Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Ruminations in the Rain
This is always the worst part of the year, when the storms come in, the ground gets saturated, and even two or three days of sunlight can't do enough to make the field habitable. Sundays are filled with housecleaning, walks, dinner with in-laws, museum trips, movies I have seen already, and talking about my feelings, and the different ways we can get 1.9% interest on our house fund.
We've had rain showers and sunlight in the span of twenty minutes lately, and every blue skied minute, all I do is think about the next game, the next at bat, the next knuckle ball. The wife hates it. Some bad moments in the first few Sundays when we were off doing our own thing. I eventually learned not to mention it until the end of the day. To her credit she sometimes plays catch with me on Sundays, when I can't make a game. She's a classy lady, I don't know what she sees in me. And her family asks me before they plan anything on a Sunday, just to make sure that I can miss a game. They're great people, even if they don't understand the game.
Is it the gamesmanship? The camaraderie? The good people? The history of the game and the club? Sure, but that's not all....Maybe it's more of the individual aspect, where every game holds the chance each of us to be the hero, to be a part of a comeback, or just the opportunity to succeed? Maybe. But losing is much more a part as they always say. Historically speaking, the best hitter ever, still failed 6 out of 10 times. And the losses used to stay with me, back when games mattered. But now, I almost enjoy a loss if it's a result of a good game played, a stunning comeback, a weird turn of events, or even a hobbled 158 lb. Rainbow Grocery clerk with a wise mouth and no glove.
The other thing about baseball, to quote the late A. Bartlett Giamatti, is that baseball was designed to break your heart. As a Giants fan, I have started to really understand what the hell that meant. I have lived through two World Series' now, that Giants have had a chance to win. Well OK, once anyway (The '89 series? I say this a loyal Giants fan, the A's were a much stronger team, and there wasn't much of chance). Cubs fans? I can't even imagine what that's like. But I am starting to. I went to spring training a few years ago, and we went to HoHokum stadium or whatever its called, and I had a great time. It felt familiar, the fans, the hopeless positivity, the shaking head mistakes, it was all like home. And frankly, I saw a lot of the same mistakes we make in the MBC. Well, actually, I never saw anyone throw a five strikeout inning and lose a save....
And I sit here, watching the rain, thinking about the future, for the Giants, and the MBC. I think about the next play at first, the next fly ball, the next slash bunt, the next slurve, the next stolen base, the next close 3-2 count, the next groundball with eyes, the next Texas leaguer, the next strikeout, muffed play, gork, and lost ball....
And when you look at the rain, I know you think about them too.