Sunday, April 5, 2009

Another season, another woe...

 IT WOULD BE unlike me not to take note of the opening of a new Major League Baseball season today.  In this troubled world, it should be a national holiday to hail the unequaled  equality of the moment.  As minor philosophers have often observed, all of the teams have the same record before the first increasingly expensive pitch is thrown.  Such equilibrium is not lost on such Pittsburgh fans as I, whose Pirates modestly aspire not to pennants but to a .500 season, a plateau that the team has not accomplished since James Buchanan. Or was it Grover Cleveland?  No matter.  We savor our moment, as brief as a flash of lightning, before the first nine innings have expired.  After that, we start assessing the rookies at Altoona for a glimpse of next year's possibilities. It is precisely at this moment that we feel the pain of the Cleveland Browns fans, but not for long.  

For Pittsburghers, it is the best of times and the worst of times.  The Steelers' uncommon successes should more than make up for the Pirates' uncommon (horrific ?) failures.  Maybe that contradiction in outcomes could sustain us until  ...oh, the middle of June, when speculation begins in earnest on another Steelers winning season to offset the Pirates' firm hold on last place.  To those who tell me that the truth always lies at the midpoint between the two extremes, I say, "The hell it does.!"   The Steelers played 19 games last season to claim the Super Bowl;  the Pirates, 162 to claim the cellar.   Where is the emotional equity in those numbers?

But to give baseball its due, it should be recalled that the game was once known as "Our National Pastime"  before it  was replaced with Twittering.  I know nothing  about Twittering - until yesterday I didn't even know how to use it in a simple declarative  sentence - but I do know that a runner cannot go from first base to third without touching second and that the infield fly rule has nothing to do with insects.  For those insights, and the little figurine of Roberto Clemente that stands on the shelf above my desk, I will honor the opening of a new season with the not quite exhausted patience of Job while forlornly conceding once again,  "No, we can't!".    

3 comments:

John said...

your mind is cluttered with hallaburton and cargill
you forget the bucks and willie stargil
Have the Bush years and their evil flock
made you forget Bill Mattlock?
Poems are made by fools like me.
Don't forget "We are Family".

fargo said...

Don't be so grumpy Abe...the brothers Laroche will surprise...big year Maholm .....going to break even at 81 and 81.

Mencken said...

I'm confident the Bucs will get 81 wins no later than June of 2010.