Controlled Re-Entry

I haven’t watched a Cardinals game in more than a week.  It has been my choice not to watch.  This season has been extremely frustrating for me, so frustrating that I found myself getting angry, and getting angry over a sporting event is not a path to mental health.  The frustration lies both with the team and with my fellow Cardinals fans (the media is also a source but one that is easily avoided).  There is so much about the game of baseball that is not completely understood and appreciated, even by one who has watched and studied the game for as long as I have.  Baseball is a complicated and even perverse game.  There are 162 games played for a reason.  It’s a game requiring constant repetition in order to be skillful at it and to maintain that skill.  Even after more than 40 years of watching, and all the effort I have put into learning the rules and the business side of baseball and the effort I am putting into learning the statistical side, I still feel like there is much left for me to understand.

Perhaps all the knowledge is not a good thing.  Whoever said ignorance is bliss may have had a point.  I have found the knowledge certainly enhances the frustration level.  It’s too late to fix it now, without just abandoning baseball altogether.

I thought finding social media would be a way to add to my enjoyment of baseball.  It did for the first few years, but it isn’t fun anymore, especially during games.  Twitter has descended into a cacophony of name-calling and scapegoating.  Those blogs and message boards that I have participated in have pretty much taken the same path.  Knowing myself as well as I do, my continued participation in my present state of mind will not end well.

My level of frustration with the team is different.  There are many many reasons why a team as talented as the Cardinals could be having the type of season they are having.  Some are just unavoidable, others are not.  The ones that are not unavoidable are where my frustration has its roots.  I have posted many times on this blog about my feelings about the manager, and the way the roster is constructed.  Individual player performances are constantly in flux; levels of talent can be ascertained, but the performances by that talent are influenced by many factors.  As a fan my contributions are limited.  Watching the games and expressing my opinion about what I see are my only avenues for taking part in the process.

So what that leaves me with is only the ability to withdraw myself from the causes of my frustration.  It’s not a perfect solution, but it is one that I need to try to make work.  I cannot abandon baseball so I have to set up the environment whereby I can still enjoy it, but minimize my stress levels.  Writing on this blog will continue.  I will reintroduce watching the games but my participation in social media will be kept at a minimal level.  It is best for me, and for those who would be subjected to me in my present state of mind.

This will be the last of these self reflecting posts.  They are boring.  I can’t guarantee my Cardinals posts won’t be boring, but at least they will be on topic.



Thank you for reading.


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