Take, for example, the third baseman. You sit behind the third base dugout and you watch him watching home plate. His legs are apart, knees flexed. His arms hang loose. He does a lot of this. The skeptic still cannot think of any other sports so still, so passive. 『But watch what happens every time the pitcher throws: the third baseman goes up on his toes, flexes his arms or bring the glove to a point in front of him, takes a step right or left, backward or forward, perhaps he glances across the field to check his first baseman’s position.』② Suppose the pitch is a ball. “Nothing happened,” you say. “I could have had my eyes closed.”
The skeptic and the innocent must play the game. And this involvement in the stands is no more intellectual than listening to music is. Watch the third baseman. Smooth the dirt in front of you with one foot; smooth the pocket in your glove; watch the eyes of the batter, the speed of the bat, the sound of horsehide on wood. If football is a symphony of movement and theatre, baseball is chamber music, a spacious interlocking of notes, chores and responses.