Letter from Europe: Pennant Race Edition

While traveling through Europe, it’s easy to forget that there’s a baseball season ending over in the US.   Even when you get on an internet connection and the tightness of the race is given away in New York Times headlines like "Rainout Forces Red Sox to Alter Pitching Order".  The sheer obliviousness to the drama that envelopes all of us in the northeast corridor is both refreshing (eine anderes hefe dunkel, bitte!) and maddening (where the hell are the scores?! don’t these people understand?!!! IT’S THE SOX AND YANKS!!!!!) In Berlin, their marathon was run on Sunday; it’s apparently the world’s 3rd largest, and it may sound like blasphemy to many who read the site here but running through the 5 boroughs or up Heartbreak Hill must not have anything on the psychological journey one takes running through the Brandenburg Gate to the finish line, having traversed 26 miles of a time-scarred landscape, across recent history exposed.  For Berliners, baseball couldn’t matter less.  Even on the Schillingstrasse.

In Milan, it’s Fashion Week.  Along the Via della Spiga and in the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle, skinny-legged models walk with appointment books in hand, and gift bags courtesy of Valentino and Cavalli sit behind the hotel concierge desks awaiting the slender hands of someone named "Maja" or "Natasha", neither of whom give a crap about guys named "Mariano" or "Bronson".  Unaware of the tension brewing a mere ocean and change away, this city is more concerned about the goings on in the San Siro and the new collection from Miuccia, as opposed to the doppler radar readings in Worcester County. 

For me, it’s refreshing, and though I may come under some fire for saying this, especially at this site, it’s good to be away, good to be out of our self-assigned center-of-the-universe.  Perspective is important. Stress is low.  The mozzarella di bufala is outstanding, best I’ve ever had.  The Yankees won. The risotto con funghi was perfectly toothsome.  The Sox were rained out.  Europe doesn’t care.  Alles ist gut. Tutto e bene.  That flight back can’t come soon enough.

4 comments… add one
  • SF comes back online, and Brad SF reappears after a long absence.

    john yf September 27, 2005, 8:11 am
  • BTW, if Moose pitches well today, the Yanks are in good shape. They have Chacon tomorrow and Small Thursday, with Wang, Johnson and Moose for Fenway, with Wright, Small and Leiter in the pen.
    Boomer’s had knee problems his last two starts. How will he do Friday?

    john yf September 27, 2005, 8:28 am
  • I can speak with a bit of first hand experience on the out-of-the-country-during-the-stretch-drive problem. For several years during the Yankees glorioud late nineties run, I was stuck at the Frankfurt Book Fair as the Bombers made their way through the early rounds of the playoffs. Perspective was good, and I was sure glad to miss the 1997 Cleveland series, but in the end, perspective isn’t as good as baseball. We have most of the year for perspective. For a couple of weeks, there’s nothing better than the temporaly tyrany of a pennant race.

    YF September 27, 2005, 9:14 am
  • I studied in Prague the fall semester of 1998. Watching the clinching game 4 world series victory in the basement of a bar at 5am, and then celebrating the championship with two New York friends and a champaign bottle walking across Charles Bridge at 7 in the morning: Well, I do believe that was some kind of heaven.

    Nick September 27, 2005, 9:38 am

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