How to speed up the game. Keep score.
I’ve been reading they’re changing the rules of baseball to speed up the game. Maybe the better idea is we need to slow down.
Basketball is too loud. And football messes up my Sundays. But baseball, well, baseball has captivated me since I was a kid. I was raised in London, and the only way I could follow the game was the agate type columns in the International Herald Tribune.
I loved studying them every morning.
I wouldn't say I had a favorite team, but I did live in the Bronx until I was nine, maybe twenty blocks from Yankee Stadium, and went to some games with my dad. He was a Yankee fan, so I guess I was too, but those columns were too dense for me to settle on one team. I followed the players and the numbers.
The shifting numbers day to day fascinated me, and I’m not even sure if I knew what they meant. Just the idea I could re-construct a game from numbers was somehow a big deal. Such a big deal that I never got over it.
Even to this day, my favorite pastime is scoring games. I got my degree in music by using a scorecard from a Yankees/Red Sox game and giving musical values to all the different number values. I never heard it performed. My teachers just looked at it and said, does it work? And I said yes.
Speeding up the game is the wrong idea to me. When I go to the park, I see these numbers build throughout the game. Sometimes I feel I can even see numerical shifts going in the game that indicates something is about to happen. A rally forms around a strong numerical sequence. I’ve seen it again and again. You get a real feel for probability looking at the numerical flow of an evolving game.
Speed up the game? There’s barely enough time as it is. It’s the invisible game that captures true fans of the sport. No clock necessary. I don’t go to a baseball game to hurry back out again. I settle in for a journey, and every game evolves in a unique way. Just watch the numbers build.
When you walk in the gates of a ballpark, surrender. The game is over when the game is over, and in this time addicted world, there’s a timeless beauty to that.