Sunday, February 4, 2007

I came home from work last night, carefully removed my Cole-Hahns, pulled my sweater over my head, took off my trousers and stood in my closet in boxers and t shirt wondering what to wear.

And for the first time this Winter I slipped the Angels Jersey off its hangar and put it on, buttoning it up gently and carefully as if it were late October and the clatter of cleats had not just been my imagination. I can almost smell the perfume of baseball, that perfect mix of grass, beer and peanuts that couldn’t possibly be duplicated anywhere else in the world. I even imagine grabbing a bat as my name is announced. I grab the barrel and drop the bat on its ear and watch the weight fall to the grass as if in slow motion. It falls softly and rests comfortably in the footsteps of my innocence. My song for this moment begins at the precise moment that I make my way to the box.

In the Howling wind comes a stinging rain
See it driving nails into the souls on the tree of pain
From the firefly, a red orange glow
See the face of fear running scared in the valley below
Bullet the Blue Sky, Bullet the Blue Sky

This is the game we all played and this is the time of year that we’ve held our breath for. As Super Bowl Sunday turns to darkness and hockey season moves peripherally and Basketball reminds us that Spring training is coming soon, we can finally stop talking about what a lonely off-season its been. Finally we can stop talking about what our team should do and look to what our team can and will do.

In the locust wind comes a rattle and hum
Jacob wrestled the angel and the angel was over come

I grew up in the shadows of Magic and Kareem and Orel and Ron Cey, somewhere between the Ravine and Manchester Avenue. I watched Carew and Downing. While they won…a lot, we lost…a lot, it seemed.

Through the alleys of a quiet city street
You take a staircase to the first floor
Turn the key and slowly unlock the door

This is still our team, our game. Fall came too soon for us last year. I hope the leaves fall slowly for us this time around. We can all hope that way now. The nights begin to lose their muster and give way sooner to warmer days. We can all feel this way.

As a man breathes into a saxaphone
And through the walls you hear the city groan

I don’t want to be back here again, standing alone in my closet. I want to be out there watching our game, daydreaming about base-hits, splitting the outfielders, going first to third. All of it. In our Springs and Summers we are kids again. We marvel at Vladdy’s homers and Figgy’s speed. We scowl like Lackey and rise in unison as Franky races to the mound. This is for you guys. Raise your glasses and tip your caps. The off-season is for stress and worry, the time is finally upon us to turn the page and go back, to be kids again. This is our team, this is our game

Outside is America, outside is America.
Love to hear what you think!

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