(Somewhat of an old post–things are going much better, for me, if not for Dunn.)
When things aren’t going well, baseball makes life bearable. In the past week I’ve had an ultrasound (don’t know the results yet), a computer crash (they’re working on it at ITS), a migraine (still lingering), and a potential car problem (the battery, I think.)
Every day the White Sox are on television, I watch. Even when they stink, I watch, with the proper level of disgust, of course. Marty and I enjoy making up nicknames for Adam Dunn. My favorite is Mr. Ridiculous, which was inspired when Paul Konerko hit his fourth homer in as many games. Dunn was up next and struck out, his millionth consecutive strikeout. “From the sublime to the ridiculous,” Marty said.
Other, not quite as catchy or poetic nicknames, include Done and Dunce.
What irks us is Dunn’s reluctance to do any kind of analysis. “I’m just not a thinker,” Dunce keeps saying. “I’m just waiting for it to come back.” This attitude may work for erectile dysfunction, where too much thinking can be counter-productive (so I hear), but refusing to take a serious look at videos because “I’m just not a thinker” reminds me of the writing student who won’t use spell-check because “I’m just not a writer.”
I tell Marty we should pray for Adam Dunn. My husband prefers a more logical approach, sending good vibes via brain-waves whenever Dunn is up at bat. Since Marty often replays exciting or controversial action (over and over again), much of what we watch has already occurred.
“How can the brain-waves work, then?” I ask.
“Anything is possible in the space-time continuum,” says my husband.
Marty believes it is very likely there are individuals who are “designated watchers” in baseball. The DW’s might not even be aware of their status as DW’s. Nevertheless, it is their psychic energy that can cause batters to hit homers, pitchers to strike out the side, and teams to win close games.
“Who designates the designated watchers?” I ask.
“It’s a mystery,” replies Marty the Agnostic.
“Are they designated for the entire team or for individual players?”
“We don’t know that yet.”
“The designated watchers for Dunn are obviously not doing their job,” I remark.
I email the priest at my local Catholic church about the question of praying for baseball teams. He is an exceptionally intelligent man who happens to root for the White Sox. In my email I suggested that it might be problematic to pray for teams who perhaps don’t deserve to win. I also wondered whether time spent petitioning the Almighty with prayer for the White Sox (any ball team, really) might be better used praying for an end to world hunger, a cure for cancer, and the cancellation of any reality show having to do with the Kardashians. Father wrote back kind of side-stepping the question, but suggesting that my White Sox fandom is admirable and to be commended (in so many words.)
After much deep thinking, I decided that praying for Adam Dunn to get some hits is no more ridiculous than praying that my car will make it home when the gas gauge is hovering on empty. In fact, I’m really beginning to like the idea of an Adam Dunn Prayer Circle. My friend Roxane Gay turned me on to the idea of broadening my conception of prayer circles when she posted on FaceBook that she was doing lousy in a Scrabble tournament and that it was time for her friends to form a Scrabble Prayer Circle.
It kind of worked.