I woke up this morning and a friend of mine had sent me a link to George Harrison singing “Mama You’ve Been On My Mind”.
The song was originally written and released by Bob Dylan, and Harrison finds a nice middle ground between his airy voice and Dylan’s nasal draw. He picks up the pace a bit, plays with more pluck to his guitar and adds some tasteful harmonies and an organ sustaining long, singular notes as if it was a train passing by in the distance.
The tune opens up a canyon in your chest. It’s a crossroads song with no answers, full of ‘maybes’ and ‘perhaps’. It’s about being tired and lost and stuck in the past. Each verse falls into a heap of exhaustion, ending with an exasperated, defeated, and honest refrain: Mama, you’re just on my mind.
I listened to it while making my coffee; then listened to it again while sitting in my chair and scrolling through the box score of yesterday’s game against Chicago.
It’s an apt song for a Giants fan right now: A team at a crossroads with an uncertain future, a once great present now flipped into a faraway present, and the fan, after watching games for nearly half-a-year with alternating feelings of hope and despair, is just trying to find level ground.
We’re ready to pick our path and move forward. Our bodies lean towards the 2023 season, but our thoughts can’t help but fall back into familiar habits of expectations and investments.
This season is long over and yet each game I succumb to the need to win at least the day. A three game series against the 58-79 Chicago Cubs with Carlos Rodón pitching in the opener and I get giddy thinking about strikeout totals and home runs falling into the basket above the ivy.
In my head, I’ve convinced myself that we’re closer to teams like the Padres and Phillies than we are to teams like the Marlins and Reds, but that’s not the case. The Giants proved that again on Friday by dropping the first game of the series 4-2.
Rodón made Giants history with today's 11-strikeout performance pic.twitter.com/ehFRxSuJzL— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 9, 2022
Rodón made franchise history with his 10th game with double-digit strikeouts, but a two-run homer to Yan Gomes in the 2nd was all the damage Drew Smyly and the Cubs needed to raise the ‘W’ flag.
Smyly gave up 1 hit and 2 walks over 7 innings. The only threat San Francisco could muster off him was in the 2nd when Mike Yastrzemski walked and David Villar doubled, putting runners in scoring position with two outs, before newest call-up Austin Dean grounded out on a nice charging play by 3rd baseman David Bote.
Longo's double gets the Giants on the board pic.twitter.com/d5RS9UqSyJ— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 9, 2022
They saved some face with an Evan Longoria double in the 8th that drove in 2 runs and rescued San Francisco from the jaws of a shut-out. It’s the little things this team does so well.
After a hot start in September, the team has gone cold. The bats have managed 10 hits over the last three games and are currently embarked on their season’s 8th losing streak of at least four games.
I try to sound resolute as I sing along with George “Where you been don’t bother me nor bring me down in sorrow” but it’s unconvincing.
As numb and indifferent I want to be to these last twenty games, I have to admit that the Giants are just on my mind.