A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Buster Posey

Will the rain ever stop falling? As John Fogerty sang before he ever thought about singing about baseball, is there a person that can stop this rain and bring bright sunny skies back?
There is something about believing in the future and being optimistic about the opportunities that are out there, but when it rains, it's hard, and when it rains (as a former scumbag boss once said), it pours. For me, it's been raining since Wednesday night. My wife and I drove to Ohio from eastern Pennsylvania, and at one point, I looked at her and asked if it was getting dark or getting ugly (weatherwise). She stated the latter, and within 5 minutes, the sky was dark as can be, a pitch black furnace of burned coal in the air (and that's not the Cuyohoga to blame, either). Within another 5 minutes, there was rain, and then there was hail, and all the while there was thunder and lightning, and it was a horrid last 4 hours of a drive to get to Toledo to see her family, but alas, we made it in one piece.
And so as we drove into the distance - perhaps it was my wife's choice of playing the Cure, perhaps it was a continuation of so many moments in the job hunt that is my life, but I was wondering if something is on the other side when the sky gets clear again and the bluebirds sing and spring moves into the beauty of summer. Prior to this, we had about a week straight of rain, followed by a little sun, and more rain, and now we're drenched again.
So right here, there is a question that always exists and that's whether or not the world is a metaphor for what is happening outside of the event itself. For instance, is there brightness on the other side of the clouds and rain? If I'm patient, will the good things come to me?
Many people seem to have a take on it. For example, Victor Frankl wrote about a prisoner who he was with at Auschwitz (the story is in Man's Search for Meaning - an amazing book), who had a mysterious dream that he would be rescued by such and such a date. When that didn't happen, the man basically died of a broken heart.
Just recently, Harold Camping tried for the second time to get his Rapture prediction right, but alas, that didn't happen either, and now those people who waited are wondering if it's his math or a God testing their faith or if they were just betrayed. Nevertheless, the waiting and the hoping and the not happening - the rescue from outside - have caused many people to spend their savings and their faith on a pie in the sky dream not too different than my hoping to win Powerball, and yeah... the answer is always internal since we control our own destinies more than external forces do. I'm sure Frankl would agree.
Dr Seuss wrote of the existential darkness in his permanent graduation gift Oh! The Places You'll Go (not quite St. John of the Cross's Dark Night of the Soul, but... I should say that it is a great gift - don't get me wrong - the good doctor is awesome - St. John, now that was an experience for an undergrad thesis long ago):
You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.
And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.
You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...
...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
That's not for you!

And hopefully, that's not Buster Posey either. We already hope that it's not Stephen Strasburg, the greatest pitcher that still might ever pitch in the game, but yeah...
There is something about facing setback that creeps into the mind, and for this, we can go a million directions when things don't go our way. Mark Twight, a "punk rock" climber, expresses this in his book Kiss or Kills: Confessions of a Serial Climber when he said:
“Eventually, I sickened of people, myself included, who didn’t think enough of themselves to make something of themselves- people who did only what they had to do and never what they could have done. I learned from them the infected loneliness that comes at the end of every misspent day. I knew I could do better.”
He made it back. Strasburg is slated to be able to come back from Tommy John Surgery as soon as September (let's hope the Nationals take it easy on him and let him come back full fledge in spring training next February). What will Posey do with his 6-8 weeks off for a broken leg (and possibly all season)? Will he adjust if this is the end of catching altogether?
We like to think that our potential and our heart will help us find a way. Here's to recovery and redemption in all of our lives.

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