Yes, I've been neglecting my duties as a faithful servant of the great religion of baseball. The truth is, suddenly, as if seven years of losing caught up with me all at once, I've had a sort of decrease in interest. I did watch the All Star debacle, all five hundred and fifty-five hours of it, and I felt a twinge of excitement when I saw potential 20 game winner Voltron on the mound (wood, where are you?) Despite his failure to protect the National League, I was proud of him. Can you imagine how he'll feel on Sunday, getting to pitch against his childhood idol Pedro Martinez? Proof that dreams do come true. Sometimes I need a reminder that they can.
I've been catching up on all the reading I missed during my woefully inadequate public education, all the reading that either Bible thumpers or outraged parents or lazy administrators failed to teach me about, and I was in the AP classes! I can't imagine what it was like in the what is termed college prep or below. Boy, are our public schools pretty worthless. I think they exist to make us all into mindless drones who will be content to sit in gray, suffocating cubicles and tasked to sell bolts to some Chinese defense contractor or to buy wholesale cheap plastic junk from said China to sell in characterless leviathan stores that have swallowed the economies of entire towns. The more I think about it, the more I marvel that I was able to read a book like Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man as a senior in high school, that I was allowed to read it. James Joyce - the spawn of Satan! Then again, I had as an English teacher one of the throwbacks to a time when thought actually mattered, he and my senior Government teacher and my sophomore World History teacher. These people actually had profound influences on my life that I am just coming to realize fifteen years removed from secondary education. So, Mr. Stephen, Mr. Weadock, and Dr. Ross, if you come across my blog in some random chance over the course of infinite universe expansion, thanks.
I wrote a nice little post about the All-Star game, but I wrote it in my head and failed to remember much of it, even the point of it, really. It was something of a lamentation for the days when baseball kind of meant something to America in the way that it means something to those few of us who still marvel at the game's beauty, its poetry. I look around and see empty playgrounds and yards and sometimes find it difficult to believe their are actually children living in this country. Used to be kids played stickball when there wasn't proper equipment. Now they Playstation their baseball, if baseball is even involved, if it isn't deemed "too boring" to pass for a pastime. I must be an incarnation of some long gone New York Giants fan who died of a broken heart when they left for California. I know it was the Giants because of the hatred I feel for the Dodgers in my current incarnation as a moody 31 year old woman who wants more than anything to be drinking a Leffe Blonde on the Grote Markt in Leuven, Belgium right at this moment.
I think the decline and fall of the Major League empire began with California baseball. Sure, Californians love and deserve baseball teams, but expansion - not transmigration of the soul - should have blessed them with franchises. Just think of all that happened after that. I mean, the DH, for one. Free agency. Two strikes that kept the Reds out of the playoffs when they were probably the best teams in baseball. Greenies in the seventies, cocaine in the eighties, steroids in the nineties, corporate rape in the whatever this decade is called. Tearing down Yankee Stadium. Yeah, there was something about that in the post I wrote in my head. I wanted to cry at the end of that game. It was like the baseball gods were trying to make that game last forever because it was the final time an assemblage of All-Stars would take the field there, at least an assemblage of All-Stars who don't wear the same pinstriped uniform. But our National Disgrace had to go and ruin it with the threat of a tie that he created back in 2002.
A piece of me kind of died during that game. A piece of America died.
The worst part about it all is that most people don't care. They just shrug it off as another one of life's sucky tragedies. Not even tragedy. Just a happening, like a picnic in a park. Do people even take picnics anymore? I mean aside from on the Fourth of July and Memorial Day and days like those? They don't care because well, the earth's axis is located in their living rooms or something. Right next to the plasma screen television.
I always admired the people in Boston, because they do care. They saved their park. But you know, Boston has given us so many great patriots that it seemed like just another great chapter in the great history of Beantown. Maybe they have better schools up there, schools that don't produce mindless drones that cause people to submit to rampant corporatism. Hell, I don't know. I've only been there once. It was pre-2004 so the fandom there was still genuine.
Anyway, so that's what I have to say about that. Disillusionment, you know. A sort of curse of the thinking class. Now I'm going to go have a beer and be annoyed by Jim Day on Reds live while trying to read John Dos Passos' USA. That's one of those books we never read in English classes. God forbid we touch the socialists! How evil! People who think that society is better off when we're not hiding behind our picket fences with loaded guns ready for the boogeyman who dares try to steal our DVDs! Run away! Run away!
If I post nothing this weekend, I'll be back next week sometime. In the meantime, Go Reds! We're only what, 7 games back in the Wild Card race? Only 5 teams ahead of us in the race, including the Mets, who we play four games this weekend? As they say, we ain't done yet!