Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

May 24, 2013

Baseball is a simple game hard to perfect

By JAMES BROWN
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — The hypothesis to be presented is nothing new.

It may even by a theory by now, but I’ve not

read the latest edition of the fictional magazine

“Baseball Science.”

Every time I’ve interviewed Glasgow head baseball

coach Sam Royse in the last 10 years the answer

has always been the same.

The answer to the question, “Why were you successful

today” is always a three-parter:

“Our pitcher threw strikes, our defense made routine

plays without mistakes and we had some timely

hits.”

The answer to the question, “Why were you not

successful today” has an answer that includes having

a failure in at least one of the three areas mentioned

above.

Frankly, Barren County head

baseball coach Johnny Vance also

gives the same answer in his own

way to both questions.

They both make it sound so simple.

Seeing as how I wasn’t very

good at the game — I couldn’t hit

a baseball on a tee — it seems as a

casual observer there is much

more to the game than those three

simple things.

Technically speaking, there is

much more.

There are the years of individual

practice teaching ones body how to react to a white

ball coming at it at up to 90 mph and how to swat it

with a stick.

Then there are the years of individual practice

teaching one’s body to overcome its natural inclination

to want to dive away from the little white ball

coming off the stick at up to 100 mph and instead

have it stay in the way of the ball in order to snag it

from the air or scoop it from the ground with a thinly

padded piece of cow hide.

The pitcher is a special case, because they throw

the little white ball at a thinly padded piece of cow

hide while someone with a stick tries to slap the ball

back at the pitcher’s mug some 60-feet away.

When each individual has trained for years to defy

human nature, then they must train with each other in

order to make “routine” plays, such as snag with a

thinly padded piece of cow hide a 75 mph white ball

skipping across the grass toward them, then fling that

ball across the field to a teammate waiting with a

thinly padded piece of cow hide in order to prevent a

person who slapped the white ball with a stick from

being “safe.”

Any failure by either the person who scooped the

ball or who received the ball is considered an error

and now that team’s chances of success have dwindled.

There was a time when I wasn’t a fan of the sport.

It was boring and slow, but I didn’t understand the

nuances of the game. It is a game of constant anticipation,

like a good novel.

James Brown is editor of the Glasgow Daily Times. He

can be contacted by e-mail at jbrown@glasgowdailytimes.

com.

Baseball is a

simple game

hard to perfect

Memorial Day is called the first holiday of the

summer. For marketers, it is a day to celebrate people

buying items for outdoor fun — grills, volleyball

nets, swimsuits, sun screen, etc.

For many, they may pass Monday away never asking

themselves why they are so fortunate to have an

extra day attached to their weekend.

For others, they know precisely why they celebrate

the day. Within their celebration is a somber note

tuned to the sacrifices of thousands of Americans

through the history of our nation that have allowed

us to do on this coming Monday as we wish.

Not as we wish without regard to our fellow citizens,

but as we wish without some Uber governmental

figure telling us we can only celebrate in a government-

approved manner. If anyone would like to

attend one of the many events honoring fallen American

soldiers, they can certainly do so. We encourage

them to do so. If they would like to spend the day

with family by the lakeside; grilling, swimming,

boating, eating, commiserating after a scorching day

in the sun, they can certainly do so. It’s their right as

a free citizen of a nation built upon such freedoms to

spend the day however they find fit.

Of course, a moment taken to consider the greater

implication of the day would be appreciated; a moment

to reflect upon all that binds us in this nation; a

moment to pray as one sees fit for those who are

serving their country now; a moment to consider the

daily decline in numbers of the Greatest Generation;

a moment to ponder those great generations that

came before and those yet to come. A moment is all

that is needed.

We take this moment to thank all of you who have

served our nation. There are not enough memorial

days to say thank you enough to suffice.

James Brown is editor of the Glasgow Daily Times. He

can be contacted by e-mail at jbrown@glasgowdailytimes.

com.

Read more of this story in the print or digital Glasgow Daily Times. http://glasgowdailytimes.cnhi.newsmemory.com/