By 5 PM Sunday, darkness will have descended over the New York Metropolitan Area, a development fully attributable to the Baseball’s Over Act of 1917, implemented by Congress and signed by President Wilson when it was realized that once the World Series is done, then in all honesty, who cares how depressing it is outside?
To be fair, it’s depressing inside, too. On this last afternoon when the sun stayed strong until close to close to 6 PM, I flipped around the dial in search of a baseball game. The only one I could find was played a few weeks ago between Boston and Detroit. I’ll bet I watched it when it was happening. I’ll bet it seemed provisionally important. Maybe it was a classic. On this November Saturday, while the Red Sox enjoyed the confetti of their labor, I didn’t stick around long enough to discern which game it was. Its airing only served to taunt me.
The World Series 48 hours past, I watched my favorite basketball team pull out a one-point win over their league’s defending champion Friday night. I should’ve been thrilled. At most I was satisfied and moved on. None of these other sports played when it starts to get super dark super early can be taken seriously right now. It’s too soon for everything else even if it’s too late for baseball.
The Mets have bought out Johan Santana’s option. Either he received $5.5 million for disappearing from the roster or forfeited $19.5 million for not living up to every last hope we conjured around him nearly six years ago. The door has been described as slightly ajar in terms of a conditional invitation to Port St. Lucie, but I’d suggest, with malice toward none, shutting that door gently but firmly. Johan came up mighty shy of our expectations while simultaneously achieving things on our behalf that we couldn’t have imagined. Let’s just say we’re even.
Greg Burke is reportedly attracting interest from teams who aren’t the Mets. For a second, I thought maybe I’ve been too harsh in hoping his unreliable submarine picks up speed and is never spotted near Flushing Bay again. Then I decided if the Blue Jays or Rockies want to prove my queasiness at the sight of Greg Burke unfounded, they’re free to do so. Finally, I noticed I was thinking too intently about a middle reliever of little accomplishment who caused intermittent aggravation probably only because the sun was about to set and presumably never return. No offense intended to Burke, who’s probably a human being underneath all those earned runs. Then again, that was my excuse for Jason Bay across several frustrating seasons.
The sun won’t be what it used to be for a few months. But then it and what it brings with it will rise like a phoenix, which itself rose in Greek mythology like Marlon Byrd in 2013. For now, we fall back on unwelcome twilight, unsubstantiated free agent speculation and the occasionally engaging activity that fails to be baseball. Soon enough, however, spring ahead. Not really soon enough and not really soon, but eventually.
When the darkness is descending, you take what light you can get.
It’s a good weekend to reminded of the timelessness of loving baseball, and who better represents that clock-blocking quality than Vin Scully? Something I wrote on the subject for a non-baseball site here.