An old lady hands out Pentecostal Christ Pamphlets beside the subway escalator. She’s there every night looking like an owl or gate-keeper, pretending to be some sort of spiritual border guard. She never stands on the side where passengers descend.
She’s bundled up in a babushka to keep the Arctic draft from attacking her exposed flesh or maybe it adds to the holy shtick. I don’t have the heart or guts to turn her down. I take a pamphlet and smile.
I lean beside a payphone and mentally erase the words God, sin, and heaven to make the reading a little more digestible. It could be worse. She could have handed me a Jeep Cherokee pamphlet. I’d be left thinking about Cherokee once being a Native American tribe. I read on.
The gist is we’ve apparently fallen short of some great ideal.I can see big letters getting closer and already know what’s coming-ETERNAL LIFE CAN BE YOURS. This is where I turn the volume up on my MP3 player and head outside to face the cold. I make sure the old lady isn’t looking and place the holy pamphlet in a bus cabin. Maybe the homeless can start a fire with it later that night.
I look into storefront windows and see 10 varieties of chewing gum, a rack of hair gels, and who knows how many kinds of bread. Everyone has a god damn solution to sell. The babushka lady just adds to the slutty kaleidoscope crusade.
I’m convinced there’s a solution for everyone, but not for a baseball team. No science, religion or billion dollar payroll guarantees anything. The Oakland A’s and their innovative player analysis didn’t win a World Series. Josh Hamilton and the Texas Rangers drank Mountain Dew, prayed to Jesus and lost back to back World Series. The California Angels bought the same Hamilton and Albert Pujols and finished six games under .500.
This gives me hope for the Milwaukee Brewers who have done next to nothing this winter other than trade baseball’s most underrated lead off hitter the last two seasons in Norichika Aoki for an unproven LOOGY named Wil Smith.
But I’m being too harsh. The Brewers also signed perennial bust Zach Duke- to a minor league contract and this past week, nearly stole the spotlight from the Tanaka sweepstakes by signing two more players to minor league contracts. Their platoon potential will no doubt drown the boos for Braun into laughter.
Player one is the all time leader in single season strikeouts, but unfortunately he’s not a pitcher. He’s a third baseman and if all goes well, he will win the Brewer’s vacant first baseman job. Mark Reynolds broke historical ground as an Arizona Diamondback in 2011, striking out 223 times in 578 at bats. He also hit 44 home runs. He’s now a Brewer, assuming he makes the team out of spring training.
Player two is former Brewer Lyle Overbay. The Brewers were so relieved to let him go when Prince Fielder arrived in 2006 that they’re bringing him back to recapture his doubles glory. Overbay hit 87 doubles over 2 full seasons with the Brew Crew and for his career has a respectable .348 OB%.
The Brewers are young. The average age is 26.8. They weren’t interested in throwing first base prospect Hunter Morris to the wolves. Overbay is 36; Reynolds 30. They could potentially hit 25 homeruns and drive in 80-90- runs combined.
They could, but it hardly matters if they do or don’t. The Brewers don’t need excuses. They draft from the same pool of amateur players as any other team and they control those players just like any other team for six years. That’s a good chunk of time to rock the boat and be competitive. Make a few trades, sign some under the radar FA’s and things can happen.
There is no temptation to spend 190 million dollars because the funds simply don’t exist. I love walking into the salvation army and walking out with a coffee table sized Expos book for 75 cents, filled with colored photos of all Expo players; large and small.
The Brewers traded Aoki and moved Braun to right field to make room for Khris Davis who quickly become legend last season after hitting 11 home runs in 136 at bats. He’s a Brewer for five more years and that has fans drooling and dreaming before alien markets snatch him up.
Spring training begins in 24 days and unless the sun suddenly rises in the west, it will be followed by 8 months of baseball. The Brewers play 162 games like all other teams and that’s close enough to ETERNAL LIFE for me.