All he said was, “I don’t have time for that right now.”
He was sitting in the bullpen. He’s the catcher that helps the relief pitchers warm up. For the first six innings, he sat on the end of the bench. Except when he walked to the dugout and then walked back.
He was anything but busy. He had nothing but time.
Except for a 15-second picture with an 18-year-old.
I know that you are going to say, “but he has to concentrate, he has to stay in the game. If he looked like he was having fun, posing with the fans, flirting with the girls, it would hurt his chances to move up from Class A baseball.”
I agree completely.
But notice that he is sitting right next to the fence where Hope is standing. This new ballpark in Fort Wayne has been created so that fans feel close to the field. It’s not even feeling close to the field; it IS close to the field. The bottom row of seats is at the same level as the playing field. You can touch the players.
You feel like you are part of the game. There is the illusion of closeness, of transparency, of immediacy. During the game, however, it is only an illusion. A physical wall is replaced with a distance.
It would be better, in many ways, to have more of a barrier. It would protect the players from expectations of accessibility.
I guess as a dad, I should be glad. And we did, after all, get our picture.
But I also learned something about seeming to be accessible if I’m really not. Assumed openness disappoints customers…and readers.