Snow. I looked it up on Wikipedia. Eight different kinds of shapes; from 6-pointed dendrites to needles, rime, and sleet. Then there’s 27 types of on the ground snow including champagne powder, cornice, crud, firn and penitentes. After reading the definitions, the names make a little more sense, but some sound like the doings of a bored weather man.
I classify snow into four categories; 1 is rock a bye baby q-tip balls like the flakes inside snow globes at tourist shops. 2 is in your face shards of glass flakes that inspire daydreams of hijab. 3 is blinding snow that doesn’t fall. It swarms at crazy angles and closes airports. 4 is already fallen snow skipping across piles like sand grains, morphing into snow dunes. Rand McNally topography has nothing on nature, god, or whatever you want to call it.
Wikipedia calls this last one a ground blizzard. It’s happening right now in Montreal and all over the Northeast. It’s a vagabond sculpture face lifting with every gust and no human hand can claim responsibility. It’s on public display and never staying the same. Admission is free. I watch from behind the window in my under pants.
There’s perfection out there with drifts and dunes not yet touched by snow plows or foot tramples. There’s no kids building forts and bombarding each other or kids waving arms and making angels.
But everyone will soon be under its spell. Cars will skid and stall and get stuck in ditches. People will be late for work and school or not show up at all. Conversations will drift into the great ice storms of the 1990’s. Survival talk. All together talk. And the sun will eventually make soup out of it all. It’s the middle of March. This can’t go on forever.
But for now, a ground blizzard is happening. There’s momentum out there and I see demons or Damons as in Johnny Damon’s hopscotching from Kansas City to Oakland, Boston, New York, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, and in 2014, he’s still waiting for an invite to Spring Training, somewhere, anywhere, a new shape.
Damon didn’t play a single inning last year. No one was interested in his services. He offered to fill in for an injured Curtis Granderson, take a huge paycut and be released when Granderson returned, but the Yankees weren’t interested.
Damon is sitting on 2,769 hits. He’a career .284 hitter, .352 OB% and maybe the most friendly baseball dude in recent memory…him or Sean Casey. Of course winning does not depend on friendly clubhouse faces, character guys, chemistry, but fights and hatred also serve as great inspiration. It depends on the situation, circumstances, and what not.
We’re talking about a 25-man orchestra. It takes some serious vision and/or Russian roulette to know what will mesh and what won’t. More than anything else, it seems to be a crap shoot of good intentions that requires constant tinkering throughout the 162 game dance.
Damon has a Thailand mother and American father of Croation/Irish descent. They met while dad was stationed overseas and moved from Okinawa, Japan to West Germany to Orlando, Florida. They had no clue about his talent or potential. They were more concerned about Johnny’s fluency disorder.
“My thoughts just raced ahead of my tongue,” says Damon. “I’d sing songs as therapy, and I got better, but I just kept quiet most of the time.”
Fitting he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals at the lowest point in the franchise’s history. An ideal location to toil away in obscurity; in Kansas far from the coasts. Six solid years as a Royal and then traded to Oakland, apparently as a quick fix. He only played one season in an A’s uniform. Onto Boston goes the Johnny Damon tour. Welcome to the show.
Two home runs in that memorable game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, a World Series ring and then the unthinkable. He switched sides and signed with the Yankees, won another World Series too, said a few scandalous words against A-roids, made an apology and then drifted back into anonymous and friendly; Detroit, Tampa Bay, and Cleveland. He also played for Thailand in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
He’s still waiting by the bat phone; waiting to drift somewhere, anywhere to win a few more games, maybe a World Series, and a 3,000 hit peak.