The Baseball Beat
The Baseball Beat
At this time of the year, I wonder why I didn’t become a sports writer, preferably a baseball beat reporter. Baseball is perhaps the most relaxing American sport. The game is bounded by nine innings with three outs for each team in each inning. Each at-bat is comprised of three strikes and four balls.
Each base is 90 feet apart in a diamond shape. The mound is 60 feet 6 inches from home plate. It’s the same in every ball park in America. Standard, unchanging.
In baseball two things will always happen during each at-bat. The batter will either make an out or get on base. Pretty simply: win or lose. There is no third alternative.
During spring training, the reporters can mail in their stories. In fact, every year the stories follow the same themes. They haven’t changed since baseball began to be popular.
First, we have the story of the aging veteran. You know the one. It’s where the veteran player comes to training camp with one more chance to get the brass ring. The player is looking to spend one more summer playing a kid’s game and getting paid for it. The story line varies very little from year to year.
Then we have the story of the hot-shot rookie who is looking to make the team and go north with the big team. He’s not interested in spending another year in the minors at any level. He thinks that the future is now.
As training camp goes on, you have the stories about the players who may be traded. Every year there are one or two of these. Either it’s a pitcher who is being squeezed out of the rotation or the everyday player who has lost his job to a newer and better version of himself.
Then we have the stories about the new or old coaching staff being on the hot seat because the owner is looking to get in the playoffs. There’s always speculation about the manager’s or the general manager’s future.
There’ll be a series of articles introducing additions to the team, measured out over the last week or two of training camp. Ther’s always articles speculating on the team’s prospects. Then we’ll see a preview of the first week or so of the season.
Finally, there will be several articles about the festivities surrounding opening day. These highlight the welcoming luncheon that every team seems to have. Then, there’s a description of the opening day celebrities and ceremonies. Finally, there will be a serious preview of the game. And this will go on for at least 161 additional games.
The reporters can pull out there stories from the past, change the names and facts and send them in for publication. After that, they get to sit in the press box and watch the Great American Pastime all summer. And get paid for it. How cool is that!