Monday, August 04, 2008
Here's the thing with the Manny trade. I know, in my heart of hearts, that it was the right move, maybe the ONLY possible move at this point. Manny had created an impossible situation for himself in Boston. Even if he goes on to hit .360/.430/.667 with the Dodgers, you can't really fault Theo for the move, because he wouldn't have done that in Boston with any kind of reliable consistency, not if he felt like he was being wronged by the tiny green gnomes that live under the Monster or whatever his latest gripe would have inevitably been. Declining to run out ground balls, fine, we were used to that and had accepted it as a part of the whole general Manny-package, but he was starting to get sulky AT THE PLATE, which is.... well, it's just deeply not OK.
And for once this wasn't just a bunch of fans getting all foamy about the mouthparts: Manny's own teammates were expressing concern to the FO that Manny could no longer be relied upon in games.
It may not be the absolute best move from a pure baseball standpoint. But it may have been the only move, and thus the right one.
That said, it still sucks rat testicles and Jason Bay, whatever other positives he may have, is not going to be nearly as fun as Manny to watch. He just won't be. It isn't possible. Manny was a crazy, surly, occasionally frustrating buffoon, but he was OUR crazy, surly, occasionally frustrating buffoon, dammit, and his antics WERE often entertaining, and what the hell is baseball anyways if it's not entertainment? You know, aside from a cold-blooded soul-sucking business and a religion/tribal-analogue for otherwise jaded and sarcastic New Englanders.
So, aside from the fact that I DID just talk about it, I don't really want to talk about it. Instead, I will talk about the one thing I can pretty much guarantee no other Red Sox blog in the world is talking about right now:
The Detroit Lions!
If you, like me, have been lucky enough to view FSN Detroit lately, you have probably noticed that the Lions have started running ads for the upcoming season. These ads feature their new tagline, slogan, whatever you want to call it. The first time I heard it, I literally burst out laughing. It is marvelous. It is splendiferous. It is (are you ready for this?):
DO YOU BELIEVE IN NOW?
That's the slogan. The ad consists of vague Lions footage, and a few players staring into the camera and saying, "DO YOU BELIEVE IN NOW?" At no point is there any mention of, say, scoring points, or anything obviously insane like that. The ad does not go on to say, "Do you believe that NOW is when we will win?" There is in fact no mention of victory at all, which is both refreshingly honest and keenly disturbing in an ad that's supposed to get fans fired up for the season.
After I got over my initial reaction (the aforementioned hysterical laughter), I had to stop and think. What could this slogan really mean? It is so very open, so strangely... philosophical.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN NOW?
I mean, let's break it down. NOW. What is 'now'? 'Now' is the time at present, the current moment. 'Now' is the bit of fourth dimension that the universe is experiencing right, well, NOW. It looks neither forwards nor backwards; it is neither future nor past. It is ever-changing, never static, impossible to capture and preserve. You think you know what 'now' is? In the time it took you to read that sentence, 'now' has changed a near-infinity of times. What you thought was 'now' has become 'then'.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN NOW?
What does it mean, to believe in 'now'? Do I believe that the universe exists such that the present moment is a Real Thing, not merely a figment of my imagination or some other sort of illusion? Hard to say. We as human beings are bounded by our senses and our brains; it may be argued that we cannot 'know' the world without them. This is an inherently solipsistic way to live. 'Now' seems real. It FEELS real. But is it? After all, it cannot be captured. Time marches on; it does not stop. Maybe at the event horizon of a black hole, where space and time warp in ways we cannot experience in our daily life, there is a sort of perpetual NOW. But can we ever know that for sure?
We feel like we are experiencing a series of 'now's. But is this real, or is it merely an artifact of the limits of our human sensory equipment and the scales which our brain is able to practically comprehend? We are incapable of perceiving infinitely small demarcations of time, but such micro-moments (quantum-moments?) may exist. If you view the fourth dimension as a linear progression (this, of course is debatable) and if you assume it is not at some level an indivisible particle, you may also assume that time can be broken down into ever smaller moments, seconds to microseconds to nanoseconds and so on down to parcels of time as-yet unnamed-- to parcels of time that the human mind simply cannot comprehend in any visceral, meaningful way.
What then? Can 'now' truly be said to exist when what we perceive as 'now' is only a very rough approximation of immediacy?
Or do we ignore this? Do we say, no, 'now' is what we believe it to be, therefore it exists? Do we say that because 'now' is a human concept, it necessarily MUST exist, because if we have invented the concept-- if the concept cannot exist in a pure state-- then it must exist as defined?
DO YOU BELIEVE IN NOW?
I don't know. I don't know if I believe in 'now'. To say yes is to fall into the darkly existential well of human solipsism. To say no is to question our very perception of time. Why do the Lions demand these things of me? Why?! It is a cruel organization that so torments its fans.
What does my belief (or lack of belief) in 'now' have to do with the Detroit Lions? I am not sure. I believe that the team will exist and that a number of large men wearing Honolulu blue and silver (and sometimes, sadly, black) will appear on various football fields at various pre-determined times, where they will (badly) attempt to play the game of football as defined by the National Football League. This is a belief based on habit (all these things have happened many times in the past) and probability (it is more likely that these things will happen than it is that a previously undetected meteor will obliterate Ford Field and negate the season).
But my belief in the existence of the upcoming Lions season is not tied to my belief in the 'now'. And it is CERTAINLY not at all tied to my belief that the team will in any appreciable way do well.
THAT is something I do not believe in.
I look forward to the Lions raising more questions of this sort all season long. If they can provide exercise for my brain, maybe it will in some small way make up for the execrable things they are preparing to do on the field.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN NOW??!
Labels: baseball, football, Lions, Manny Ramirez, Red Sox, trade