Yesterday, my wife wrote a blog post about being married to a person with an unhealthy baseball obsession.
Before we were married, she and I were in a long-distance relationship. Now, the Tigers and I are in one. She has tolerated my shenanigans for the last few years now, and I am very thankful for that.She is also very pretty and full of snark, and I'm thankful for that, too.
She says she doesn't like baseball or care about the Tigers, but she's a liar. Her Tiger fandom has grown over the past few years, despite the departures of some of the players she thought were attractive. She'll be a full-blown fan eventually. Just give me some time.
Displaced (I'm not calling him DTF, despite his begging) asked me if I wanted to take a break from folding his Tigers footie pajamas* to write a post about what it's like being a displaced fan's wife.
The thing is, I am not a Tigers fan, per se.
I married Displaced anyway.
It's nothing personal against the Tigers. It's just that sports and me are not so much.
Here is a video of me doing sports:
And here is a passage from a blogger better than I, which does a nice job of describing how I feel about baseball-style sports:
Hey, are you looking for all the boringness of sports, but with extra statistics? Try baseball! It's sports + math! Also, each season consists of 7,000 games, and each game is four days long. Baseball.
From April to Octoberish, this is my life. Rod and Mario are daily dinner guests, who drone on about various statistical minutiae about a bunch of people I don't care about (did you know Saltalamacchia is a really long last name? It's made of lots of letters). And, thanks to fantasy baseball, I get to hear even more about how the highly-paid grown men transferred a ball to one another under a set of arbitrary limitations, only it's for pretend. It's not even real playing. Fantasy baseball is PRETEND PLAYING. It's like if I said, hey, dude, want to play Monopoly? Except, let's just, like, PRETEND to play it. Even better, we'll pretend OTHER PEOPLE are playing it. We'll get the board out, and look at it, and IMAGINE that some people OTHER THAN US got together and decided to play Monopoly! We'll spend a great deal of time speculating about what they would probably do, if they were playing it! It'll be awesome.
Don't even get me started on fantasy baseball. Don't even GET ME started.
But...baseball...actual real baseball...it might be growing on me. Like mold on cheese. Wearing me down, like time on my skin's elasticity.
A while back, when Displaced and I were first dating, I checked out some books about baseball from the library. I pictured myself being all, "Sup bros. How bout them sports? It sure was baller how the ball went by the thing; killer defense. Statistics!" and then seamlessly going back to laughing with salad.
Wow, Displaced would say. You're a really cool girlfriend.
Turns out, the particular book I got was written in 1910. So it went more like, "White Socks? Oh, did you know they used to be called the White Stockings? That's so cool that there's a team that still calls themselves that! I like that team!"
[Displaced opens the door, pushes me onto the curb, and drives away.]
Still, though, I like that baseball has such a long history. I don't give a crap about tradition, ever, which seems to be a key word in sports fandom. But history? I like. I like when Miguel Cabrera does something amazing, and the picture of the last guy who did that thing is in black and white.
And, while the business aspect of sports can be extremely unsavory (see: the rich white people congratulating each other in the suites or whatever after a big win "You sure are good at owning people, Mr. Illitch, yep yep"), I like that baseball--the American League especially, with the DH system--allows players to play a little longer, on average. I kind of like the minor league system, too: that the highly-paid grown men who play the game generally had to start out at least a little while as shittily-paid younger men who are just in it because it's fun; that, if you don't have a bajillion dollars to go to a major league playoff game, you can go to a minor league game for like 7 bucks, because the point isn't necessarily a bajillion dollars, it's just hanging out around some baseball.
I also like that there is a variety of ways to be good at baseball; that simply being tall or being big isn't necessarily an advantage all by itself. And I like that the Tigers, specifically, have brought up their star pitcher themselves, and are generally known for being pretty loyal to their players (to a fault, some people might say), and seem to be a good organization to play for. I like that Tigers' players are on record that they care about the city (Brennan Boesch isn't a Tiger anymore, but when he said in an interview that he bought a GM car and that "we have to play hard, because [the people of Detroit] have to work hard," I thought...okay. I can get behind this team).
And, you know, I like Rod and Mario. They're always very gracious when they praise players from other teams. Also Rod's glasses.
So, maybe I will never quite get why some people find baseball SO fascinating, or how a person who was completely dry-eyed at our wedding can be so moved by watching some other people lose at a sports competition. And, while I now know what a sacrifice fly is (I called it a "sacrificial fly" one time and have never heard the end of it), I will never care about Brad Ausmus's chest pubes, or be dizzy with suspense about what is going to happen with Tigers bullpen you guys !?!?.
But, hanging out with my fam outside in the springtime, talking and cheering and maybe even eating a snack and drinking an Oberon? Sporting a shirt that shows support for one of my favorite cities (ok, ok, I was actually born in Southfield, but still)? Sure, I can do that.
What the hell. Go Tigers, I guess.
*Just kidding, I'm a feminist. He folds his own footie pajamas.