The Baseball Desert

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Withdrawal symptoms

I'm clearly not the only one suffering withdrawal symptoms after the baseball season. The San Francisco Chronicle's Brian Murphy - in his regular ESPN column - feels the same way. However, he's given us Five Things We Learned From the 2003 Baseball Season as a kind of consolation prize.

Murphy mentions in passing the excerpt from A. Bartlett Giamatti's The Green Fields Of The Mind, which he says has lost its juice from being reproduced in too many mass e-mails. Though I know of Giamatti and his academic / baseball history, I hadn't come across this excerpt before, so to me it is still "spiritual and perfect". Here's the quotation in full, summing up exactly how it feels right now:

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come out, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.
You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.
Today, [October 2nd], a Sunday of rain and broken branches and leaf-clogged drains and slick streets, it stopped, and summer was gone.

It's enough to make you start counting down the days to Spring Training...