Blue Skies

July 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

.

April 2002

.

Bottom of the third, the home team, our team, the Giants, down 4–1 to the Dodgers, for whom we all bear vestiges of symbolic hatred and dread. Our pitcher looked strong in the first; theirs threw hard yet wild, and a walk and wild pitch capped off by a single gave us the first run of the game. In the second they managed to put together a string of weak hits to tie the score, while we reached their pitcher with a screaming double and a fly ball caught against the fence, driving him back to wildness, another wild pitch and walk that put runners on the corners, the Dodgers only getting out of the inning unscathed with a sharply turned double play. But the top of the third, two outs and bases empty, brought a rent in the fabric of baseball, a run against the odds—a checked-swing dribbler that stayed fair down the line, followed by a bad hop on an infield hit and a bad call on a full count—leaving the bases loaded. Our pitcher, rattled, walked the next batter for one run, then gave up a frank line drive that put two more on the board.

So now we’re up to the plate, and what has to be resolved is whether we can strike their pitcher for serious runs then ours settle down and put the small chaos of the second behind him before the game is out of reach. And it’s early in the season, the first meeting between the two, both teams contenders last year, so what is established today may have consequences later as to who comes out on top.

And more, not just this game, but any game, what the game itself might represent, if baseball represents anything, what it means to the players, how it affects their lives on the field and off, where it leaves them later.

And not just them but those of us watching, how it affects us, what it might mean, this game, the next games, any game, the game itself, what it might establish for us here, now, elsewhere, later, what it says about skill and strength and determination and luck, about coming out on top or losing, about strikes and hits and errors and probabilities and long odds and sure things and misses and near misses and close calls and bad calls and bad breaks and bum deals and screaming blows, about how these might be managed or endured.

And still more, not just these but what lies behind and moves them, what that might mean for those of us who watch or play, if it means anything and anything lies behind them.

There is something about sitting in the stands at a baseball game by oneself, late afternoon on a Monday, that moves one to commentary.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Blue Skies / 5

July 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

.

Of course WCX went under. There was a period, winter into early spring 2000, when the forum had yet another surge and it seemed it could only keep growing and doing whatever it was doing forever. We trailed the Nasdaq curve by about a month: it peaked in March, we peaked in April, then began our rapid descent. We did have a brief flurry over the Florida recount that November. It was the kind of issue WCX loved, detailed, technical, yet ambiguous. Snow outlined the legal precedents and hashed the fine points of Constitutional law, while Towers debated the accuracy of the different polling machines and made fine distinctions between the types of chads, and Ducks excoriated the unctuous Baker. The Supreme Court gave the election to Bush; WCX declared Gore the winner, though didn’t have much to say about him or his party and lost interest in the election not long after the results were made official. After that the forum limped along for a few more months before I had to let it go.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Under the rainbow: capitalism/the subprime mortgage crash

May 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

One Sunday afternoon some years ago, run down with life, I fell asleep watching a football game, the game itself a low-scoring grind in which I had little interest. When I woke the game was over and I was looking instead at two gentleman, not tall at all, both gracious and reassuring, showing me their yacht and cars and palatial home, which dwarfed them, telling me how easily I, too, could have these things. They had to have been the Rice twins, John and Greg, and what I was watching was an infomercial hawking the Cash Flow Generator, a scheme to cash in on the housing boom, though specifics were never mentioned I suppose because that would have dispelled the magic. I was still groggy and in a mood, like all of us then, to be entranced. I thought I had awakened on the other side of the rainbow. I have a very modest income from teaching and live in a rental in Silicon Valley, one of the most expensive places in the country. Obviously I had done something wrong to be in such a position, but watching the twins I felt the problem wasn’t that I didn’t work hard enough or hadn’t made the right decisions in life, but that I was just being obtuse. There were real opportunities out there and all I had to do was make a simple call. For it was the time of our other national pastime, flipping houses, and seeing the twins was one more piece of evidence confirming my suspicion we weren’t in Kansas anymore.

A few years later, we were all looking at the other side of this curve:

The Dow Jones.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with crash at fictions.