Saturday, August 15, 2009

Baseball, Fitness and Televisions

I wrote the following stream of consciousness piece over a month ago while watching a Yankee game on my cable-less television, and I edited it today. I took all of the photographs in this post.

Being a major league baseball player is so hard. I know that the players experience vigorous trainings to remain fit and continue their careers. Baseball requires strength as well as technique--like all intense sports activities, players must have great stamina to play for hours in a game; some games last over 5 hours.

As I watch the game on t.v., I recognize that the strength they must have is phenomenal – for example, the catcher must remain crouched down for extensive periods of time. The position he remains in reminds me of a pilates exercise where we squat and rise very slowly, very controlled, and with every muscle in the body tight. After that exercise, my whole body hurts, and I can only imagine the difficulty of his career and what it must be like to do what baseball players do--run speedily, pitch swiftly and accurately, catch well, and hit home runs.

A second challenge baseball players face is injury. Intense sports and fitness activities inherently put people at risk for various bodily injuries. I wish I could bring myself to do something that dangerous yet that exciting.

Watching the Game at Home, at the Gym, and at Yankee Stadium
So now that I am home from the gym, I realize that I always find myself watching baseball at the gym… Today, I was finally able to listen to it using my headphones on the Precor machine. I was not on a machine located a comfortable distance from the t.v. the game was on though; I had to keep turning my neck to the side to watch it, and, let me tell you, that is not a good way to exercise. One side of my body felt far more worked out than the other!

So, after crumpling up the awful crick in my neck, I primarily listened to the game and only turned to watch important replays. In fact, watching the game at the gym inspires me to work out on the cardio machine for a longer period of time for the following reasons: 1) I want to see the next inning. I want to see how the game ends!; 2) Because most baseball players are so fit, they are so sexy! Health is appealing and attractive to me; and 3) I want to be fit too!

This time, thankfully, the game is on regular television networks so I was able to run home from the gym and watch it. The Yankees are winning. See I was at the gym at 8:30 PM, and the Yankees-Twin game was in the 2nd inning. Now, I am at home, and it’s in the top of the 8th inning at 11:07 PM! We’re winning 10-1.

Still, I would love to be sitting in a handsome Yankee Stadium seat right now at 11:07 PM even though I have to work tomorrow morning. The stadium is gorgeous-- it is sleek and more fair in terms of seating. The bleachers are still far away, and the food is extra expensive, but watching a game live is like seeing a long lost friend. I still remember taking pictures of the new stadium before it was completed-- I must put in some links for my pictures that show you everything I am describing about the new stadium.

It was really hot that day, a couple of weeks ago, when I finally went INSIDE the new Yankee Stadium, and I kept wondering if players even hear the crowd anymore after playing so often. I sipped my melted $6.00 Turkey Hill Icee and wore sunglasses on top of my prescription ones, and wondered if the players were tuning out my cheers.

Impact of Game Length on Fans
While I noted that the length of games lends to the intensity of the sport for players, I think it is important to recognize the impact game length has on fans. First of all, much can be done during the span of a baseball game, which can last for two hours to over five hours. This point is proven by the fact that I went to the gym, visited the corner store, showered at home and completed work during the span of this baseball game so far.

Another example is *recent edit* the Yankees-Red Sox game on Friday, August 7th, which lasted for 5 hours and 33 minutes; the Yankees finally won 2-0 in the 15th inning when Alex Rodriguez hit a home run. There was another time when I was out at a friends' house, and the game went into 12 innings: people all around me looked so angry, so frustrated. They were really pissed for all those hours because they just wanted it to be over already!

As for me as a fan, I do not get angry so much as disappointed when the Yankees lose. I do often just want them to win already so I can be released from the suspense of wondering if I'm going to pat them on the back or say, "Better luck next time."

My Overall Appreciation for Baseball
The other day, I stopped in front of a bright salon some where around 138th and Broadway when one of my best friends and I were on our way to get some doughnuts. She turned around and walked back to me, saying, "Oh, no, you did not just stop there to watch the Yankee game!" At that moment, a man emerges from the salon to tell me, "Estan perdiendo," "They're losing." My friend laughs and says, "He knew exactly what you wanted to know." She has known me for about seven years and is still adjusting to my intensified love of baseball.

I really began to love watching baseball when I babysat a four and a half year old boy whose life consisted of the baseball center, Mets games on t.v. and at Shea Stadium, baseball cards, baseball figurines, baseball XBox games, baseball bats and bases in the living room or in the park, and many blue and orange baseball hats.

Since then, my love of baseball has grown, but I have been accused by die-hard Yankee fans of not being a true fan. Is it really so bad that I wish the Mets well even as I rock my Yankee hat? And I'm not saying I'm a baseball know-it-all because I obviously have much more to learn. I mean, let's be honest, I still accidentally call runs points, which pisses baseball fans off like whoa.

But the main reason I love baseball, besides its general entertainment purposes, is that it is a generational game, a game that older generations can pass on to younger generations. Baseball is rich with history and fit men.

All Photos Copyright 2009 Xiomara A. Maldonado

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