“Baseball is a harbor, a seclusion from failure that really matters, a playful utopia in which virtuosity can be savored to the third decimal place of a batting average.” ~Mark Kramer
Last night I went to see the home opener of the Norfolk Tides as has been my tradition since 2004. It was a beautiful night for a ball game and my friend Dennis was gracious to invite me to sit with him in his season ticket section. It was a nice night and good company with a fellow veteran. There is camaraderie among veterans and others who have served in harm’s way, a camaraderie that recognizes reality in a way that most of the rest of society does not. I think that it a testament to the different worlds that the military and those that serve with us in harm’s way and the rest of society live in.
There is something about the ball park that does me good and helps bring a certain peace to my soul. It has been this way more than ever since I returned from Iraq. While I can relax wonderfully with a ball game on television or radio there is nothing like being less than 50 feet from the playing field and taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the ballpark. I know others that find the same peace in this setting a sense of safety and normalcy that we don’t find many other places.
The ball park is still one of the few places that I don’t find crowds of people intimidating or that send me into a state of hyper-vigilance, that is reserved for malls, Wal-Mart and other big retail venues as well as big churches. I guess that is part of what makes going to the ball park so refreshing, I feel safe there. But like all things ball games must end and we have to re-enter the “real” world.
But venturing back to the real world today I caught some news on the radio as I switched between ESPN regular news outlets while driving back to North Carolina.
First up was the news of Rick Santorum, the un-Mormon Anti-Mitt from the Republican Presidential primary campaign. His campaign had struggled during the past few weeks following his Southern sweep. At the beginning of the primary season he was probably considered the most likely to be one of the first out. But his worked hard and was tenacious taking the fight to Romney. Had other conservatives like Newt Gingrich left the race Santorum might have won more primaries and really made Romney’s life a living hell. However Santorum did not have the campaign organization or financial wherewithal to withstand Romney’s negative campaign ad carpet bombing blitz. He also probably lost some support by getting too deep into the contraception debate and away from the compelling blue collar story of his family. I found it interesting that he did not utter Romney’s name during his speech and wonder what this says about the depth of support that his more Evangelical Christian Social Conservative supporters will give Romney in the fall. My guess is that they are not thrilled with Romney and will likely do little or nothing to help him so Santorum or another like him can take the nomination in 2016 and not have to face an incumbent President.
Then there was Ozzie Guillen being suspended for his really stupid comment that “he loved Fidel Castro.” Not a good thing when you are the Manager of the Miami Marlins and call Little Havana your home. It was as stupid as if you were the non-Jewish manager of a major Soccer team in Tel Aviv Israel and said the you just loved Hitler. Not smart. Now Ozzie who is known for his colorful off the cuff comments is having to try to make right with a Cuban community which is central to the life of South Florida many of whom are a generation or less removed from Castro’s persecution of political or other opponents. I know a lot of Cubans who have fled or been driven out of their homeland. I have been to the Northeast Gate at Guantanamo Bay which is kind of like the old Berlin Wall. Now I like Ozzie and I think that he had the self awareness to realize that he screwed up royally and that his contrition is probably genuine. That being said he is going to have some rough times in Miami and in the end he better turn out a winner and find a way to become linked to an anti-Castro plot while he is doing so.
Finally the lawyers that were representing, advising or just helping George Zimmerman the man who killed a teenager named Trayvon Martin a month and a half ago quit. They held a nationally televised news conference to say that they have lost contact with Zimmerman, alluded that Zimmerman is no longer in Florida and that Zimmerman had done a number of things including talking to the Special Prosecutor office and Fox News host Sean Hannity about the case without counsel. This brought them to drop him as a client. Meanwhile the Special Prosecutor announced that she is going make a statement with more information regarding the case within the next 72 hours. My guess is that this will not be good news for Zimmerman. The only thing I can say about this is that Zimmerman must be stupid to disregard to counsel of his legal advisors. Who knows, maybe Zimmerman is on his way to Cuba?
Anyway, tonight is baseball on the MLB Channel and on my laptop with Molly my faithful dog at my side here at the Island Hermitage.