Jesse Jarnow

all your baseball are belong to us (nlds, no. 3)

Watching the Mets celebrate after their three-game sweep of the Dodgers on Saturday night, I again had the thought that I probably wouldn’t enjoy actually hanging out with any of them at a bar. They’re jocks after all, probably the same breed that did their best to make my life miserable in high school. What could we possibly have to talk about? But I still like them. It makes me happy to see Jose Reyes in the dugout, smiling and bobbing his head around. All of my assumptions about Reyes, though, come from trying to read into his minute variations on a very strict set of behaviors as a fielder, batter, and runner. Everything I think is probably grossly inaccurate, but that’s kind of the fun of it.

In watching baseball, I pay attention to people that I often cannot relate to in any way: physically, emotionally, financially, culturally. That’s kind of weird to me, I think. In theory, what we have in common is an interest in the sport, but I’m not sure how far that would go conversationally. Seeing the Taiwanese starter Hong-Chih Kuo — only one big league victory to his record — pitch against the Mets in game two, the dudes calling the game mentioned that if Kuo doesn’t succeed in the majors, he’ll be sent back to Taiwan, where he’ll be forced to enlist in the army. Clearly, baseball means something entirely different to Kuo than it does to me. In that sense, it’s a pretty abstract tongue, and one impossible to literally verbalize. It is irreducible, the language itself. It is spoken elegantly this time of year.

1 Comment

  1. ericalynn says: - reply

    wonderfully put.
    just watched the mets win. (on tv. you were probably at shea. I’m somewhat jealous.)
    I am just so happy to see them playing in October once again…