Marking the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day brought with it certain warm promises.
Marking off a precious few square feet of beach, in a zone hopefully free of music devices, dogs and squalling hell brats.
Sipping summer beers, and unapologetically complimenting their fruity finish.
Opening your power bill with dread, like there was a live scorpion inside.
And, really digging into baseball. Sweating out the dog days of a sport that rises and bakes in the heat and humidity of the coming months.
A large part of surviving the summer, certainly in this part of the world where the countdown to college football never stops, has been following the Braves and their quest for October relevance. While having lost much off their fastball since the glory years, they still have provided at least a healthy diversion throughout the oppressive heat. Braves baseball is supposed to be the background music to our summers. They are a bit out of tune at the moment.
What about this summer, in which they have been all but mathematically eliminated before the first firefly flashed?
Unless the NBA takes seriously my petition to make the Warriors-Cavs Final a best-of-41 series, the Braves soon are to be about to be our lone consistent sporting amusement.
While this may seem dire, while it may feel like we’re facing the equivalent of months watching Caddyshack II on a continual loop, I think there is hope. Honest, there is.
While this is the summer to avoid looking at the Major League standings – as you would avoid looking directly into the sun – there will be plenty of other, smaller intrigues to follow.
This will be the summer to soak in each young pitcher’s start as you would your own child’s first steps.
This will be the summer to track the path of the other prospects throughout the Braves system and celebrate their imminent arrival in the big city. The more of these arrivals the better.
Who will stay? Who will go in the big remodel? It is the summer of rearranging furniture.
A summer in which the Braves only imperative is to become merely watchable (by the way, they have made some strides in that direction).
A summer to await the next strained promotion the marketing people conjure up in an attempt to fill a few more seats – c’mon out kids, it’s Ender-Inciarte-Wrestles-A-Bear bobblehead night.
Basically, it’s a summer to spend envisioning better summers to come.