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Looking Back On My Experiment With Baseball Fandom

09/02/10
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I’ll admit right now that I’m not a diehard baseball fan. It’s probably the major sport I know the least about. But randomly, I decided I’d follow baseball this season. For my experiment, I chose Buffalo’s own Bisons. They started out strong with Mike Hessman “taking target practice on the Thruway signs behind the park” (a Mike Harrington line) and Jesus Feliciano batting .400, while hosting uber high profile prospects like Aroldis Chapman and Stephen Strasburg. But, at the time this blog post is published (6:05PM), they’re 4.5 games back from a wild card berth into the playoffs. Let’s look back on my attempt to get into baseball

The season started well enough for the Bisons. Ike Davis did well early and got rewarded with a call-up to the Mets that lasted 75% of the season (I think…tons of games to keep track of). Mike Hessman was plugging homers out of the park left and right. Jesus Feliciano was hitting like crazy. The pitching was solid. And the park was buzzing with appearances by Chapman and Strasburg.

Following the Strasburg game, I kind of stopped consuming everything Bisons. I started purely watching the box scores. Just so many games to keep track of (and this is coming from a hockey addict who watches as many NHL, AHL, CHL, and college hockey games that I can!). And the stats…holy crap, the stats. I can understand obsessively pouring over dozens of stats (again, hockey addict), but baseball stats are seemingly innumerable.

Checking the box scores and reading the game reports on the Buffalo News website continued on until about the last 25% of the season. At that point I started paying attention to their standings and what was going on. The team went wildly schizophrenic. One night they choke away a tightly-fought pitching battle, another night they won high-scoring slugfests, and other nights they seemed to play perfect defense only to give up six runs in the final inning and lose. It was easy to pay attention at this point – the doldrums of hockey had set in and I needed something to assuage my sports craving.

And now, as this is published, I’m sitting at Coca-Cola Field watching the final home game of the season. It’s gonna take some epic collapses combined with the Bisons winning out for them to make it into the playoffs, and they haven’t been clutch enough to do it since the early part of the season. My mind is going to be on hockey or football, this I can guarantee. In fact, I may even be watching the pre-season Bills game on the TV at Pettibone’s. The moral of the story is, my foray into baseball fandom was an abject failure. Maybe I approached it wrong, or maybe I’m just not meant to follow baseball. Maybe I’ll attempt to get back into the game next season, but probably not.

Oh well, there’s always roller derby.

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