bloggess

My cat Mookie Wilson-Betts would have it no other way.

It’s been a few hours without baseball. What will distract me now?

 

24 thoughts on “It Was Just A Distraction

  1. Nice! You’ve basically summed up my own take on this baseball “season” and World Series. I, too, needed the distraction MLB provided, but git has passed by into the night. What now…?

  2. Mookie is the man! It’s a joy to see him in action and a joy to read your words. They are more than a distraction to your readers. Stay safe and keep those fingers moving.

  3. For me, it was a tiny bit of normal. How i craved that in this awful year. No matter how hokie it was, it was my summer evening filled with my favorite game again. Bring on the trophy bats and gloves now! Oh and trades. My final wish – a pitching staff that is the envy of the other teams! LOL that will never happen!

    • I wish I could have enjoyed it more … but everything was just too weird. Justin Turner testing positive for covid and being pulled mid-game from the World Series last night and then going out for the festivities anyway pretty much sums it up. There was just a big covid cloud hanging over the entire season. Here’s hoping things are at least a little better in 2021 …

  4. I had a feeling all season long that what I was watching was something less than standard MLB quality baseball. Maybe it was all the injuries to pitchers or all those bullpen games where they trotted out a new pitcher every inning, some of whom would otherwise never have been on a major league roster. Like you, I found myself half-watching a lot of games. I did enjoy the playoffs though. The highlight for was watching the Rays beat the Yankees and the Astros.

  5. think you summarized many of my feelings about this bizarre season.
    The rule variations/changes made it feel like an artificial (& literal) video game for me.
    My interest wasn’t the same. I couldn’t even watch the whole Series.
    I’m happy for Chris Taylor, who attended HS about 4miles from my parents’ last home. His grandfather was the wrestling coach at my High School. But, I don’t care much for the Dodgers (the Giants were my original team). The ballplaying Mookie is a marvelous player but his merger/acquisition made the sporting result unsurprising once the Evil Empire was vanquished. Tampa’s success was creative, refreshing, even plucky, but I cannot watch a game if their stadium (not a ballpark) is involved. My local MN entry accomplished the demoralizing, underachieving, flop traditional for athletic organizations in our region.
    I only hope that a closer-to-normalcy/sanity returns in 2021
    But the feline Mookie looks as magnificent as ever.

    • I enjoyed watching Tampa, too … they had fun and that was a big plus in my book. And, yes, I’m with you on closed up stadiums. I still remember the 5-hour game I spent cooped up in the Metrodome many years ago … on a beautiful 4th of July afternoon. Plus, the Metrodome always seemed to smell like a damp gym sock … so I always assume that’s what Tropicana Field smells like.

      Mookie Wilson-Betts, the cat, appreciates your kind acknowledgement. 😺

  6. But Charlie Brown’s All Stars won a game! Lucy hit a grand slam into the kite-eating tree, Snoopy dragged Linus by his blanket for an inside-the-park homer, and at one point, Charlie Brown was so stunned by how easy he was retiring batter, he undressed himself between pitches. Of course, they beat the Twins (2 runs, 7 hits in 18 innings).

  7. It was a strange season, but I was drawn in increasingly as it progressed. I had been skeptical about the prognosis of finishing a season even before the Marlins’ roster was ravaged by the virus and Freddie Freeman of the Braves thought one night he was going to die from it. But then the rebuilt Marlins emerged as the #2 team in the NL East and Freeman returned to play a season that may have won him the NL MVP while his team won their division and took the Dodgers to a closely contested game 7 in the League Championship Series (better than the Rays did in the World Series). I was ecstatic at seeing the DH finally used in the National League and more so to see my Braves DH Marcel Ozuna lead the NL in home runs and RBI. The Braves had to rebuild their pitching staff almost from the ground floor, but now enter next year with three established young starters and two others who posted brilliant appearances at the end of the season and in the playoffs. As for Justin Turner, his actions were not wise at all, and MLB appears ready to punish him if their investigation warrants it (which it almost certainly will). Hopefully next year will bring renewed enthusiasm for the game and a revitalized Orioles team to you, and a Braves World Series Championship for me.

    • Well, I sort of like that the AL has the DH and the NL doesn’t … I just like how that doesn’t make sense. But, ok, I can live with it. I can also live with the runner on 2nd in extra innings — and I never thought I’d ever say that. But, after a long 9-inning slog, it certainly perks things up.

      I was, initially, disappointed when Nick Markakis opted back in … but I’m now glad he did. I would have been so happy for him to play in a World Series. I’m thinking that he’s now come to the end of his career. I did enjoy the spirit and spunk of your Braves!

      I think the Orioles have another rebuilding year … but they can’t rebuild forever, right?

      • The Braves rebuild seemed like it would never end, but then they made the playoffs a year ahead of schedule. Incredibly, although the DH was a great success in the NL and won over many fans, pitchers striking out may return for at least one season in 2021. The runner on second certainly added stress and swifter conclusion, but was not missed in the playoffs when the rules reverted to historic practice in extra innings. Markakis may retire, but I really wish he could have experienced a World Series. I also think he still would bring a lot to any team that needs mature players to lead by example (I really wanted him to get 3000 hits).

  8. Likewise. I love Baseball. There wasn’t a single baseball (small “b”) game throughout the entire season that I cared enough about to make an effort to watch, until the world series (small “w”; small “s”), when I finally watched a few games on the offchance that the “scrappy” team I didn’t really care about would beat the Dodgers, who I did want to see beaten, but it didn’t happen.
    During all of which, my Giants (or what was my Giants) brought guys up, they whiffed, sent them back down. What was that guy’s name? Never mind.
    Like everything else (present company excluded) in this benighted year, baseball has just come and gone, and I didn’t really care much- which kinda sickens me. I’m a Baseball fan. I love the game. But, this year, I just…couldn’t.
    Wait’ll next year.

    • I felt a little guilty rooting for the Dodgers … when the Giants are so dear to me. Hey, Mike Yastrzemski … you’ve got a great player to look forward to! (You can thank the Orioles for not figuring out how to use him.)

      But, to offset my Dodger betrayal, editor/husband got me the new Willie Mays “memoir” (written with John Shea): “24.” It is all kinds of wonderful. In a year when the pandemic gave me lots of time to read … and read … and read … it is one of the best books I’ve read in a good long while. I think you would enjoy it!

  9. Flounder! I’m sorry you’re finding it difficult to put words together lately. I fully understand and share in that—just wish otherwise for you. I’m happy you got something down to mark the World Series, even though it’s got to hold a bigger asterisk than the stats of certain 90s-era sluggers. . . Be well, Jackie. Let’s hope that the off-season ushers in miracles on and off the diamond.

  10. Unfortunately, because MLB and the Orioles thought it a nifty idea to wallow around in the deep end of the woke pool, baseball only added to the stress and consternation of the year. I was very thankful for our local Rockingham County League in which the focus of the evening was 9 innings of baseball. It was glorious, and to all the local lads, thank you for those bright and shining moments in an otherwise dark summer.

  11. Hey! I actually liked the World Series , although my Yankees weren’t in it , but Tampa knocking off the Astros made it even better for me. I lived in Boston and Los Angeles for 13 and 10 years so I was happy for Mookie Betts and even happier for Dodger Blue. As for Justin Turner, dude wtf was you thinking? I understand you wanting to celebrate with the teamates but what part of we’re in a pandemic here, bruh, don’t you get, especially when one of your teamates had Covid and couldn’t see his wife and newborn baby and your manager is a cancer survivor. Very selfish on Turner’s part really. No baseball but there is nfl football to watch, so I’m ok with that

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