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Till we meet again, my lifelong friend

“The Green Fields of the Mind” by A. Bartlett Giamatti

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart.

The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings.

And then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.download

You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive.

And then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.

Today, October 2, a Sunday of rain and broken branches and leaf-clogged drains and slick streets, it stopped, and summer was gone.

Somehow, the summer seemed to slip by faster this time. Maybe it wasn’t this summer, but all the summers that, in this my fortieth summer, slipped by so fast.

There comes a time when every summer will have something of autumn about it. Whatever the reason, it seemed to me that I was investing more and more in baseball, making the game do more of the work that keeps time fat and slow and lazy.

I was counting on the game’s deep patterns, three strikes, three outs, three times three innings, and its deepest impulse, to go out and back, to leave and to return home, to set the order of the day and to organize the daylight.

I wrote a few things this last summer that did not last, nothing grand but some things, and yet that work was just camouflage. The real activity was done with the radio–not the all-seeing, all-falsifying television–and was the playing of the game in the only place it will last, the enclosed green field of the mind. There, in that warm, bright place, what the old poet called Mutability does not so quickly come. …

The game breaks my heart because it was meant to, because it was meant to foster in me again the illusion that there was something abiding, some pattern and some impulse that could come together to make a reality that would resist the corrosion; and because, after it had fostered again that most hungered-for illusion, the game was meant to stop, and betray precisely what it promised.

Of course, there are those who learn after the first few times. They grow out of sports. And there are others who were born with the wisdom to know that nothing lasts. These are the truly tough among us, the ones who can live without illusion, or without even the hope of illusion.

I am not that grown-up or up-to-date. I am a simpler creature, tied to more primitive patterns and cycles. I need to think something lasts forever, and it might as well be that state of being that is a game; it might as well be that, in a green field, in the sun.

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This wonderful poem begins at the 1:25 mark…Please watch if you love baseball or love the passage of time.

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Posted by on November 4, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Dodgers’ National League championships 

World Series championship years in red.

History repeated itself this year — the Dodgers lost in the World Series. That’s what we do. :-\

We have won six World Series and lost 13 in our history. No team has lost more World Series than the Dodgers. (But at least we’ve gotten there a heck of a lot of times!)

I can’t imagine how much fun it must have been to be a Dodgers fan from 1955-65. Four World Series championships in 11 years! Wow! Uncle Hub, I’m jealous that you were able to experience that run of success. 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Game 7

Is there just enough magic left in that Chavez Ravine air tonight?

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Posted by on November 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Game 6 was a thing of beauty!

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Game 6

Is there some magic left in that Chavez Ravine air tonight?

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

One more winning streak

The Dodgers have won 113 games this year. They have the best overall record and best home record in the major leagues.

We need one more winning streak to claim a championship. Just win tonight at home, and Wednesday at home.

Need the Bums to get hot again. And need the Dodger Stadium fans to be louder than ever.

Need to hit, pitch, catch and throw like champions. Let’s do this!

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

I’m in need of a little blog therapy

13-12 is not a baseball score.

All those home runs flying out of the stadium is not baseball. At least not the baseball I know and love.

But there it was Sunday night in Game 5. Astros 13, Dodgers 12 in Game 5.

Maisa cried when we told her the score this morning. That’s my girl.

I love my family, and I love the Dodgers. I have other interests, but family and Dodger baseball are the only things I’m passionate about. So it really hurts to see the Dodgers lose huge games on the national stage. It really hurts.

When things go south in the postseason, I usually have to pull the plug and do something else. For my own physical, mental and emotional health.

I’m extremely proud of the National League championship (the 22nd in franchise history, trailing only the Giants’ 23). I’m extremely thankful that we’re playing in the World Series. I feel like a kid again in a lot of ways.

But there are some consequences to this deep October run. Every game adds to the drama and tension. Plots and subplots weave a sophisticated and sometimes haunting tale. Villains are established. Momentum shifts with the wind. Heartbreak is a real thing.

And fans who are most deeply invested in these games lose some sleep and lose their appetite. That’s me.

I cannot change who I am.

Some are calling it the most exciting World Series game ever. Folks on Facebook and Twitter are giddy about how thrilling baseball can be.

For me, it was overkill and overload. Almost every pitcher who took the mound got bombed. The Dodgers blew the lead 2, 3, 4 times? I stopped counting. I stopped watching. I went to bed and read about the game’s finish when I woke up.

I’m so impressed by Jill’s ability to stay cool and watch the game to its conclusion.

This blog has always served as an outlet for me to recalibrate my feelings about the Dodgers. This is the place I go to get my head screwed on straight, to regain some sanity and become more rational. To take a deep breath and move on to the next day/game/season.

It’s also the place I go to share my unconditional and boundless love for the team. Someday Maisa might read this post and have a better understanding about why those games meant so much to her old man back in 2017. Maybe she’ll read this and realize that she loves the Dodgers just as much as her old man does.

Oh sure, there’s a little bit of sour grapes in what I’m writing. Had the Dodgers won, I wouldn’t be quite as disgusted by what transpired last night. I admit that.

But those who know me best would tell you that high-scoring baseball games have never been a thing of beauty to me. I prefer a well-pitched, well-defended 4-2 game that lasts two hours and change.

Anything more than 10 combined runs in a game is obscene. Ditto for games lasting more than 3 hours.

America enjoyed that game last night, and I guess that’s a good thing for baseball. If that’s what it takes for folks to realize that baseball is better than football, then I guess it’s OK.

That doesn’t mean I have to like it.

The Dodgers need to win Games 6 and 7 at Dodger Stadium this week to claim their seventh World Series championship. They can still take this thing.

 

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2017 in Uncategorized