Baccellieri: Tigers, Orioles give meaning to meaningless September baseball

From Emma Baccellieri at Sports Illustrated on September 16, 2019:

On Monday afternoon, while walking home from work, I found myself doing something that automatically—acutely—made me question my own sanity, which is to say that I found myself listening to the radio broadcast of a game between the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers

There was a superficially satisfying answer to the question of why I would have voluntarily done this to myself: It was the only game on. The 4:10 p.m. ET start was Monday’s only afternoon contest. There was no other baseball, and I wasn’t particularly interested in pursuing either the minor self-betterment of an educational podcast or the mild dread of a half-hour inside my own mind. I was going to listen to afternoon baseball. But this answer was, again, only satisfying in a very shallow sense. Sure, it was the only game. But it was still the 2019 Orioles (49-100) against the 2019 Tigers (44-104) (!) on September 16. It was the sort of game that seems to exist primarily as a prompt for the question of why baseball exists at all; as an affront to the very idea of decency; as proof positive for the belief that nothing really matters. That Baltimore and Detroit were even allowed to play in late September felt fundamentally absurd, or, at least, worthy of some kind of trial at the Hague.

It was also very lovely.

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Originally published: September 16, 2019. Last Updated: September 16, 2019.