CRAIC! No, old Annie Mac has not slipped the grasp of reality, and headed out to the drug infested streets of Any Town, USA. It's that old, wonderful, beautiful English language playing tricks again.
For my readers out there who are Irish, this is the month of all that is IRISH. I love being Irish. My dear daddy, born and raised in Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland knew all about Craic. To have even an ounce of it can make sailing through these troubled times a bit more bearable. Some kiss the Blarney Stone for it, others are born with it, and others seem to become doused with it after dancing through a bottle of booze. Craic is great.
So, what's the craic of the bat? Spring! Here we are, on what appears to be another blue bird, sunny day in Steamboat. Yesterday was warm, by snow standards, clear skied, blue as the human eye could see, and I found myself dreaming about baseball. Ah, spring and the ritual of baseball.
Of course, I am a Yankee fan, so any time there is the slightest mention of baseball, I see myself sitting in the bleachers, kosher hot dog in hand, and day dreaming of the baseball diamond. Having never been to New York, one might think it peculiar that I am a Yankee fan. Maybe its some genetic fluke that I got the fever for the pinstripe. After all, I was raised in Southern California, where the L.A. Dodgers were the home team. I do hold the memories of Farmer John hot dogs, Carnation Malted Milk Shakes with wooden spoons, paper airplane programs and popcorn in high esteem. The drive to the stadium was not the best of drives. A slow, meandering drive from I-5, starting in Porter Ranch, through Burbank, past the L.A. Zoo, and finally to Elysian Park. Funny how you can feel safe when the L.A. Police Academy is in the same parking lot. Alas, the thugs are more radical now, and as most will recall, last spring saw a San Francisco fan get the tar beaten out of him by some low life gang bangers in the stadium parking lot. But, back in the 70's, you could feel safe at Dodger Stadium.
The baseball bat is a marvelous invention. Long, lean and solid. The pin point precision of ball making a connection with the bat, the sound of wood on ball, and then the almost ballet like movement of casting the bat aside to run the bases - ah, it's like a Broadway show. Well choreographed, with music being provided from the fans, and the maestro of sorts, the umpire calling the shots. Green grass, well manicured, red dirt and clean, crisp lines of chalk can make a fan feel like they are almost in heaven. Perhaps, the baseball diamond is actually heaven. Who knows. One thing for sure - GOD is a baseball fan.
How many kids today can say they dream of baseball? A well oiled glove, where high flying hits can come to settle in? Where an outfielder can dash the hopes of a home run hitter, or a batter can swing to his heart's content, falling prey to a left handed pitcher. Baseball and dreams might as well be the same definition.
Barry O'Bummer has pretty much managed to, in 3 short years, change the entire dynamic of the country. We, as Americans, are now watching a president who apologizes for other people's speak, offers remorse to countries who would be just as happy to blow us out of earthly rotation, and wants to have diplomacy with countries like Iran, who are hell bent to go to war with Israel. How do you reach diplomacy with the devil? America looks to November, and hopes that this time we can see the fox in the hen house, and rid ourselves of the parasitic nuisance of a president who apparently thinks nothing of demoralizing our great nation.
Thank God that at this time of the year, dreams can fly swiftly to the baseball diamond, and once again our minds can fall softly upon merrion blue grass, watch the players run the bases and listen to the fine tuned CRAIC OF THE BAT.