Fi­nally ven­tur­ing out­side to see live sports

The Dundalk Eagle - - SPORTS AND RECREATION - by Bill Gates

My at­ti­tude to­ward ill­ness has al­ways been: Eh. If I get sick, I’ll just ride it out un­til it’s run its course.

That some­times leads to a sit­u­a­tion like in Fe­bru­ary, when some­thing knocked me off me feet for over 30 hours. I lit­er­ally could not stand up.

When I fi­nally dragged my­self out of bed after those 30+ hours, hav­ing had noth­ing but a few glasses of wa­ter and a slice of bread (all I could man­age be­fore col­laps­ing) — well, I’m not go­ing to say I was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing true star­va­tion, but I did have this aching void in the pit of my stom­ach.

This coro­n­avirus thing, on the other hand ... I’m di­a­betic. Which means I’m at higher risk for com­pli­ca­tions from COVID-19. And I don’t think be­ing un­able to breathe is some­thing I can “ride out” at home.

And I do not want to end up on a ven­ti­la­tor. Gotta lot of health care pro­fes­sion­als in my fam­ily. Heard bad things.

(Ac­tu­ally, hear­ing “tube in­serted through lar­ynx” was enough; I tuned out the rest.)

So, when the East­ern Bal­ti­more County Over-40 Base­ball League de­cided to start its sea­son on Sun­day, it was the first time I had ven­tured out­side for more than 5-10 min­utes at a time since ... a CCBC Es­sex women’s soc­cer game in March be­fore all the spring sports sea­sons shut down.

I’ve been self-quar­an­tin­ing since mid-March, work­ing from home and leav­ing my apart­ment only to go to the Food Lion five min­utes away for gro­ceries. And a weekly run to the nearby Taco Bell driv­ethru.

Of course, this Sun­day was a hot, sunny day. After three hours, it wasn’t COVID-19 I was con­cerned about. Picked up a 24-oz. Ga­torade Zero on the way home and fin­ished it in about one swal­low. Maybe two.

I ap­peared to be the only one wear­ing a face­mask at the game, and tied to stay well up the right field line as much as I could. Base­ball is an easy sport to main­tain so­cial dis­tanc­ing, save for tag­ging run­ners at bases. The home plate um­pire — the umps were wear­ing masks — po­si­tioned him­self off to the side, away from the bat­ter and catcher.

The home plate um­pire worked with the field um­pire to call balls and strikes.

The play in the field was pretty clean, con­sid­er­ing how long th­ese guys have been with­out prac­tice. Pitch­ing needs work: be­tween the two teams there were eight walks and five hit bat­ters.

Ex­cept for Dodger starter Vince Butzner, who re­tired 12 of he first 13 bat­ters he faced be­fore giv­ing up three hits and walk­ing two in the fifth.

Still wait­ing to hear what Bal­ti­more County will de­cide to do in re­gards to high school sports. The state will al­low work­outs in July and is ex­pect­ing to start prac­tices on Au­gust 12,

But Anne Arun­del County has al­ready de­cided not to do any­thing in July. I ex­pect Bal­ti­more County’s de­ci­sion by next week.

In the mean­time — hey, base­ball’s back. Se­nior Soft­ball is slated to be­gin in a week. Even the Ma­jor’s have de­cided to put a sea­son to­gether.

Sixty games. Hey, weren’t the Na­tion­als some­thing like 27-33 after 60 games last sea­son? Here’s hop­ing.

And, let’s check the sim­u­lated 2020 sea­son be­ing run by the Pro Base­ball Ref­er­ence web site us­ing the Out of the Park Base­ball com­puter game ... Ori­oles are 35-51, 19 games be­hind the Yan­kees, while the Braves and Na­tion­als are tied with 50-36 records.

The team with the best record in the league? The 65-21 Dodgers.

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