I’ve been nauseatingly ambivalent about this pro-rated baseball season during these nauseating times. This pandemic has been difficult for everybody in unique and intimate ways that are immediately and painfully relatable. Me, I’ve been barfing a lot.
Setting aside the imposing pillar of bleak denialism that will come to symbolize this event (I want to bookmark this so that 50 years from now when some future history undergrad is scraping the flaking bottom of the thesis topic barrel and they come up with “the 2020 baseball season was like the musicians on the Titanic playing as the ship went down, only like if they were kinda being forced to play” that they will be better able to accurately cite their sources in whatever is the convention of their time) it has still been difficult for me to get into the baseball as zestfully as I might.
On account of it being away for so long, I was near delirium with baseball deficiency withdrawals (what do you call the condition that results from baseball deficiency? Like vitamin C deficiency is scurvy, and there’s rickets and beriberi and so on so what’s baseball deficiency? I’d call it something like turnids or flavorine or crickets or the glurts) so that first taste of it hit me like a well-executed joke about serious health conditions that affect millions every year due exclusively to indifference. And now with all the teams on janked schedules because so many of their players have contracted a virus that can cause serious health problems and has killed 160,000 Americans in seven months or so and because of the Reds playing some spectacular but frustrating baseball, the ambivalence I’m experiencing is indeed quite nauseating.
But I’m starting to see tangible results of what the Dick Williams front office has been up to the last number of years and it might be helping to settle my belly. I’m allowing myself to enjoy the prospect of the Reds playing postseason baseball this year and being pretty well set up to be prospectively competitive therein. I’m allowing myself to see one glimmer of honest-to-god hope when I look ahead to the rest of this nauseating pukepale of a year we’ve gotten ourselves into.
And the Reds’ roster really does look like they could be particularly persistent on this path to the World Series in this the year of perpetual prostrate porcelain parentheticals. While they are a few games under .500 through the first third of the schedule (which was supposed to be kind of the easy part but anyway), they still look to be better than what the record shows.
The rotation looks to be among the best in baseball, I swear. Show me a team with three better front starters right now than the Knights of Stone Peasant Castle.
Get it? It took me a while to get that one so I’d appreciate it if you took your time with it.
The lineup is jammed with more studs than my pathetic attempt in ninth grade to get in with the goth skater crowd. Castellanos looks like an MVP so far and Jesse Winker is hitting better than I had dare dream (I think one of my favorite baseball feelings is watching a kid get drafted and following him through his minor-league years and always seeing that potential and now he is showing the planet the full extent of his fantastic baseball talents and dang he also seems like a really good dude and anyway that’s some really good vibes). Votto is no longer the anchor of the lineup but he no longer has to be. Nick Senzel looks to be really coming into his own. It’s really fun.
I mean, yes, of course, we all have seen the same bullpen as you so you aren’t saying anything interesting when you point out that I’m ignoring a disaster perfectly capable of steering this team into the toilet. But fuck your bad vibes, bro. This is fun when nothing else is.