It's the middle of the second inning and the Diamondbacks trail the Braves 3-2. I am (finally) working on my assignment for tomorrow, this column for Wildcard Wednesday.
What to do? Do I turn off the game and sit at my desk and bang this sucker out or do I pull the laptop up in front of the old flatscreen HD and multitask?
If it were a basketball or football or hockey or curling match, there would be no way to both watch and work, but we are talking about baseball.
Hey, Mark Reynolds just drove one deeeeep out of the park to center field. D-backs tied 3-3 in the top of the second.
Not to give the wrong impression; I am no baseball hater. But I did grow up in Phoenix long before the Diamondbacks were on the radar. Back in the day, it was minor league ball at Phoenix Muni or Dodgers baseball on the transistor radio. There was no ESPN. No cable TV. Therefore, no baseball for this desert kid. There was only dinner at Hamburger Works and the Suns at the Mad House on McDowell.
But when I moved back to Phoenix in 1999 after being gone for 11 years, suddenly there was a giant ballpark filled with America's Past Time right smack in the middle of my home town. And they were good, too.
I went all in. I went to a TON of games from 1999 to 2002 and rode that bandwagon from a first-round defeat to the Mets (my inherited familial team), through B.K. Kim's two blown saves in Yankee Stadium, right on up to Gonzo's blooper and the ensuing parade.
I even stayed on that bandwagon long enough to see Randy Johnson destroy a pigeon and throw a perfect game in Atlanta. But then Jerry sold the team, purple became red and Steve Nash came to town. Mostly though, I got re-married and promised to pick one sport and the Suns won. Can you blame me?
Nice backhand grab, Kelly. Top of the third, tied 3-3.
The idea for the column came a few days ago. I was working from home and the D-backs were playing a day game in Los Angeles. As many of you do, I turned on the game and continued to work. It was a perfect combination and got me to thinking, what else can you do while watching a baseball game?
Here's my Top Five (in reverse order of fun, priority, interest):
No. 5: Housework
There's very little you can't accomplish around the house while watching a baseball game. Folding laundry is a classic for me. The two just seem to be made for each other. You just dump those clean clothes on the bed and turn on the TV. Neither activity needs a ton of brain capacity and there's always the chance that something cool could happen while folding, causing you to rain unmatched socks down around you in a celebratory explosion of joy.
Cooking is a great activity while watching baseball if the TV is positioned in the right place.
Come on Edwin, how are you going to walk the pitcher?!
Cleaning and yard work are a bit harder because of the mobility factor, but that's what a small radio and headphones are for. Who hasn't gotten lost in a good mow while a weekend day game was on? Heaven.
No. 4: Homework
Now kids, don't try this at home. At least wait until you are in college anyway, but homework (such as what I am doing right now) is perfectly accompanied by a baseball game. I am one of those people who can't write in silence. My brain needs the mild stimulation of some other distraction such as music, talk radio or baseball.
And folks, if you are lucky enough to write about sports then really it's a requirement to have a game on. It's in the by-laws and on the back of the card.
E-Jax just blew away Heyward with the high heat. Nicely done. Still 3-3, bottom of the fourth.
Other types of homework such as reading, studying and quantum physics are all a great fit for baseball. Focus 90 percent of your brain on the task at hand, and just look up when something cool happens. Don't worry if you missed it in real time; they always replay the good stuff. Several times.
No 3: Watch Basketball
Now we are getting into advanced skills territory. Basketball requires full attention if you are going enjoy the game. Baseball, not so much. To properly watch a baseball and basketball game at the same time, you will need the aid of a DVR.
Lakers up 62-54 with 3:05 left in the third quarter. Damn it, Kobe. Why couldn't you miss those pull-up J's against the Suns?!
You simply watch the basketball in real time and push pause during timeouts, free throws, official reviews and Mark Jackson monologues. Then you flip over to the baseball game and check in. Did you miss anything good? If so, rewind or don't worry, they will show a replay between innings.
And BTW, I am right now performing highly difficult triple play: watching baseball, basketball and writing and I am sure my writing is no worse for it. But with the Lakers winning, I am going to pull the plug on that and just focus on the important things.
Top of the fifth, still tied 3-3. Where did the 4th inning go? No matter; obviously nothing good happened.
No 2: Nap
Being as old as I am, this should probably be No. 1 on my list, but I am going to yield to popular opinion and honor my more energetic, youthful days and go with nap in the two hole.
It might be an early evening game or even better a weekend day game, but there's nothing ...
Yes! Kelly Johnson with RBI single to drive in Hester. D-backs up 4-3!!! Yippie!!
Where was I? Oh, right -- napping on the weekend, on the couch, with the game on. The soothing sounds of a baseball game lulling you to sleep. Not a hard sleep, but just a nice little cat nap, light enough to wake up when Mark Grace gets excited by an important play (which will be replayed several times anyway).
Oh, I love me some nap time with the game on.
No. 1: Sex
Fellas, we've all been there. Maybe only for a special occasion like your birthday or maybe you are lucky enough to have that perfect partner for a sports fan, who doesn't mind your wandering eye while engaged in the deed. As a younger man, a baseball game during the action was a great way to ... uh ... extend the innings, if you know what I mean.
Regardless of your strategy or personal proclivities, there's no denying the rare moment when the action on the field gets good right when the action on the other field does as well.
And there's always the chance that you can you can perfectly time that walk-off home run with with your own decisive moment. Like all great things in life, it is a very rare occurrence. Pitching a perfect game is something you have to work hard for and by all means, keep trying!
Oh no way! He was out! How can they call him safe at the plate??? Replay says ... good call, and that's what Edwin gets for walking the opposing pitcher. Boy, what a throw from right field by Upton. Kid's got a cannon. 4-4, middle of the sixth.
What are your favorite things to do while watching baseball?