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Finish this sentence: I love baseball because ...

I hate snow. There, I said it.

My wife and kids are calling me “Scrooge” because of my outward vitriol aimed at the snow. It’s easy to ridicule the bitter worker while you’re frolicking on a sled, I figure.

Grab my shovel for a few hours and then see if Jack Frost doesn’t blow.

OK, I’m feeling better. Nothing an Irish coffee and a little venting at Connolly’s can’t solve.

While I was helping a neighbor dig out for the second time in a three days, I was thinking about how good it will be to see baseball again.

I don’t head down to Florida until March, but I’ll be spending a chunk of that month there, finally free from snow.

That’s one of the reasons I love baseball. Another is because of the unique history that comes with it. I recently received a coffee table book that is heavier than a standard coffee table. It’s about Major League ballparks, with impressive, panoramic shots and detailed histories.

I love the NFL, and understand the history of the NBA and NHL. But, really, how interesting would it be to flip through a book of old football stadiums and hockey arenas? But the old ballparks? That hooked me.

So in this, the 212th straight day of shoveling snow, I am going to toss out a very simple statement that will hopefully get your mind off the winter weather. All you need to do is finish it. Unlike my driveway, which is seemingly unending.

Daily Think Special: Finish this sentence: I love baseball because ...

Comments

I love baseball because it means winter is almost over (and the shoveling).

I love baseball because it has more action than football.

ive got to steal a quote from Fever Pitch that i watched last night...i edited it a little for the Orioles.

Because they haven't been to the playoffs in over a decade? So what? They're here. Every April, they're here. At 1:05 or at 7:05, there is a game. And if it gets rained out, guess what? They make it up to you. Does anyone else in your life do that? The Orioles don't get divorced. This is a real family. This is the family that's here for you.

I love it because my Dad played, I played, my sons played, and now my grandsons are playing and it's still the same game. I followed the Browns to Baltimore in 1954, I remember Jimmy Dyke and Jimmy Dykes, and I love scoring a ballgame in the book. I think it's also a love of stats and startegy. Who Knows.......Baseball springs eternal.

when I look out the window the only words that warm me up are "pitchers and catchers report next week."

Hey Dan Dean Martin said it best let it snow let it snow let it snow. Oh buy the way Dan ive reached china from all the snow i too have shoveled . By the way what ever happened to enterprising young kids who wanted to make some money by shoveling peoples driveways . I guess video games are easier than real work.

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Barkeep's Reply: I'm with ya, Jon. They beat on my door in droves at Halloween. How bout stepping up in a blizzard, ya punks?

I love baseball because it is the best game ever. Perfectly mixing team and individual pursuits in a way that is without rival.

...because it helped shape me, discipline me and mold me as a youth.

...because it holds some of the most cherished memories of my youth.

...because of the summers' of '79 & 83.

...because is employed my all-time greatest sports hero, #5, Brooks Robinson.

...because it was a special bond I have with my son from age 5 until today.

...because of a group of boys from Bel Air, who over the course of 5 seasons, achieved great things and will have memories that will last a lifetime. It's what little league should be.

...because hot dogs taste better at a ball park.

...because beer tastes colder at a ballpark.

...because the first week of April, every team has a shot.

...because of summer nights spent listening to a radio.

Seasons change but the game, the core of the game, remains the same.

---
Barkeep's Reply: Amen

... it gives me an excuse to drink!

... the sun is warm, the beer is cold and boys might win this one.

I love baseball because....drum roll please! I am a Yankee's fan!!!!! Anything else...would be uncivilized. Repeat! Repeat!

I love baseball because of the way the warm summer sunshine feels on my face as I watch the team I love take to the field I remember all of the tradition and those who played the game for generations upon generations before my time. What an amazing game !!

....even at 50 years old, playing the game makes me feel young.

Humility. No hitter can get too cocky because he's probably going to strike out pretty soon. No pitcher can get too cocky because somebody is going to demolish one his mistakes. Fielders are always at the mercy of a bad bounce or a misread.

Beyond that, however, is the fact that the coaches wear the same uniforms as the players. I would love to see all the Ravens coaches wearing jerseys and shoulder pads. How about Gary Williams wearing a sleeveless b-ball tank top?

..because i grew up in CT as an O's fan and snow days meant not dealing with kids screaming at me about Mike Greenwell and Tino Martienez.

I love baseball because MLB would cancel a game and give you a "rain check" if two feet of snow fell, making it dangerous for you to drive to the ballpark (unlike a few other sports leagues that come to mind!).

....because every spring and summer day, your team has a chance to win the game. Some teams even have a chance in the fall. Here's hoping we're on our way to being one of those teams.

...to quote the great Earl Weaver on why baseball is the best sport ever, “You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all.”

There's no end to what you can discover with baseball. It's simple -- runs scored, runs allowed, wins recorder -- and it's complex; it's so much more than what you see on the surface. How do you really measure performance? So much is hidden? How do you build a franchise from shambles to success (which occupies much of my focus as an Orioles fan these days)? Each team is juggling hundreds of players, trying to bring them to the top level, and it's enjoyable to watch players advance and less enjoyable to watch them fall back. Then there's the atmosphere at the ballpark; the warmth, green of the field, blue of the sky, the pace of the game (17 intermissions, lots of time to daydream while watching), the spontaneous quality when the calm is shattered by a sudden outbreak of action, ads on the outfield fence, fans/families gathering at the (especially minor league) ballpark, summer...

The game is the same, every year you get to start fresh and you have hope, no matter what else is going on in the world.

Just like life....you have hopes and dreams, but what really happens is not known for sure until afterwards. Plus the game is as simple or complex as you want it to be. The players are sometimes big and sometimes not so big. But they all are talented AND work very hard.

please you guys-- dan, I like your column, but the SAME headlines have been up for the past three days. please write something about the Orioles in 2010. pitchers/catchers report in 6 days. there is nothing in the ravens or terps bball either. what is going on here, are you all snowed in?

--
Barkeep's Reply: Be patient, Rich. It is Feb. 11 after all, and we've been writing nearly every day since November. Starting Sunday, we will have an Orioles story (or two) every day until the end of September. I promise. But, right now, there isn't anything going on, and it's a tad early to start previewing the season (we'll do that for six weeks starting Sunday).

1. it's not gladiatorial like football.

2. it's far more intellectually stimulating from the fan perspective than soccer.

3. it's direct man-to-man competition, unlike golf and bowling.

I love baseball because....of the green grass, the sun shine, the sound of the crack of a bat.

I HATE MLB because of the over priced salaries, over priced ticket for a game, parking, hot dog and drink, the steroids that apparently no one takes except Cansaco, 1994 strike year, 12 losing seasons for the O's, 182 games, corked bats, no double hitters, no salary caps -payrolls in the hundreds of millions, ........

I love baseball because......

My grandfather played and coached my dad; My dad played and coached me; I played and coached my sons and daughters!; the history and legendary stories of the game, the heroes of the game; the unique characters of the game; baseball cards and statistics; baseball movies; the song "Take Me Out To The Ballgame"; the "Old Orioles" (I'm talking John McGraw et tal); minor league baseball and minor league parks; no time clocks (baseball is timeless); the fans in the stands are at the edge of the field, you can reach out and almost touch the players, the ball is still playable when a player reaches into the stands to snare a foul pop; balls that go into the stands are "souvenirs" for the fans; Tball, Little League, Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball, American Legion Baseball; wiffle ball, wall ball, curb ball, stick ball, kick ball; Cooperstown Hall of Fame; and finally.....the game, for the most part, is played out doors in the summer when it is warm and beautiful.

I enjoy the other sports, football, basketball, ice hockey and lacrosse appeal to me for quite a number of reasons. But boy do I love baseball!

...because it celebrates differences. Every field in football, every court in basketball, rink in hockey, court in tennis, etc is the same and they all play by the same rules. In baseball, every ballpark is different, we have a DH in one league and not in the other. But most of all, because the game is perfect and it helps tie us to our pasts.

I pretty much want to say "Amen!" to so many of the comments here. Except for George, of course.

I love baseball because... baseball is the game of spring and summer. It coincides with the rebirth of nature, at least in the Mid-Atlantic region. The true begining of Spring is Opening Day, not some date in late March. It is part of the fabric of my life, watching or listening to or playing games, playing catch with my dad and with my sons, going to an Orioles game with all of them as the best way to celebrate Father's Day. Sure there are things about MLB that we can complain about, but that's for another time. Besides, there is so much more to Baseball than MLB.

...because after over 100 years, 90 feet is still just a millimeter to short...or too far.

...because a bugs-bunny curve, a fall-off-the-table change, shoelace cutter, and a filthy 2-seamer are the coolest athletic gifts in the universe.

Timeless indeed. What other game can both be deliberate and calculated and also be wreckless and wild. 90 year old men like it just as much as 9 year old boys. The afluent leave their penthouse offices to see a game just the same as teens leave the school yard to see it. Its slow and relaxing just like its lightning fast and nerve racking. Blacks play with whites, asians play with latinos. The game will display the utmost in respect and you might also see a brawl. No matter how many games of baseball youve seen in your life you may see something tonight that has never, ever, happened before.

Its beautiful to see in person. Its beautiful to share. It brings people together. Besides my family and friends, I can think of nothing I love more... than Baseball.

Dan, you should pose this question several times a year. I LOVE reading all these responses!

P.S. I love the O's

Could Rob K. from Bel Air be Rob Kaper, class of '61?

...because in all of professional sports, baseball involves the single most difficult athletic movement: Hitting a round object that is moving towards you at various high and low speeds and variable arc, with a round bat.

i love baseball cause nothing beats the sound of the bat and the smell of stale beer and peanuts on a hot sunday afternoon at camden yards, makes it worth the sunburn

Because it means summer and warm weather after cold winters, especially this hellish one. It's a sport that maybe more about stats than basketball and football but it's still very much a team game. I was in love with seeing HR's hit at Camden Yards (by an Oriole of course) and it's still a special sight to me.

I love baseball because it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. It is the reason for spring and summer. It makes each warm day more glorious than the last. It brings me back to being a kid; to games with my dad; to catch in the back yard. And when the Orioles bring a competitive team back to Camden Yards, it will remind us all what we have been sorely missing for so long. I love baseball because it is my heart and soul, because, as Earl Weaver once said, "You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all."

I used to "love baseball", because the Os used to make me so proud to be a Baltimorean.
Now I love baseball because I love to watch all the underdogs that play to win now and want to overtake NY & Bos, prepare for the season with smart trades and draft picks.

It is the greatest sport ever. Nothing else compares to this great American pasttime.

because every pitch changes every count which changes every at bat....

And each at bat affects subsequent at bats....

Pitcher vs hitter......

Is the hitter balanced and relaxed enough to drill the ball where
its pitched without overswinging?

I love baseball because I can tell that Felix Pie will be a star..


Because when I step out on the field to play, or into Camden Yards to watch, I don't have a mortgage, car payment, oddball neighbors, or any of life's other major or minor annoyances for three glorious hours... (And when I make that sweet pickup at third to nail the runner at first, I AM Brooks Robinson!)

because it's there for me, day in and day out, for six months every year.

no clock....it ain't over 'til it's over (who was there this year to see the O's come back against the Red Sox down 10-1 in the seventh?)

keeping score - everyone does it a little differently, but we can all replay the game in our heads from a sheet of paper with symbols.

Sidewalk vendors - folks working for a living, and the food's better.

Batting Practice - free baseballs to anyone good (and lucky) enough to catch a big fly, chances to talk to the players.

Everything else said above!!

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