June 16, 2021

Even in Baseball, Sometimes Distance Is the Best Thing for Everybody (FanGraphs)


At first you might think baseball is the safest place to be right now. The game is defined by distance: The 90 feet of chalk to first base, the fluctuating placement of an Atlantic League pitchers mound, the 500 feet between Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and a poorly located fastball.

On the field, everybody’s standing far more than six feet apart. But inevitably, distance closes as players congregate at home after a dinger or outfielders perform a choreographed jumping move following a win. Or, most obviously problematic, fans cluster together in the heat of summer, soaking in fluids, inhaling each other’s breath, and scraping against each other’s knees as they make their way to their seats, stepping in puddles of spilled beer and peeled-off band-aids. Really, it’s kind of surprising baseball wasn’t the epicenter of a global pandemic rather than a victim of its cultural impact.

Humans are drawn to each other. Not always, and not everybody, but before, during, and at the end of the game, we come together to celebrate or commiserate or get on the subway. In times like these, in which the future of baseball is left ambiguous given the alarming and very real nature of a…

Read “Even in Baseball, Sometimes Distance Is the Best Thing for Everybody” at FanGraphs