Monday, June 25, 2007

I Am Addicted and Going Through Withdrawl

I’m addicted. There is no other way to explain it. I never fully realized it, but now, being here in Chile, I am reminded of it. You see, I am going crazy, and it isn’t for booze or drugs or sex. No, for me it’s baseball, a pure and simple love for baseball.

At first I thought, it’s gonna be OK. Life can still go on as normal. I was wrong. I am slowly going crazy. When I talk to my dad, I suck all the baseball info out of him I can. Whenever anyone else calls, I ask for info too. I have given up with my mother, a wonderful woman but one that couldn’t tell me the difference between short stop and middle relief.

And really, it seems the stars are aligned against me. Baseball is the sign of all signs that spring is upon us. It blossoms in the summer and closes shop in the winter. Here in Chile winter is upon us and I feel tricked. “But my God, my God” I cry out huddled in my sleeping bag, hugging a hot water bottle trying to stay warm in our un-insolated and unheated house “don’t you understand... it’s baseball season?

Sadly, God rotates around soccer season here, which, as far as I can tell, is a 365 day year a sport without what we call an off-season. And as for soccer, the last stab I took at playing I scored a total of -1 goals. Work on that for a minute. I have not returned to the pitch since.

And last of all, I am a Cubs fan. My father has never seen them win a world series. My grandfather died never knowing what it would be like. Anyone born after 1908 for that matter has never seen it happen. And OK, OK, I know, in true Cubbie fan fashion (even in spite of their pitiful bullpen) I am buying into the “this year is a different year stuff” that has tortured Cubs fans for generations. But can you imagine the horrible irony if they were to go to the World Series and win it, the first time in 99 years, and they did it for one of the two years I would be away from baseball?

And so for now, we get by how we can. I am reading a great book called Carrying Jackie’s Torch: The Player´s Who Integrated Baseball and America by Steve Jacobson. It is a story about the guys after Robinson, many whom we seldom here of but who were great ballplayers and even more so, incredibly noble men. Larry Doby, Curt Flood, Dusty Baker, etc... these are the names that will mark my experience with baseball in South America. And you know, the more I read about these men, their sacrifices, and their gifts, the more I realize, there ain’t a better way to miss baseball.

So from a hapless baseball fan, I wish you all a very happy baseball season... unless you are a White Sox or Cardinals fan. Sox fans, como se dice SWEEP in Español? (=

“It's designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything is new again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains comes, it stops, and leaves you to face the fall alone.” A. Bartlett Giametti


Garrity said...

As another true Cubbie fan, I can relate to the "it's a different year" stuff. The differnce between us and other fans of the game is that we really believe it is going to happen. And it will, gosh darn it! GO CUBS!

Anonymous said...

Seriously - can we pleeeeeeeeeeeaaassseee switch places! You are so close to the Copa America its unbelievable! :)
-P :)