Since revealing that I live simultaneously as an 18-year old high school senior and baseball reporter, much has been said about how I live in two completely different worlds that have absolutely nothing to do with each other. I’ve thought about that a lot over the last couple of months, and it couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The baseball world is pretty much a high school environment, and the similarities are endless.
Take free agency, for example. A player breaks up with his team and hits the open market, soon to draw interest from a bunch of other teams who find him attractive (as a player, I mean). After weeks of flirting and negotiating, the player chooses which team is most attractive to him and makes a commitment to them. The classic high school love story.
Gossip reigns supreme in both worlds, with unconfirmed speculation and rumors constantly circulating around me wherever I go. “Does she like him, or does she really like him?” is soon replaced with “have they offered him a two-year deal, or are they not willing to commit a multi-year deal yet?”. One friend asked me last week if another friend really liked a girl in one of our classes. I said, “Nah, I think he’s just kicking the tires there” before realizing that anyone who is not a diehard baseball fan would have no idea what the hell I meant by that.
The lines keep blurring between those two worlds, and it’s not uncommon for me to use baseball lingo in my normal life. I tell friends that “sources” have told me about school gossip that is supposed to stay “on the DL”, and usually tell them to keep that “off the record”. Too many wires cross in your head when you only sleep for four hours per night, I guess.
Last night, I was sitting at our school’s basketball game with a few friends who were all wondering if we would have a snow day today. Sick of the unconfirmed speculation, the developing journalist in me decided to contact the district’s superintendent, who happens to be a loyal twitter follower. A couple hours later, he replied that school had been cancelled for today, and I broke the news to as many people as I could. Ten minutes later, the automated notification call went out to every household in the district, sadly not citing me as first to report. They’re no Rosenthal or Heyman, after all.
At the end of the day, the talk in the hallways of Algonquin Regional High School is not all that different than the talk surrounding Major League Baseball, especially in the information age we live in. People will always want to know the latest news and rumors in the world around them, and there will always be a market for gossip.
So if you see a tweet from me in the next couple of weeks saying “Source: Tim and Bri are now dating”, don’t be surprised. It’s going to be tough to uncross these wires.