Karma’s a Bitch
One of the things that I love about baseball is the superstition that inherently comes with any game that tracks every possible statistic that can possibly exist. When you are so steeped in the numbers, you are bound to get a little paranoid. Because everything that you do is tracked, you want to be able to replicate the good and get rid of the bad…you want to make sure that you can somehow, someway, be sure that whatever you did the day you went 3/4 with 4 RBI’s you can by God do again. And there are numbers that can show you the pattern. And the pattern can show you the way…if everything else is the same. Right? Huh?
Players get downright ridiculous about it…they will NOT mess with their karma. Their ju ju. Whatever you want to call it. Whether it’s Nomar’s borderline manic adjustment of his batting glove, Jeter’s one hand raised while digging in to the batters box, or Ichiro’s samurai style batting stance start…you can’t fuck with the rhythm.
Me? I was never superstitious. Not really. I used to do all kinds of things that counted as performances and games, and I never really had a preshow/gig/game ritual…which usually riled up anyone that did. “How can you just SIT THERE?! Aren’t you nervous?!”
Well, sure…but pacing and counting and retying my shoes and all that jazz isn’t going to change it. Chill out.
They never did chill out.
I can still remember Kid Brother, when he finally got old enough to really play basketball with me being absurdly superstitious about it. Once, when I ran off several straight, unanswered points to start a particularly vicious game of one on one (I think we were playing for who had to deal with some chore that had to be done) he stopped, took his ball to the side of the court and swapped it with mine.
It only got worse…and now he’s got three daughters. At some point it becomes OCD…I’m pretty sure of that.
However, as I’ve gotten older I have adopted a more…what’s the word…respectful approach to karma. For these purposes, I’m defining karma as:
Etymology: Sanskrit karma fate, work
1 often capitalized : the force generated by a person’s actions held in Hinduism and Buddhism to perpetuate transmigration and in its ethical consequences to determine the nature of the person’s next existence
I think if you live long enough and play close enough attention you can damn sure see some karmic shit in THIS existence. So, much like Earl, of My Name Is fame, I try and do the right thing. I try not to cut people off, I get out of my seat for the elderly or pregnent, and I don’t curse around kids (but that one took a lot of work) and all that jazz.
However, there’s also the karma from the Movie “Major League”…rubbing chicken bones on the bat because it can’t hit a curveball. That objects can have karma…that your soul can leave a residue on something and that “something” retains it and exhibits its characteristics. This is less official “karma” I know.
This one, I hate to say, I totally buy.
The sneakers I blew my knee out in? Trashed…and not at my house. In the dumpster up the street.
The Strat that was given to me by a very wealthy but ragingly psychotic ex-gf years ago? Gave it to the local Jr. High School for an auction.
The car I loved that kept getting hit? Traded in.
I hate admitting this, but it’s true. Objects to me hold far, far more karma than actions. You should just naturally try and be a good person…not for karma’s sake but your own. Even if you suck at it. But objects? Oh hell no I don’t want their bad karma around me.
And this is how I feel about the things in my apartment. ex-fiance and I had a long, but nice conversation this week about what I want to take from our place to the new one. The answer, surprisingly, is damn near nothing. I want to start clean. Hell, I’m moving in on the weekend before opening day!
I don’t want to jinx anything.
Then again…Pavano’s pitching. Maybe it’s already jinxed.