An image stuck in my head since last week: Cardinals vs. Brewers, bottom of the fifth, Cards down 7-1. Evidently frustrated Cards catcher Yadier Molina throws a verbal hissy about the ump’s latest call. Right quick, the two start jawing at one another nose-to-nose, like they do in movies about baseball or commercials for chewing gum.
Molina gets ejected, natch, at which point Cards manager Tony LaRussa saunters over to take Molina’s place up the ump’s nostrils. While Molina makes a big show of tossing his catcher’s gear at the umpire’s feet, LaRussa is likewise ousted from the game.
I cringe to admit that the scene reminded me of some knock-down-drag-outs I’ve had with exes. I’m sure at some point, I’ve tried to pull off some histrionic bit like Molina’s aggro-sarcastic gear-shedding. And yet? I’m oddly jealous of him and LaRussa.
Why? Because Molina and LaRussa will get to keep their well-paying jobs as professional sports guys. Even though what they did was counterproductive to the task at hand (you know, winning a baseball game) nobody on their team is going to hold a grudge, as even guys who play baseball for a living recognize that it is, after all, just a baseball game, just a bad flare-up in a season that’s 120 games or so long.
Being in a relationship, by contrast, pays zero dollars, can take an awful lot of work — and, at those unfortunate times when you do work yourself up into a bat-hurling moment, there’s no third-party commissioner to assign you a measly wrist-slap of a fine before everybody just moves on.
Can anyone tie that all up into a nice love/baseball metaphor for me? I’ll be over here with the Cracker Jack.