Wednesday I was cleared to drive, for the first time in almost two months. It was weird and it was awesome.
The second time I got behind the wheel was yesterday afternoon. On my way to physical therapy, I flipped around XM Radio — which had been one of the casualties of having to rely on others to drive me around all this time — and the song that came on Channel 26, as I pulled into a parking spot, was “Destroyer” by the Kinks.
I smiled at the randomness of that 1981 song, which I’d wager I hadn’t heard in 10 years (and which I always thought was called “Paranoia”), finding me a few hours before I’d be heading to an event hosted by the good folks at Paranoid Fan.
The gathering last night at the Blind Butcher was super cool and helped take the sting out of the most lopsided Rangers loss of the season. By time the Blues scored 10 minutes into Game 4 to take a 1-0 lead on the Stars, Derek Holland was already done for the night in Toronto, handing an 11-1 deficit off to Cesar Ramos with the third inning still going.
Stay in control.
It’s been such a great hockey season. But when St. Louis stole Game 2 in overtime to tilt home ice advantage in its favor, and then in Game 3 took it to Dallas with more decisive force than the Jays’ assault on Holland, the sense that the series and the season were slipping away was sorta tough to dismiss. Blues 6, Stars 1 felt uncomfortably conclusive.
And then, last night, 45 minutes after Cody Eakin and Patrick Sharp each missed point-blank opportunities to give Dallas a lead in the third, the same two connected three minutes into overtime. Dallas 3, St. Louis 2, home ice back in hand.
Ye (we) of little faith.
The hockey team washed Game 3 off, even if most of us couldn’t.
Texas draws the insanely dominant Jordan Zimmermann in Detroit tonight.
But the Tigers draw Cole Hamels.
Zimmermann and Hamels were in the NL East together for seven seasons. Zimmermann faced Hamels’s Phillies 14 times but matched up with him just once.
That was four years ago today. Hamels went eight strong and got the 9-3 win. Zimmermann went a decent six and took the loss.
That Phillies-Nationals game, you might argue, has as much bearing on tonight’s Rangers-Tigers opener as Toronto 12, Texas 2. Game 4 in St. Louis wasn’t exactly the foregone conclusion that Game 3 promised.
Getting around the great Jonah Keri last night made the baseball game easier to endure. No matter how much you think of that guy, and I think a whole lot of him myself, there’s another level that he’s headed toward. Fired up.
Same with Jake Kemp. Sky’s the limit.
And the folks who launched Paranoid Fan. They’re doing things that haven’t been done and that should be, and they have the right people executing the vision.
Don’t mean to leave you out of this, Sean Bass, but you can be strong to quite strong already and that’s hardly a knock. #Elvisball
The baseball team has another gear, too. It’s in the thick of the race, there are impact players close to returning, and there will be impact help arriving in July, too, as there always is around here.
The offense can be better. The rotation can be better. The bullpen can be better.
And yet, with all the warts, Texas is in a virtual tie for a playoff spot this morning.
This isn’t the Astros, sporting the second-worst record in the league, or the Angels, who just lost their ace (and possibly another promising young starting pitcher as well) for the season and have baseball’s worst farm system to turn to for help, either that kind or the other.
Things are good here, and there’s all kinds of reason to believe there’s another gear.
So much to live for.
So much to aim for.
So much to try for.
You’re blowing it all with paranoia.
The song is older than Eakin and it’s older than Sharp. It’s older than Hamels and it’s older than Zimmermann. I’m pretty sure it’s older than Jake.
It’s helpful this morning.
Paranoid Fan > paranoid fans.
Game 3 in St. Louis didn’t spill over into Game 4. Lots of us worried it would. The local team didn’t.
There’s no reason Toronto 12, Texas 2 — or the two walkoffs that preceded it — should affect Texas-Detroit tonight, or this weekend. You know: slam dunk, two points, move on.
If there’s one thing this hockey week has taught us as far as this baseball week is concerned, it’s that washing the bad stuff off should be a whole lot more difficult for the players and coaches than it is for you and me. We’d be well advised to follow their lead.
Stop, hold on, stay in control.