Yesterday’s off day gave me a chance to sit back and reflect upon the finer aspects of the game. Baseball is often called “the thinking man’s game” (I hasten to add “or the thinking woman’s game”), and the statement “Baseball is boring” is less an indictment of the game than of the speaker. Rather than boring, baseball has the potential to instruct in practically every area of human interest. Heck, you could start a charter school curriculum based entirely on the game. For instance:
Geometry: Baseball diamonds, square bases, pentagonal home base, straight lines, line segments–they’re all there on the field.
History: Geez Louise, all we have is history.
Math: Baseball offers something for mathematicians at every level. For the smallest kids, there’s basic math, e.g., 1+1=2 runs, and an easy way to learn the multiples of 3. As you get older, you learn to calculate averages and compare ratios. For those who aren’t Liberal Arts majors, there’s a whole slew of advanced statistics.
New Math: “Half of this game is 90% mental.”
Philosophy: “It ain’t over ’till it’s over.”
Anatomy: Watch old video of Mike Hargrove going through pre-pitch routine. Name all the body parts touched.
Geography: Where is the team playing today? Name the countries where each player is from.
English: W.P. Kinsella, Bernard Malamud, Jim Bouton, Roger Angell, Jane Leavy, Roger Kahn, George F. Will, and Bill James can start the reading list.
Science: There have been periods where baseball was a daily science experiment where you could see first-hand the results of estrogen and steroids on a human being or see what happens when you mix testosterone with high amounts of adrenaline.