Letters Home

Day 1

Well, on my way. Made it to Santa Cruz. Car holding up so far. Driver holding up so far. Weather is pretty miserable up here, cold and raining.

I’m listening to the book “Wild Shore” by Kim Stanley Robinson, my favorite sci-fi author. The book kept me pretty occupied and relatively stress free bobbing in and out and around cars and semis as the book characters survive post apocalyptic America.

Continue reading “Letters Home”

An Alternate Ending

Bottom of the tenth inning. The winning run is at the plate. Montgomery throws, hangs a curve. Martinez rips it into the left field stands and the Indians win the world series. The stadium erupts in a pandemonium that lasts for thirty minutes. My brother Bruce texts a curse and calls Maddon the worst manager ever. He throws his cell phone on the ground. It will be a week before I hear from him again. The fans that aren’t enraged or crying just stare blankly into the void in disbelief looking forward without seeing.

So it goes.

Maddon’s blunder explodes into another Cub’s legend joining goats and Bartman and Garvey. Instead of an amazing season in which the Cubs achieved the best win record in Cubs history and a National League championship, they are remembered as a team that choked. Forget the amazing moments when Maddon worked his magic during the regular season: a two-strike suicide squeeze; toggling a pitcher between left field and the pitcher’s mound; pulling his team out of slump; pulling off post-season victories against the Giants and the Dodgers. Everyone will remember the one moment in the last inning of the last out of the last game and forget all the rest.

So it goes.

Tomorrow comes. History moves on. There is nothing to do but ride out the winter in the post-partum dullness of the off season. No tears, no joy, no ebullience, no uncertainty, no heartache and no awe. And no memory of great victory.

So it goes.

But wait ’til next year!

Best Game Ever

The end of the season is at hand: win, lose or draw. Ha, draw. There is no draw. There is only greatness or another lost opportunity.

Two teams that haven’t won a series in 68 or more years; the Cubs down 3-1 in the series with their backs against the proverbial outfield wall, already making an incredible comeback, a game 7, in the world series. The whole season comes down to this one game.

But the script writers are working overtime. There is more. Let’s knock out the Indian’s ace, roll over the highly vaunted Cleveland relievers, and make it an easy win with a three run advantage with the fastest recorded thrower in baseball coming to the mound. No, we’ll bring in the Cubs highly vaunted ace and let him blow a three run lead on a two-run Davis home run that rocks the stadium to its foundation. The faces of the Cubs fan go pale as the years of frustration and folly flash through every fan in the Cub empire. Cub’s fans everywhere curse Maddon’s choice to over pitch the legendary Chapman in game six.

The Cubs hold and the game goes into extra innings. The game goes to the middle relievers of both teams, the guys that don’t touch the ball until all the starting arms and closers and aces have been exhausted. The guys that aren’t supposed to touch the ball at all in a game 7 of the world series.

The script writers need to build up more tension, as if game seven in extra innings of two improbable teams and the chance for an improbable come back in the series by the Cubs and an improbable come back in the game by the Indians isn’t enough. Let’s throw in a rain delay, just for fifteen minutes. Not long enough to dull the tension or lose an audience, just long enough to make everyone think about the possible endings and to think about how they game progressed to this point: a throwing error and a wild pitch that knocks over Ross allowing two runs to score followed by his redemption home run to end his long and productive career on the highest of notes, Bryant’s incredible base running scoring on a short fly ball and taking three bases on a Rizzo double, more redemption on a home run after two errors by struggling Baez who so dominated earlier series, Schwarber’s improbable return and success at the plate, Almora’s tag from first on a Bryant fly ball to the wall, to score moments later on a Zobrist double, and finally another Davis RBI to bring Cleveland to within one with the winning run at the plate.

And then a little tapper by Marinez to Bryant at 3rd and all the years of waiting, all the curses, all the bad breaks, all the lapses in judgement, all the just bad luck just evanesce into the history of baseball. None of my siblings will have to wish that I could have been there. I have seen it. I have seen it with my own two eyes. The Cubs have won the World Series in one of the best games I have ever seen.