Life is a series of choices that lead us to realizations that lead us to more choices. It is a maze that works back on itself again and again. Each new answer only leads to more questions. If someone does manage to solve the riddle of their life the since of accomplishment would be short and soon replaced with a feeling of dread that they have nothing left to live for. Last night was the first time in a long while that I missed a game on purpose. I wanted to see the movie Inception. I felt that this was a better use of my time than watching a baseball game. I have watched a baseball game and sometimes multiple baseball games every night since the season began. This is in a way a story about baseball and about me, and about my love for the sport and how it wraps around and weaves its way into every fiber of my life.
Seeing the movie Inception did not bring about my realization, not watching a baseball game did not bring it about, what brought it about is the feeling that my professional life is leading me nowhere. I need a way out. An escape if you will. Watching baseball can sometimes be enough, but I need more. I need to do something that I enjoy. I need to fill the other twenty-one hours of my day with things I enjoy least I become like a character in Office Space where every day is the worst day of my life.
One of the things I have learned is how to step back and objectively view a situation. Right now all I see is no real way out of my current professional situation. I have a skill set that works in an industry and it doesn’t carry over. My other skill, the one I went to college for is writing. I have a terrible problem with this however, because of who the people are that have told me I could write. Most of my professors in college agreed that I had a skill, but I didn’t believe them because I was convinced that I had deluded them all into liking me and it was this that blinded their judgment. My mother, wife, nephew, and best friend have all told me I have the ability to write. I however do not believe them for obvious reasons. Yet for some reason I continue to write.
I don’t know why I continue. I guess it is just my brain gets turning and the thoughts build upon themselves into more thoughts and then before I know it an idea has grown into a story or a vision begging to be expressed. Maybe if I did not express these thought they would consume my mind from the inside and I would be left in a heap of madness crying on the floor. My point is I enjoy writing. I have been told it is a skill of mine. It might just be my way out. However breaking into the writing industry is very difficult. So difficult in fact that it is a tightly guarded secret from those in the industry. The only advice that can be pried from them is that it takes hard work and years of rejection. I am not sure if this really constitutes as advice so much as it does determent. So, while I have on a couple occasions tried to break in my hard work has always been met with rejection and I don’t think the mortgage company wants to hear about the years it is going to take.
Now what this has to do with anything is that if writing is a skill then it needs a passion to temper. As I have discussed I feel that baseball is my passion, but I also feel that the Washington Nationals are not interesting enough on their own to constitute an entire book devoted to them. My inspiration for this book came from my wife. We were riding back from the gym last Friday night and as many of you might know Stephen Strasburg was on the mound. As you also might know women like to talk. My choice was clear. My wife was trying to talk to me about something, but I focused through her voice in order to hear the sweet melodies of Charlie and Dave calling the game. Of course this did not go over well when she asked me how I felt about something and did not get an answer only to discover I felt nothing about it because I had no idea what it was.
My wife of course had been putting up with this all season and had had enough. She lambasted me for daring to call my best friend instead of talking to her during the all-star game. I tried to explain to her that she just wouldn’t understand all the inside jokes and it just wouldn’t be the same. It really was more satisfying laughing at Kou with my best friend than it would have been explaining to my wife why Kou and Charlie Manual deserved our laughter and scorn. Make no mistake about it my wife enjoys baseball. She knows who almost all the players on the Nationals are and she understands who to cheer for and who we are happy if they get a hit, but would really rather see someone replace them. She is as confused as I am as to why Willie Harris is the first guy off the bench in almost every game. She likes and understand baseball, but she just doesn’t get the inside jokes.
This is the book. This is what it will be. It will be my journey as a baseball fan cheering for whatever type of team we have next year. It will be my story of how baseball interferes and becomes a part of my daily life. How the inside jokes of the Vidro (GIDP), WARG (Wins Above Ross Gload), WARW (Wins Above Randy Wolf), and mythical three run homer were born. It of course will have some details about baseball. It will include some thoughts on off-season moves and predictions on the standings. It will include my hopes, doubts, and frustrations that the Nationals give me. Mostly however it will be about the little things. All those things we deal with as baseball fans. How it is a part of our life and in the way of our life at the same time.
I will probably include an introduction that might even be this. Then I will have a chapter that I write after the end of the World Series, then a chapter after the Winter Meetings, and a chapter before Spring Training. Once Spring Training begins I will probably do a weekly assessment of how things are going in the Nats world and mine, and once the season begins it will be a bi-weekly thing. Non-Nationals items like baseball trips will be included as will any other interesting things that happen that are baseball related. This all might be an exercise in futility and this journal will be met with scorn and condemnation from whoever I send it to, but is a risk I am willing to take, and one that I hope can be made less of a risk with the help of this community. Next season, “The Life and Times of a Nationals Fan” (Working Title) begins.