blogging Phillies baseball and the home of Phillies Talk Podcast by Rich Baxter
blogging Phillies baseball and the home of Phillies Talk Podcast by Rich Baxter

Why I’m done with baseball and sports for this year

This year has been a trying time for many in this country and around the world. The Covid-19 crisis has tested us in our spirit and our will to survive. Doing the right precautions to try to prevent the transmission of this virus has been now the norm, as we social distance, wear masks, clean our hands many times a day, and more.

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Sports have helped ease this a little from the times where most of this country was locked down. We couldn’t experience the games being played on the baseball diamond, because there were no practicing or games being held. Spring Training 1 was canceled back in March, and then restarted when it was deemed it may be ok to continue. New rules, new ways to do things, a change from what the game has been.

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Fast forward a few months, in the normal course of our existence baseball, hockey, and basketball have resumed. It’s something that a lot of people were waiting for. Some of the sports such as baseball, went through some fairly radical changes when it returned. Some like it, some don’t but it’s still a game that we call baseball that draws us in.

Sidelines of what’s been going outside of the world of sports have crept into the very sports themselves. We’ve been through wars, and worse and this has really never happened where individual events of the normal day to day lives of citizens have affected the sports world.

No, there’s been soldiers killed in battle, fighting for this great country, police and fire personnel who have died in the line of duty while protecting the citizens from harm. No games have ever been canceled for those reasons specifically. (And what baseball has done to honor those folks has been nice but very corporate in design) Yet, last night, many sports times chose to vote to stop playing sports in response to an individual who had been shot by police inspired a lot of the sports world to take a pause. We don’t know the facts, and frankly, it’s not my concern. It’s something that happens in the course of a country with 300+ million people in it, I’m not here to debate this at all. Some bad things happen in this country, it’s not your fault, and it’s not mine.

What I do know is that last night, I started thinking about the time I spend in front of a television set, the time and money I’ve spent in my pursuit of seeking happiness in watching sports. I do have many interests in other things as well. I started thinking how my interest in those ‘other things’ that are equally important to me have taken a back seat to my quest for also liking organized sports leagues in the US. I’ve talked with many people, especially younger folks who don’t make time to watch sports, they could care less. I’ve always thought to myself, ‘how could anybody be that way’ – not to care about sports.

But after last night, I am going to declare myself free of being in a position where I am on a sofa, watching a game and all of it’s advertising and hoopla that goes on with it. I’m not going to fall into that category of someone that goes along with the sports leagues politics either, I don’t particularly care for politics of any kind when I am watching sports, to me it’s totally separate and I like it that way.

Yes, I’ll still write columns and monitor the Phillies as I’ve done for the last 14 years on this blog and Phillies Talk Podcast, and for many years before that. But I won’t be a person who will tune into broadcasts night after night, if the stadiums were open, I wouldn’t spend a dollar in them for seats or concessions. I won’t spend a dollar on MLB promotions live MLB TV or Radio – or jerseys or hats. I am officially on the sidelines of all major sports in the US – an observer at best. My money normally devoted to this hobby will go elsewhere.

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