What baseball reveals about America and why it’s now a women’s business

Baseball is one of those sports where you don’t need to understand the rules to be excited. Of course it helps them feel, but it doesn’t matter just enjoy the magic of the American afternoon turning into evening, and they still play. One throws, another catches and the third sometimes tries to score. The grass, the dust, the white cushions on which the players advance, surrounded by referees who often push huge bellies in front of them.

The ball flies far and high

Which makes the sport even more unreal because the players already look so grown-up in their long pants and shirts (so you always have the feeling you’re watching a family reunion where the dads have pulled together to finish the whole backyard barbecue). And in between the ball flies far and high and someone runs after it and catches it or not because it sails into the ranks, then the stadium erupts into cheers and the camera pans and you can sense the American city behind the floodlights.

I could watch it for hours, but baseball doesn’t get any shorter. And I do it every time summer comes, because the streaming service Dazn broadcasts the MLB channel of the American baseball league non-stop: Mets vs. Yankees, Cardinals vs. Cubs, mostly in a compilation, but often live, like on Wednesday, when the Atlanta Braves. I was playing the San Diego Padres and I didn’t care how it turned out because once again I was just hoping for moments where the cameras were rolling over the stands.

trucks and animals

Or there will be ads. American advertising is recognizable by the fact that it’s about trucks or animals that are either grilled, in which case it’s an ad for the restaurant chain Wendy’s, or can talk, in which case they want to sell you insurance. Sometimes a beautiful retired couple steps out onto the porch of their paid-off house in a landscape straight out of a John Irving novel, their kids and grandkids pull up in a truck, and then they grill animals that would otherwise talk.

And then the dream of investing is over and the game continues. A rule that you immediately understand when you look at it: baseball is a man’s job. That’s not true, women love baseball too, but men always moderate and comment on it.

So far. On Tuesday, for the first time in MLB history, only female reporters covered the game. Their names were Melanie Newman, Sarah Langs, Alanna Rizzo and Lauren Gardner. The Tampa Bay Rays played against the Baltimore Orioles. A historic moment, but it took far too long to get there, even in baseball.

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