Monday, January 28, 2013

Love in Ukraine

I'm home after an extremely long day, it is almost midnight, and I just turned on a movie I haven't seen in many years. I've seen it twice, and it was sentimental for me both times. The name of the movie is "For the Love of the Game" starring Kevin Costner. I realize that through everything, I think I love the game of baseball more than anything else in the world. There is something special about the game that just cannot be put into words.

In the last 35 years, the game has changed, and especially in the last 17 years since the second baseball strike. However, watching the movie, I am reminded of walking out onto the manicured grass, the smell of the grass, looking up into the stands, taking batting practice, taking infield practice before the game. Let's go backward from there. Left pant leg first, then right. T-shirt underneath my jersey. Tucking my jersey into my pants. Slipping on those spikes, following your own little superstitions, left sock first, then right. Left shoe first, then right. Finally, tying those laces on my high top spikes, and then leaning over into my baseball bag to pull out my batting gloves, my baseball glove, and my bat. Putting on my cap, and hitting the field. Man, what an amazing experience, I loved every minute of it.

The game itself is even better. From the handing of the lineup card to the umpire before the game, to taking infield, to the fist pitch, even that was insanely enjoyable for me. The game itself is almost anti-climatic. No, it's not. Each and every pitch is a battle between the pitcher and catcher as a team, and the hitter. And, of course, if you are on defense, you have got to pay attention. Positioning is the key. Being alert and expecting the ball to come to you each and every pitch, even though you will be lucky to get more than about 4 balls hit to you over the course of the three hours it usually takes to play this great game.

The past three days, I have been taking care of an American guy who got his ass kicked. And, when I say kicked, he was beaten and left for dead, all because he came to Ukraine, searching for love in Ukraine. The guy is an insanely nice guy, but non-confrontational. There was a girl who was money hungry, but he didn't care since he wanted a nice, young, thin, pretty


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