Let It Slide … Safe At Home

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Let It Slide ... Safe At Home

In lieu of throw­ing any more fuel onto the fine fab­u­lous furry freak­out fire that is social media today )DACA! WALL! TRUMP! SCHUMER! PELOSI! ANTIDIS­ES­TAB­LISH­MEN­TAR­I­AN­ISM! Okay, I might have thrown that last one in there) let’s talk sports in a way even the asport­ing, this being to ath­letic com­pe­ti­tion what apo­lit­i­cal is for those not giv­ing a hoot about gov­ern­ment machi­na­tions, can appre­ci­ate. Or at least tolerate.

Yes­ter­day, the Oak­land Ath­let­ics, bet­ter known as the Oak­land A’s, announced the selec­tion of a pre­ferred loca­tion for their much-​needed new ball­park. If all goes accord­ing to plan, con­struc­tion will begin in 2021 with occu­pancy in 2023. This might seem like an inor­di­nately lengthy times­pan, but given the need to buy and clear the prop­erty, deal with the NIM­BYs liv­ing nearby plus the nin­nys in local gov­ern­ment — par­don the redun­dancy — plus all the usual Cal­i­for­nia ridicu­lous­ness, it’s a decent plan.

The A’s have for years done every­thing wrong while try­ing to get a new ball­park: beg­ging for gov­ern­ment fund­ing, look­ing to move else­where in the San Fran­cisco Bay Area, and cry­ing poor with own­er­ship that had more money than Bill Gates’ piggy bank. Recently, changes have been made, with a new point man Dave Kaval put in charge. And oh, what a dif­fer­ence a Dave makes: major com­mu­nity out­reach, major dress­ing up the per­ilously close to crum­bling Oak­land Col­i­seum, and a promise to the A’s long­suf­fer­ing fan base that yes, we’ll stop always trad­ing in lieu of resign­ing our young tal­ent when they hit their stride. The Bat Pack, as A’s 110% made of awe­some beat reporter Susan Slusser has dubbed the fresh­faced crop of kids led by devel­op­ing super­stud third base­man Matt Chap­man, will be break­ing pitch­ers hearts and blast­ing homers for years to come. In new digs.

The vet­eran Chris­t­ian arena rock band Petra once sang, “Good things come to those who wait /​Not to those who hes­i­tate /​So hurry up and wait upon the Lord.” While base­ball, its most fer­vent fans notwith­stand­ing, is not com­pa­ra­ble with faith in Christ on the impor­tance list, there is a valu­able les­son here. Put sim­ply, it is this: in so many areas of life, momen­tary mat­ters far too often are sub­jected to urgent tyranny rather than patient, encom­pass­ing thought.

Yes, it has taken a painfully long time to get to yesterday’s announce­ment regard­ing a new ball­park. Yes, it will seem like an eter­nity sweat­ing out every step until con­struc­tion starts. But it will hap­pen. Base­ball, the great Amer­i­can con­stant, will con­tinue in Oak­land as it has for forty-​nine years.

The mem­o­ries of vic­to­ries and defeats, the last game I attended with my beloved beyond words late father; these will carry on. The empty feel­ing of sit­ting in the Col­i­seum stands after what turned out to be the 1994 season’s last game before the strike, when the A’s were for sale and their future in Oak­land any­thing but cer­tain, won­der­ing if this would be the last time I would ever see my team … that feel­ing I will cheer­fully for­ever banish.

Really, peo­ple who live on the eter­nal ragged edge, for­ever froth­ing and foam­ing at the mouth at every turn of the polit­i­cal wind. Will you relax? Very, very lit­tle is decided in an instant in pol­i­tics or any­where else. Breathe. Relax. Let it slide. Far more often than not, it will end up slid­ing in safe at home. So let it be.

And let’s play ball.

https://youtu.be/hEc-F39LjwQ

In lieu of throwing any more fuel onto the fine fabulous furry freakout fire that is social media today )DACA! WALL! TRUMP! SCHUMER! PELOSI! ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM! Okay, I might have thrown that last one in there) let’s talk sports in a way even the asporting, this being to athletic competition what apolitical is for those not giving a hoot about government machinations, can appreciate. Or at least tolerate.

Yesterday, the Oakland Athletics, better known as the Oakland A’s, announced the selection of a preferred location for their much-needed new ballpark. If all goes according to plan, construction will begin in 2021 with occupancy in 2023. This might seem like an inordinately lengthy timespan, but given the need to buy and clear the property, deal with the NIMBYs living nearby plus the ninnys in local government – pardon the redundancy – plus all the usual California ridiculousness, it’s a decent plan.

The A’s have for years done everything wrong while trying to get a new ballpark: begging for government funding, looking to move elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area, and crying poor with ownership that had more money than Bill Gates’ piggy bank. Recently, changes have been made, with a new point man Dave Kaval put in charge. And oh, what a difference a Dave makes: major community outreach, major dressing up the perilously close to crumbling Oakland Coliseum, and a promise to the A’s longsuffering fan base that yes, we’ll stop always trading in lieu of resigning our young talent when they hit their stride. The Bat Pack, as A’s 110% made of awesome beat reporter Susan Slusser has dubbed the freshfaced crop of kids led by developing superstud third baseman Matt Chapman, will be breaking pitchers hearts and blasting homers for years to come. In new digs.

The veteran Christian arena rock band Petra once sang, “Good things come to those who wait / Not to those who hesitate / So hurry up and wait upon the Lord.” While baseball, its most fervent fans notwithstanding, is not comparable with faith in Christ on the importance list, there is a valuable lesson here. Put simply, it is this: in so many areas of life, momentary matters far too often are subjected to urgent tyranny rather than patient, encompassing thought.

Yes, it has taken a painfully long time to get to yesterday’s announcement regarding a new ballpark. Yes, it will seem like an eternity sweating out every step until construction starts. But it will happen. Baseball, the great American constant, will continue in Oakland as it has for forty-nine years.

The memories of victories and defeats, the last game I attended with my beloved beyond words late father; these will carry on. The empty feeling of sitting in the Coliseum stands after what turned out to be the 1994 season’s last game before the strike, when the A’s were for sale and their future in Oakland anything but certain, wondering if this would be the last time I would ever see my team … that feeling I will cheerfully forever banish.

Really, people who live on the eternal ragged edge, forever frothing and foaming at the mouth at every turn of the political wind. Will you relax? Very, very little is decided in an instant in politics or anywhere else. Breathe. Relax. Let it slide. Far more often than not, it will end up sliding in safe at home. So let it be.

And let’s play ball.