The Church of the Eternal Bleacher
All Southpaws Welcome
Blessed Be the Garlic Fries
Welcome to the Church of the Eternal Bleacher, in the name of Timmy, Buster and Nate the Great, now and forever, you’re safe. We are gathered here today to conduct a prayer service for the Orange and Black, after another discouraging loss to the Chicago Cubs last night.
The Giants, having dropped six back of the suddenly surging Arizona D-backs, appear uninspired, and Carlos Beltran looked especially lost up at the plate. Three consecutive plate appearances featured Beltran coming to the plate with two runners on, and two outs, only to fail to plate any of those base runners.
Our normal prayer meeting would always include a series of film clips, a focus on individual accomplishments, and a question and answer session. However, in the interest of morale, I think we will skip the highlight film, not because there is little to showcase, but because you know we will inevitably simply pop “last year” onto the screen. Then everyone will sink back into his or her chair, and complacency will settle over the crowd, like the dust from the vehicles up here on the ridge.
What’s wrong with complacency? Nothing, if you are planting roses. However, if you are the spiritual signpost for your chosen religious affinity, in this case the G-Men, then you have the responsibility to ensure that all members of the CEB are in synch with Church expectations.
Let’s begin by having the visiting Reverend Buster Jackson make a few comments, and then we’ll open up the floor to questions or comments.
“Thank-you. It’s always a pleasure to stop in here at the CEB, and visit with you folks. As you know, it’s hard times in the dugout these days. Baseball being what it is, we’re struggling to put the pieces together. But we’ve got a great bunch of guys and we’re confident that-”
“Balk!” The voice rang out over the interior of the church, bouncing off of the open walls, and disappearing into the open sky, the roof of the domed church being wide open on the fine summer morning.
“Who said that?” rang out the voice of Buster Jackson, long rumored to be related to Mr. October himself. But it was unnecessary to ask, because the speaker was strolling up the center aisle, clearly unafraid of the orange and black colors on all sides of him. As he assumed center stage, a ripple went through the congregation, as the hated enemy uniform stood squarely among them, and began to spew Dodger Blue.
“You people think you have it tough, but you don’t have a clue what tough is. You’re still playing meaningful ball one day shy of September, no further behind the first place team, than you were last year, and I can not understand why there is weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Church of the Eternal Bleacher.”
“Wait just a minute here. Who are you, and what do you mean by bursting in and-”
Interrupting seemed a very Dodger sort of technique. “You’re out! To lunch, in this case, if you think I burst in. I’ve been sitting here all along, listening to you people whine about Beltran this, or Rowand that....And Zito...get over it. You’re too focused on a single injury, or two. You’re worried about your big gun, and what he hasn’t done for you lately. We’ve got the big gun you need, and you have a whole bunch of what we need. But what we don’t have is any faith...” He paused and looked around the interior of the CEB...”or any of this,” and he waved his hand around. “Do you have any idea what it’s like to have an owner like Frank McCourt?”
A tiny voice rang out, and a little arm was seen to tug a man’s shirt sleeve. “Someone had to go to McCourt? Was it that fat lasagna noodle, Tommy Lasorda? What did he do wrong? Besides show up, I mean.”
“Shhhh, Sally, you know you can’t swear in Church. We don’t say the L word out loud; we just think it. Wait just a minute, and things will become clear.”
“Sir, sir. Can you please take your-I mean, can you step down to the front, before you end up-I mean, oh good, here comes security. Puh-lease escort this passed ball out of the hall...”
“You can toss me out, but you can’t hide the fact that you’ve lost confidence in your team, and they know it. At least you have a team. We do too, but our team doesn’t know where its next paycheck is coming from, and we don’t have a Timmy, a Matt, a Madbum, or a Vogie...” His voice trailed off as he was led out of the church.
“Who was that?” everyone wanted to know.
The Reverend Buster was nodding sagely. “That would be the voice of reality of a franchise that is experiencing hard times, and not like the ones we have going in our dugout. He is right, though. I sense a lack of faith. Remember our mantra; repeat after me, good pitching beats good hitting, most of the time...good pitching beats good hitting...”
"I’m here to tell you that we can get past those hard times, if not this season, then next. Let’s just give thanks for the things we have: Blessed be Timmy, Matt, Madbum and Vogie. Blessed be the fleet of foot, the sure of hand, and the crack of the bat. Blessed be Triples Alley, and garlic fries, and blessed be our injured guys, in the name of Timmy, Buster and Nate the Great, now and forever, you’re safe. Pass those garlic fries on over this way, thank you, thank-you very much. Is there Ketch-up?”