Baseball is a game of streaks and statistics. What other sport has so many numbers so closely related to it?
For example, what does 714 or 755 mean to you? Well of course you know that is the number of home runs Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron hit in their careers.
Tell me, how holds the all-time rushing record in the NFL and how many yards?
Almost all baseball fans know that 300 wins by a pitcher is an incredible accomplishment and is nearly an automatic berth in the Hall of Fame.
There isn’t a comparable number in either the NBA or NFL. Whether baseball is the most popular sport now is certainly debateable. The fact that literally MILLIONS of fans attend games says that it’s still pretty popular.
Yesterday alone over 380,000 fans attended major league games for an average of over 29,000. And remember, there are games today, and tomorrow, Monday, Tuesday… well you get the picture. The games aren’t once a week or two or three times a week, but… Every. Single. Day.
It’s easy to understand injuries in football because of the violent collisions and in hockey with banging into the boards. But in football the players have a week between games and in hockey they are only on the ice for 90 seconds to 2 minutes at a time.
The next time you see a ground ball bang off the shin of the short stop, you just think back to when you were a kid and got a bruise there and how badly it hurt. And then remember that that particular short stop is going to keep playing, every day, with that bruise among others. Baseball may not be the physical game the others are but it is an everyday grind.
As I’ve mentioned before, this year the Senators will spend about 10,000 miles on a bus, play 142 games in 151 days, and spend over 1,200 hours at ballparks this summer. Is it hard work, no, is it work, yes.
All of this makes some streaks easier than others. For instance, the start this season by the Senators has been bad, but playing everyday makes it difficult to step back and take a deep breath, maybe after a couple of days of not playing, and regroup. Instead they come to the ballpark everyday, with no break, and try to break out of their collective slumps.
Ryan Zimmerman just had a 30 game hitting streak snapped this past week in San Francisco. 30 games. That is a month’s worth of getting a hit in every game. How many of you out there play slow pitch softball? Do you get a hit in every game for 30 games? Now thinking about playing against pitchers throwing 90+ miles per hour and getting hit. Every. Day.
Hats off to Ryan Zimmerman and his 30-game streak. And hats off to the Sens who snapped their 15-game road losing streak last night. Here’s hoping they start a winning streak tonight.