Like Barry Bonds, Baseball Widow hasn't retired; she's just not playing.
Enjoy the archives. . .

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Friday postings? Well, that's not so much a rule as it is a guideline. . .

First item of business: Caught part of the Braves/Orioles game last night. Didn't see much, but I did manage an eyeful of Javy's triple. Let's pause for a moment of silent reflection. . .

Speaking of games that the Braves lost:
Baseball Widow has discovered that one of her students was present at Randy Johnson's perfect game against Atlanta. I haven't asked him if he's ever heard of the Baseball Widow.

Next up:
Baseball Widow has managed to land the fortunate job of reading the Sherlock Holmes adventures--all 56 short stories and 4 novels. They were my favorites in junior high, and now I get to re-read them, being paid for every second of it. That, my friends, is what Baseball Widow calls a dream job.

As many of you may know, Sherlock Holmes was an immensely popular character. When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle "killed" Holmes in a story, the public's outcry was such that Doyle resurrected Holmes. Even today, fans pilgrimage to 221-B Baker Street in London, the address at which the fictional character resided. Others are so intent upon translating the adventures into reality that they actively debate the resolution of continuity errors throughout the canon. At some point, Sherlock Holmes leapt from the pages of his books and planted himself firmly in realm of the ideal and absolute. Quite simply, it doesn't matter that Sherlock Holmes never actually existed; if you'll pardon some confusing logic, he exists now because he has to exist. It doesn't matter that he never said "Elementary, my dear Watson." He's said it now because it's been attributed to him.

Like literature, baseball is full of enduring characters--characters with traits that exist in legend if not in fact. To return to last week's reflections, Barry Bonds the man may or may not be a jerk to the press, but the historical "facts" demand that Barry Bonds the baseball player assume that role. Ty Cobb may have been a racist without comparison, or he may have been a commonplace product of his time. Ty Cobb the man isn't Ty Cobb the baseball player, though, and neither of them is the fictionalized Ty Cobb we've seen in screen depictions. In Baseball Widow's personal history, she's come to the realization that the stats don't support her rabid assertion that Marvin Freeman was the worst relief pitcher in Braves history. But it makes the memories of those games more interesting to continue the belief ungrounded in reality.

So, here's to the mind's eye, which sure can paint a messed-up picture.

And, finally, a lingering piece of business:
Baseball Widow has spent the last several months processing her reaction to being a female baseball blogger. She mentioned before that she would like to speak on the "feminist" angle, but she's just had a hard time coming to grips with her own opinion. On one hand, Baseball Widow likes to think that she's read because she writes well. On another, she knows that much of the initial attention her blog received was because of her gender and her unique hook.

Well, forget all that for the moment, and tell me what you think about this: At each home game, the Tennessee Smokies give away a prize to the "Female Fan of the Game". What's the prize? A shopping trip, of course. Baseball Widow thinks she's offended, but she's not sure why. She's been chewing on it for a couple of months now and still can't identify a solid line of reasoning. Baseball Widow isn't even sure if it's the title or the prize that riles her up most. (Of course, it's also a possibility that she's just upset that she's never won.) Anyway, let me know if you've got any ideas.

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