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Showing posts from October, 2013

Baseball and time

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The days of our life are seventy years,
   or perhaps eighty, if we are strong.... (Psalm 90)

Why is baseball such an enduring part of the American psyche? Not because of gargantuan feats of heroism, death-defying catches or mighty blasts that clear the bases; not because the Red Sox have vaulted from "the working definition of hell" in 2011 and 2012 (ESPN SportsCenter) to world champions in 2013.

Quite the contrary: The sport is intimately familiar to us because it unfolds on a scale that approximates that of our lives. How long will a given game be? No one knows. Nine dull innings, 26 record-setting innings? How long does each inning last? How many pitches? Enough by the third inning to send the starter to the showers, or a masterly demonstration of brevity that will stand forever in the record books (Charley "Red" Barrett in 1944, playing for the Boston Braves, who shut out the Cincinnati Reds 2-0 in a mere 58 pitches)? How long will our lives be--seventy years, …