I’ve often wondered — fantasized, even — about what it would be like if I just disappeared from my life. Like, just totally evaporated. Usually, it’s difficult not to imagine a net positive. One less “first world” carbon footprint couldn’t hurt. The world — especially Carson Cistulli’s world — might be better off with far fewer very predictable jokes about genitals. Someone with more talent and ambition would inevitably fill my position at a very worthwhile nonprofit. The overall quality of NotGraphs would improve. My mother would not have to waste her time tediously preparing lectures to give me about my debt; she could actually enjoy her retirement. The list goes on.
When Andrew McCutchen disappears — just totally goes invisible — the world (well, the Pittsburgh Pirates, at least) still experience a net positive for an entirely different set of reasons. Really, it’s the same set of positives that McCutchen provides while not being disappeared. In his absence, he still catches balls while leaping into the wall, he still hits home runs, he still keeps the outfield at PNC Park clean of debris while maintaining an amiable demeanor.
Indeed, some people are such a positive force in the world that even in the absence of their corporeal self, their force continues to make a difference. I am not one of those people, but I am happy to know they exist.