The other morning, either by accident or out of a need to distract myself from the numerous laments of my daily life, I chanced upon Carson’s Wednesday edition of the Daily Notes.
Sipping my generic instant coffee, I allowed myself to be regaled by pastel-colored tales of hope and vigor, of prospects whose stories have not yet played out, and will all end well. I had achieved a healthy sense of emotional detachment, an almost zenlike prospecting trance, when my eyes fell upon a single name in the final leaderboard.
I am not accusing M. Cistulli of fabricating these statistics, although it’s of course impossible for them to be true. For this is a list of people who have theoretically done something well, and yet it includes Horacio Ramirez. Based on these premises and the deductive reasoning that renders logic possible, Socrates must be immortal.
Perhaps you smile at my vehemence, dear reader, but my heart is steadfast. Horacio Ramirez is not a man; he is a malediction. He is a negation of goodness. He may not be the only specter who haunts me, but it is his eyes that glow brightest when the lights go dark.
I remember where I was when I heard the announcement that the Mariners had obtained Ramirez for the low price of a cost-controlled Rafael Soriano. I remember the floor I stared through as I listened to former Mariners GM Bill Bavasi punch me in the kidneys with his words. He said: “We had to get help for the starting rotation.” He said: “Horacio makes us better immediately.” His eyes said: “I hate you, Patrick Dubuque, and I will destroy your happiness by any means possible.”
What I find most damaging about this revelation is not a renewal of the memories of Horacio Ramirez, which will never leave me. Instead, it is the knowledge that a chapter of my life, one I heretofore thought closed, is now slightly open again. He not only lives, he pitches. He waits. He auditions. I will never be free.
Is it fair for me to treat the utterance of a man’s name, a man who is probably no less moral than any other millionaire, as an unintentional act of aggression? Perhaps not. If I were a better man, or more of a Kantian, I could separate Horacio Ramirez from the results of his actions, or at least the intentions of one Carson Cistulli from the wounds he has unintentionally dealt me. Alas, I am not.
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