A very long piece in Vanity Fair in which a writer, who comes right out and admits that he doesn’t care a lick for baseball, spends time in spring training trying to figure out if baseball will save America’s psyches from the economic doldrums or something. I found it frustrating for a hundred reasons, yet still somehow hard to tear away from for most of the piece, and then he winds up with this:
Some in the crowd run for shelter, but most don’t. There’s a guy standing next to me, dressed from head to toe in Yankees apparel, and although he’s getting soaked—he looks like a wet superhero—he doesn’t move. “What a fucking lousy day for a ballgame,” he says with a snarl, and then he takes a long swig from his beer. He stares out at the field, his eyes unblinking and an expression of fierce determination on his face.
Forget the underdog stories. This is baseball’s true recession metaphor, and it has nothing to do with the players. This guy standing in the rain—refusing to leave because he paid for a game and, goddammit, he’s gonna get his game—he represents the true American spirit.
I just can’t decide if it’s a good thing.
And then it dawned on me: sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, sometimes “Rosebud” is just a sled, and sometimes a ballgame is just a ballgame. Go looking to find greater meaning and most of the time you won’t.