I actually have friends who don’t appreciate Josh Hamilton’s transcendence. Others who don’t care.
So I get it that you have no interest in me writing about Radiohead. And that three of you (you know who you are), in a few minutes, will waste 20 seconds emailing me to make that point.
I’m going to resist doing what I’d like to do, which would be to spill a couple hundred scattered words about that band and that show and how the things I was most blown away by last night were not the ones I thought they’d be, and how my crazy expectations were met.
If you’ve read the Newberg Report for any length of time, you know I have a fascination with the phenomenon of colliding paths. It’s one of the themes of the JD e-Book, and of any number of entries I’ve written over these 14 years.
You can watch Hamilton run and throw and launch a thousand times on TV, but when you’re in the building to experience it, when you’re fortunate enough to have your path intersect with his, even if just for a few hours, it’s different.
I try not to take for granted that the paths that brought Thom and Jonny and Colin and Ed and Phil together – and, man, Clive too – brought them eventually to Dallas on March 5, 2012, and coincided with me being able to steer my own path to the same place at the same time. Every few minutes some new technology for listening to great music rolls out, but nothing can ever replace being in the room.
Sort of like in baseball.
Not everyone gets that. That’s cool. Not everyone needs to.
This is the time of the year when I generally sit down and write “32 things,” my annual punch list of big leaguers and prospects and other things I’m looking forward to seeing in Surprise. But something occurred to me as I drove away from the concert late last night.
You can ask me to make a case for (almost) any member of Radiohead being the separator in that band, and I’d accept the challenge. But seeing them live for the first time last night, I realized that isolating any of them is crazy. I guess I’d be mildly curious about any solo projects they might experiment with between the band’s work in the studio and on tour, but the expectations wouldn’t be great. The cliché about the value of the whole exceeding the sum of its parts fits really well when the subject is a great rock band. The synthesis is what ultimately makes it transcendent.
And for that reason (and not a bout of laziness), I’m not going to list 32 things this year. We’re fortunate enough, you and me and our circles of people who care about the Rangers like we do, that our paths are converging with this moment of time in the life of a franchise that for so many years was irrelevant far more often than it wasn’t but that now sits as one of the game’s elite.
Of course I look forward to seeing Yu and Jurickson and Nef and Ronald when I get to Arizona, but unlike most of the years that I’ve been heading to Port Charlotte and Surprise for a few days to reacquaint myself with the team and reimmerse myself in the game, it’s now the team I’m going to see. There were plenty of times in the past when the attraction might have been a handful of guys who just might compete for a home run title and a knuckleball pitcher who didn’t age. Or the most extraordinary catcher the game had seen in a generation, or a trio of minor league pitchers whose catchy acronym captivated a fan base.
Not any more. There aren’t 32 things I’m hoping to see. There’s just one.
One thing, at the surest time in our lives as Rangers fans that the whole makes up more of a bad-ass force than the rattling off of any 32 or 3200 parts.