A concert at First Avenue let out earlier than I expected Tuesday, so I looked at my nephew and said, "Let's head to Target Field and see how the game is going." It was 4-3 Marlins in the seventh, we learned after a very short walk, and so we scored a couple of $10 tickets (that's the rate for standing room in the seventh inning on, as I learned that night).

I can't imagine doing this with any other sport. Maybe you can envision — without a ticket in hand — wandering over to Target Center at the start of the fourth quarter of a Wolves or Lynx game, or Xcel Energy Center at the start of the third period, or the National Sports Center in Blaine for the final 20 minutes of a United match, or even into the new Vikings stadium to catch the end of a game.

But I cannot. I can only imagine it with a baseball game, and I think there is a beauty in the casualness, not to be confused with disinterest, that permeates baseball unlike any other major team sport.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.