Some things from the baseball world and also the world world from this weekend
A Good Thing – Nick Castellanos went 5-6 against the Cubs yesterday with two homers and the game-winning base hit in the 10th. He now leads the league in hits, home run hits, and total bases. He’s doing exactly what the Reds hired him to do: bang. He has taken only five walks so far this season, which generally runs counter my aesthetic inclinations. But if a fella ain’t gonna walk, he better well bang. And Nick is bangin’ like a toddler on a frying pan.
Another Cool Thing – Jesse Winker still holds the league lead in batting average despite missing some time of late. He and Castellanos are as jam a 1-2 in the batting order as your gonna find in baseball right now.
The world is a dark, dark place and I wanna personally thank the two of them for doing their part to make it less so.
A Thing I Feel Like I Can Only Talk About In Hushed Tones – What is happening out in Los Angeles? Have any of you noticed what Mike Trout is doing? Remember how everyone was all “oh hey this guy is the greatest ever and oh my god its so amazing to watch him?” Well, now he’s done and gotten better. He gets on base better than half the time. His OPS is 1.290.
And then there is Shohei Ohtani, who is carrying an impressive 3.29 ERA to pair with a .917 OPS. This is all incredible, but in a kinda scary way like how it makes me ask fundamental questions about what it means to be human and what it means when we are no longer the dominant species in our ecosystem.
The Angels are a .500 team.
A Sucks Thing – Tyler Mahle got knocked around a good bit yesterday afternoon, which is obviously what happens when I get all big in my britches about how I think he’s gonna be the staff ace any day now. Will Leitch thinks he is the Reds’ MVP so far, and I think we all could have a good conversation about that. The Reds certainly aren’t short of candidates for that auspicious christening, which isn’t so much a sucks thing as it is a fucks thing.
A Devastatingly Sad and Incomprehensibly Awful Thing – Most experts have concluded that the US likely will not reach herd immunity against COVID-19 and we will be dealing with it for a very, very long time. At the rate vaccinations are tailing off, it is looking less and less likely that we will ever reach the point where 85% of the population is protected either by vaccine or antibodies.
The scale of this tragedy is difficult for us to comprehend in real time. Humanity has struggled for millennia to try to provide enough good food, clean water, and warm, dry shelter for everyone. And by the sheer strength of our collective will and determination, we hit that mark a while back, actually.
I think the biggest and most fundamental problem our society is facing right now is that we generally believe that we are still in the scarcity phase of our civilization’s history. We’ve all had to work for our daily bread and we know hardly anyone who doesn’t, so it’s difficult to envision a reality that is remarkable different. But the truth is that every single day there is plenty of food to go around and enough empty houses to keep everyone safe and warm, and yet these basic societal problems still exist. It ain’t a philosophical problem anymore. It’s a simple logistics problem.
And this herd immunity mess is yet another manifestation of this phenomenon. We all gotta work so hard just to get ours that we don’t have the energy to worry about anybody else at the end of the day. So we ask ourselves, “am I gonna be okay?” and that’s really all the farther we get. It’s easier to tell ourselves we are not our brothers’ keepers because to be honest the alternative is so stressful and daunting and harrowing. I know there is enough to go around, and I can clearly see there is enough to go around, but the folks that got ain’t sharing.
I don’t know how you get people to stop acting so gross and selfish. Get vaccinated because it will save people’s lives. It isn’t very likely that said life will be your own, and if that makes a difference to you then I hope somebody breaks your nose.