…there was just a game.

My daughter walked up to me two nights ago and asked to go play basketball. I quickly denied and said let’s go somewhere else instead. I don’t have anything against basketball, I just wanted to relax and get out of the house. Checked out the local farm team, the Reading Phillies, and they were home starting a three night stand against the Trenton Thunder, the Yanks minor team. Yeah…a Mets fan going to the see these two teams.

Tickets behind the plate cost me $22, food and drink another $15, and my daughter’s company was priceless. Sounds cheesy but there really is nothing better – all you dads out there can back me up on that. We sat down and distributed the eats, got ourselves situated and started to watch potential big leaguers play for a shot at the big show.

Sitting in my seat, I began to drift off and notice the crowd attending the game. Everyone was wearing not Phillies gear, but Reading Phillies gear. I’ve been to St. Lucie and I never saw a soul wear PSL gear. I saw a crowd that was really into their local baseball team. Cheering for certain players that came up to bat, discussing pitchers and past players, really worked up about being down 3 runs to the dreaded Thunder. This was baseball in small town America and I loved it.

Getting back into the game, I saw a group of players that had only one thing to play for – a chance. Diving to stop a grounder up the middle, gunning out the runner trying to turn a double into a triple, even running out a ground ball was always happening here. They were truly playing a game they loved and wanted to make a living doing.

There was no talk about trades. No talk about what the owner said. No questioning of PEDs or whether or not he’s playing better due to it being a contract year. It was just baseball the way it should be played – with heart. How I wish we could go back to the days of playing for the love and not for the contract. At least then it would be worth watching a game costing you half a weeks paycheck to watch live.

This is not a post about what’s wrong with the game, just a reminder of what once was. Do yourself a favor and check out your local team, it won’t break the bank and I guarantee you’ll have a great time. Let’s Go Mets!