I always assumed that being “in a groove” came from the days of vinyl record albums when your needle needed to stay in the groove in order to get the music out. (This will date me, but I did tape pennies to the needle arm in order to keep it from skipping.)
Now, I find out – because I love Google – that “groove” is from Middle English and has evolved from “grove” or “groeve” which means a deep pit. (See, and you thought you weren’t going to learn anything from me today.)
So, being in the groove would seem to be a very bad thing.
A groove is also what baseball calls the juicy middle of the strike zone. Groove one in there, Mr. Hanrahan. Just watch … click here.
That kind of groove is great for a hitter. For a pitcher? Not so great.
Lots of ballplayers complained last week that they weren’t “in the groove.” The ups-and-downs of Opening (Day) Week … day game/off day/night game/day game/night game … threw players out of their rhythm.
The first week of the season is sort of the weirdo week of a very long baseball season anyway.
It seems to be so important, and yet no one seems to be in the groove. The games played in April are important, but aren’t really any more important than the games that will come next week, next month, or the month after that, or the month … oh, you get the idea.
Opening Day games sell out in the middle of the week. Everyone wants to go, even when the weather is brisk. An insanely chilly 38 degrees in Chicago for instance.
(One of many things that makes baseball far superior to football is its devotion to being a warm-weather sport. There is no place for snow on a baseball diamond. Well, now that J.T. Snow is retired anyway.)
Casual fans go for the hotdogs and beer, the ambience, and to say they’re going to Opening Day, which never seems to lose its nostalgia and luster.
Many just like an excuse to take a half-day at work, and really, who can blame them? Celebrities throw out the first pitches. The best pitchers in the game face off.
And, all the team Mascots are freshly laundered and smell like clean fluffy muppets, weeks away from the grimey, sweaty, mustard stained fuzz balls of mid-summer.
Dedicated fans and sports pundits wrestle with a scant handful of stats from a scant handful of games, but are still ready to make Playoff and World Series predictions, even though there are 156 games left to play.
Some players start off crazy-hot. Homerun shmoosher Chris Davis, I’m looking at you. And, you know it can’t last – won’t last – but you try to envision it anyway. At one point last week, the Orioles’ Chris Davis was on pace to hit 162 homeruns this season.
(The only point to this blog post, really, was getting to say “the Orioles’ Chris Davis was on pace to hit 162 home runs this season.” You can stop reading now if you want.)
Some players have very, very bad days that skew statistics in most awful ways.
When you’ve played a week and still are batting .000, or are a pitcher with an earned run average of 20+ runs a game, you know you’re definitely not in your groove. (Yet.)
We all have grooves. We get in them. We lose them. We revel in them while we have them, pine for them when they’re gone. Sometimes we don’t even know we are in a groove until we’ve fallen out and things start going wrong.
Every time I step on my Yoga mat, I know, probably within 30 seconds, whether I’m in my groove or not. It’s easy to practice Yoga when you’re in your groove. It is infinitely more important to push through your Yoga when you are not.
I guess that’s good advice for all grooves.
Grooves are fleeting.
Which is why it’s too early to give the Orioles’ Chris Davis the MVP trophy and the Giants’ Barry Zito (2-0, ERA 0.00 in 14 innings) the Cy Young Award (even though I’m a-ok with either).
And, it’s also too early to give up on your team just because they haven’t found a groove yet. (Unless you’re a Miami Marlins fan, in which case the team owners owe you an apology.)
This is the FOURTH complete blog post that I’ve drafted in the past week and the only one that will see the light of day (true confession: I’ve written that on all the discarded drafts too, so there’s no telling if this one will even make it to the Editor/Husband “here, have a look” stage).
So, clearly, I’m not in my blog groove. But, I’m still happy that baseball season is here. And, I’m happy to keep unrolling my Yoga mat because I know there’s a groove hiding in there somewhere.
Not in your groove today?
Here, try this … it’s a guilty pleasure. “Let the Groove Get In” … Justin Timberlake … definitely worth a spin. Click here