Monday, September 29, 2008
And now, ladies and gentlemen, another long, cold, dark offseason.
When I played baseball as a kid, I never quite got the game. It was a mystery to me, the whole rate of failure, the game in your head, the bounces, the inches, the judgment of the umpire. Football was my game, something straightforward, physical. Line up across another guy and try to knock the snot out of him. Baseball, I was too uptight to really let it it fly. And my mind wandered. Now, watching games, I prefer baseball to football in every way. The beauty, the rhythms, the day to day of it. Today football is a different game from the one I loved, a game of specialization and matchups and strategy, plugging players in and out for specific plays, situations. That's just boring and impersonal to me, a kid who soaked up the stories of the sixties Packers and Giants and Browns and Rams.
Anyway, even though I love baseball now, there are still things I just don't get. The biggest being that you just can't bend any given situation to your will, at least as a hitter. The game is just too big and crazy and mysterious to me. Football, I always felt like you had a little control over things, if only biggest there's always somebody waiting to be knocked down.
Anyway, the first, undisputed fact is the bullpen has to be rebuilt from the ground up. Maybe you keep a couple guys, I don't know, but most of them have to be gone.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Meanwhile, the Mets are in a real, live division championship race with the Phillies, and it is excruciating fun.
Today's post was brought to you by the letter M.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Jeff Gabel is a friend of mine who makes great work.
His latest drawings and stories are at Spencer Brownstone Gallery, 39 Wooster Street, till October 25.
I could describe his work, describe him, tell some funny story about some night we were drinking, but the thing is, you should just go see his work. Seriously, dude.
Yesterday was our last regular-season visit to Shea. We are still hoping for a chance to go back in the postseason, but we have two full weeks of baseball season left with a one-game lead over the Phils, so there's no way of knowing the chances yet [so let's go].
Therefore, we approached yesterday's game against the Braves like our last-ever, ever, ever game at Shea Stadium. I wore my favorite, if beaten and battered, torn and tattered, sweaty old royal blue Mets cap. And the day was pretty much a microcosm of the Met fan experience: good starting pitching, big day from David Wright, two run lead going into the ninth, majestic bullpen meltdown, enough of a rally in the bottom of the ninth to get your hopes up, but ultimately falling short. Designed to break your heart, indeed, pally. You know, it don't come easy.
A bittersweet goodbye to Shea. Consolation in the upcoming fourteen games over fourteen days and what should be a wild ride. Consolation in the last ever Mr. Met Dash at Shea, and my son's joy at running the bases. This time he was more determined than ever, and a laughing member of the field crew had to catch him after he crossed home plate because he was making a beeline for the home dugout. I lifted him up and he was panting like a racehorse. Consolation in my son seeing Mr. Met in the second inning, getting a pat on the head from the big fluffy hand. Consolation in seeing the home run apple twice, thanks to Mr. Wright.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Woman with mirror and lamp (2008), in progress (second state), oil on canvas, 40x50in.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
We visited my home town last March. Toledo, Ohio. It was a rainy week so one day my mother, my wife and I took my son to Soutwyck Mall, where a carousel still runs even though most of the stores have left. I was kind of intrigued by the dying mall, which reminded me of a Romero movie. It was the mall where we played video games and watched movies and drank Orange Juliuses when I was growing up. So it was strange to see the doors shuttered and locked, but all the fixtures still bright and clean, the place mostly used by senior citizens getting in their morning exercise on a rainy day by walking the halls in their running shoes and track outfits. I took some photographs, including the one upon which this picture is based, and I believe that sometime in the next year or so I'll do a series based on the images of this dying mall.
In general, I was kind of saddened to see how my home town had grown kind of shabby in the years since I left. Roads in bad shape, malls emptying while new ones are built even further and further away from the city's center. To say nothing of the downtown, which started its slide some thirty years ago (was very sad to see the science center in the old Portside mall had closed). The image above is from the center fountain area of the mall. Its wide, plush carpeted, green steps was a place to hang out with friends, but the giant flag was not there when I was growing up, so I take it to be a post-9/11 decoration. There were still a few shops there when we were there -- a tattoo parlor, a couple gender-specific Foot Lockers, a couple other athletic stores. Just a weird, eerie feeling.