Tag Archives: The Utility of Boredom

Spring, Previewed

Two Invisible titles popped up in the Quill & Quire‘s 2016 Spring Previews here and here: Canadian Wonder Tales is Canada’s answer to the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson, while The Utility of Boredom looks at the influence of baseball on and off the diamond. And we’re three for three on 49th Shelf’s spring […]

Meaningful Games: Wait Till Next Year

I watched the last eleven games the Kansas City Royals played in 2015, and a few others before that, and rooting interests aside, I don’t believe there was a better team in baseball. That statement should be provable merely by the fact that they hoisted the World Series trophy Sunday night in Citi Field after […]

Meaningful Games: The End of Something

Rewatching the ninth inning of Game 6 is a bit like autopsying the body: at once informative and gruesome, and divorced from the subject’s life in such a way as to do it—the team—a disservice. Those last three outs—grisly, tragic, possibly avoidable—look nothing like the majority of the baseball the Toronto Blue Jays played from […]

Meaningful Games: Hotline Bling

I don’t know what it is about Toronto. I think about this from time to time, and come up with nothing bankable. I usually arrive at something not entirely capturable by language. Its Torontoness, finally, exasperatingly; its feel and vibration and smell and the speed and angle at which the wind comes off the lake. […]

Meaningful Games: Distortions, Aberrations, and the Potential for Heartbreak

The playoffs are a strange prism that can distort and warp and obfuscate, in which Daniel Murphy can look like Babe goddamn Ruth, or at least someone other than Daniel Murphy, and in which the historically torrid Toronto offense can suddenly flag, and wilt, and disappear altogether. If we were to speak disparagingly of bandwagon […]

Meaningful Games: The Results are In

It’s exhausting, isn’t it? Even if you’re not in the game, even if you’re only watching. Necessarily, you’re invested after so much back and forth, the numbers encouraging, then not, then going your way again. I’m talking about both baseball and the federal election, in case I’m being too opaque here. The campaign, which kicked […]

Meaningful Games: Everything is Beautiful and Nothing Makes Sense

Sam Dyson, the Texas reliever who surrendered what going forward will likely be viewed as the second-most important home run in Blue Jays’ team lore, reacted to José Bautista’s defiant, celebratory bat flip, and to the Blue Jays’ exuberance in general, by saying “If they want to act like that, it’s whatever.” We’ll have to […]

Meaningful Games: Thanksgiving

Baseball gives, and we are thankful. That the Blue Jays’ two backs-to-the-wall, series-swinging victories occurred over the long Thanksgiving weekend, when we might watch with family and, bellies full, cheer ourselves hoarse, was a lovely bit of fortune. Memories, I feel safe stating, were made. I watched Game 3—unofficially presented as a plebiscite on this […]

Meaningful Games: That One Hurt

That one hurt. What has yet to be determined, though, is whether that long afternoon, and the handful of turning points offered therein (like that elastic strike zone), will prove long after the fact to be a fanbase’s shared injustice, a “remember when” rallying cry, or the adversarial element in a stirring narrative of improbable […]