I’ve always been more a fan of football than baseball. Also, hockey, basketball, most things. I never understood why baseball was such a big deal. I have a bit more understanding now, but this isn’t about that. This is about an early attempt of mine to find some meaning in the nonsense of baseball terminology.

So you have nine innings, and each inning is broken into the “top” and the “bottom.” Obviously, as a child in the 80s, I was not yet aware of what “top” and “bottom” would one day come to mean. Still, this was a question that I needed to answer. The answer I arrived at was that each game begins filled with potential for both teams. As it goes along, however, that potential starts to seep out for one of them, until it winds down to its inevitable resolution, leaving one defeated and forced to shake hands with those who had just beaten them.

Turns out, it actually refers to the teams’ position on the score card: Home team is always on the bottom, visiting team is always on top. I suppose that makes more sense, but I like the poetry of mine. But that’s baseball for you, dashing your poetic aspirations with its cold, hard math.

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