We got in late last night and decided to grab a nightcap at Rock Bottom which is a brewery across the street from our Cincinnati hotel. Will Carrroll, who some may know from ESPN or Baseball Prospectus, has been along for the ride and joined us. He’s been a great traveling companion for the group and is filled with a lot of baseball knowledge and fun stories. It brought me back to the days of when I covered baseball in radio.
Seemingly though, just sitting and talking about baseball, our wives, mutual friends and life in general in our respective cities has been enriching for me.
We even discussed Big League Tours doing a “Baseball Widows” tour where they can set up alternative fun activities for couples in the cities that they also take you to a game to. So if let’s say MY wife wanted to do something in addition to going to a baseball game, well that might be included in a tour package. Perhaps something like going to San Francisco and Seattle with some sidetrip options in those great cities and finishing it off with an Alaskan Cruise. Probably out of my league expense-wise–but these folks are awesome and I think they’d figure out how to make that a great experience for people.
From my own spiritual perspective, as I did my examen last night, I found myself back at the bar and with a fuzzy mascot at the ballpark…two essentially non-sports watching activities were the highlights. Sports was part of both activities to be sure but it was just fun sitting and talking and goofing around mostly.
A story showed up on the news about an aid worker getting killed in Afghanistan, a young woman, who clearly reminded me of one of my students. I found myself riveted to the screen. A second story about how 75% of NFL players are broke no more than three years after they retire also caught my attention.
I realized then that this was one of the reasons that solely covering baseball (or even other sports) wasn’t really at the heart of who I am and more importantly, what motivates me.
Jesus was accused of eating and drinking too much with his friends. At the wedding feast at Cana, we should notice a few things. One it was a party and Jesus was there. Two, the author points out that they’ve run out of wine immediately after he notes that Jesus and his friends were present. Three, Mary, seemingly out of the blue runs over to Jesus and tells him that they’ve run out of wine. I loosely translate this as Mary saying “Jesus, you and your friends have been drinking all afternoon. You’ve essentially drank enough for the entire party and now they’ve run out of stuff. FIX THIS.”
And he does. Let the party continue.
And much of the same occurs here. I think Jesus would have liked baseball. Young people stretch themselves to compete and others are amazed by their efforts. All the time it is a quiet reflective afternoon in the sunny weather. There’s laughing and carousing with good food and simple food (well, sorta–it’s getting more elaborate as time goes on).
Today is our final game in Cincinnati. We get to meet Hall of Famer Dave Parker and tour the Reds Hall of Fame. I know funny stories will be central to today’s discussions with Parker, who had it tough playing for a racist owner in Marge Schott who called him the n-word and kept a swastika in a drawer in her house. How he kept his composure, I have no idea. We’ll find out though.