Wednesday, September 24, 2003

You Can’t Steal Home Again
This post is sort of about baseball, but also about life, laundry and the pursuit of sappiness and all sorts of other pertinent stuff, so I suggest that those of you who usually skip the baseball-related items withhold your groans and eyeball-rolls until the end.

So last night I’m crumpled on my cat-battered chair, laundry finally done (after at least a week of being ill and improvising solutions to my lack of underwear—you don’t want to know), remote in hand, switching furiously between watching the Oakland Athletics scrappling with Rodriguez’s Rangers, and the Mariners fighting for their post-season lives with the Anaheim “Last Year is A Lifetime Away” Angels… both games are in the ninth, with Oakland able to clinch the division with a win and a Mariners loss, lots of drama and all that, and although I’m pulling for the A’s—not only because they’re the Bay Area equivalent of the Mets, having a more blue-collar (for millionaires, that is), younger and scrappier feel than the yuppified Giants juggernaut, but also because I want to see the Red Sox in the playoffs instead of their wild-card-rival Mariners, even if they’re likely to lose spectacularly—I really don’t want it to end.

The thing is, I already miss the baseball season. Well, those of you who are still reading are thinking, that doesn’t make any sense, since a) it’s not over yet, there’s still a week of regular season left, as well as the excitement of the playoffs, World Series®, etc.; and b) in another sense it was over long ago, as “my” team has been out of contention since June and is currently fielding a group of striking janitors in place of its professionals, all of whom are more urgently needed in the Dominican winter league training camps or at their jobs as jugglers and sketch-artists at Disneyworld. I admit those are valid points, but—I just like knowing that there are baseball games happening. I guess it’s some of that summer-worship I’ve had since grade school (excluding a seven-year respite during my stay in New York, when the summer months were so miserable and malodorous that I couldn’t wait for the snow to come), or maybe it’s the inevitable brightness that a game on TV brings into my apartment whether or not I’m actively paying attention to it. You could say that might not be a good sign for my life in general—that I’m relying on the flickering images of frolicking overpaid man-children to make my living space comfortable—but there it is. And I miss it when it’s gone.

Anyway, back in the real world of last night, the baseball gods honored my wish and sent both games to extra innings, and I was able to relish that bit of grassy eternity for a little while longer. That is, until the two heroes of the night—Adam Melhuse of the A’s and Tim Salmon of the Angels—won the games for their teams and left the A’s with the division title. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to enjoy the rest of the season, but I’m secretly pulling for every single game from now until Commisioner Bud hands the trophy to somebody (hopefully not wearing white and blue pinstripes) to go 10, 11, 16 innings, and put off as long as possible that long, dark wait for April.

Nuts 'n' Bolts note: You may have noticed that the WULAD faithful (that includes you) now have the ability to leave comments, praise, criticism, insults, write-ups, come-ons, put-downs, triple-dog dares, etc. beneath each post. I encourage you to do this early and often. However, the comments boxes/links/whatever have been disappearing occasionally due to server issues at the thingamajig provider, so if at first you don’t succeed…