Friday, March 13, 2020

Okay, Yankee fans, now comes the hard part...

A week ago, I tried to fathom how the world might look today. The last seven days now seem like a fever dream. 

We knew the virus would be expanding, but didn't we all expect nationwide test kits by now? We knew there'd be concerns about opening day, but who imagined that the debate would be over, that the plug would be pulled? We knew dark changes were coming, but who imagined this?

And do we dare think of what the next week will bring?

Well, so much for all my concerns about our No. 5 starter. No more worrying about Gleyber's fielding, or Mike Tauchman's spring slump. We have just witnessed the most irrelevant three weeks in baseball history - exhibition games that led to - um - nothing. The juju gods no longer hold our hopes in their hands. They have been laid off. 

Ah, yes, the juju gods - those immortal, middle-management deity flunkies whose lone supernatural power lies in the fixing of sporting events. They don't get to run hurricanes or earthquakes, or even celebrity break-ups. They just do balls and strikes. 

As eternal existences go, they got a crappy deal. (Obviously, no union.) They work nights and weekends, hunched over aging Commodore PC screens in cramped cubicles. They wear Velcro wrist-guards and dingy green visors, and shirts that do not fit. They fuel up on microwave popcorn and vending machine tuna sandwiches, always a day beyond their sell-by dates. Six times a night, they go outside to smoke and think about opening a mall kiosk. They need to lose 40 pounds. They need a colonoscopy. Back inside, the phones are always blaring, and it's always somebody like me, screaming about something they did to the Yankees. In this predestined universe, they have one role: To decide who wins a stupid game that none of them any longer cares about. And now, even that job has been taken from them.

Today, we have bigger gods and scarier fates to consider. And we will no longer have the daily stream of Yankee news detritus - the latest thing that Aaron Boone said - to digest.

For some of us, the next great challenge will be riding out this storm - waiting for the virus to peak and subside. Please, stay safe, and stay in touch. Nothing here will change. We have many psycho rants and raves left inside us - (have we even discussed Mike Ford's at-bats lately?) - waiting to be splattered into thoughtful ether. Last week may seem like a dream, but next week will probably be crazier. Still, there will be a baseball season. There will be a world series. We still have the best pitcher in the AL, and the Redsocks still suck. And as long as we are checking in with each other, even if only to piss and moan about Food Stamps Hal or Cooperstown Cashman, the world will at least seem normal. And if you find yourself worrying too much, watching cable news and pacing the floor, think about our batting order until the loneliness subsides. Sometime this summer, we'll gather to drink to our sanity, even if it's long gone. There will be a next week, and one after that. From now on, we just take them, one at a time.

Oh, and wash your hands.   


Carl J. Weitz said...

2 questions:

Do juju Gods have their own Juju Gods?

If there can be no practices in addition to no games, what do the players do for the next several weeks? They aren't disbanding camps so do they just hole up in hotels ordering food from room service and women from Lady Tata's House of Tarts?

Me? I'm going to IV Johnny Walker and Pierre Ferrand.

HoraceClarke66 said...

That's too deep for me, Carl!

And I say: No sleep til Brooklyn, and no baseball til June!

Platoni said...

I hope they're not trying to rehab. We know what that brings

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