On a day like today, baseball seems so trivial.
As I write this, tragedy is unfolding just an hour and a half from the doorstep of Tropicana field, as the world attempts to come to grips with the worst mass shooting in our country's history and the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.
As I moped around the house today, CNN on in the background as the details from the situation worsened and worsened, I'd be lying if I said I was not dreading having to sit down to write this recap. Who will read it anyway? Who watched? Tropicana Field had its worst Sunday attendance since a random Sunday in 2005 today, and who can blame them?
Via a combination of the Copa America Centenario tournament and work meetings, I spent five of last week's seven days in Orlando. I enjoyed a few beverages, not at the Pulse, but at several fine establishments along Orange Street just last week. My shock is nearly palpable today as I scroll through my Facebook timeline and see that people I know, and people they know, took their final breath last night on that very street. Life cruelly ripped from them by a vicious monster far before their time.
But then I think again about baseball. And I wonder if the triviality of it is what makes it so wonderful. We're all battling. We're all struggling to fight off a demon or two. Work sucks sometimes, relationships aren't easy, and the rent is still due next month. No one seems super jazzed about their party's Presidential candidate, there are seemingly no answers for the ongoing issues in the Middle East (that may or may not have arrived on our doorstep this morning), and there are actual massacres happening fifty five minutes from my home. Massacres.
But there's baseball. There's still baseball. There's still nine innings a day that we can distract ourselves from all of that by watching grown men play a child's game.
We can still watch Matt Moore really command his bendy stuff to pitch a gem, and team up with his bullpen to throw a two-hit shutout. We can still watch Chris Archer jubilantly dump a cooler of cold water or Gatorade on a teammate's head during the post-game interview. We can still watch our home town team, our Central Florida team, dismantle an excellent pitcher like Dallas Keuchel by scoring five runs over nine innings without a single home run.
We still have that. And sometimes, like today, we need it more than most. Maybe what makes baseball so great is that, in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't matter. Not a bit. But we can follow it like it does. We can pretend. We can live or die by the box score, and agonize over the standings every day, because it is, in fact, not life or death. It is anything but.
And on a day like today, we need something that isn't life or death. Because so much is.