I step into the batter’s box, placing my right foot in the hole … scraped inside the back chalk line. I am aware of nothing but [the pitcher] — not the crowd, not the infield in and Lord knows not the blue sky.
This moment is the essence of the game, its molecular core. It is why we love baseball as we love a family member, while the other sports have to manage with our lust, infatuation or uncommitted affection. Either I will win or [the pitcher] will win, and even the most rudimentary fan will immediately know it. No one will have to wait for the game films. And no teammate can help me.
A baseball game will stage about 80 of these batter versus pitcher matchups, all of which appeal to our American sense of democracy — we must take turns at bat — and our thirst for conflict and for quick and clear resolution, the backbone of prime-time television, our real national pastime, as well. Eighty miniversions of CSI.