Dear MLB Fans: A Glove Full of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down
Dear MLB Fans,
October baseball is in full swing (pun intended!), and we’ve survived thousands of tense moments over hundreds of games to get to this point. Only the most elite of teams have survived; counting the wild card games, six teams have been eliminated from the playoffs already. Two more teams will be eliminated as the league championships come to a close this week. While we all agree that the high-stakes competition is part of what makes baseball so great, there is a line to draw.
I’m not the first one to comment on the high-stress nature of watching a team in the playoffs, but it is a very real problem. At one of the Indians v. Red Sox games, I experienced firsthand the tension of every fan in the ballpark, collectively holding our breath with each pitch, and simultaneously giving a sigh of relief after we got out a tight spot. But it’s not only the fans at the field who experience this intensity. After describing the ballpark atmosphere to my grandmother, she told me that her blood pressure was literally so high while watching the game, that she had to turn it off.
Many baseball fans on Twitter had things to say about this sensation:
I have no fingernails left. And that was just the first stinkin' game. #Indians #whew— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) October 7, 2016
One sports account run by Sam Amico, jokes about the nailbiter nature of Cleveland’s first postseason game.
Said it before, will say it again: NO sport has SUSTAINED tension like baseball. #NLDS has been nailbiter for 3 innings now. #MLBPlayoffs— Jim Donaldson (@JimDonaldsonJr) October 14, 2016
Jim Donaldson observes that this level of postseason suspense is unique to baseball.
This level of intensity is a big part of what the postseason is about, but I think there’s a lesson of moderation to be taken for all of us. Too often in watching these games and in other high stress situations do we allow anxiety to overcome us. However, by turning to an unlikely source, we can take an equally unlikely approach to coping with it!
In the following scene, taken from the Disney film, Mary Poppins, we learn a valuable lesson from the father of the film, Mr. Banks:
In this scene, Mr. Banks is overwhelmed by his job in the banking world. After his son has caused a rush and closure of the bank, Mr. Banks is terrified of the consequences he will face. However, just as he is most devoid of hope, he remembers the sage advice of his children’s nanny: supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Mr. Banks utters this outrageous phrase just in time to avoid despair. It lifts his mood and he remembers not to take the unimportant things in life too seriously. He quits his job, realizing his children and their happiness is far more important than his miserable employment. The chairman of the board at the bank begins laughing so hard that he begins flying toward the ceiling. His mood is so lightened by joking and nonsense that he becomes lighter than air!
Now, we’re all adults here and we realize that none of us will begin flying away if we say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. However, we can adhere to the message of lightening up at work, at home, or in whatever stressful situation life throws at us—a spoonful (or glove full) of sugar helps the medicine go down!
So MLB fans, when you tune into today’s playoff games try to remember that they are indeed just games. If you become too stressed out, maybe make a pegleg joke, sing a song, or say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Sincerely (but not too sincerely!),
Brigid Coyne & Evergreen Podcasts
P.S. Best of luck to your home team, and for some more postseason fun check out our podcast review of this baseball classic: