I went to the Dodgers-Braves game tonight, and for the first time in a while, I felt truly inspired by baseball.
This is not to say that my Red Sox don’t inspire me. They do, obviously. They are my life. But that’s a double-edged sword: I live and die by them. They take up virtually my entire life, which I love, but also worry about their hold on me. They stress me out, they exhilarate me, they break my heart, and then quickly put it back together again. I’m certain it’s unhealthy.
And this season, the way it’s started, and the way they’ve played, I’ve struggled to find my footing, just as my team has. I haven’t wanted to write as much, and that feeling has frustrated and upset me, just as my team has. I spent three weeks of April at home, going to countless games, but only seeing one win. I’ve felt exhausted and anxious for most of the first six weeks of this season, and I don’t want to feel that way.
But tonight, I went to a baseball game in which neither team was my own. It wasn’t my ballpark, and I really didn’t care who won or lost. I just wanted to hang out with some friends and watch some baseball.
And you know what? It turned out to be exactly what I needed. I don’t know if you know this, but it’s really fun to be a baseball fan at a baseball game when you’re not having a panic attack over every pitch and every at-bat. When you can just admire the athletic prowess of the players and bask in the majesty of a beautiful ballpark.
Tonight, I got to see Justin Turner have a 3-homer game, and Hyun-Jin Ryu pitch a complete game shutout on just 93 pitches, a Maddux, if you will. And it was absolutely spectacular, and it reinvigorated my baseball-addicted soul.
I’m not the same person I was when I started this website. And that’s a good thing. I used to only care about the Red Sox. When I went to Game 6 of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium, I lamented that it wasn’t my ballpark or my team. I can see now that I’ve grown so much. I love the Red Sox even more than I thought possible, but I can also honestly say that I truly love baseball as a whole. I appreciate and follow other teams, I celebrate when non-Red Sox athletes like Ryu achieve incredible feats, and I’ll watch games that aren’t my own. I’m more open and knowledgeable, and as a result, I’ve been lucky enough to have experiences like tonight.
So here’s to more random baseball, and all the joy it can bring.