The San Francisco Giants face uncertainty heading into Game 3 of the NLDS.

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I surround myself with good things today.

I have a day off so I slept. I made coffee and read part of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s new book. I lost my eyes and stared into space as my cat curled up in my lap. I thought of nothing. I had a bowl of cereal (Special K: Fruit and yogurt, $ 2 for $ 5 at the grocery store, a good deal).

Maybe later today I’ll watch a few episodes of “Seinfeld” on Netflix. Maybe I’ll listen to Jim Dale read me a chapter from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

I won’t think about baseball until I absolutely have to. I’m not. I will not do it. Or maybe just a little. Maybe I’ll read some articles. Or no, just a few recaps from yesterday’s games, check out the highlights, watch Kike Hernandez record his 7th straight playoff success. Is this an omen? The ex-Dodger succeeds for an outsider team. What does the universe tell me? Ex-Dodger Alex Wood takes the mound for the Giants tonight – do the stars line up for Game 3? Series division. Attached. It was never going to be easy. But is the home ground advantage somehow the Los Angeles Dodgers now? Is it right? Is baseball fair? Ask Kevin Kiermaier. Yes and no. Lowercase baseball is fair, but all caps baseball is business. Follow the money. Dodgers $ 267 million in payroll. Mookie Betts. Trevor Bauer, who makes more money and is currently under investigation by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office than I will ever make in my life. Then, the Dodgers come to recover Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to replace him! And Max, what about 2019? Where is the game? Where’s the creativity? Everyone just wants an easy … classic championship. So boring! I’m going to take the San Francisco Giants and their $ 164 million payroll: the sports upper middle class (the comparatively poor!)

Alex Wood = Luke Skywalker / Dorothy? Buster Posey = Obi-Wan Kenobi?

But I don’t think about baseball. I don’t think about tonight. I take a bubble bath with Epsom salts infused with eucalyptus leaves. I re-watch episodes of The Great British Bake Off, repeating words like “ciabatta” and “crunchy” and “flake” and “morning bun” and “coarse” and I’m not going on Alex’s game Wood is divided against the Dodgers this season. I do not see the three (3) impeccable innings of Max Scherzer during his career. I don’t look into his flat, multicolored, dead shark eyes. I surround myself with good things. And if baseball does creep in, it will be good baseball stuff that creeps in like hit montages and collages from Brandon Crawford and Tim Lincecum’s “This is Sportscenter” commercials.

But, again, I’m not thinking of baseball today. Not until I have to… when I tell myself that there is nothing (nothing!) That can change how fantastic the 2021 season has been for the San Francisco Giants, no matter what happens in the playoffs. Good or bad. I’ll always have those summer months when the Giants defied the odds, took control of the division and never let go.

I tell myself this and I believe it, but I don’t to feel this. Not yet. Not today with the NLDS tied at 1 and the first toss still a few hours away. I will achieve that peace whether we win Game 3 or lose it. Whether we’re sweeping in LA or, oh my God, we’re sweeping. Peace will eventually come. May be. I do not know. The Giants came out on top in Game 1, but the story changed in Game 2. The story has changed. The story has changed. Yes, and will probably change again. Everything is possible in the playoffs. There is nothing new under the sun. Each story has been told, only the characters have mingled. Yes. The outcome of tonight’s game will not guarantee anything.

But at the moment, I still have a stomach ache. Nervousness, anxiety, maybe I’m hungry? Maybe I’ll have some cereal for lunch. I breathe in and out. I’d love to have some In-N-Outs right now. But I’m 1,500 miles from the nearest franchise. Number 1, whole roasted onions, no tomato and a Dr Pepper. So. Far. A way.

My cat slowly blinks and says: To breathe.


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