Welcoming a favorite season…

Published 8:48 pm Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Apparently the Atlanta Braves had a big win Monday.

I wouldn’t have known that except two of my coworkers talked about it for what seemed like hours after some player did some kind of play that took the game.

And as I listened, sort of, to them going on and on about what will likely be one of the few wins the Braves have this season, I knew it was that time of year again — baseball.

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Unfortunately baseball season comes at my favorite time of year, spring.

The weather’s warm; it stays daylight longer; and I find myself spending much more time outdoors — running, walking my dog, sitting and reading, anything but watching a baseball game.

What it is I don’t like about baseball, I’m not quite sure. The concept sounds fun, but I’ve never been able to find it interesting.

Perhaps it’s the length of the games or that nothing really exciting seems to happen during those four dreadful hours. I’ve even been to a professional baseball game, and it wasn’t much better. Actually, it went into extra innings so it was worse than the non-professional games I had seen before that.

Since then, I’ve sworn off the sport. Only if the Chicago Cubs make it to the World Series will I watch it again.

So every year as Spring rolls around, baseball shows interrupt my TV programs and friendly conversations become dominated by the Braves and Red Sox and Yankees and other teams I can’t remember.

And every year, as I inevitably mention to someone trying to talk baseball with me that I in fact hate the game, I am told I’m “not American.”

It’s one thing to disagree with my stance on baseball, but I believe it takes it a little too far to question my country of origin.

What about baseball makes it the semblance of American culture? That they sing the national anthem before it’s played? That happens in every sport.

Sure, it’s arguably a large part of the lives of many in this country, but I believe it doesn’t necessarily make those who are less thrilled about the game UN American.

In fact, while many are going gaga over baseball, I’m finding myself overly excited about another season — elections.

And what’s more American than good, old-fashioned democracy?

I’d say it’s safe to bet my interests in elections and politicians and all that goes with them far exceed that of many baseball fans. And I’ve never questioned the heritage of any of those fans.

Sunday night marked the first day of professional baseball season. But two days before that kicked off the season I enjoy more, as election qualifying ended Friday.

It ended making it official who was in and who was out. Locally, there weren’t many surprises.

Our two Republican district attorney candidates Tom Anderson and Gary Bradshaw who announced long before they will face off; our sheriff will remain Russell Thomas and our coroner Jerry Williams. Pike County School Board members Wyman Botts and Linda Steed, Rep. Alan Boothe and Judge Jeff Kelley will stay on board, as well.

But locally there were at least a few surprises. There’s been talk for months that attorney Joel Lee Williams would enter the circuit judge race, and Friday he made that official placing his name in the hat the last qualifying day. Williams, a Democrat, will run against Republicans Clif Hastings, a Troy attorney and Shannon Clark, Coffee County attorney.

Some Republican opposition arose as late as Friday against Sen. “Walking” Wendell Mitchell, Democrat. Ray Boyles, Ken Barnett and Bryan Taylor will compete for the Republican nomination this June.

It doesn’t sound too exciting on paper. People have entered the race … so what?

Yet, the people in these races will impact many of our lives much more than a recreational sport.

Who is seated in the circuit judge seat could be the difference in a harsh or less harsh sentence; likewise who is dubbed district attorney could mean the difference in who is prosecuted.

Who is elected to the state Legislature could be the deciding factor on any given number of issues — whether related to education funding or health care decisions.

Political races are often clouded by the jargon of campaign promises and the money behind that campaign. But, at the heart of the political system is America itself.

And so, as those “true” Americans are rooting for the home team, I’ll be engaged in another sport. The difference in my sport, though, is I won’t bore you with long conversations about it nor will it interrupt your television programs.

You can call me “un-American” all you like, but I’d argue, I’m as American as it comes.

Holli Keaton is news editor of The Messenger. She can be reached at holli.keaton@troymessenger.com.