Results tagged ‘ philosophy ’

A short story ode to Mickey Klutts.

“Baseball is a universe as large as life itself, and therefore all things in life, whether good or bad, whether tragic or comic, fall within its domain.” –Paul Auster

I am in the far-flung recesses of my mind, probably contemplating throw-away culture or how the scope of time is too vast for humans to comprehend when I stumble upon the fly strewn corpse of a baby raccoon. My eyes immediately shift too a rather large, honey sweet black woman in stained sweatpants; a mother, and she is giving her child a tongue lashing for being a malcontent. She has a beautiful smile and a confident demeanor, she transcended simple tackiness and wore it well.

“The world needs structure! Without structure there would be chaos!”

Why was this profound? Is baseball chaos, structure or both? I’ve heard arguments for both the former and latter but I can’t seem to argue the contrary– and how did this short walk turn into mental digressions and glorious abstractions? Do I need to see a pharmacologist to ease this mental psycho-babble?

I suddenly trip on the curb, my modus-operandi quickly shifting from faux-philosopher into incoherent boob. The mother chuckles.  “You need to look where you’re going kemo sabe, it’s not good to look like a klutz.” I appreciated her simple candor, and she had no idea how profoundly I connected with her simplistic berating of a young ankle-biter. I made sense of the fog for a moment–I was a “klutz.”

 

 

“Campy” Campaneris proves that so called reality isn’t always truth.

campy psychedelicWhen people try to figure out what to believe and explain why they do, they don’t spend much time thinking about the fundamental nature of truth, knowledge, or reality. As Shakespeare said, ‘there’s nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so’. Truth is difficult to define because as soon as you think you have it pinned down, some case or counterexample immediately shows deficiencies.

Bert “Campy” Campaneris is largely heralded in the baseball community for being the first player in modern baseball history to play all 9 positions in one game on September 8th, 1965. The feat was admired so much that comedian Will Ferrell even tried his own bombastic and barely funny version in Spring Training last year.

Now here’s where things get tricky: if Campaneris hadn’t “achieved” this feat the Athletics would have won the game that they eventually lost 5-4 in 13 innings. One run scored when Campy dropped a fly ball in right field, another scored when he pitched the 8th inning, and yet another scored when the smallish (5’10, 160) player was crashed into at the plate leading to another run and the D.L. for 5 days. If this accomplished anything in my mind it certainly wasn’t admiration from a baseball standpoint. It begs the questions: What is real? What is true? And is the reality of the world different from how we perceive and experience it in our minds?

Brian Kingman talks about life after death.

Brian Kingman Oakland Athletics

Brian Kingman, your author.

 I recently e-mailed ex-Athletics pitcher Brian Kingman– informing him that the first player on the 1981 team that he had played for had passed. Kelvin Moore, who had played parts of 3 seasons in the majors had died on November 9th, 2014 from cardiac arrest. He was 57. 

Brian, being insightful and clever as always sent me back this interesting e-mail that ponders life after death and the infinite intricacies that perhaps may await us.  I hope C.C.A. readers enjoy this special, one of a kind look into a former ballplayers deepest, most personal thoughts: 

I am so very sorry to hear about Kelvin.
He was a great teammate – easy-going nice guy and powerful hitter.
What do you think happens when you die? 
 
 
The short answer of course is that no one knows. For all we know dying might be an awesome experience. Unfortunately no one has managed to report back from the dead to let us know. It remains a mystery. In fact you could say our entire existence is full of uncertainty. Man still debates the origins of our beginnings, questions the meaning of life, and has no knowledge of what happens after death.
 
 The Souls Search For Salvation aka Coping Mechanism
 
The fact that life is full of mysteries and unexplainable events, such as death, has been a source of angst since the beginning of time. What is a coping mechanism? It is a term used by psychologists

kelvin

R.I.P. Mr. Moore

to describe an adaptation to environmental stress that is based on conscious or unconscious choice, and that enhances control over behavior or gives psychological comfort. It has also been used by 20 game losers to make themselves believe that other people actually understand how they lost 20 games (trying to remember this is a baseball blog!)

 
The emergence of religion (some might say the invention of religion) gave Man an explanation for suffering, evil and the unknown in the world. It also gave man the hope for life after death. The essence of all religions are basically the same: A life does not begin at birth or end at death. Some religions believe in a Heaven or Hell, while others believe in reincarnation. Religion grew to become a huge part of an individuals life from birth to death, and helped to diminish the despair of meaninglessness.
 
With the advent of science many religious beliefs became mythology, and belief in God, which was the basis for meaning and value went into decline  his led to Nietzche’s famous quote: “God is dead”.  Cause of death? Indifference caused by a cultural shift away from faith, and towards science and rationalism. Beginning around the time of the Renaissance there was a major change in Man’s psychological evolution. By losing religion, modern man lost his connection with the afterlife.
“Life has no meaning the moment you lose the illusion of being eternal.”
    ~Jean Paul Sartre
 
But is it an illusion?
 
 Those who have had a near death experience have reported various things from feelings of warmth, serenity and detachment from the body, to the presence of a light at the end of a tunnel. Sounds very similar to what a baby goes through at birth. It leaves the only home it has known, and travels through a narrow tunnel towards a light. Perhaps after all, death is just a part of the cycle of life. I find life more satisfying living with the belief that we are eternal beings. It is so much more satisfying than what Shakespeare described in the early 1600’s when
he wrote these famous lines for his play Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5):
 

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
 
 
Now that you have read the long answer, you learn it really is the same as the short answer. No one knows what happens when you die.
 
You have to die to find out!
 
Two buddies Bob and Earl were two of the biggest baseball fans in America. Their entire adult lives, Bob and Earl discussed baseball history in the winter, and they pored over every box score during the season.They went to 60 games a year. They even agreed that whoever died first would try to come back and tell the other if there was baseball in heaven.
 
One summer night, Bob passed away in his sleep after watching the Yankee victory earlier in the evening. He died happy. A few nights later, his buddy Earl awoke to the sound of Bob’s voice from beyond. “Bob is that you?” Earl asked. “Of course it me,” Bob replied.
“This is unbelievable!” Earl exclaimed. “So tell me, is there baseball in heaven?”
 
“Well I have some good news and some bad news for you. Which do you want to hear first?”  Earl excitedly replies, “Tell me the good news first.”
 
“Well, the good news is that yes there is baseball in heaven, Earl.”
 
“Oh, that is wonderful! So what could possibly be the bad news?”
 
“You’re pitching tomorrow night.”