Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Why Baseball Doesn't Matter

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Why Baseball Doesn't Matter

Article excerpt

It's not because the game's so slow,

that the pitcher has to step down off the mound,

pick up the resin bag, adjust his hat, adjust

his pants, spit, pound his glove,

step back onto the rubber,

then peer down, get the sign,

nod approval and only then rear back,

unleash the ball at ninety miles an hour

over and over, more than

a hundred times a game.

Nor is it that basketball

has more action, the guys gliding down court

like dragonflies in a mating dance

sliding and angling, instant subtleties,

start then stop, backtrack, fakes,

hesitations, then dart toward the basket,

smashing the slam dunk.

Nor that football has such a military vibe,

getting the tanks into position,

the "bomb" lofted downfield, nor the

grim drama of the goal line stand

like trench warfare, some beachhead

in World War II, the young men face down

in the mud that used to be sand.

And it's not that America's altogether

changed (though it has) . It's not

the steroid home runs, not

those million dollar player salaries,

not the glitzy gold chains

around their expensive necks. …

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