I turn my head to look West towards the red sky that lingers over the Mediterranean. We've almost made it to 6pm with some semblance of daylight. Almost. I've just closed the window and thrown on my Nationals sweatshirt over my Reds t-shirt, as Beirut winters, mild as they are, still provide a chill at night.
I've pored through many Reds sites over the last hour, but every time I read "2010 National League Central Division Champions," it doesn't really feel like that happened. The scars of the aughts are still fresh on my baseball soul, reminders of the Jimmy Hayneses and Griffey surgeries and Carl Linders and all that which tried to destroy the Cincinnati Reds Baseball Club (est. 1869.) But the articles, well, they just keep on picking the Reds to win in 2011.
Everyone talks about the "business of baseball" these days, especially during the winter when there is no baseball to talk about. Hal is sick of it. Me too. I'm sick of contracts and discussions of arbitration rules and talk about trading Brandon Phillips and other players in the coming years as if there were never a season to play. I'm tired of arguments about the Hall of Fame and who doesn't deserve to be there. I'm exhausted by the baseball media circus where egos float in the air with the greatest of ease and love of the game is purloined away. And where to put the stathead vs. old school debate? In a dumpster behind some Buddhist monastery.
The game, the game! For love of the game! That little white sphere and that green, green grass! The sights that push winter away! We countdown and countdown and countdown again until we reach our Holy Day! Pitchers and catchers, report! White skin turned red turned brown. Go West, young men and come back strong and beat those Deadbirds into the ground!
The game, the game! Where the past is just as important as the present and the future! We thrive on legends, we live for the trophies, and we dream of a future when our present players are in museums!
We're so starved for the game at this time of year that our hearts jump when we hear the equipment trucks have left Cincinnati for Arizona. Equipment trucks!