I'm not good with serious. Diseases, hunger, war, pestilence … not good with it. Not good explaining it, not good writing about it. The whole reason I've written over a million words about baseball over the last eight years or so is because it doesn't mean anything. That's what makes it one of my favorite things in the world.
I can go all George Will when the moment strikes -- because baseball really is the pastoral consciousness of a country mind that still marvels at the scope of the city experience, or some crap -- but the individual results of a baseball season are frivolous nonsense, and they're what help me deal with the stuff that isn't frivolous nonsense.
Or, to dumb it down, I'm looking at an unopened medical bill right now. Don't want to open it because I don't think I'll like what's inside. But then I lean back and think of Matt Kemp in a room with a "CONGRATULATIONS MVP" banner, slumped in a folding chair, and tooting a party favor ironically with every exhale. Now I feel better! That's what baseball does for me.
This is why this was the worst site in the world if you wanted to get a Giants fan's perspective on steroids and BALCO. So, so serious, that stuff. No thanks. And this comes up now because of Angel Villalona. A year ago, he was filed away in the serious zone. He certainly didn't have anything to do with the baseball stuff that keeps me away from the serious zone. Now he's back on the 40-man roster, and because he's still young -- Brett Pill has concert t-shirts older than Villalona -- there's a significant chance he'll be in the majors at some point, with all sorts of serious dust following him everywhere.
And now that the intro is over, we can admit that this is a post about a first-world white dude wondering how his future enjoyment of a game will be indirectly affected by a kid's murder. Which isn't cool. I get that. It's awful. And then I think about that, my selfish tunnel vision, and that's serious. It makes me feel like a stupid jackass, and it's why I've almost scrapped this post six times already. It's a stupid serious stuff spiral, and no matter what angle you take, it's going to be unpleasant. It's usually where I'd turn to baseball to get me away, but, well, this is baseball.
I can hope that Villalona was innocent. I can hope he was wrongly accused and detained, and this could be a triumphant return of a player who was targeted just because of his talent and money. It's not impossible. Heck, it might be likely. The alternative is too horrific to contemplate. Unless there were all sorts of extenuating circumstances. Heck, I wasn't there. I don't know what it's like to return to an impoverished area with fistfuls of money and a name that people know. Though, there's also the chance that a guy who figured that he needed protection brought out the …
See. Serious stuff. And it could be around for a decade or two. There's no answer -- no perfect away to approach it. It's just something we weren't expecting a couple of months ago. A couple of days ago, even. The only thing to say is: huh. Huh, so Angel Villalona is back on the 40-man. Huh. So, he's back in the organizational blueprint. Huh.
Hopefully, something happens soon to make the Angel Villalona story about baseball again. That's what everyone wants. Baseball, baseball, baseball. Until then, huh. Just ... huh.