Tear down those walls, Baseball.
Why should only the fit and strong be able to hit home runs?
More importantly, why should only ticket-holders be able to sit and watch them?
Why are there walls around the outfield, anyhow?
I’ll tell you why: To keep people out of the ballpark who didn’t buy a ticket, who thus are considered to have no business being there. That’s why.
Well, that’s no excuse.
What if they like baseball? What if they want to be there?
A wall should never keep them out.
Maybe they yearn to be in the grandstand watching hits and runs and bases stolen (within the rules).
It’s plausible they love to cheer ballplayers spitting sunflower seeds and scratching themselves.
Perhaps they long to be at the old ball yard watching inside-the-park home runs, the kind which in the absence of an outfield wall, roll beyond — if you’ll pardon the expression, the “border” — of the park into the wide-open spaces.
Ah, the thrill of a ball game without walls!
Fences, partitions, barriers of any kind are bad, very-very bad.
So why shouldn’t the wall come down and the ballpark be open for everyone to enjoy?
There’s popcorn in there, and beer and hot dogs — and above all, a joyful and cheerful culture meant to be shared by all.
Why shouldn’t it be enjoyed by anyone and everyone who wants to enjoy it, without the inconvenience of a ticket — a permit to be there?
“No wall, no ballgame,” some selfish people argue.
In a perfect-world model there would be no barriers, right?
Baseball would be free to everyone. So would the popcorn and hot dogs and beer.
Home runs could roll forever and never have to clear a wall.
And another thing. There would be no called strikes. If a batter didn’t like a pitch, if it was too difficult for him to hit, he shouldn’t have to deal with it.
And he shouldn’t be punished for his ideology, his principles.
Foul balls would be all right, but only on a nonpartisan basis.
Moreover, there would be no pick-off plays. No player should be blamed for an error.
And ties should always go to the runner — unless the first-baseman is offended.
Every grandstand seat should have a cushy cushion. And be open to all without the encumbrance of a ticket or a “right” to be there. The very idea!
Baseball is a wonderful world, nearly perfect in the way it’s played. But even perfection can be... well, perfected. In an impartial and nondiscriminatory way.
So perhaps the game needs to be modernized, overhauled and better regulated in order to be open to all.
Without a wall.
Maybe that wonderful world needs to be tweaked a bit, namely: Free for all. And over-the-wall is out because there would be no wall.
Everybody and everything would be welcome inside the park — except for home runs bounding away into the wilderness beyond any border, real or imagined. No fencing to block its path.
In this brave new world, screwballs would be OK.
But playing by the rules would be optional and umpires discretionary.
Most of all, the wall must fall.
Corky Simpson writes a monthly column for the Green Valley News. It usually appears in the Get Out! section, and occasionally on the opinion page.