This is a curiosity, really, more than anything else. There’s no deeper meaning to it, and you probably won’t leave this piece with a better sense of why the sky is blue, the sea deep, or the winter cold. But it’s a fun curiosity, I think, and moreover it’s possible you’ll find the 10 minutes you invest in reading the words I’m about to write a worthwhile diversion from your ongoing journey toward nonexistence. Here’s Corey Seager’s 2016 line, through games played on Monday night:

.301/.360/.528, 17 HR, 406 PAs

And here’s that same set of statistics—batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, home run total, and total plate appearances—except for the fact that these statistics were put up by, and therefore belong to, Corey’s seven-year senior Seager, a Seattle Mariner named Kyle:

.287/.364/.527, 18 HR, 393 PAs

Both brothers, incidentally, are projected to produce a .283 TAv and 10 home runs the rest of the way. You will notice, I hope, that not only are those two numbers—.283 and 10, that is—identical to one another, the two semi-complete batting lines I just showed you are very similar to each other, as well. In fact, here they are, placed in close proximity to one another, in order to facilitate the optimal Comparative Experience:

.301/.360/.528, 17 HR, 406 PAs
.287/.364/.527, 18 HR, 393 PAs

The point is, these two men, both hailing from a single uterus, are now engaged daily in much the same endeavor as one another—that is, playing major-league baseball—and are performing, to a degree noticeable even to a lesser member (like me) of the Seager Family Fan Club*, at much the same level, although of course at vastly different ages, and in vastly different offensive environments. That’s a curiosity. That’s enough to say “huh.” That is, perhaps, enough to write a piece about.

Or perhaps it isn’t. As baseball writers, and particularly as baseball writers of an analytical bent—the kind of writers who, in addition to the game’s visceral pleasures, also enjoy from time to time the black-on-white clarity of a well-organized spreadsheet—we’re trained to find statistical curiosities of the type here provided by way of the Seager brothers, and use them as a jumping-off point for a story. A story about the Seagers’ differing path to the majors, perhaps, or perhaps about the incredible range of opinions about Kyle Seager’s defense (FRAA loves him; UZR thinks he’s toast), and how that’s the real difference between the two men.

I’ve written those kinds of stories for the last year or so, and many of them have been published right here on this site. Some of those stories have been good, and some have been bad, but for the most part they’ve come easy to me either way.

I’ve had a hard time writing those pieces lately.

For that matter, I’ve had a hard time writing about baseball at all, for the last few weeks. It just hasn’t seemed to matter, really. Every baseball story—as smart, as funny, or as interesting as it may be written—is at its heart a tale of men playing a children’s game. Of their struggles in doing so, yes, and their triumphs, but still, at its essence, the story of a game.

These last few weeks, that hasn’t felt like enough. Baseball, for all its many beauties, is silent on the subject of terror. It is silent on horror, and it is silent on death. Baseball doesn’t have an answer to a truck in Nice, or guns in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and Orlando. Baseball doesn’t have an answer to bombs in Baghdad, nor anything to say on the subject of tanks rolling through the streets of Istanbul. Baseball cannot speak on those subjects, and as I’ve cast about for the right words to say in response to them I have found no answer in baseball.

And then, today, I looked at the batting leaderboards and I saw the two Seager brothers, side by side. And I smiled at the slight curiosity, and thought happily for a moment of the game and the world that brought the curiosity into being.

Baseball does not have words in the face of terror. It can’t speak to horror, and it can’t speak to death. But it doesn’t have to. We have other words for those things, and other places. These days, we’ve had to seek those places out too often, but the magnitude of that search for meaning does not at the same time condemn the delight we can and do find in the stories of men playing the childhood game on clean grass under clear skies. Our escape into the game, if temporary, is not an admission that the world is forever to be made wrong but rather a confirmation of what the world can be when made right.

I am trying—and I suspect many of you are, too—to find meaning in the last few months, and to find a way to live in the world that does not seem deeply inadequate to its challenges. Baseball, I suspect, won’t give us that meaning. Baseball, I suspect, will provide us little guidance for how to live in the world. But baseball, I know, will give us some joy as we try to find out. Today, for me, in one moment, that joy came in the form of two batting lines: one from Corey, and one from Kyle.

*Founder, President, and Official Photographer: Meg Rowley.

Thank you for reading

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Thanks Rian for this thoughtful piece
Glad to have the chance to write it.
Reading this gave me the chills. Thanks for opening up. Humans aren't equipped to process evil on the order we witnessed those few months.