Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sometimes It Rains

April is the cruellest month. And it doesn't take a brick-company boss's son from the Midwest with a fake erudite accent to tell us that. April surprises, every year, dealing frosty, miserable days that encourages us to throw good money after bad. It brings equal parts promise and uncertainty; all is called into question. Will the buds remember their birthright? Will the pastel green deepen? Will Keven Youkilis's bat start devouring fastballs like they were cocktail weiners off the sample table at Wegman's?

My baseball team, like a bunch of sullen teenagers, has refused to live up to its potential. It's ok, though, 'cause it's all part of the Master Plan. The Red Sox do not respond to hype. The Red Sox, like an interested yet somewhat ambivalent lover, have to marinate for a while before gelling. And you can't rush richness.

I'm thinking yesterday's rain delay is the beginning of a turn-around. It might be a slow-burn, but our coal scuttle overfloweth, and the haze of a wet season is about to evaporate. Compare it to a pot of boiling water. Well, everyone's been watching, and you know what that does. It SEEMS like the boil will never achieve; actually it's inevitable--as reliable as applied heat pushing the mercury to 212 degrees Farenheit. Jon Lester will solve the corners, the left-handed flea that the Leading Player knows you want to be. Matsuzaka will compartmentalize the after-shocks and will at least break even on quality starts. John Lackey will seek as many audiences as it takes with the Dalai Lama until he amasses the necessary chi to shrug off not only Salty's first-year skittishness, but also his unfortunate surname. Tim Wakefield, a Prospero on the mound, will lead his dear friends once more unto the breach, with wow and flutter, and surpass Roger Turncoat Clemens for the most wins at Fenway. Clay Buchholz will reject the Psalms and inherit the earth via intimidation and ungodly breaking balls.

It's the same with my kid. He's on unfamiliar ground, too--10- and 11-year-olds grouped together for the first time; the ball's coming in appreciably harder than last year. He's braver than he realizes, though. There was a defining moment in last-week's scrimmage, his team down a fistful of runs, when he dug in against a gnarly looking older kid. After taking a ball, he fouled off the next pitch and his bench erupted, "YEAH! THAT'S RIGHT!! HE AIN'T SO BAD!!" That at-bat ended in a hit. His squad was annihilated at the end of 6 innings, but the take-away was that It Could Be Done, this baseball business. His swing is so sweet and he doesn't even really know it. And his team is just starting to gel. Like Spring. Like New Love. And like the 2011 Red Sox.

We know what we're doing, actually, but we forget. In the Spring we learn to trust again, and May rewards us, lush and gorgeous. May urges us to use the word "redolent," in a sentence, and to worship the brevity of the fiddlehead fern, and the shortening nights. Don't miss the crescent moon--how many more will wink at you?

Thanks for reading, and always keep in mind that what's inevitable will reveal itself, in time. Meanwhile, bring an umbrella


  1. spring has been SUCH a tease this year. it's almost freezing out there this morning. i want sun. and i promise not to whine about the heat in a few months...

  2. Nice article, thanks for the information.

  3. Nice article, thanks for the information.