Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What Was Twice Is Forever, Then: Timothy Leroy Lincecum and the Cruelty of Understanding

It is said that no good deed goes unpunished. So quickly are the fortunes of a man flipped. No matter the greatness of any defeat, baseball grants a tomorrow in which favor may fall in hand to the defeated. The same can be said about victory. There is rarely a moment so eternally bright that no cloud can dim. The no-hitter, though a surprisingly common feat relative to perfect and four-home-run games, is such a singular event to be praised that it forever hangs on the legacy of he who pitched. So quickly baseball forgives transgressions of the downtrodden. Equally yoked to the present, baseball forgets the proudest of men's accomplishments. Nine days ago, Tim Lincecum was a hero. But last night, the game and the Cincinnati Reds could not care less.

Monday, July 22, 2013

What Was Once Is Now Again: Tim Lincecum and the Well of Persistent Memory

Nine days ago, most of the world outside of San Francisco had forgotten about Tim Lincecum. The twice-anointed best pitcher in the National League had fallen on hard times of late. In the last year and change, the power-pitching Lincecum had gone the way of a champion racehorse. He had been sent out to pasture young, with more lively years ahead than behind. Maybe that was our mistake. He had aged faster than anyone saw possible. Often times when pitchers are forced to change their ways, the alterations either bring more problems into focus or they evolve and become assets. Before July thirteenth, the consensus would be to lump Tim Lincecum into the first column. On that night, a man once lovingly referred to as "the Freak" would summon a few innings from his younger days, and do something he hadn't done before.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Before We Begin Again: Season One at the Break

The beauty of baseball is the inevitability of witnessing something you've never seen before. A timeless moment can occur on any night, in any city. Sometimes the event is the culmination of a career or a season, or it maybe a single-game act of brilliance. In the first few months of the season, we've seen perfect games blown, a full cycle from a phenom, and the greatest hitter alive get better. A crop of remarkable young stars have ushered in a new wave of household names. Rosters will shift by July's end and contenders will separate from those who merely hang on for pride. Chris Davis has thirty-seven home runs. The Pittsburgh Pirates have fifty-six wins. Baseball is a game of patience and expectation. Now we turn the page and begin to unveil our story's climax.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Prodigal Sun: Alfonso Soriano and the Semicolon Legacy

I've lived in the Midwest my entire life, and I've never witnessed the sun set over the horizon beyond California. What I have seen is about ten thousand nightfalls that all end in a relatively similar way. Just as the sun meets a distant western demise, there remains a moment of ghosting light. Seemingly useless because of the inevitable darkness, the faint glow is simply an aesthetic presentation, a waste to those who cannot appreciate such things. Likewise reads the tale of Alfonso Soriano.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Omega and the Alpha: Homer Bailey and the Legend in the Peripheral View

I joked briefly with a co-worker today that the weather felt like September. The air was cool and damp with heavy cloud cover bracing the would-be brutal July sun. It was less of a rain, more of a weighted mist. Something like early autumn. A state's length away in Southern Ohio, Homer Bailey felt like September as well. He had thrown a no-hitter on the twenty eighth day of that month last year. No pitcher had completed the feat since. Tonight, Bailey was in that autumnal form against the defending champion San Francisco Giants.

Chase Down the Rising Sun: Shohei Ohtani Faces the Hype

Twenty-three year old Shohei Ohtani took the mound for the first time in a Major League stadium on Sunday. His slender, six-foot-four frame ...