Batter up!

I must admit, following the conclusion of the Cubs’ World Series’ 7th game victory this past November, my appetite for viewing baseball games was completely sated: As you may recall, the game went ten innings and lasted nearly four-and-a-half hours. It was reminiscent of how I feel shortly after finishing the last bite of that last piece of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day – I couldn’t possibly ever eat another bite. And then six p.m. rolls around and its deja vu all over again, as Yogi Berra would say. And so it goes for baseball, as we impatiently count off the days till the opener on April 2nd.

I hate this time of year for weeknight TV viewing: pretty much nothing on the tube but basketball. Maybe a soccer match from somewhere or other (soccer’s a sport, right?). And airings of the earliest stages of the golf season. But I refuse to watch golf this early in the year. Doing so disrupts my circadian rhythms and can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder and depression caused by imbalanced serotonin levels (this condition is also caused by living in Michigan in the winter, which typically runs from early September through June). Golf doesn’t really start until Pebble Beach as far as I’m concerned.

In the meantime, I have been biding my time by watching some old baseball movies: “A League of Their Own” and “Bull Durham” so far. By the way, here’s a bit of trivia: You might find it interesting to know that some of the early scenes in “A League of their own” were filmed at Wrigley Field in Chicago (cleverly disguised as “Harvey Field,” as if no one would notice the ivied brick walls in the outfield).

In any event, the World Champion Chicago Cubs have been having an off-season blast, and deservedly so, with all the TV talk show appearances, media interviews and being invited to the White House to provide the president with yet another success-by-association photo-op.  But, before long, it will be time for these guys to dust off their spikes, sticky up their bats and once again stand with their caps over their hearts for the first of 162 renditions of the national anthem. And baseball every night. So, get your subscription renewed and repossess the remote from your teenage daughter: it will soon be time to get your eye black on.

Clyde’s dale

I’ve always loved horses. Probably because, as I’ve noted in earlier essays, I was raised on a seemingly unending series of TV westerns during my childhood back in the 50’s (remember this? Cowboys and Cowgirls)…


If you have ever enjoyed a box of Cracker Jacks you may recall that each box includes some kind of semi-excellent prize. I quickly learned that those trinkets, along with the peanuts, usually settled to…


    Dear Mr. Birong,
    As much as I enjoyed reading about the Cubs championship I found your baseball essay “Batter Up” to be totally baseless. There was no mention of getting to first base, rounding second or a head slide into third. And HOME, the starting and ending point of all rallies, goes unmentioned. Is it fair to call your article foul?
    Yes, you managed relief of a comic nature based on the mound of possibilities to choose from. I tip my cap to you.
    I know you have been a Cubs fan all of your life so I viewed your comments as that of a homer. It’s Cubs, Cubs, Cubs with you. You quote Yogi Berra yet fail to mention the Bronx Bombers. Holy cow! Some non Cubs fans will find your comments Maddoning.
    I know your walk down baseball’s memory lane was intentional. I liked your pitch for baseball and since there is no clock in baseball it is timeless, not baseless.

    Dear Mr. Remington. Although my essay is clearly “baseless,” as you note, I am pleased that you thought it makes a good “pitch” for someone who might wish to “catch” the upcoming season, which will surely be a television “hit” when the Cubs get back on the field and “run” through another winning season. Baseball is timeless, indeed.


    Hey….maybe the two of you should team up and take it on the road. I mean now that Abbot and Costello are no longer with us……
    I’m just sayin’…y’know?

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