The Most Non-Ranger-Related Article, Ever

It’s with both guilt and shame that I feel compelled to write an article like this every couple months. It really has nothing to do with the Rangers, which is why some of you may deem it irrelevant or inappropriate for a Rangers-centric blogging website, which I understand. In reality, it has everything to do with them. So that’s the disclaimer; read on at your own accord . . . .

Along with some other things going on in my personal life, the recent tornado in Oklahoma was, in a sense I guess, the straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of what baseball is to me in 2013 — secondary; I still watch and listen to a lot of the games, but not as much as I used to. Not nearly as much as I did even as recently as last year. Sure, of course every now and again I have my moments when that October anxiety builds up in my stomach, but for the most part I’ve turned into a passive, objective baseball fan.

As these words roll off my fingertips, I’m trying to figure out what that actually means, but the only conclusion I can draw is that I don’t like baseball any less than I have in the past, it just serves a different role for me now.

I think back to games I watched in my youth, regardless of which sport happened to be on my parent’s TV set. It didn’t matter. If it was my favorite team playing, regular season games were the end-all, and when my team lost in the postseason it meant I’d be throwing shit all over my house, mad at the universe that it again failed to deliver me what I most desperately needed to keep my livelihood intact. The world rotated around me, and the biggest issues I had in my life we whether my favorite team lost a meaningless game . . . .

I miss those days. I miss those days very much. It used to be the reason I breathed but now it’s choking me up.

Now, I don’t really care if the Rangers win or lose. I don’t pay very close attention beyond the box score to whatever the other teams in the AL West do on a given night. It’s like proofing something in trigonometry that I already know the answer to. The Rangers will win many more games than they lose, and they have an excellent chance to make the postseason. With the crapshoot nature of the MLB playoffs, that’s all anyone can ask of their team.

In a sense that’s what I mean by the “role” of the Texas Rangers in my 23 year-old existence. They’ve transformed from the basket where all my eggs lie into the security blanket I always find a way to come back to. They no longer consume my attention, but rather act as a diversion from what I’d rather not be thinking about.

I used to write a blog on this website called Xanga — I’m not sure if either the younger or older generation is all that familiar with it — when I was in my 18-through-21 years. Writing about myself, my life, the painfully novel emotional changes I was going through at that delicate wrinkle in time, it was cathartic for me. Writing in general has always more or less been my catharsis, although it also has a tendency, like most things, to frustrate me perpetually when I can’t seem to find the words.

When I was at the end of my age-21 year, I stopped. I grew loathsome of seeing my life consolidated into 400 and 500-word blogs that, if they were to be read, were only to be read by complete strangers whom I’d never come in contact with. The tragic irony, at least in my own head, was I felt the people who saw me in my everyday life would never understand me, while those that knew me best were passers-by stumbling upon me over the Internet.

And in a depressingly real sense, that last sentence could probably still describe me today.

I’m basically the same person I’ve always been, the only difference here is baseball. My personal thoughts, feelings, emotions — whatever you want to call them — mesh in with my pastime, my security blanket. So while this is still Nolan Writin’ and baseball baseball baseball, it’s still my space, like Xanga once was.

It’s a place for baseball, yes, but with everything else life gives and takes away, it’s a site dedicated to perspective. The mind is driven by doubts, and fear, and reality is a labyrinthian obstacle course; at the end of the day the roller coaster of the psyche trumps these games we sometimes stake our overall wellness on; it’s not worth it like it used to be;

I’m one of those kids who was probably spoiled too much growing up; I was given liberties that I took full advantage of; I made it into my dream school; I’ve loved and I’ve lost; I’ve basically done everything I’ve wanted to up to this point, and I’m lucky to say that;

But as I sit here beneath the overcast morning sky, with the baby blue jays chirping away by the bird-feeder, I carry that sensation in my stomach that I’m wasting myself away. Like the hours I spend watching and listening to and researching baseball are meaningless, and I’m melting with clocks in the Salvador Dali painting.

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  • Mike G.

    I think that watching, researching and writing baseball IS meaningless, which is the point. Baseball parallels the nuances of life in numerous ways. Like life, many of us have different ways of approaching and perceiving the game of baseball, in turn, baseball can raise great elation within us or simply crush our hopes. No matter how difficult we may try, there is no sure way to avoid disappointment; both life and baseball can throw wrenches in expectations beyond our control, leaving many of us jaded and ultimately unaffected by later disappointments, somewhat like a callus forming in the place of a blister. In the end, both life and baseball are simple, perhaps too simple… At times, simple beyond the means of our perspective, and at other times, complicated beyond the means of the emotions that life and baseball raises within us. Searching for meaning in the game of baseball is like searching for meaning in life: It’s all a matter of perspective and how a certain perspective fulfills oneself. But yeah, Salvador Dali, very interesting painter, one of my favorites.

    • Eric Reining

      Truly a craftsman you are putting it all into words. Very nice.

      And good ol’ Salvador, yes.