Just a fair warning that I am likely to be writing more about baseball this season than I have for the last few years. If this isn’t your cup of tea, I get it, and you can ignore the posts. But there are three reasons why I’ll likely be writing more about baseball and I thought I’d delineate them here so that (a) you know why, and (b) I can point people to this post when they ask.
1. It is Derek Jeter’s last season
I’m a lifelong Yankees fan and I come by it honestly, having been born in New York City and lived, in my infancy, in the Bronx. I’m a Yankees fan despite the fact that the rest of my family are Mets fans. My brother, who was a long-time Mets fan, has lived in Seattle long enough to where he might be more of a Mariners fan than a Mets fan. But I was born a Yankees fan and I’ll die a Yankees fan. And for me, this season is the end of an era. Derek Jeter is retiring after the end of the season. I’ve watched him through his entire career, and seeing him from start-to-finish is, I imagine, like watching players of previous generations–Babe Ruth, or Ted Williams, or Mickey Mantle–go through their careers.
I didn’t watch much baseball last season, and I missed it. I found myself yearning for it in the off-season the same way I yearn for spring after a long winter. I plan to follow this season a little more closely, and since I write about things that interest me, this is one reason you’ll probably see me writing more about baseball.
2. I’m back at work on my baseball simulation software
When I teach myself a new programming language, I need a practical way of doing it. I’m still delving deeper into symbolic languages (Mathematica and R) so I’m getting back to work on the baseball simulation software that I started a while back. I don’t have a lot of time to devote to this, but I figure that over the course of the baseball season, I can get in a fair amount of work on this pet project, and come out in October with a much more solid base in these languages, and have the simulator that I’ve always wanted to make.
And yes, I do know that such simulators already exist. But using existing ones does me no good when I am trying to learn a new language. This is one instance where reinventing the wheel can be quite helpful. Besides, my simulations have a slightly different goal than the ones I’ve seen.
3. I’ve got at least one more baseball story to tell
Early this year, I published a new story called “Big Al Shepard Plays Baseball on the Moon” over at InterGalactic Medicine Show. While this is a science fiction story (a retelling of the Apollo missions) it is also, at its heart, a baseball story. I had more fun writing this story than any story I’ve written before, and I’ve written elsewhere on why this is so.
But I have at least one more baseball story in me. For a few months late last year, I worked on a story called “Strays” that I never got quite right to my satisfaction. This story, even more than “Big Al Shepard” is a baseball story, and I am determined to get it right before the baseball season is out.
But these reasons can also be seen as excuses, as if I need permission to write about something that I enjoy. The truth is, I have baseball on my mind. I have it in my blood. Sometime the feelings wax and wane, but this year, I feel them strongly. And since I write about things that I feel strongly, you can expect me to write about baseball a bit more than usual this season.