THE NEWBERG REPORT — SEPTEMBER 30, 2006

Of course, I’m sad that my baseball season will be just about over this time tomorrow, and it’s disappointing that the Rangers won’t be televised today, but I’ve had a great baseball day.

I watched the Arlington Eagles and the Plano Starcats play ball. No contract disputes, no steroid controversies, no CBA negotiations or clubhouse chemistry issues or holdouts. And there was plenty of mental toughness.

Some of the players wore their baseball pants hiked to the knee, like Ian Kinsler. Others had their caps slightly crooked (said one: “Like Dontrelle”). They all smiled, and laughed. A lot.

Baseball at Oran Good Park offered the exquisiteness of a force at second, a ball bounded just inside the line, a cleanly caught toss from the catcher. The power of wearing the same uniform, the pride of being part of a team.

Sometimes people try to get me worked up and make me feel guilty for keeping my homer’s hat on when my team is 80-80 and out of the race. But I won’t. Baseball is one of the things I count on to be a positive in my life, a dependable, unpredictable, energizing positive. There are plenty of other things to get stressed about, bitter about, worked up about.

Usually it’s the Rangers that I look to for those positives, small if not big. But sometimes it’s the thrill of seeing Danny stand up and energetically tug his Starcats catcher’s mask down before every pitch. Of catching Gabriel’s pure smile as he crosses home plate. Of seeing Pamela wearing number 12 like I did, batting from the left side like I did, going oppo better than I ever did. Of Scott pointing to his Mom in the bleachers as he walks to the plate, telling her, “This hit’s gonna be for you.”

Of all the Eagles and Starcats being Brave in the Attempt, even if they didn’t win.

It’s the Great Game, and we’re lucky to have it.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

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