Tuesday, May 17, 2016

40 games in the desert

When the team got off to a bad start, Mark Shapiro said he'd wait 40 games before making any major changes because it takes that long to determine what you have.

I'm sure that Stoeten and others will be writing pieces about where the team is and what possible changes might be in store. Quite frankly, that doesn't interest me. I got all burned out on speculation in the off-season. What's going to happen will happen. It's out of my hands.

What does interest me is the parallels. Traditionally, Jesus wandered in the desert for 40 days, was tempted by Satan, and emerged mentally stronger and ready to take on the burdens that coming into his ministry demanded. In fact, every prophet dude in the bible goes through this 40 days of trial, of uncertainty and solitude before he emerges to take up the mantle.

In fact, 40 days has significance across religions. Islam uses 40 days as a rite of passage frequently, for mourning and purification, The ancient Egyptians would refer to the 40 days that the star Sirius became visible just before sunrise, calling them the Dog Days (and yes, even then it meant the warmest, most humid days of the year). They also drained bodies of blood by packing them in salt for 40 days as part of the mummification process, as they believed it took 40 days for the soul to dissolve back into spirit. In Kundalini Yoga, a practice that arose out of Buddhism, 40 days of practice is required to make or break a habit, Buddha also fasted for 40 days. In almost all traditions, 40 days of seclusion for mother and child after birth was standard. Ancient astrologers would use 40 day cycles to track the solar year.

So 40 days, in its purist form, represents renewal.

We now come to our 40 days, represented by 40 games. They've been a time of great trial - struggling hitters, struggling pitchers, inconsistent defence, snatching defeat after defeat from the jaws of victory. Treating water.

This question becomes - will this team come out refreshed, stronger, ready to take on the mantle it looked ready to assume before the season started? I don't have an answer. I sure hope so.