, Newburyport, MA


September 21, 2013

Take me out to the October ballgame


“Rituals?” I asked.

“Essential,” Freddy said.

“Tensions run high during which fans have time for refills of whatever they’re drinking or eating, as well as socializing. Baseball makes it possible for them to refresh themselves so they can last for as long as it takes to get the game over with.”

“Football does the same thing,” I said.

“In spaces, but with some differences,” Freddy said. “From beginning to end, football has more time outs than baseball.”

“It’s about two teams beating the bejeebers out of each other while trying either to keep control of the ball from one end of the field to the other for a score, or keeping the other team from doing it.

“It has all kinds of rules and officials with whistles, which make for a lot of stop and go, forward or backward with all kinds of meetings by the chief officials going under cover to review the films to get things right. That gives the fans who were watching the action time to re-load at the concession stands, and that adds to the team owners annual intake.”

“Baseball doesn’t have that kind of review,” I said.

“Not yet, but it’s on it’s way,” Freddy said.

“So much for judgment calls,” I said.

“Fans judging calls has been part of baseball from the beginning,” Freddy said.

“But we don’t hear ‘Kill the umpire!’ any more on a bad call,” I said.

“More’s the pity,” Freddy said.

Bill Plante is a Newbury resident and a staff columnist.

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