Saturday, June 21, 2014

Groff on Ferris on the Indescribable

Tidying up around the house, I found a copy of the May 18, 2014 New York Times Book Review, open to page 21. There, novelist Lauren Groff reviews, "To Rise Again at a Decent Hour," the third novel by Joshua Ferris.

Photograph by Beowulf Sheehan

In her review, Groff quotes a passage
"Baseball is the slow creation of something beautiful. It is the almost boringly paced accumulation of what seems slight or incidental into an opera of bracing suspense. The game will threaten never to end, until suddenly it forces you to marvel at how it came to be where it is and to wonder at how far it might go. It’s the drowsy metamorphosis of the dull into the indescribable."
That is marvelous, although baseball games have a variety of rhythms and watching them unfold is a great deal of the charm. Still, the statement captures beautifully some of the wonder without the "self-regard ... of the George Will school of condescending baseball writing."

Friday, June 20, 2014

I'm His Mom

The working title for my post on the 2014 California and Carolina leagues' all-star game was, "Three Degrees of Separation." For the past eight months I have worked with Erin Buchanan née Wright, sister of Cincinnati Reds' prospect Ryan Wright, who is buds with teammate Kyle Waldrop, one of three players on the Bakersfield Blaze to make the all-star squad.

Despite tearing it up in Bakersfield (.345, .498, .843), Wright was not one of them. I drove to Wilmington ready for the next best thing, to root on Waldrop. When he came up to bat in the second I called out, "C'mon Kyle!" The woman next to me asked, "Is he your son?"

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Deuces Wild

Gal-pal Sarah and I attended the home opener of the Brooklyn Cyclones on Saturday. The Mets' New York-Penn League affiliate scored twice in the second, third, fourth and seventh innings, beating their (alleged) cross-town rivals, the Staten Island Yankees, 8-2.

It was Sarah's first baseball game since she saw the Blue Jays in their inaugural season at the SkyDome (she thinks). Twenty-five years later, she still remembers the name George Bell. (Nobody remembers his real name, Jorge Antonio Bell Mathey.)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

deGrom can(not) do it all

On Memorial Day, David Bragdon, Kevin and I saw the Mets and Pirates. The star of the show was Mets rookie starter Jacob deGrom, who through three starts had an 1.83 ERA, .800 batting average and an 0-2 record. What's a guy gotta do? Offensively weak, New York scored only four runs in deGrom's three trips to the mound.

It was my second visit to Citi Field in less than a week, after not seeing the Mets once in 2013. Bragdon topped that on the following Thursday when he managed to see the Pirates three times in nine days; against the Orioles in Pittsburgh, our outing and in Los Angeles.