It always does my heart good to enjoy a Sunday afternoon with our great American pastime, watching the Rangers come from behind on a late-inning, game-winning base hit. That being said, I have, at my house, a benefactor who raises the entertainment value of baseball (and nearly everything else) to a new level. She sees things from a perspective unlike most people. We’ve been married for many years, but just when I think I am catching any sort of rhythm from her, she says or does something that makes me feel like a cartoon character with a big question mark over my head.

“All right! The Rangers are on!”

“Which ones are the Rangers?”

“Red and blue.”

“Both teams are wearing red and blue.”

“The ones with the big ‘T’ on the hat. Those are the Rangers.”

“‘T’ doesn’t stand for ‘Rangers.’”

“It stands for ‘Texas.’”

“Well, I don’t see any.”

“We’re up to bat. The only Ranger on the field is the one with the helmet on.”

“Shouldn’t everybody wear a helmet? Anybody could get hit in the head on a baseball field!”

“Sometimes catchers wear a helmet, but they don’t have to.”

“What’s with those socks?”

“They change the rules about socks all the time. You should have seen the stirrups we wore in Little League.”

(I spent the next two innings explaining my use of the word “stirrup.”)

“Why does the catcher have to squat down like that? Isn’t that hard on his knees? It would be better if he could stand up.”

“Maybe you should write to the commissioner with a few rule-change suggestions.”

“You’re the one who said they keep changing the rules.”

“For socks. Not the rules of the game.”

“What’s the difference?”

(A question mark appears over my head.)

“What is that annoying little box in front of the catcher?”

“It’s superimposed on the TV screen so we can see the strike zone.”

“Can they see it on the field?”

“No, just on the TV screen.”

“Isn’t that the job of the guy behind the catcher?”

“Yes, it is. There’s a new controversy about removing the behind-the-plate ump altogether.”

“I think the catcher should say whether it’s a ball or strike.”

“That wouldn’t work. The catcher is on one team and the batter is on the other.”

“And they can’t work together to make the game more fun?”

(Another question mark over my head.)

“This isn’t a church ice cream social. This is Major League Baseball. These players make millions of dollars.”

“All to play a game that needs rule changes.”

“You have more suggestions?”

“You know how the miles-per-hour appears after every pitch? If they could change that number from 95 to a lot lower, like 50, there would be more hits. It would be more exciting.”

“But these guys get paid millions to show their world-class talent. You can’t do that by throwing ‘cream puffs.’”

“Who said anything about cream puffs?”

All afternoon. I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

Author

  • Artist, singer-songwriter, music producer and humorist Andy Chase Cundiff spent many years traveling the U.S. and abroad, but calls Amarillo his home. A longtime resident, Andy’s house is on a red brick street in Oliver-Eakle that is lined with elm trees.