Headline writers have fun, don’t they? Whether you buy newspapers like the New York Post or even the likes of the Global News, if that’s what it’s called, whatever your political party, sometimes titles are the most entertaining element of the news. So I thought I would follow the Globe’s “Shock and Awful” (with reminders of the bellyaches we are experiencing now) and toss a little shocking news out there with a title that might alert readers.
It’s not the same as “Man eats his way out of whale that swallowed him,” but you see when one types in “Red Sox’ on Google, the third or fourth choice links us naturally with the Yankees. Fiction writer Ron Currie Jr. has written one damn amazing essay about being a Sox fan, with the title I have inserted tonight as my own(titles can’t be copyrighted right?)
If you are feeling awful right now, following one of the most frustrating losses of the year, any good doctor would prescribe reading Currie’s essay, with a few drinks and good cigar maybe. I have been talking about The Southern Review’s Special Issue on Baseball since the season began. It’s loaded with great pieces, poetry, fiction, as well as non-fiction by fans and former players. Currie’s essay had me rolling in the sand, laughing out loud the other day.(ex. “Of course the big daddy of all disappointments, the event that made living in New England feel an awful lot like getting a rectal exam from Poseidon in the ninth circle of Hell, was the 1986 World Series.”)
One central piece of the guru’s(Currie in this case) wisdom is that “[b]aseball is a game in which injuries often determine the outcome of the season, so you learn to(try to) accept that.” The problem, the real pain, the true awfulness aiding and abetting some of the shock of today’s loss(and other parts of the season) is our list of the disabled. I am going to take a risk and suggest that the most crucial season-changing injuries are those to our catchers.
Vmart and Tek have suffered and so then our pitchers have turned beautiful leads into painful digits added to the loss column, right at the time we were making a move. I will have to ask around and throw this theory out to you to see if it has any weight. Maybe, like the bottom of a muddy pair of cleats, my brain isn’t operating clearly tonight after wanting to rip the Sox hat off my head, along with my head, and throw both into a fire and turn on Monday Night Football. There is a time, Currie says, when next year feels already like next year, but I am telling you, I won’t have any of it. Not yet.
Ron Currie Jr. is the author of Everything Matters! (2009) and God Is Dead(2008). He is the recipient of the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, as well as the Addison M. Metcalf Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
The Major League team leader in blown saves since 2008 is not the Red Sox.
My notes for this entry, what might have been my focus with a victory, were initially focused around the 98 99 mph fastballs Pap was throwing. That was gas to match the Bard.