You may have heard the news… or maybe you haven’t:
After 50 years of drought, after 8,020 games, the New York Metropolitans have finally pitched a no-hitter baseball game. It’s a big deal. It’s a really big deal.
I was not there, though I was fortunate enough to be home and watching. By the end of the game I was in tears, literally… The symbolic impact of last night’s baseball game is tremendous and as a result I (as I am sure most of Mets fandom as well) was absolutely emotionally exhausted.
A few points come to mind with regards to the implications of this game. Let me take them in turn:
First, the nature of baseball is such that there is time for pause and reflection throughout the game. Players are not fighting against the clock, instead following each pitch they (and we, as observers) are able to take a step back and really revel in the strategy and narrative of every play. Those who are not interested in Baseball would consider this to be ‘boring’, though the reality is that this is the element of the game that gives Baseball the drama and gravitas that makes the game so compelling. Throughout the the final innings of the game my heart was literally in my mouth. 50 years of waiting are all in the balance with this pitcher finishing the job he started. I know how I felt… I cannot even begin to think about the pressure he felt. Such composure!
Another thought, I have been pondering is the nature of being a Mets fan. As of last night, there has been a huge paradigm shift: The Mets fan revels in the bad luck of the team. Self deprecation is such an integral part of the Mets Fan persona that there is now certainly a feeling of “now what?”. Now we are like the rest of the teams: middle of the road. If i reflect on the idea, the truth of the matter is I liked my team not having a no hitter… it’s what made us unique.
I mean, who am I kidding? I am thrilled about what happened, but there is definitely a part of me that feels a sense of loss now that the team has finally made that achievement.
That aside, let’s talk about Johan Santana: the Mets pitcher who has come back from a years injury hiatus told that he would never pitch to the level that he once was accustomed to. He was a great pitcher who is now in the twilight of his career. The fact that he is pitching well at all is nothing short of a miracle… and then he pulls this off.
Last night, the sheer guts and follow through of Santana has taught us all something extremely valuable: that with the will to achieve, anything is possible. When the odds are stacked against you, with a will, a drive and a commitment to a goal, the human spirit is capable of almost anything.
Tears were streaming from my eyes last night because Johan Santana reminded me that anything is possible.
Thank you, Johan.
Nothing makes me as aware of Time’s ravaging claw and the changing seasons more than the arrival of baseball in the Spring.
For my sins, I am a Mets fan. It is because of this fact that the promise of rebirth is always a blessing, ostensibly. Each team starts the season with a new record and the promise of performance equal to any other. How they perform throughout the season has yet to happen. For today, they have a perfect record and their whole lives in front of them (or, at least, the next 161 games).
How can we utilize this thought for the day in our own lives? I’ve spent the last couple of days thinking on it.
Moving to the Adirondacks is a interesting change for me: deep change. It sounds very glamorous to tell people that i have lived as far afield as New Zealand or Rome or London, but at the end of the day, these places are all cities. Moving from one city to another, granted, is no easy task, however there are definite expectations to which all cities (okay, most cities) can meet. Shops to buy things, bars to drink at, people of all manner of shapes, sizes and colors to interact with.
The change to rural living is enough of a paradigm shift that I find myself in a bit of culture shock. The quest for a house that is winterized is seemingly akin to hunting for the Grail at this moment. Finding a sense of direction as well as carving a niche for oneself within a small and tightly knit community is ever more a challenge as we grow.
I suppose it’s natural to grow introspective in these times of change, so I am resisting the urge to become maudlin. There are so many potential projects on the boil… Really it’s a question of trying to fit everything in.
Bringing this back to the original analogy of baseball (because everything comes back to baseball eventually), let us look at this transition season of Spring as the opportunity to grow. Huzzah! A clean slate! For much like my ever-maligned New York Mets, right now I am 1-0.