THE SLOW SPEED OF IT ALL
Cal Quantrill’s socks are high. His long hair pops out from the back of his cap. On this April night, he wears long navy sleeves that keep his arms warm from the south side chill.
Cal isn’t unique. Most players these days have longer hair. Many have beards. Some days, it feels like 1976 never left.
It’s 41 degrees in Chicago. The spring warmth that engulfed the city just weeks previous is but a scant memory. The true Chicago April has returned, and it is not pleasant.
Cal Quantrill of the Cleveland Indians is facing Zack Collins of the Chicago White Sox in the bottom of the 6th. There are runners on first and second with one out. The White Sox lead 8-0. The other pitcher in today’s game, Carlos Rodon of the White Sox, is throwing a perfect game.
Quantrill’s breath is seen as the camera focuses on his face.
Collins has stepped out of the batter’s box after a 2-2 pitch.
Cal Quantrill is thinking about the next pitch.
The pause, and the pace, is slow. It’s designed to be this way. Baseball wasn’t made for you to do laundry, wash the dishes, file your taxes, AND watch the game…but…somehow…it feels like it was?
It feels like this was all designed in a slow, methodical way. The one sport where you can have a conversation, complete a task, and still know the score. Some random country folk in the mid 19th century knew we would need something like this. Or maybe they just needed something to pass the time in open spaces.
He throws a 2-2 changeup to Collins. It’s popped out to left field for an out.
I have a decision to make about tomorrow’s work schedule. Do I need to reschedule?
While I discuss my latest scheduling mishap, Andrew Vaughn steps up to the plate. Vaughn is another young, talented player on the White Sox; a team full of young, talented players.
Vaughn grounds into a fielder’s choice, and the inning has come to an end.
Most games are easy to watch. Tonight, Carlos Rodon of the White Sox has a perfect game. He has a chance to complete the 24th perfect game in baseball history.
And here lies the odd waves of baseball; a game that moves from ‘lean back in your chair’ to ‘hang on to your seat’ inning by inning.
The game moves from a heartbeat of ‘pleasant pastoral game on the prairie’, to ‘earthquake on the shore’. Baseball, the odd orchestra of loud sounds and soft tunes, is quite often a game of contradictions.
At my age, the blend of excitement and the mundane is perfect.
At 40 years of age, I need things in my diet I can digest. Baseball, which was never my favorite sport, now exists at my speed of consumption.
The freak bounces are a part of the game, too. Rodon experiences this with one out in the 9th, when Cleveland’s Roberto Perez is hit on his left foot with a curveball. The perfect game is over, but the no-hitter still lives.
Rodon was still able to get a hard grounder to third for the 27th out. The 20th no-hitter in White Sox history.
It’s a cold night with simple discoveries: Cal Quantrill’s hair, the slow exchange of baseball, and the glory of Carlos Rodon.
All at just the right speed.
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