I work with literature. Read, write, critique, instruct, edit, translate. Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, plus some really obscure stuff. So this week with the Bucs mostly off, I decided to catch up on some work.
I'm laboring away on a re-write of a research paper for a biggish museum and I need a word. And the word I need is "era", but I'm sick of "era". This thesis is full of "era". So I go to a pretty decent internet resource called the Free Dictionary - because it's late and because I'm tired and because I'm behind schedule and because caffeine doesn't really help older brains all that much - to find a synonym for "era". See, I already know "epoch", "period", and "age" and I don't get nearly as filled with rage seeing them for the 47th time as I do when I see "era".
I type era into the field to get me some synonyms; I want to breathe life into this hellish paper. What follows here is what "the Free Dictionary.com" supplies for its first definition of "era":
abbr. 1. earned run average
To quote "the Natural": "God I love baseball."
Baseball evens things out. When baseball, when even an imperfect and much-abused statistical measure like ERA can invade my cloistered existence and mock my obscurantist and sesquipedalian musings on the vitality and concurrent antiquity of post-abstractionist art, well, it's moments like this that I know there is a God. And that this year he seems to love our Pirates.
Will there be some leveling, some regression up and down, some disappointment, and some utterly arbitrary outcomes after the Break? Certainly, it's baseball. The game that ensures that the best hitters fail 7 attempts out of 10. That the best teams lose 2 out of every 5. That the defense holds the ball and sets the pace.
Running a bit of a checklist: Our Bucs are good at defense. Our Bucs are losing 2 out of every 5. Our pitchers seem to be good at getting opposing hitters to fail more than they would ordinarily and on average. ERA for them - as it need be for all of us - is an honest statistic, especially in this renewed
epoch period age cycle aeon ...fine...era of Pirate baseball.
Certainly, I share the concerns of most about the team's hitting. Yet I think that despite their very recent struggles, in most short series, this club has what it takes. Pirate fans the world over: never, ever, forget the lesson of the recent incarnations of the San Francisco Giants. You claim you picked SF to win those titles? That your advanced metrics just screamed GIANTS! ? And that I'm "formulating a narrative" by insisting you didn't pick them? That all those discrete statistical measurements missed something? You're either a Giant fan or delusional.
The Bucco Era has started. Let's finish this year right. Let's get this thing done...which I believe they will.
But then I'm gonna need a synonym for "you bet your ass".