Balls and Books
My daughter has seen two of the most heart breaking games in Detroit Tigers history and she’s not even a year old yet. Last year she was on my lap, about a month old, as we watched the Tigers and Minnesota Twins slug it out in extra innings in an epic one game playoff that ended in defeat for the Tigers. Then, last night, she was on my lap again as Armando Galaragga took down batter after batter after batter until he was one game away from perfection.
And anyone with a TV or internet connection knows how that game turned out.
Immediately the calls for increased use of instant replay began (along with more vulgar and nefarious calls as well) and it got me thinking, again, how literary a sport baseball is. Also, it bears a striking resemblance to modern publishing with instant replay being the coming powerhouse of e-books. Baseball, like publishing, is an endeavor steeped in tradition and superstition and lore. It’s the only game I know of where you can still find people in the stands keeping score on cards, or scrap paper, or in the back of a paperback book like Joe Hill does. And there is plenty of literature out there about, for, and in the spirit of baseball. People still refer to baseball as America’s Past Time even though it’s quite obviously been replaced by football. But baseball is still popular even though it’s slower, classier, and more cerebral than any of the other sports. Can publishing maintain the same popularity as a slower, classier, and more cerebral entertainment option amongst the flashier and more aggressive entertainment options out there? I think it can, for all the same reasons that baseball is still popular. No matter how crazy and hectic and chaotic life can get, sometimes you just want to get away in something slow and relaxing.
Unless you live in Detroit. Because obviously we’re cursed.