The Great American Past Tense

Baseball is a strange game. You can’t tear your eyes from the screen. You can’t get your head out of the internet. Derek Maine explores where the mind wanders while the game unfolds.

End of the seventh inning, Friday April 10th, 2015. Red Sox versus the Yankees in the Bronx. Alexi Ogando has ended the inning and the Red Sox are up one run, 3-2.

Ogando has what looks to be scarring on his face. His Wikipedia page has an entire section on the human trafficking ring he was involved in around 2005. The link that supports this section is broken. This story indicates that Ogando and fellow pitching prospect Omar Beltre were coming back into the country after “their admitted involvement in a visa fraud scandal.” I checked in on his buddy, Beltre, who is a retired free agent pitcher which seems both entirely accurate, sad, and a little impossible.

I am a retired freelance writer.

Anyway, Beltre pitched in two games in 2010 for the Texas Rangers, starting both of them. On June 30th, he pitched 4 innings in a game ultimately won against the Angels. 3 runs, 5 hits, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts. Six or seven days later, depending on how many days are in June, he pitched his second and final game, this time going three innings and giving up 4 runs. He threw 157 pitches in the major leagues and was involved in a human trafficking ring.

Top of the 8th, two outs, nobody on. Xander Bogaerts pops out an offering from Dellin Betances. Don Orsillo describes Betances’s ERA last year as “nifty,” which is a word of unknown origin from the mid 19th century:

Use Over Time For: Nifty

Brett Gardner, an annoying baseball player, bunts perfectly to make it one on, one out, bottom of the eighth, still 3-2 Sox. At the moment Gardner bunted, the following tweets came from fans in the stadium:

Did John Sterling really lose everything in a fire over the winter? 

Yes, he did. No one died and he was “in a nice hotel,” and the “Yankees [sent] me lots of things.” He did not elaborate on what things a baseball team sent him. He did lose the tapes to his two favorite movies [This is not a joke, I am reading an article and telling you what the article says, paraphrasing, I think.] Farewell My Lovely starring Robert Mitchum and “Danny Kaye classic The Court Jester.” Farewell My Lovely was the second adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s novel and there is a comma between Farewell and My.

It is not a bad movie, but not a lamentable loss.

I’ve told you this before but one time I told my wife I was going to the gym and I sat in my car in the parking lot of a K&W cafeteria, smoking cigarettes, eating Pecan Pie, and reading Farewell, My Lovely.

In Sandy Leon’s debut with the Red Sox behind the plate, he throws out the inescapable Gardner at second and this inning is no longer this inning. Earlier, Wade Miley, in his Red Sox debut, picked off a Yankee at first base. “Is Leon simply a lesser offensive version of Christian Vasquez,” I heard someone say slash made up as a framing device and I thought that I wouldn’t mind being described as a lesser offensive version of College of Charleston’s Brett Gardner, who strikes me as offensive.

It is the top of the 12th inning and there are two outs. Chase Headley, Edward José Mujica; these things happen.

Pause. Beautiful American Privilege everything instant, whenever, whatever. I pause the baseball game. When I wake up in the morning, my son will want to know who won. We’ll find out together, kid.

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