Baseball is meant to be played out of doors. Where you can see the ball fly really high up in the sun, seen only by rainbow lenses, and eyes over foreheads to decipher its movement. A game revolved around something moving far and fast shouldn’t be constrained by roofs and walls and doors. We spend so much time inside, the best part of the game, is to be outside, waiting for the PA announcer to finally stop yammering, the walk up music to come to a close, and the only noise to be a constant murmur like a cafeteria while the ball flutters in a holographic sky.
Indoors all of that is lost. I become sick. Air conditioner drips. I feel uncomfortable and grotesque without the sun’s light. My skin is controlled by 78 degrees. White and placid, I became malodorous and green, instead of burnt and bronzed, the way things should be.
Last night I went to my last game at the Ballpark in Arlington. I didn’t watch the game much. There were some loud pops from home runs. A lot of runs were scored. I was more focused on the space, and setting around me. Trying to print into my brain, and bury deep deep deep down into my guts. The big green hill, the colonial arches, the high walls that make you forget you are in a Six Flags parking lot, the Southwest ad next to the left field score board, the jet stream that lifts balls up to the upper deck in right field, and the patrons around me stuck with skin tags. All of it will be gone. And most importantly, so will the heat.
No longer will Texas have baseball in 102 degree heat. Where everyone is pink and damp and cranky, and the sun scorches corneas and burns splotches onto the eye. Every ball park should have a feature that defines it: Pittsburgh has the bridges, Chicago has the ivy, Kansas City has fountains, Los Angeles is time traveling, Houston has windows that create lovely shadows every once in a while, and Boston has that big wall where the words watah and bawl playah bounce off of.
For the Texas Rangers it was the heat. The sweltering, hellish, inferno will be closed up. You used to be able to feel a Rangers game. It wasn’t just an aesthetic athletic experience. It was an assault. No longer will beers be boiling ten minutes after they’re purchased, the personal fans will stop buzzing, the cheap lower seats for day games in August will be used filled by people in blazers, and something that used to have feeling, and mean so much, will now mean nothing at all whatsoever.
It won’t be detonated. Paul McCartney will have concerts there. The XFL will play a season there. It will still be open and existing and can be seen at the top of the Titan from next door. But none of that matters. Metaphorically it is dead. The bases are removed. Eric Nadel is elsewhere. The nets are shredded. The ghosts of Michael Young, and Hank Blalock, and Kenny Rodgers, and if they could just pitch, and white cut off hillbilly alternate jerseys with blue undershirts, and Ron Washington windmilling, Josh Hamilton looping swings, and Adrian Beltre head rubs will no longer have a home to haunt.
Next year they’ll play somewhere that looks like other places. There will be a lot of glass. There’s a home plate lounge for business and entertainment where the baseball doesn’t matter, a spot to flaunt and take Instagram pictures at before leaving in the third inning. There will be air conditioning. Everyone will be comfortable.
Anyways, that’s all I have for tonight. This is your place to discuss whatever it is you want: sweaters you have bookmarked in your closet for this fall, how much of your summer checklist you marked off, hikes you plan on taking once it cools down, menus for tomorrow, fantasy football lineups, whatever, it’s yours, just remember the standard commenting rules apply.