originally published in Sound Waves Magazine June 2019
I’ve been watching a lot of baseball lately, and like others before me, I have realized that most things in life can be compared to baseball. Baseball is Life, as it were. But to narrow it down, I offer you some truisms (Sue-Isms?) about baseball and music.
1. Once obsessed with baseball (music) you are obsessed until you die.
2. If your bullpen (backing musicians) can’t perform well, just make the most out of your starting pitchers (front person/lead singer.)
3. If you never make it in the big leagues (get a record deal) just coach, mentor and play for fun (be a music teacher, get in a cover band.)
4. Playing on a baseball team (playing in a band) is a joyous but oftentimes agonizing curse that perpetually frustrates the soul while simultaneously freeing the soul.
5. Baseball managers (band leaders) must make the tough choices while not pissing anybody off.
6. Baseball fields (music venues) forever behold a magnetic magic and everybody cries when they’re torn down.
7. Baseball owners (club owners) act like they own the team (the club) for fun, but they’re actually only in it for the money.
8. Sports agents (booking agents) are never like Jerry Maguire.
9. Baseball fans (music fans) can be infuriating and demanding, yet the utmost devoted, even when you can’t find the pocket.
10. When the score is tied at the bottom of the ninth (playing your last song of your last set) you’re super tired but know you need to bring it home big.
11. First inning pitches (first couple of songs in the set) can be a little rough around the edges and not particularly worth watching.
12. When the starting pitcher gets to the bottom of the fifth inning with over 100 pitches in (end of the third set with one more set to go), you just want the bullpen (another band or the jukebox) to finish up the night (because you’re super tired) without wrecking your record.
13. When your favorite team (favorite band) is in a slump, you want to switch and start listening to another band, but you can’t, because you just want them to come back out with some more good stuff.
14. When the pitcher (the lead singer) and the batter (person in the front row) are having a staring contest, the lead singer usually wins.
15. When a team manager (lead songwriter) loses favor with the press, careers can end. Until everybody forgets about it five years later, then it starts right back up again.
16. The seventh inning stretch is like when the audience has to go home to relieve the babysitter.
17. Clearing the benches (bands fighting on stage) will always be super entertaining.
18. The umpire (the drummer) can and should have complete control over the ego and drawn out batting stance routines of batters (guitar players and their solos).
19. If you are drafted into the minor leagues (appear on the Indie charts) it’s still a pretty good thing.
20. Rookies (first-time open-mic performers) should be given respect and the benefit of the doubt. You never know what great things could be on the horizon and who is secretly a Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams or Bruce.
21. Nothing compares to hitting a Grand Slam (getting a standing ovation at the end of the night.)
22. And lastly, ya gotta know how to play the game.