Sunday, October 3, 2010

The End Of The Regular Season

With the end of the regular season and my beloved Red Sox off to scatter in the wind for an offseason of golf, it is time to remember the words of former MLB Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti and his writing about the end of a season The Green Fields of the Mind.

And what the hell, since it's Sunday, a little Rule 5 for good measure.
It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops. Today, October 2, a Sunday of rain and broken branches and leaf-clogged drains and slick streets, it stopped, and summer was gone.

Somehow, the summer seemed to slip by faster this time. Maybe it wasn't this summer, but all the summers that, in this my fortieth summer, slipped by so fast. There comes a time when every summer will have something of autumn about it. Whatever the reason, it seemed to me that I was investing more and more in baseball, making the game do more of the work that keeps time fat and slow and lazy. I was counting on the game's deep patterns, three strikes, three outs, three times three innings, and its deepest impulse, to go out and back, to leave and to return home, to set the order of the day and to organize the daylight. I wrote a few things this last summer, this summer that did not last, nothing grand but some things, and yet that work was just camouflage. The real activity was done with the radio--not the all-seeing, all-falsifying television--and was the playing of the game in the only place it will last, the enclosed green field of the mind. There, in that warm, bright place, what the old poet called Mutability does not so quickly come.
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4 comments:

  1. Baseball is a great sport and an American pastime. I enjoyed playing softball while growing up and still enjoy watching baseball games now. Orioles are still my favorite. Since they have a new manager I'm hoping that they do much better next year than they did this year.

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  2. Teresa

    Having lived in Boston most of my life baseball almost borders on a religion and is the thing that binds most Bostonians together. I feel for fans of other teams in the AL East since the Sox and Yanks are always in contention but the Rays have shown that you don't need a lot of money to compete with the big dogs.

    Good luck to your O's for next season, for now we both have a long offseason to look forward to, albeit the weather is a bit milder here in the desert.

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  3. My heartbreak starts right around the All Star break, since my team has usually been mathematically eliminated by then.

    Go Cubs. Next year, right?

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  4. Fredd

    Having been a fan of a team that went 86 years between championships, I feel your pain. But that's the great thing about sports, there's always next year.

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