Sunday, May 16, 2004

"We feel what we saw, become what we perceived."

The title above is a quote from the baseball sage A. Bartlett Giamiatti when he writes of what it is that attracts the spectator to the game of baseball.

When Kevin Youkilis, called up only hours before from AAA Pawtucket for his MLB debut with his parents in attendance, crushed Pat Hentgen's first-pitch changeup into the second deck in left field in the fourth inning, I felt that special rush that only baseball gives me.

It is a sensation not merely of winning, for the lesson of life is that you cannot win, no matter how hard you work, but of fully playing: as the gods must play, as whoever is not us—call it the Deity or History or whatever is Untrammeled—must play, complete, coherent, freely fulfilling the anticipated fullness of freedom ("Take Time for Paradise").

And if that isn't enough, there's the unexpected, the quintessence of the ironic, in seeing the prospect branded as the "Greek God of Walks" by Michael Lewis in Moneyball, baptizing his entrance to the Show with a homerun rather than a base on balls.

But, as this is baseball, the moment is fleeting …there's another game to play today and we know not how "the superior forces you cannot control at all must play, as the wind must play with the sun and flowers again on a soft spring day" (Giamatti).