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Coming Home

It’s time I amended a May 17th posting and observation that I made below. After attending a Mets-Giants game in San Francisco earlier this season, I remarked “The Mets may not be favored to go all the way this year, but they’ve got a far better club than the Giants.” Less than two months later, the old adage “baseball is life” is holding up as well as ever. The Mets are three games under .500, the Giants ten over, and last week, much-maligned Giant starter Jonathan Sanchez threw a no-hitter. It was the first no-hitter for the franchise in thirty-three years, and Sanchez narrowly missed a perfect game by a single error at third base.

For those lacking a fundamental understanding of baseball, how all of this relates to life may still be unclear. To break it down: 1) You never know how it’s going to end up, so it’s best to keep your mouth shut until after the fact.  2) Even after the fact, it’s still best to keep your mouth shut.  3) If your focus in life, as in baseball, is on where things are going to “end up”, you’ll probably miss a few great games along the way. This last one is in reference to the fact that, at the halfway point, the Dodgers still maintain a seven game lead over the Giants despite San Francisco’s surprisingly solid performance thus far. If you’re a Giants fan and this small caveat prevents you from enjoying their first no-hitter in thirty-three years, you probably aren’t squeezing the most out of existence, either.

These brief observations only scratch the surface of the ways in which baseball resembles life. Jonathan Sanchez’ old man was in the park the other night to watch his son throw the no-hitter. He’d made the flight from Puerto Rico to San Francisco to support the kid, who’d recently been demoted to the minors. Sanchez is a pitcher with tremendous, but as yet unrealized potential. This was the only game the father had attended this season, and it took him about half a minute to get down to the field after the twenty-six year old got the final strikeout and sealed his place in history. There was joyous pandemonium all around, but you would have needed a jackhammer to separate the embrace between father and son. Jonathan Sanchez could very well go on to be a bust after this performance, but for anyone who’s ever played the game with an anxious father watching in the stands, this single moment was sublime. And nothing will ever change this, least of all the final standings in the National League West.

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