It makes sense that baseball is the first game back. To begin with, this requires a natural distance between players, who touch more often during celebrations than when playing alone (where they previously slapped their hands, now they often collide with their elbows). But it doesn’t have inherent calming aspects either. Michael Jordan documents from ESPN The last dance and classic games that are aired again can offer viewers the grandeur and splendor of sports, but the network has difficulty replicating the daily background of less important games. “This is what I missed,” Lauren Theisen wrote in mid-pandemic blog post extolling non-iconic replays. “It’s not the occasional sensation of the bell hitter, but the constant and entertaining knowledge that sport is always just there. “There is no more sport there rather than baseball, whose team plays long games almost every day. And there are no other sports that resonate with tedious work, with ideas about problems that must be dealt with attentively for a long time.
KBO in particular still has more charm. For one thing, there is shamelessly reverses the bat, celebrations that are self-managed are preferred in Major League Baseball but are accepted in Korea. For others, because MLB has become the exclusive domain of hard throwers and big throwers, the less formulistic type of player survives abroad. Baek Jung-hyun, the pitcher starting the Lions for the season opener, is satisfied with a fast ball that doesn’t reach 90 miles per hour, tic-tac-toeing around the strike zone. Jung Soo-bin and Park Kun-woo, a pair of Doosan Bears outfielder who appeared on my laptop screen last Wednesday morning, choked high above their bats, directing cue shots through the field. These styles of play, all missing from American baseball many years ago, seem to be part of the resurgence of self-made, sourdough bread at home – an exhilarating return from something ignored.
The cry I least anticipated was anonymity. For me, and for most American fans for the first time, KBO players are unknown, there is no whole context except statistics that appear beside them on the screen. Phillip Lopate once wrote about baseball, “Without knowing an individual player as a character cast, it is a pretty boring, abstract abstract ballet.” Now, however, the lack of individual backstory scans is a virtue. We occupy an age that has a common goal where everyone’s health depends on the actions of others. I did not find myself losing the excitement that came when the famous snail threat stepped onto the plate; instead, I value the direct concept of a team, the views of people lining up where they should be and doing what they can.
At the same time, every time I find myself drawn into a game routine, something will remind me of a pandemic. I flinched when I first saw a player returning to the break room and received a line of tall toddlers—what happened to the elbow lump that he used wisely with the first-level coach?—Then hope the striking glove provides enough medical protection. When Choi Joo-hwan Doosan did a big swing on fastball for a home run, I smiled. But when the ball tore the empty seat, a lump rose in my throat. After Na Sung-bum, Dinos star who pointed to the bat, knocked out the clean single for the first hit of the season, analyst Eduardo Perez said, “That’s a good sign to see.” It took me a while to realize that Perez was referring not to the prudent initial steps to restarting public life, but to the fact that Na had recovered from a knee injury. I forgot that there was progress that was not explicitly related to COVID-19.