On Playing Baseball in the Summer’s Heat


I do a lot of armchair, never-played-the-game type analysis. I look at baseball numbers and baseball people and what they say and do and try to make arguments and reach conclusions and I do all of this from the comfort of my own home. I don’t get out and rub the dirt and smell the socks or whatever it is clubhouse access and/or prior professional baseball experience allows one to know and do. I just sit here at my computer like an idiot and type words with my smooth, uncalloused, and delicate fingers. Lately, the aforementioned comfort of my aforementioned home has been compromised, because it’s really, really hot outside and it’s making life terrible. And while I don’t believe I’ve ever sat up here on my previously cool and well ventilated Internet High Horse, casting down judgement on weak players expiring under the unforgiving heat of the sun’s merciless rays, I now pledge, here, before you, Nature, Pyrios, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon, to never do so in the future.

Because I mean holy sweet mother of God, it’s hot outside. I’m here in Seattle and never mind the actual temperature. The temperature is Hot degrees. I have no doubt that you come from or live in a region where it’s hotter more often, but putting my pain and discomfort into context isn’t going to make it any less real to me. I’m sweating like Kevin Youkilis. I am not equipped for this torture and I hate it and that’s all there is to it. It’s too hot to eat, sleep, or be pleasant in any way at all. It’s too hot to blog. I think I’m doing a pretty good job of proving that right now. Seeing as I can’t even work my brain or a computer correctly—and all I’m doing is sitting here, complaining—I’ve started to think about how people play professional baseball in these types of hellscapes, and that they do it all the time.

Not only that, but they do it while wearing like, full-length pants. In uniforms made out of polyester, and dark hats made of wool covering their heads. MLB players walk around in sweltering, unforgiving heat, basically wearing a heavy sun and warmth absorption costume. And they still run around and swing bats and throw baseballs just fine. They stand out in the middle of a grass and dirt field with literally nowhere else to go and no escape. They just have to stay there, flesh afire. It makes no effing sense! Remember in Atlanta at the end of June when Stephen Strasburg had to leave a game early because of heat exhaustion? I seem to remember a bit of snark flying around on Twitter and in comments sections (shocking) about how Strasburg was kind of a wuss, and he should be able to suck it up, he’s a professional, and didn’t he know how to properly hydrate, what, they don’t have water in Atlanta? The temperature for that game was 104 degrees. I don’t know about the humidity and I’m not going to look it up but who cares, 104 degrees. If it was 104 degrees right now I’d be lying in the dark on the tile of my bathroom, screaming for my wife to bring ice cubes and running a cold bath to soak in for the rest of my life. If you asked me to suit up in a polyester-wool deathtrap and throw a baseball as hard as I could 90 times in a row I’d start start laughing to myself, my snickers growing in volume, evolving into maniacal hoots and shrieks as you slowly backed out of the room and closed the door softy behind you. My howls would ring in your ears as you sprinted for the exit and they would haunt you for some time and in a way they would never truly leave you.

So yeah, from now on, even more so than before, I’m going to be sure and give baseball players the benefit of the doubt when it comes to playing in the Summer’s heat.

Kyle writes baseball nonsense at The Trance of Waiting. You can follow him on Twitter @AgainstKyle.