This post has absolutely nothing to do with the Twins, so if the only reason you visit us is to read (and/or mock) our regular postings related to our views about the Twins, you have my permission to just hit the back-arrow and keep surfing. Frankly, I just don’t have much to write about the Twins right now that we (and probably 100 others) haven’t already written. Maybe Babs or KL will have something soon and we can get our Twins fix.
I read one of Joe Posnanski’s “curiously long posts” late last night and it really struck a chord with me… so much so that I didn’t sleep much at all (which shall be my built in excuse if this post becomes something I’ll be embarrassed about having written later).
The title of the post is “The Promise”… which is also the title of a Bruce Springsteen song that Posnanski weaves through the story he’s telling. I’ve never been a huge Springsteen fan (Bob Dylan was more to my tastes). I like some of his stuff ok. I have a ‘greatest hits’ CD of some sort laying around and a few songs on my IPod… somewhere. I think. I haven’t actually listened to my IPod in quite some time. It’s one of the original models and I guess I got tired of all the smirks from people with the newer models. Not tired enough of them to actually buy a new model, but tired enough that I quit carrying mine on trips. But I digress.
I almost just skipped past reading this Posnanski post because, frankly, I just couldn’t imagine why I’d be interested in reading a column about Springsteen written by a sports writer/blogger… even my favorite sports writer/blogger. And it was late. And I was tired. But then, it was Posnanski, so I read the column.
As always, I was glad I did (though perhaps I would have preferred reading it earlier so I didn’t lie awake thinking most of the night).
Posnanski’s “The Promise” post has nothing to do with sports, only a bit to do with Springsteen, a lot to do with life, and is exactly the sort of writing that has made him my favorite writer/blogger. The column is about a summer during his early college years when he was working in a yarn factory with his father, to make enough money to buy the old Pontiac that he and his dad drove to the factory every morning. I know that premise, by itself, is a bit yawn inducing. But like good writers do, he hooked me within the first two paragraphs.
I remember the first time I heard The Promise. It was about a decade ago. The song had been around for a long time before I first heard it — Bruce Springsteen would say it was the first song he wrote after Born To Run made him a rock and roll star in 1975. It figures that this was the first song. Born to Run, the whole album, was about longing, open highway, the amusement park rising bold and stark, the poets who write nothing at all, the ghosts in the eyes of all the boys Mary sent away. Born to Run is about that brilliant age when you know dreams don’t come true, but you still believe they might come true FOR YOU.
And The Promise is about the every day numbing of those dreams.
I admit that timing, as is often the case, may be playing a big part in why this particular column hit me so hard. I’ve been feeling my age lately… even older than usual. Even older than I really am. Maybe it’s been brought on by the funeral I attended for an elderly aunt last week. Maybe it was spending Saturday with my mother on her 83rd birthday. Maybe it’s the benefit “chili supper” I’m supposed to go to this week to help pay medical bills for a man I barely remember working with back in my burger-joint-managing, college drop-out era. Maybe it’s the nagging “WTF am I going to do if my company decides, after 33 years, they don’t need me any more?” question I’ve been wrestling with. Maybe it’s all of the above… or none of them.
I didn’t work in a factory at the age of 18. I worked construction. Ten hours a day, five days a week, and it ruined my baseball career. Well, that and the fact that I couldn’t run, hit or throw all that well to begin with, I suppose. But it wore me out to the point that, even with a bit of help from modern chemistry (if you know what I mean), I was bone tired before the first pitch of every game I played my senior season. I worked with men who did that work their whole adult lives, to make sure their families were provided for… not just to make money for a couple of months before heading off to college. I did the job just long enough to learn, as if I didn’t already know, that I didn’t want to do that kind of work for the rest of my life.
I honestly don’t remember what my dreams were back then. Those were the days of Watergate and Woodward & Bernstein. I had edited my HS newspaper and had been working part-time as a sportswriter and photographer for the local daily newspaper during my senior year of HS. I was going to be a journalism major at the University of Arkansas. So maybe my dream was to be the next great investigative reporter or sports writer. If so, obviously those dreams have been numbed away long ago.
Then again, perhaps contributing to this blog has allowed me to realize, in a small way, those dreams. In any event, I’ve enjoyed this opportunity during the past season and I want to thank CapitalBabs and KL for allowing me to share this outlet for whatever odd thoughts or opinions might cross my mind from time to time… as well as thank those who have stopped by to read those ramblings.
With that, I now return you to your regularly scheduled Twins chatter. So… What do you think Dan Uggla would look like in a Twins uniform and what could/should the Twins offer for the Marlins’ second baseman? [EDIT – Well thanks to the Braves, that has to be the quickest any question I’ve ever posed has become irrelevent!]