The African roommate and I joined a group of friends last night to watch the Diamondbacks get slaughtered by the Cubbies. The adventure started on a great note with frozen yogurt in Tempe and my first ride on the light rail. Come to find out, I’d find the train ride far more entertaining.
We went with a large group and ended up squished at one end of the row. It was hard to socialize and let’s be honest, I don’t go to baseball games to watch the game. It’s about spending time with friends, people watching, making fun of the women wearing heels at a ball park and guessing what the vendors will be selling next, as they bark their way up and down the aisle. Matt had many questions about baseball and unfortunately was sitting next to me. I was far more interested in talking to my girlfriends than explaining why foul balls are strikes only to a point.
Plus, I’m not so sports smart. I get the basics, but don’t ask me why pitchers in one league have to bat and not in the other. I don’t get it either.
What I do get is the condiment race, where kids dressed like hot dogs race and the entire stadium cheers, “Ketchup!” “Mustard!” “Relish!!” Seeing those little ones in their little buns running as quickly as they can is worth the ticket price alone. Again, how to explain this cultural hiccup? We are a culture in love with food? That’s not news. Better yet — they are kids. They are dressed like hot dogs. That should be funny in any culture.
Ultimately I decided I’d explain American baseball with the best of my eloquence, arrogance and patriotism: it’s like cricket, but better.