"Kevin Millar, even when he guesses right, can’t make himself swing at my curve ball... [snip]... With one out in the second Gibbons chased a good split, and then Millar comes up. For 3 years he’s talked trash, in person, through text messages, over the phone, about how I better never throw him my curve ball. Last year in Baltimore I started him off with it, he took it for a strike.
Today I shake ‘Tek 3-4 times, Millar calls time out, steps out and says to ‘Tek “What the hells he want an 0-0 curve ball?”, curve ball strike one. Curve ball again, yanked foul, now he’s laughing, and I am trying not to. Curve ball again he lays off. Count gets to 2-2 and he freezes on a 2 seamer inside for strike three. I don’t know if he’s debating the call or just talking, one never knows with him, but he never looks my way as I go into the dugout."
Occasionally, I'll meet someone who doesn't understand that NASCAR is possibly the only professional "sport" (let's just accept that driving around in circle at ~200 mph for a looooooong time is a sport) that truly caters to its fans. It's usually a painful conversation that has the other side leaving, resigned that I'm a redneck heathen.
Stats don't make a sport, so don't even start with fantasy football and rotisserie baseball being fan-centric. NASCAR lets fans in on the action, using in-car cameras and radios that peek in on pit crew negotiations. I don't even follow NASCAR and I know this much... speak to someone who really loves NASCAR and you'll be blown away by how they're constantly finding new ways to bring fans closer to the sport.
Back to today's post from Curt. This is the first time I've ever really felt part of one of the "major" sports. Sure being there for Game 2 of the World Series in 2004 was pretty kick ass, but this is a new paradigm. This is truly inviting fans into the game. Think about almost every time you go to Fenway... nice day, cold beers, interesting game, some truly great moments, but do you ever really feel like you're in the game? What would you pay to actually be in the meeting on the mound in the top of the ninth with the bases loaded, two outs and Big P getting ready to face ARod in late September? How about free? Would it be worth it?
ps... Millar just joined the conversation. I love Baseball 2.0!