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Beyond Unthinking Ego
Notes on Baseball and Character Selection

On the Tuesday night of 7/18/17, I found myself outlining articles while watching the Baltimore Orioles play the Texas Rangers. A casual view of the game and the conduct of the players, compared to the flamboyant, criminal childishness of football and basketball stars, brought to mind a conversation had the month before with Kevin Michael Grace, concerning the relative maturity and decency of major league baseball players compared to NFL and NBA players. Kevin pointed out to me that this is related to the fact that baseball players rarely start at the top level when first drafted, being relegated to honing their craft in the minor league ranks, where football and basketball standouts are thrown into competition more quickly.

What might be the specific reasons for this being the case?

Throughout most of my life, I have viewed sports beyond combat in the ancient way, as games, pastimes, not serious sports. However, that narrow view fails to take into account the huge influence sports have as public diversions and their value as reflections upon these elements of society which remain stable, improve, or most likely, decay and fall away.

I viewed this game and three interviews with players with an eye towards making an initial assessment of the qualities required of the players by their sport, which might generalize to social and combat function.

Most striking was the comment by home run hitter Tray Mancini that, “A lot of runs are thrown, not hit,” an egoless assignment of his homerun to a miscalculation on his opponent’s part, a type of admission many postmodern athletes are incapable of making. Since I have played baseball and football for two seasons each and followed both with equal infrequency as a spectator, I was acutely aware that football is a game of industrial level over specialization, with few players capable of functioning outside their specialty, none operating offensively and defensively, and most not engaging in the more demanding half of the hunter complex.

Every sport I have surveyed includes the two fundamental aspects of the hunt: aiming and chasing, aiming requiring more forethought, precision and consideration. By this standard, football is a nearly retarded game in terms of its relationship to the hunt. Whereas every basketball player must aim and run, only a tiny minority of football players engage in aiming, these being the quarterback and kickers. Therefore, on a primal level, football fails to sublimate the hunt, which was the setting in which our kind learned to function cooperatively toward goal attainment.

In baseball, despite its specialization, every player—except for the pitcher in the American League and the designated hitter, both positions being corruptions of the game to excite the idiot masses—is expected to operate offensively and defensively, another aspect in which American Football fails in comparison to simpler sports such as basketball.

However, the two aspects of baseball that are most unique are virtually absent from other major league sports: its leisurely pace and interactive aiming are unique to the sport in the modern speculum. The focus of the game is the duel between the pitcher throwing and the batter batting. Having once had an opportunity to try and bat against a major league pitcher, I understand that one must have a special level of reaction time and visual motion acuity to be able to track a ball thrown at that speed. I recall vividly still seeing the ball leave Randy’s hand as it sizzled by me unseen.

This duel of patience and calculated delivery, engaged in sporadically by each player, and the agrarian pace of the competition, echoes the circumstances of life for those who conquered America. The crux of the most popular sport of the 19th century and of America for most of the 20th Century is a test of patience, timing and execution. During the formative years of American baseball, roughly from the Civil War to WWII, America was, more than any other nation, a land of the long gun, of riflemen in uniform and on the ritual hunt for ungulates. These two conditions, perhaps an echo of the other earlier age [with most American players drawn from outside of major cities], cultivates more socially-sustainable athletes than the celebrity survivors of the pseudo-combat sport of football.

In terms of measuring the physiques of the athletes, more attain the balanced Pentathlete form that Aristotle implied was best than the other sports mentioned. Also, just as I have noticed higher level of intelligence among stick fighters than boxers, the top batters and the pitchers I saw interviewed—Tray Mancini, Chris Davis and Dylan Bundy—demonstrated hyperactive binocular eye movement. Watch interviews of top hitter and pitchers and note the open, mobile, triangulating eyes, as if the active eye movement of a wolf were combined with the intense binocular vision of a leopard or lion.

In a functional way, I am of the opinion that baseball is our psychologically eldest sport, accounting for it being among the most politely conducted and impulse-controlled sports that involve running, accounted for by its intense focus on stressed aiming. In baseball, every player is a quarterback and is required to attain an older, less command-oriented psychology than the sport that has overtaken it in the American mind’s eye, football, exemplified by the criminal goons of the National Felony League.

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Add Comment
FatmanjudoJuly 24, 2017 9:11 PM UTC

Corey Kluber is a baseball example of your silent emotionless killer that you hold in such high esteem.