Its a crazy world. One moment we are fixated on the inhumane acts across the globe – stabbings, enslaving, murders, living beings driven by hatred in the name of love. We cannot fathom nor try to understand this scope of insanity, fanatics killing, destroying and causing terror all in the name of their religion. But we feel it when the pictures of the victims are displayed. When the world, apparently infected by this viral insanity, nod their heads and wag their fingers in anger at the victims; we are confused.
When did good and evil become so confusing?
Pictures of blood stained shirts, live feeds of heads being decapitated on youtube; a child inspired by this behavior is videoed decapitating his teddy bear. Parents slaughtered in front of their newly orphaned children – in the name of hatred; destruction of life and love.
On this side of the globe We go to work, we try to live our lives within the borders of the “Golden Rule,” and hope for the best.
At the end of the day we are tired, emotionally and physically. We are tired because despite the fact we sit by a computer or work on our feet – we feel the pressure to try and succeed; success is measured by so many factors – redefined on a hourly basis.
We feel the winds of death blowing and shake our heads, wag our fingers in anger at the atrocities carried out. We cannot control the world but we do have our own little world and like they say, “you need to begin at home.”
Israel and democracy is always under attack by the ones who fear freedom. We must stand up and remind the evil that in the end they will not survive and will be obliterated.
We live a civilized life. At the end of the day our shirts are coffee stained and our face word down by wrinkles of concern and smiles. There is sadness in the form of memories and the people who are physically no longer with us. Their absence causes us to feel an emptiness and a sense of confusion. We wonder where did all the time go and how can we get it back? There is the pressure of bills to pay and people to feed, that is something to feel grateful for, but still a pressure none-the-less.
There is the real world and then – there is baseball. I have been watching the New York Metropolitans ever since I can remember. The New York “Mets”are never the favorited team to win anything. They are the perennial underdogs.
There are different sports, different teams and different kinds of fans. The sport I am talking about is a religion called baseball. The fans I am alluding to are the 162 baseball fans. The fans who are aware of each of the games being played by their team.
As true baseball fans, we are in-tune to each of the 162 baseball games throughout the season. If we aren’t watching it, we are following the game on our car radios, television set, smartphones of just being updated via text by a fellow 162 baseball fan.
I remember being a kid and calling “Sportsphone” (the phone number was 976-1313 and it was constantly being updated as the games went on) to check the scores over and over.
In New York City, (I am a New Yorker and I am writing about New York, nothing against any other baseball city, except for Los Angeles) there is an intense connection with the team of our choice. You cannot be a Met fan and a Yankee fan. Whoever says they can be is not a 162 baseball fan. That’s ok. Throughout the years the Yankees have dominated the world; winning, winning and getting all the girls.
The Met’s last won it all in 1986. Almost won it all in 2000 but were beaten by, of all teams, those Damn Yankees who celebrated on the Met’s home field.
Most, if not all, non-162 baseball fans will say how easy the sport is to play, especially when there are seemingly out of shape players.
Yet, not many people can step into the batters box and hit a small ball coming towards you at 100 miles per hour. Not many people can catch a ball hit a mile high into the sun or into the dark sky with seemingly little effort. Its a sport, it is entertainment, it is a distraction from all the craziness that surrounds us, which clouds our minds and scares the shit out of us. But, to some of us, its 162 days a year of baseball.
The practicing begins each year around the 15th of February, when the days are still short and the wind is still cold. It reminds us of the summer and endless possibilities. It somehow speeds up the dog days of winter and delivers us the “Hope Springs of April.” In spring training, every team believes or wants to believe that they have a shot of winning it all. There is a clean slate and even if they are totally not expected to win, well, miracles do happen.
The world is spinning out of control – Islamic extremists do not have any sense of the value of a single life. They worship a religion where death is the ultimate achievement. Whereas the rest of the world celebrates life and the value of each and every soul. We understand that with each death there is a value, a space, that is lost and the world, the whole world is changed forever.
So we watch baseball, we scream obscenities at the screen, jump for joy when we can and simply enjoy the pain of being a NY Met’s fan. My wife cannot understand. She cannot comprehend why, a grown man approaching 50 years of age, begins to make strange noises, and performs dance moves that would make Elaine Benes proud.
Baseball is a major artery in the lives of 162 fans – we develop a relationship with each member of the team. We identify with them because we are all trying to hit a round ball with a round bat. There are so many life metaphors in this sport – one on one, pitcher versus batter. The support system is familial. Always someone behind you and always someone waiting to step up to the plate to try and bring you home. The coach’s always a father figure in each.
Life is hard; no meme or positive affirmations can change the fact that although each morning is a brand new start – we are still faced with the same tasks of somehow staying healthy, paying impossible debts and keeping a smile on your face.
So for all of us 365 fans of life and love – may true peace come in our days and quickly. Otherwise, pitchers and catchers report on February 15th and hope will once again spring eternal on our fields of dreams.