Monday, October 4, 2010

Good-bye Baseball

Today at Life of a New Dad we enter the confessional booth. It's time to get something off my chest, and with the MLB regular season ending yesterday it seems like the perfect time.

I haven't watched an entire baseball game in at least 6 weeks.

There I said it, and the truth of the matter is I didn't miss it one bit. I still love baseball. I still love the Cardinals. It just so happens that a mixture of circumstances came together this year to create the perfect storm of apathy in my baseball life.

This is definitely the least amount of baseball I have watched since I was in high school. Back then there wasn't a Fox Sports Net. Every baseball game was not televised around the country. The only time I could watch my favorite team is when they were on ESPN or another national network. I followed the Cardinals daily through the newspaper. I looked at box scores and followed the standings.

When I went to college I was able to watch every Cardinals game if I wanted to, and I tried my best to achieve that many seasons. That type of habitual baseball viewing has carried on to the present day.

Now I am going backwards in my Cardinal following. I may not use the prehistoric newspaper anymore, but I have been reduced to following the team through box scores on the internet. Why has this happened?

Part of it is the fact that the Cardinals stunk this year. Stunk is a relative term. They finished in second so they didn't stink like, say, the Pirates. But this team bored me to death for weeks on end despite having two of the best hitters and two of the best pitchers int he league. The worst part is that many nights the players seemed to care less than I did.
So that leads me to the main reason I just quit watching. With a toddler ruling your house TIME IS PRECIOUS! If the team didn't care enough to play hard I certainly didn't care enough to spend my scant free time watching them.

As a husband and father of a nearly 2 year old free time is worth more than gold. I can either spend that gold on my wife, doing something useful, or watching a losing baseball team. For once in my life I started choosing someone else instead of falling back into my old habits. Sure I would enjoy watching the Cardinals lose if only so I could yell at the TV, but that wasn't what I really wanted.

I wanted to spend time with Braden. I wanted to spend time with Arica. I wanted to do what I could to help around the house. Parenting has a funny way of helping you learn what is important in life. Hopefully this same type of realization will happen in other areas of my life. I need to be rid of things that take too much time from my family. I especially need to get rid of those things that are harmful to my family.

Anyone who knows me will attest that putting baseball on the back burner was a big step for me. Hopefully it is only the first step in my realization that the real people in my life matter far more than images of people on the TV or any other inanimate object that calls my name.

8 comments:

Eric said...

Sorry about the Cards, bud.. I find it best not to get emotionally involved in any sport as a father. Especially when I can't commit to it like others can.

Even in regards to my Texas Aggies.. It's only box scores for me..

Tim Riley said...

Baseball is hard, so many games. I've been a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan, and I never miss a game. It's one of the things I've held on to from the prekid days. I'm hoping my girls will eventually want to watch with me, and then it can become a family event, the way it was with my dad and brother.

Always Home and Uncool said...

I thought maybe Tony LaRussa's over-managing had done you in.

Manic Mommy said...

Wow. That's like, real grown up stuff!

Andy played golf last week for maybe the second or third time since HRH was born. He played every Sunday for at least a decade up to that point.

Father Knows (Travis) Best said...

Great lesson, indeed. When I was in high school and college, I used to watch football from sunup to sundown every Saturday and basically Sunday, too. Now I watch one college game and listen to one college game (my alma mater is never on TV) every Saturday, and that's about it. Then on Sundays my wife and I watch quite a bit of NFL, but we play with my son at the same time. And during basketball season, I watch recorded college basketball games late at night after everyone has gone to bed.

Katherine said...

Yep....life got too busy for us, too, which is why my husband decided no more watching sports. He was more dedicated to playing guitar than watching TV....and he only has a short amount of time to do that with Ethan around.

Spending time with E outranks any other activity in our household. Funny how that happens!

Sorry the Cards sucked this year. :(

WeaselMomma said...

Here's to the day that you and Braden can enjoy a season of a passion filled Cardinals together. Cheers.

PJ Mullen said...

If you replace baseball with football, then I guess I've just stepped into your confessional. I have not watched one football game this season. Normally I would be glued to my couch watching my favorite team, then absorbing all the highlights from the redzone channel. Not this season. I got rid of DirecTV to save money back in March and we haven't missed TV at all. With all that we have going on with surplus real estate and me getting some contract work football was a luxury I could no longer afford. With two kids my wife needed me on the weekends even though I'm the head man during the work week. My family comes first and, for now, football is not in my plans.