The Nats are losing a lot of games. Bryce Harper’s slump kept me up for several nights last week. But even bad pizza is still pizza, and even the worst One Direction song is still an absolute banger. The Nats are doing poorly and yet they still bring me joy. Watching games, listening to games, even seeing score notifications on my phone while I do homework: all of these experiences deliver small moments of simple gladness.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this, but the first couple weeks of this season were unpleasant. The Nats didn’t do so hot. They lost more games than we’re used to losing so early, and while that did make the wins more enjoyable, it wasn’t particularly good for my anxiety as I eyed the standings and divisional matchups and read all the reporters’ tweets about how the team was underperforming.
Last summer, I got back in the habit of reading for pleasure every day. I called it “Maddie’s Summer Book Club of One”, and we had a splendid time. This summer, MSBCOO (the name is still being workshopped) is back for the second time, but unlike last year, we have a theme. This summer, I’m going to read as many baseball books as I can. This means fiction about or including lots of baseball, player biographies, historical nonfiction, and books about strategy and the intricacies of gameplay.
“You have already grasped that Sisyphus is the absurd hero. He is, as much through his passions as through his torture. His scorn of the gods, his hatred of death, and his passion for life won him that unspeakable penalty in which the whole being is exerted toward accomplishing nothing. This is the price that must be paid for the passions of this earth.” -Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus
Last weekend, Bryce Harper’s legacy as a Washington National was further cemented, as the Nationals Dream Foundation dedicated Bryce Harper Field in Northwest DC, at the Takoma Community Center. The city was able to open the field with a donation from the Nationals Dream Foundation and Harper himself. The Nationals Dream Foundation plans to donate a field to the community every year, and so far they’ve made good on that promise, with Bryce Harper Field joining Ryan Zimmerman and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez Field.