I used to be a baseball snob.
The conversations around me while sitting in the seats at a ballpark used to drive me crazy. I’d get fired up when the fans around me would talk about the game and get stats incorrect. I’d shake my head in disgust.
How could they not know that Jim Thome was selected in the 13th round, how the infield fly rule worked or that Bob Feller won 266 games for the Indians.
I always wanted to turnaround and tell them get a clue.
Now, I am the one who needs to wise up. I don’t follow the game like I used to and I’m not sure what happened.
I can’t tell you what the all-time home run record is anymore. Of course Barry Bonds holds it, but I don’t know how many he had when her slinked off into shadows.
Before I look it up I will guess 763. It was 768 home runs. The very fact that I didn’t know what the allp-time home run mark is just crazy and at one time unfathomable.
I could always rattle off the big numbers – Cy Young and 511; Hank Aaron and 755; Ted Williams and .406 – but also that year’s league leaders, team standings and who was starting that day.
Then the other day I went to a game when the Diamondbacks were in San Francisco. I arrived at the ballpark and didn’t know who were the starting pitchers were at a game I was attending.
I was on vacation so I didn’t have access to the sports page and was I was down on the beach before leaving so I didn’t get on the internet, but the very idea that I walked into a ballpark without knowing who was toeing the rubber smacked me in the face.
My life has certainly changed over the years and I have other interests – mainly my daughter and family life – but I started thinking about why I don’t know the game like I used to.
Was it as simple as my interests have changed? Or did baseball’s PED problem turn me off to a certain extent? A combination of both most likely.
The game has seemingly righted itself. There are the occasional Ryan Braun or Nelson Cruz and plenty of minor leaguers still getting caught, but the play on the field has leveled off with pitching coming to the forefront once again.
And yet I am still on a bit of a sabbatical.
I’ve left games early and didn’t complain. I watch what’s on my DVR instead of the Diamondbacks game at night. I had the All-Star Game on for all nine innings, but didn’t really watch all that much (again I was on a family vacation).
I’m the very guy this former baseball snob shook his head at when I sat in Jacobs Field or the BOB because the fan next to me didn’t know or respect the game.
Those ballparks go by different names now and so do I:
Baseball slob because i now make a mess of the game I once knew everything about.
Contact writer: (480) 898 7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.