Of the Hawk, Mencken and Boardwalk
Vladimir Guerrero is going to play baseball this year. So will Jermaine Dye and many other free agents. There is no 27th out in this contest. This is not a clear-cut scoreboard where somebody wins and the other side loses, forcing them to go home.
That is unless you turn your back on Pittsburgh and Baltimore in the hopes that Atlanta doesn’t know how to play the game, only to find 304 career home runs and an uncertain future staring you in the face. Your adversary may have the humble beginnings as a school teacher but don’t get overconfident just because there are no vines climbing up the schoolhouse wall. Rings from South and Midwest are far more important than silver spoons or movie scripts.
Overall it’s just a matter of who goes where, and what everybody is missing is the Hawk knew better than anybody how to get the last laugh. That is so so right in front of everybody’s faces this week and far far too few people understand it. It has become a light-hearted anecdote rather than a stern lesson for many to grasp.
Five percent is still five percent, no matter what the final numbers and the Hawk, more than anybody, knew when it was time to fly.
As the great H.L. Mencken once said, “The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world where it is overestimated.”
But there is much money at stake at this point of the calendar so “Salve veritate” takes a holiday on all sides. It’s much easier to cry foul rather than to tread the road that the Deerslayer tread beforehand.
The fight over nickels and dimes turns into the UFC. There are no-holds barred at this point in this desperate fight for the fiscal upper-hand and far too many outlets and far too many perceived chums to not play every card possible.
It works on both sides of Boardwalk and the wise one knows one flash could be worth far more than multiple hotels on Park Place or even the misguided attempt to own all four Railroads.
It’s just a matter of knowing the right URL and how to get there. There are certain boulevards that all play on, but make sure they arrive from multiple cross-streets. It’s an art that is crucial and missed completely by Robert E. Lee on his fateful third day in the Keystone State.
Why charge ahead forcefully and honestly into the Cemetery when the art of subterfuge remains applauded at this time of the year? Especially by the quartermasters as opposed to the infantry. Who knows what a whisper or nudge to a best pal might bring when it comes down to the bottom line. It is cut-throat to the end and all else is thrown out the window.
In the end though, all will have jobs, and all will be given jobs, even if it’s at the expense of probity. Rectitude is the first casualty of the off-season. But it’s all about wins and losses once the season begins and none of this daily gamesmanship will ultimately matter in 162. No one can hide after 162.
Then it just comes down to smart decisions and all the extraneous winter contrivances won’t matter. In the spring, summer and fall, it truly is win or go home.
Except for the Hawk. Only July 25, he soars higher than anybody, an enduring testament to talent, integrity and the will to do what’s right.