We keep hearing the phrase “these uncertain times,” but it is not that the times are uncertain so much as the quality of time itself has changed.
It is May and there is no baseball.
To fill that seasonal void, I’ve been reading Phllip Roth’s “The Great American Novel” – which is a sordid satire about baseball (what else could a Great American Novel be about?).
Most of the story takes place during World War II; There is a passage where one of the team owners explains to a player that what is really at stake has less to do with Hitler than the looming threat Stalinist Communism:
Even as this war rages on against the Germans and the Japs, the other war against us has already begun, the invisible war, the silent assault upon the very fabric that holds us together as a nation…
In order to destroy America, the Communists in Russia and their agents around the world are going to attempt to destroy the major leagues…
When baseball goes, Roland, you can kiss America goodbye. Try to imagine it, Roland, an American summer Sunday without doubleheaders, an American October without the World Series, March in America without spring training. No, they can call it America, but it’ll be something very different then. Roland, once the Communists have made a joke of the majors, the rest will fall like so many dominoes.￼
The “invisible war”? The “silent assault”?
Who knew Coronavirus is a Communist??
photo credit: The Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles played a game in an empty ballpark in 2015. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)