As we enter the new year and the old lockout, it’s time for some serious reflection. Like vampires, when we look at MLB in the mirror, nothing reflects back at us, so it is left to us to “make things up.” There’s no better time than the New Year to make things up about our own hopes, dreams, lamentations, and all of that crap.
Making things up has become popular in our political sphere which was troubling enough, but now we are left to our own devices when it comes to something far more sacred, baseball. The perpetual and mostly harmless conversation that many of us have carried on for decades concerning what our favorite baseball teams will do this off-season has now morphed into some combination of “When will the lock-out end, does this really count as the off-season, or does a lock-out count as something even less than that?”
Perhaps most troubling of all during this holiday season is that many, including children who should just be discovering the magic of baseball are now left to ponder other sports and other things…you know…things that are actually happening, unlike baseball. We must all hope that this doesn’t ultimately lead to the most damaging question of all: “who really cares about any of this at this moment?”
While baseball is out of sight, it’s not out of mind for many of us. Those of us who visit websites like this and read articles like this will always come back, we know we will. Still, at the same time, we should be keenly aware that many folks out there who already viewed baseball as a mostly nostalgic sport unimportant in their lives, now have even more reasons to completely ignore baseball.
Owners beware. The children are your future, and many of those who play sports have already moved on to more “active” sports and those with less active lifestyles have already moved on to other and faster paced indoor gaming opportunities.
I don’t want to be an alarmist…oh who am I kidding…I’m totally an alarmist…but come on MLB, kids don’t have unlimited patience and even adults in today’s world seem to be losing whatever level of patience they may have once had. So, let’s get your act together, because if spring training doesn’t make a sound on ESPN, or anywhere else, there will be fewer of us left to contemplate if a fallen sport makes any sound whatsoever if nobody is around to hear it fall.
As I enter the New Year and ponder my own life having not lived up to my own potential…or perhaps, tragically, having lived up to my own potential…I can’t even ponder what high end free agents the Twins will pretend to pursue and which cast-offs they will actually end up signing…I’m left to ponder my own life instead of theirs, and that simply cannot be good or even healthy.
Which brings me to the New Year. It dawned upon me that after all of these years, I don’t even truly understand what “auld lang syne” really means. Is it hopeful? Is it as sad as it sounds? Doing my own research (I mean I’m no Aaron Rodgers or Joe Rogan, but I’ve got a computer), I’ve discovered that auld lang syne was originally a poem written by Robert Burns, A Scottish poet, in 1788. Scotland is known for kilts, golf, castles, and dismal weather, among other things. Clearly, Scotland in 1788 must have been a dreadfully depressing place if this song was Burns’ way of celebrating “old times, especially times fondly remembered.”
My research tells me the song is meant to evoke feelings of nostalgia, especially memories of good times spent with friends. For many of us, some of those memories center upon baseball, and now without it, and with no signs of hope on that front in our immediate futures, it seems even more depressing than ever.
Some people say (that also sounds familiar) that baseball always provides a metaphor for life…so buckle up, this could be a bumpy ride. Happy New Year everyone!