For the Love of the Game/Slaying the Dragon
I don’t know tidily snot.
For as much as I don’t know about stats, player history, and some of the marquee moments, I do have the love. Even with my rampant stupidity of baseball knowledge, I have the love.
When I’m not sitting with my friend Jeffy at a game or on his couch, him schooling me, I have the love.
It’s been said many times here at Setting the Mahmud that the NBA is my true sport, but even I admit: there is nothing like baseball. I reminded myself of this the other night while watching For the Love of the Game. The pain of Kevin Costner’s character is so real and true to life it’s uncanny. The pain of ending a career. The pain of romance gone bad. Pain of failed goals. But despite all that, you might still have a friend who believes in you, which summons the strength to get your mojo back.
These are trying times in Chicago. Both ball clubs will probably be bad this year. It’s January. It’s cold. Sometimes, like a ballplayer, you wish you could just be traded to another team, in another (warmer) city. But that’s not how life works. You have to take what you have and make it great. Baseball life can be like a swinging bass line or a blistering hot trumpet solo. We swing high and we swing low. Players leave, lovers leave, and sometimes you’ll get your heart broken. Being a fan can be turmoil.
And sometimes just maybe you’ll play life well enough to win it all. It’s a noble game. A pureness that wraps around you like a warm embrace holding you tight, one that doesn’t let go. It’s a timeless art that makes you feel like you’re wearing wings.
Beware of the darkness that lies in the cave of your life. Slay the dragon. It can make you feel weak. It can break you if you let it. It can make you feel like a sucker. Accept that pain is part of the process of baseball, part of LIFE.
And let’s heal together. The Cubs will be great someday. The White Sox will be great again too. It will be cathartic and it will be grand.
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As a baseball fan, I also enjoy fictitious treatments of the subject. Although I somehow never saw The Natural until a couple years ago, I still got a lump in my throat when Roy Hobbs hammered the ball into the lights at the end. Kevin Costner may have gotten lost way out in left field when he made The Postman but Field of Dreams and Bull Durham almost make up for it.
The only real problem is that I can’t really identify with those guys. Sure, Field of Dreams is set in the heartland, not so far from where I grew up. But the chances of me ever owning a farm are pretty slim and there’s quite a bit of difference between that big house and my little apartment.
I guess that if I had to choose one character from a baseball story with whom I most identify, it would be someone a little more vulgar, someone who’s on the edge and sometimes goes over. There’s only one character I can think of who fits this description: Kenny Powers.
So, you can imagine how excited I was to see this:
The first season of Eastbound and Down was beyond hilarious and rumor has it that the second season will find Kenny making his way through the Mexican baseball leagues. The possibilities for wildly inappropriate racial and spicy food based humor are simply staggering. Remember, this is the guy who says, “Sure, I’ve been called a xenophobe, but the truth is I’m not. I honestly
just feel that America is the best country and all the other countries
aren’t as good. That used to be called ‘patriotism’.”
September can’t get here soon enough.
I think so.
In just the last few days we have learned things — almost instantly — that used to take weeks to find out about, back in the old days, when Kevin Costner was delivering the mail.
Thanks to the internets and interwebs, I knew exactly the moment Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan added “man-child disciplinarian” to each of their respective job titles. Not long after, I also found out — immediately — that Rod Blagojevich still thinks he’s funny, that he views his federal scoff as but a minor annoyance, that his hair is cool.
And of course, without our trusty series of tubes cranking out raunchy photos and seedy voice mails, how else would we know that Tiger Woods enjoys having sex — LOTS OF SEX — with people who are not his wife?
This is the re-edumacation of US America, people!
Ya gotta be fast. Ya gotta be on point. Ya gotta reinvent math!
Or is it ‘strait’?
Yeah, it’s strait. See, I got this!
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(Images & Fox News Story from BuzzFeed)