2017 Reds / Baseball Is Life

Baseball Is Life: In Matters of Self-Improvement

Most people make New Year’s resolutions, which means they’re going to add in positive actions or delete negative behaviors, which means they’re all going to be miserable by February if not sooner. It never works. All it does is make those of us who have our own cozy staked-out area at the yoga studio cram over in the creaky spot by the corner for three weeks until the newbies give up, realizing they will never actually do this thing, thereby making life worth living again for the rest of us.

See, you’re not the only one you hurt by making an unobtainable New Year’s resolution.  You’re angering everybody else, making the bathroom line longer and the shoe rack by the door less manageable. Go away. Come back one by one in an orderly fashion by April or so if you’re serious.

So that is what I recommend to you this New Year’s Day:  Don’t change a thing. It’s easier, cheaper, better for your self-esteem and far more obtainable.

Here, for example, is what I plan for my own course of personal betterment in 2018:

I will continue to hate loud stadium things unless they are naturally generated moments of crowd uproar.

I will continue to write about epic Greek poetry for two thousand words on a baseball blog and then tack in a sentence about a donkey at the end.

I will get up when it looks as if a Red has hit one out and then, if it doesn’t, plonk back down going, “Ohhhhhhhh” because this makes the baseball feel bad and will ensure it will do better next time.

I will not cram my politics up on yours in this space because it makes me feel better for .00002 seconds about mine. That’s what is Twitter is for. This is baseball. Baseball is serious, and everyone’s.

I will not refer to the act of recording broadcast television or digitally preserving life-action moments as anything but “taping.”

I will not expect Dusty Baker to escape the playoffs. He could be riding around on Tom Brady’s shoulders while the Big Red Machine jog about them and Mario Andretti provides the transportation. He won’t make it. Ever.  Ever.

I will continue to think of the Bengals only when driving past the stadium, registering mild surprise that they do in fact still exist.

I will continue to mystify everyone else with a uterus by abhorring Target.

I will not find myself on the same patch of Earth as Gapper.

I will not think about the serving size to entire package calorie ratio of the giant bags of kettlecorn at the Crosley Field entrance of GABP.

I will applaud every comment I see praising Joey Votto. I know it will make his life complete to know this, so make sure word gets back to him.

I will bowl and Bingo and make reservations at Ron’s Roost and never apologize.

I will not clap my hands when the music clip instructs me to.

I will turn down the television volume on the Reds game and stream the radio broadcast instead.

I will spell Opening Day with capital letters.

I will purchase hot dogs at any given GABP stand with great hope in my heart, which shall then immediately be crushed in a mouthful of shriveled or barely-cooked disappointment.

I will listen to those with stories to tell of players I have never heard of. Those Reds are my Reds too. And yours.

I will not stop thinking I will get around to figure skating lessons at some point.

I will pat dogs.

16 thoughts on “Baseball Is Life: In Matters of Self-Improvement

  1. Lots of good stuff here, Ms Ellis. It sounds like you’re in for a nice year! I suspect your yoga rant was a little tongue in cheek, but remember those new folks in your class are trying in their own way. A few kind, welcoming words won’t cost you much, and maybe it would be the little lift they need to stay motivated.

    Also, Joey Votto is a treasure and Target is overrated!

    • Thank you Ben! Yep, I was that new person at yoga once, too. In reality, as I see it, new people are helping to keep my studio open, so come on in. Just don’t… sweat on me.

  2. Can’t disagree with anything you wrote. I always hate January at the gym because of all the resolution newbies, The one light of hope is they will mostly be gone by February.
    I too will continue to pet dogs.

  3. I will purchase hot dogs at any given GABP stand with great hope in my heart, which shall then immediately be crushed in a mouthful of shriveled or barely-cooked disappointment.

    Am some weirdo because I actually LIKE overcooked hot dogs?

  4. I share your aversion to stadium attempts to drum up fan enthusiasm with pre-recorded “Everybody clap your hands!” clips. I grew up a Baltimore Orioles fan, in the early ’80s, and back in those days–without artificial inducement–the crowds were far more raucous (in a good way) than anything I’ve seen at GABP. I can still remember some woman sitting next to us pounding her hands on the metal bleachers to make noise during an exciting moment of the game. Maybe everyone got more tipsy at the ballpark in those days, or maybe folks were smoking weed and getting away with it. Or maybe the Midwest is just a bit more uptight, who knows?

    But, yeah, back in those days, if you wanted to rev up the crowd you sent a legit Hank Williams, Jr. look-alike out into the stands to lead a cheer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Bill_Hagy

    And while we’re talking about New Year’s Resolutions, here’s a related one of mine:

    I will relentlessly mock the “Reds Rally Pack” (**cough-cough** cheerleaders) anytime they appear on the field. Just as there’s no crying in baseball, neither are there cheerleaders in baseball. (Exception granted for the aforementioned Will Bill, who had enough dignity to shun the use of pom poms.)

    • I never thought of the Rally Pack as cheerleaders because they are fully clothed.
      Now I shall struggle on the line between mocking and not.

  5. Are you suggesting there is an alternate spelling for Opening Day? I had no idea. My No Change Reds Resolution: Even when I’m fast forwarding through the taped game, I will watch every pitch of every Joey Votto at bat, because even though there will be thousands of pitches this year, and many thousands more in years to come, they are still finite and when they are gone we will miss them and know that we may never see their like again.

    • Of all the No Change Resolutions to make, I think this is the wisest, and best.

  6. Bravo!!!

    I too shall pat dogs … and, if the dog is so inclined, I shall scratch it’s ears and under it’s chin because dogs seem to love that.

    Stadium hot dogs – a tradition and a disappointment all wrapped in an over-steamed bun. Who could ask for more in 2018?

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