March 20, 2005

Surfing The Curls of Destiny

A nice essay by Mr. Snitch on baseball, zen and the giant foam finger of fate.
[T]he first sting of the Sox' big win was felt by sportswriters, particularly those in New York. This group had years of cliches at the ready to be mixed, matched, pureed and jello-molded into new-ish prose. The Sox' loss was prewritten, an old story that required only freshening before it was committed to print. ...

In the wake of fate's prank for the ages, discerning readers of the NY sports pages noticed that the playoff coverage had taken on petulant overtones. All together, it seemed, the writers' alarms had gone off too early, their spouses were in a bad humor, their dogs had peed in their shoes and their raises hadn't come through. It wasn't so much that the home team had lost, bad as that was. Actually, the writers had gotten Destiny's interoffice memo: 'Sorry boys. You'll have to do some actual work this time.' ...

The baseball season, incorporating far more games than any other sport, makes a large number of failures (losses) inevitable. Moreover, many of these losses (and more than a few wins) are serendipitous. Humidity, heat, cold, wind, noise, ennui, light (or lack thereof) and the idiosyncracies of various ballparks often trump skill and will in determining outcome. ... Success in baseball depends largely on an acceptance of fate's role in the game.

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