Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"Meaningless Meaningful Affiliations (And Their Overarching Reverberations")

This one’s trivial.

But also serious.

Which is good.  People interested in a “quick bite” of a blog post will be reliably satisfied.  On the other side, people craving “red meat” – to strain a gustatorial metaphor – will be amply rewarded.

Or you can “Mix and Match.” 

FRIEND OF THE “TRIVIAL”:  “I wouldn’t kill me to read something weightier once in a while.”

SERIOUS-MINDED INDIVIDUAL:  “People have told me I should try to lighten up.”

Ipso facto – something for everyone.  In either direction.  “One-stop Shopping” – here I am.

I hate to break in, but we have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Sorry.  I thought I might need some extraneous filler to fatten things up.

“Extraneous filler you will delete later when you discover you don’t need it?”

Probably not.  I hate to waste writing.

“And we hate to waste time.”

Too late.

“Ya got me again.”

“Bloated Beginnings” – the “Specialty of the House.”

Okay.  Without further irritating ado...

Baseball is incomparable at marketing its “Annual Milestones”:  “Spring Training.”  The “All-Star Break.”  The “Trading Deadline.”  (After which, casting serious doubt on the word “deadline”, you can continue to do trading.) 

And, of course, there’s the World Series, baseball’s “Crowning Achievement”, which, ironically, is marketed less skillfully than their “manufactured” occasions – played too late – baseball in November is like an overstaying house guest:  “Are you still here?”  Plus, the prevailing regulations embarrass the pitchers in the American League, making them bat, often in crucial situations when they have not batted the entire season or, professionally, ever, their last significant at-bat being their father (or possibly mother) throwing to them underhand in the back yard.  Now they’re batting with everything on the line.  Heck!  You may as well send me up there.

Anyway… his blood pressure receding to his version of normal…

One of the lesser milestones keeping the game newsworthy during the “Off Season”, are the often pivotal “Winter Meetings”, where baseball’s General Managers gather together, hammering out deals that can prove crucial to their teams’ imminent success.  (Not that imminent.  They do not actually start playing for another four months.  But when they do, “Winter Meeting” negotiations can be recognized “Game Changers.”  Of course, some General Managers say, “The best deals are often the ones you don’t make.”  But they are invariably the General Managers who didn’t make any.)  

Okay, so, one deal recently transacted at the “Winter Meetings” was the Chicago White Sox trading their premier pitcher Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for four coveted minor league prospects, the deal indicating the Red Sox’ eagerness to win now, the White Sox patiently strategizing for the future.

Getting finally to the point…

Chris Sale is a left-handed pitcher.  The Red Sox, after trading for him, now have a surfeit of left-handed pitchers on their roster, making one of the current Red Sox lefties vulnerable to a trade.  A prominent name mentioned in that potential trade is Red Sox left-hander…

Drew Pomeranz.

And there you have it. 

I got a jolt of electricity just typing the guy’s name.  It is literally shocking.

Drew Pomerantz?  Nope, that would be unbearably heart-swelling. 

Drew Pomeranz.

Close enough.  And probably all I can handle.

A Major League ballplayer has my surname – to the ear, if not entirely to the eye.  I hear it, and it’s like they’re mentioning me.  Or at least an intimate family member.  Who could probably get us free tickets.  But it’s not about that.  Really.

The name alone – with no additional information – and I am an immediate Drew Pomeranz enthusiast.

Suddenly, I am living and dying with the fate of the in-no-way-related Drew Pomeranz.   The man was born in Collierville, Tennessee.  To my knowledge, no Pomerantz ever visited Tennessee.  Unless they were driving from Toronto to Florida and they got lost.  His Dad played professional football.  That is definitely not us.

Our lack of familial affiliation, however, makes no difference whatsoever.  I hear the television baseball pundits proclaim,

“Drew Pomeranz is a very good pitcher.”

and as Chief Dan George said in Little Big Man,

“My heart soars like an eagle.”

Or was it a hawk?  I know some bird made his heart soar.  As the mention of Drew Pomeranz makes mine.

I looked up his statistics.  It’s true. 

Drew Pomeranz can really pitch.

How indescribably awesome is that!

Wherever they trade him, I will be eagerly listening for his name.  Maybe the Dodgers will get him.  Wouldn’t those be the happiest of happy days, I must say. 

I can just hear the resonating Stadium Announcer:

“Now pitching for the Dodgers… Drew Pomeranz.”


Meaningless affiliations.

And still you identify.

Overarching Reverberation:

Imagine the intensity of the reaction iI feel a bonding connection with someone simply because of the similarity of our names.  How much stronger would that bond be if we were actually connected?

It’s a powerful thing, an identification.

Even a fake one feels big.


Unknown said...

Good timing Earl, ESPN has some breaking news on their site regarding Drew Pomerantz just being traded........to the Orange Sox.

JED said...

Things are getting more interesting for Mr Pomeranz (the pitcher without the 't'). The Red Sox just traded away right-handed pitcher Clay Buchholz giving them even more unbalance in the right-handed vs left-handed pitcher list. The Sox had great hopes for Drew Pomeranz last year but he seemed to have a hard time adjusting to Boston and the American League. So, he may be leaving but I hope he stays - just for the thought of Earl Pomerantz (the writer with the 't') becoming a closet Red Sox fan.