I really enjoyed the second season of HBO’s “Entourage,” mostly because when it comes down to it, the show is about the ties that bind guys together. We may not be living in an age where athletes are especially revealing or candid with the media, but all we have to do is watch the games, particularly the action in the dugout, and we can get an idea of how men get along with one another. You can get a better impression of Derek Jeter’s personality by watching how he interacts with his teammates than you ever will from what he tells reporters. I was thinking about this last night after Mariano Rivera batted in the ninth inning. It reminded me of something Roger Angell once wrote (in his collection, “The Summer Game”):
“We (nonathletes) had never made it. We would never know the rich joke that doubled over three young pitchers in front of the dugout; we would never be part of that golden compnay on the field, which each of us, certainly for one moment of his life, had wanted more than anything else in the world to join.”
We may never be entirely “in” on the joke, but we can enjoy watching the players be the insiders. Since we as fans are all drawn together by baseball, we make up our own “in” crowd. And just as many of us will never get to know what it’s like for them on the inside, most players don’t know what it is like to be an obsessive fan. However, we are all drawn together by a mutually shared experience. And companionship–or just plain ol’ good comapany–is a beautiful thing.