Lately I've been trying to teach my 4-year-old son Tim how to play baseball, which frankly is a process fraught with pitfalls. For one thing, it forces me to recall my own days learning the game, which were spent primarily swinging a bat in such a way that, to even the casual observer, it must have seemed to have no connection to the actions of pitcher or ball; we probably looked like we were on completely different planes of reality, like in an M.C. Escher painting. I also spent a lot of time ducking.
I actually think Tim has far more in the way of natural ability than I did; for one, he can connect with the ball while batting both righty and lefty, which is enough to conjure up in even the most cautious of fathers visions of a major-league contract large enough to fund a retirement home. The problem comes more when I try to explain theconcept of the game; nothing brings to light baseball's shortcomings like describing it to people who haven't been indoctrinated to the idea that it's supposed to make sense.
For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.