Monday, August 16, 2021

I’ll Tell You What Sucks

Not a damn thing.

You see, I’ve been away for the last 3 ½ months. Drove across the country twice. 30 States in all. Just looking at stuff. (And visiting my mom in NY. 94 this month. She’s good. Thanks for asking.) 

Did a lot of Route 66.

This is what I learned – and I promise, eventually it relates to baseball. Eventually. 

There is a concept in both Hinduism and Buddhism called Samsara – roughly, the beginningless cycle of repeated birth, mundane existence and dying again.

Route 66 is a two-thousand-mile meditation on Samsara. Towns that were. Attractions that only attract people seeking irony. An abandoned Radio Shack located in an abandoned shack. The greatness of post WW2 America and where we are now.

Birth. Mundane Existence. Dying Again.

I experienced America as a story told in billboards. The dominant messaging in each state revealing an aspect of itself, reflecting its struggles and solutions.  In CA it’s pot stores and medical facilities. In Nevada, casinos and rehab. Wyoming offered Jesus and Jesus, (and Trump 2024, and sometimes Trump as Jesus.) 

Missouri was Adult Superstores vs. Jesus in a 500-mile battle. A cartoon devil and angel on your shoulder kind of thing.  Also lots of caves. Caves to Hell? Caves as glory holes? That is one messed up state.  

I won’t do them all.

That said, every state is inundated with billboards for Indian Casinos. This country has a serious gambling problem and the irony of MLB celebrating a movie that reveres Shoeless Joe Jackson on a broadcast that had commercials for Fan Duel should be noted. Maybe it’s time to put him in the hall.

And there’s my segue…

Thanks to MLB Extra Innings I was able to end every day on my trip watching the Yankees. But, truth is, the further along I drove, the more my attitude changed towards the game. I started to see it in a broader context. The Yankees as Samsara. Birth. Mundane Existence. Dying Again.  

The game starts, the game ends. Players get sick. Players return. Birth. Mundane Existence. Dying Again – particularly with our current bullpen. Dying a little too often if you ask me.

Oh, and for the record, Brain and Boone still need to go. Look, I had an epiphany but I’m not insane. They are the worst.

I guess what I’m saying is that I can’t get mad at Gardy who, even though he should have retired, is giving everything he has left. I can’t get mad at Stanton even though he should just pick the batting stance that works and stick with it. I can’t get mad at Andrew Heaney who… actually, I can. Fuck that guy. He should never pitch for us again. Seriously that guy sucks.

Damn it. Something does suck. 

There goes my premise. 

Never mind. 


Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

As a closet Buddhist, has the Rte66 driving changed how you feel about . . . cows?

Anonymous said...

Not Route 66 per se... but eating here did.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

And if you really want to either marvel or freak out here's...

Molly Schuyler at the Big Texan vs 3 -72oz steak meals 20 minutes flat

Doug K.

Carl J. Weitz said...

<--out if the closet Buddhist.
Which reminds me of:

What did the monk say after seeing the face of Jesus in his tub of margarine?

" I can't believe it's not Buddah".

Carl J. Weitz said...


Anonymous said...

Great post


TheWinWarblist said...

These are Great Words:

"The game starts, the game ends. Players get sick. Players return. Birth. Mundane Existence. Dying Again – particularly with our current bullpen. Dying a little too often if you ask me.

Oh, and for the record, Brain and Boone still need to go. Look, I had an epiphany but I’m not insane. They are the worst."

They should be the new blog chyron. Brava and Bravo, Sir. Brava and Bravo.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

Inspired and inspiring post. Thanks for this.

Scottish Yankee fan said...

Great post thanks for sharing

In other news Red Thunder moved to 60 day DL list

13bit said...

Good stuff, Doug. thank you. The Molly Schuyler thing - wow.

I have driven across the country many times, often with the radio off, no music. Not by design, but it just kind of happens and I realized I have gone 600 miles with no words and no music. The samsara thing, indeed.

Been holding off the last year or two due to, uh, this kind of weird pandemic thing that's becoming endemic. I guess I should not let it stop me and I may, indeed, try for a liftoff in the coming weeks. We shall see.

My first few trips, way back, I was searching on and for old 66. I'd find one old patch of the mother road and would stop and feel the asphalt with my hands. Drove around with a rental and some water bottles and a box of Fig Newtons in the back seat. Gotten a bit more elaborate now, but that's okay.

Been ruminating on it in a sort of desultory way for a while in the pages of the Canyon Country Zephyr -

And on my now-rarely-updated and in need of a complete redo website:

Also a book I just put out and another one in the works, but I won't link to them.

Okay, must cook the dog his supper.

Anonymous said...


Really enjoyed your writing! Thanks for the links.

If you make it out this way let me know. I'll drive up to 200 miles just to hang out.

Speaking of which, next time I'm in NY I'll post it here. Anyone who wants to grab a drink - I'm a big fan of the bar in Bryant Park (because I take the train in) but am open to suggestions - let's do it.

As to Music vs. Silence. When I used to develop and write the guest experience for museums and attractions I would use music to lock me into a mood or a location. I sort of developed that habit for car rides as well, so I drove through Arizona and New Mexico listening to a lot of Ry Cooder.

Western PA was all "Autumn Thunder: 40 Years Of NFL Films Music" because Western PA is where all the quarterbacks used to originate.

That said, I too would find I drove a couple of hundred miles without any sound at all.

Thanks again for the links. I bookmarked em and look forward to reading more.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

Doug K.-- Thanks for spewing your mite of carbon dioxide into the air for the past two months, doing your worst to ensure the demise of the human race in the coming decades. Do you have any sense of the world beyond your tiny, constricted egoic horizon?

TheWinWarblist said...

Oh go suck it Puckered. You have no idea what Doug K.'s driving or his carbon footprint or what mitigation steps he's taken. I drive fast cars, and I'm not giving them up. But I also have a near carbon neutral home and plant tress. Lots of trees. And my next fast car will be all electric.

So as I posited earlier: go suck it.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

Doug, thank you for posting this, it's absolutely beautiful and triple confirms that I cannot wait to grab a drink with any and all of you ASAP!!!!!!!

And thank YOU Winnie, very well said!

JM said...

Doug, that was really cool. Thanks.

Meanwhile, Davis is in center tonight, fulfilling the pitcher's old role as the instant out in the nine hole.

Why is he here again?

artificial lemon flavoring said...

'its the beauty in you that brings out the beauty in all of us'
(except BrainyCash and KaBoone)

HoraceClarke66 said...

Great work, Doug K.! And I'll look up your links, bitty. Sounds like a great quest.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Very sad to see about Frazier. It seems it's a vision issue, and he might not play again. Best of luck, Red Menace.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Incidentally, I know some people have been on Sevvy. I think he's more victim than anything.

They knew something was amiss when Severino suddenly left a game he was leading against Boston by something like 10-0, back in 2018. The Yanks thought he had a physical problem, but the MRI was inconclusive. They wanted to take a color MRI—but there was some danger that the dye they would have to use might actually cause tissue injuries.

So...they kept on pitching him the rest of the year. And tried to hurry him back in 2019.

I have no trouble with Sevvy's big contract. It's the least he deserves, after the Yanks wrecked his career.

TheWinWarblist said...

I will forever be heartsick over Red Thunder.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Love this entire thread, well excepted puckered.

I will have dreams of driving through the desert tonight, listening to Ry Cooder.

JM said...

Davis can't hit for spit, but that was a nice catch.

Pocono Steve said...

A game-saving catch if we happen to win 2-1.

JM said...

Anndddd... Britton. Holy crap.

Pocono Steve said...

What a fuckin' joke.

Oasisdave said...

I'll tell you what sucks, what we just saw....strikeout then double play with the bags full!!!......yeah this team is playoff bound

Oasisdave said...

Agreed, pathetic display

JM said...

That surprised me. I thought Stanton would hit into a double play, but he only struck out. Voit hit into the double play.

These guys. Full of surprises.

ZacharyA said...

Coming into this game, the Yankees with runners in scoring position this season (MLB rank):

.223 BA (29th)
.323 OBP (23rd)
.327 SLG (29th)
.650 OPS (28th)

JM said...

As bad as those numbers are, what separates us from Tampa are our bullpen meltdowns. Very odd season.

JM said...

That was cool. Striking Ohtani out, looking.

TheWinWarblist said...

HOW THE FUCK DO YOU PUT JOELY IN TO FACE OHTANI !?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


TheWinWarblist said...

Yes, I'm still paying attention.

DickAllen said...

That’s because you still have hope Win

Anonymous Bosch said...

I hate to be a Gloomy Gus, but Winnie: you could use a basic Italian lesson. “Brava and Bravo, Sir” is an oxymoron (or an insult) – words ending in “a” are feminine, those ending in “o” are masculine.

You would award a “bravo” to a “Sir”, and a “brava” to his wife (or mistress).

Look no farther than Andrew Cuomo for a lesson: “Ciao, bella” brought down his career.

JM said...

Joely is ok. He's had some good appearances.

And Green closed it out. Nice.

TheWinWarblist said...

Thuh uh uh Yankees win.

Fuck Hope.

JM said...

We need two out of three against the Red Sox. All three is possible, they've really faltered, but Heany was announced for Wednesday, so...

Kevin said...

Great post,Doug. I've been thinking about making The Pilgrimage. Are the roads suitable for a low slung, fast, high octane, gas burner? Especially if the throttle is down, and the revs are high. THX-1138.

bubble boy said...

this was very profound

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Alphonso said...

Thanks, Doug