Midnight off the coast of Monterrey, CA.
Moonlight kisses the beach as the ocean laps casually off the sand. The world is quiet here; a graceful fog allows infrequent headlights on the road above to gently pierce the air while above, the sky is preparing for a meteor shower. In this place, the world’s turbulence and flaws have made a hasty exit, allowing serenity to seep in and take complete control. Here, there is peace. There is tranquility. There is naught but the occasional laugh of the angels.
And then we hear it.
Quiet at first, but then crescendoing into a mad chatter as a man in a Phillies hat appears, tiny in the distance. There is a beer in each of his hands, which are raised high in the air in jubilation.
He is screaming.
No words leave his mouth, just a continuous, gleeful roar as he makes his way down the coast, lit merely by the reflections of the sun bouncing off the giant moon.
This is what happens when the Phillies sign Cliff Lee and nobody within 30 miles will get excited with me.I ran back to my hotel and heard a man with a beard talking on his cell phone.
“Mumble mumble mumble Cole Hamels mumble…”
I sprinted over to him as if he had invited me to.
“IS IT REAL?!” I demanded, speaking in all capital letters. “IS IT REAL?!”
He looked at me with sad eyes, as if a stranger had just abrasively approached him and began shouting a question, too loud and rapidly fired for him to squeeze an answer in.
“Apparently,” he replied, horrifically depressed. “This is the worst thing ever.”
I paused, considering for a moment that I had misheard him originally, and perhaps he was in the midst of a terrifying family tragedy.
I was sort of right.
“I’m a Mets fan,” he explained.
“Oh,” I said, literally speechless, then said the only thing people are really saying to Mets fans anymore: “…… sorry.”
The Phillies signed Cliff Lee for $100 million over five years last night, while I was yelling incoherently at the Pacific Ocean and utilizing the phrase “shit my brain,” as in, “I just shit my brain because of what’s happening.”
“I texted Cliff last week and he never said anything. I texted him again today when everything started coming out. I’m like, ‘Come on.’ He finally texted me back, ‘I’m back,’ and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness.”
Are y… are you kidding me? Getting that text from Cliff would have blown a gasket in my head, sending me into a state of catatonic shock that would ironically cause me to miss the entire season.
After I pretty much resigned to our biggest off season move being Jayson Werth carting a wheelbarrow full of money down the Beltway, I got this text message around nine o’clock last night:
It’ll have to do.
In all this madness, with all the teams struck by the genuine oddities and impossibilities of off season moves made my crazy people, let’s not forget the victims in all of this. May they have a voice, too.
And may it gargle, linger a few humiliating moments, and die.