Not sure if it was curiosity. Maybe it was desperation.
It could be sports starvation.
But there I was up early searching for ESPN Whatever and the Korean Baseball Organization.
Some Game 2 thoughts (Side note: This was my first game, but the second of ESPN's experiment of showing live games from what is the biggest professional team sports league actually playing):
* Kudos to ESPN's Karl Ravich and Eduardo Perez, who were doing play-by-play and color respectively, while isolated at home and watching on their screens;
* The cheerleaders — in short-short pinstriped mock unis and color-matching masks — took me by surprise every time they made an appearance;
* When a player from the U.S. makes an appearance — like Roberto Ramos, a large, intimidating left-handed hitter, who hit 30 bombs for the Albuquerque Isotopes last year — it is quite noticeable. It's not unlike when Norm from "Cheers" comes rounding third in the union-vs.-management softball game in the widely underrated Ron Howard-Michael Keaton collaboration of "Gung Ho";
* The numbers were different, for sure. There are teams with a 0 and a 00. There are guys with triple-digits — "Now batting No. 105 in your program, No. 1 in your heart" — and well into the 60s, 70s and 80s. In fact, some KBO teams have the same number every year for any foreign player who joins the club;
* The baseball was fine. Some great plays; a few errors. Hey, it's baseball. It was difficult to get a gauge on the velocity or nastiness of the pitches. The homeplate umpire Wednesday morning was extremely tight. (Side note: Man, gotta be honest, it felt pretty good right there to write a sentence complaining about umpiring. Booooooo. C'mon Blue!) Where were we?
It was strange, primarily because the KBO is normally the closest thing out there to a mixture of Chattanooga's two professional sports. The sport is very Lookouts-like in terms of acumen and pace; the crowd normally is 100 percent ChattaHooligans.
The absence of fans was striking at first, unless of course you regularly watch the Miami Marlins, then you are used to empty seats.
Big picture, it was entertaining in the moment. It was also enlightening.
Man, I miss the Braves as the background of my summer, in between trips to youth ballparks around the region.
Man, I miss sports in general, because between talking points, the feeling of community and the universal language of "Ball Four" or 6-4-3, it's one of the few remaining binding forces in an ever-divided American society.
Man, I miss normal. Dang you, corona.
Contact Jay Greeson at email@example.com.