clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

“I desire the things that will destroy me in the end,” wrote Sylvia Plath of the Mariners loss to the Yankees (maybe)

Google did not, regrettably, turn up any information about Plath’s preferred baseball affiliations

New York Yankees v Seattle Mariners
The CB stands for Can’t Believeit
Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

It’s 8:12 p.m. and the sun still lilts well above the horizon, casting a smugly golden glow over the scurrying ants of the city. This Tuesday was, like every Tuesday of a three day weekend must contractually be, a bear. But the weather has become nice, which should ostensibly improve morale, although it frankly feels more mocking than it does pleasurable.

The MLB At Bat app loads slowly, allowing the prospect of hope to shimmer just a few seconds longer while the Casamigos Tequila logo pulses dully until fading away.

7-0 Yankees in the bottom of the fourth. Oh.

“Perhaps some day I’ll crawl back home, beaten, defeated. But not as long as I can make stories out of my heartbreak, beauty out of sorrow.”

I’ve been reading The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath off and on over the last few weeks, which I promise is not the cry for help it might initially seem to be. There are, of course, plenty of references to death and mortality, but she also expresses a love for life and an aching desire to connect with the world and herself, grappling with her own purpose amidst a life that already felt too short.

“I want to write because I have the urge to excel in one medium of translation and expression of life. I can’t be satisfied with the colossal job of merely living. Oh, no, I must order life in sonnets and sestinas and provide a verbal reflector for my 60-watt lighted head.”

It is sensory overload, and angsty drama, and spectacularly dry hilarity. A truly unabridged journal of a brilliant, mortal young woman. Plath, I am certain, would have had an excellent Twitter account.

“I have long wanted to read and explore the theories of philosophy, psychology, national, religious and primitive consciousness, but it seems now too late for anything - I am a conglomerate garbage heap of loose ends.”

“Enough of this faux literary crap,” I can hear you warble in the comments. “This is a baseball blog*! What about the actual game??”

To which Plath would, perhaps, have replied to you “I don’t care about anyone, and the feeling is quite obviously mutual.”

And to which I might ask why you’re seeking the specific self-flagellation that is reliving a 10-2 drubbing at the hands of the Yankees, replete with a Logan Gilbert meltdown, lackluster offense and Scott Servais’ first ejection of the season.

Because Plath’s journals are a truly unabridged series of entries, spanning the last 12 years of her life, they carry no strong narrative thread and lend itself to be read piecemeal, consuming them almost as one might flip through a Motivational Quotes of the Day calendar. But as I wrestle to open the door to peer inward at my own self, pushed and pulled in opposite directions by feuding wants and needs, it’s Plath’s theme of self-discovery that has stuck with me most. It’s not a linear journey; in one entry, she writes plainly “Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences,” but a few days later she pens “I know pretty much what I like and dislike; but please, don’t ask me who I am.”

This is a Mariners team at war with its own identity. There is, of course, still time, but at this point the 2023 Mariners are defined more by the negative space - that yawning, cavernous abyss - than they are of their current play. To be as good, if not better, than they were last season, Seattle’s needs in the off-season were clear. Unfortunately, two months in to the season, those needs are still the same and have only crystalized as the innings tick by. It creates a strange sense of unsurprised resignation in response to games like this. They are reaping what they sowed, and yet they knew while they were sowing that it wouldn’t be good enough. A 10-2 loss stings, but it doesn’t wholly surprise, and that, perhaps, is the worst part of all.

To borrow one last quote from Plath, “The slime of all my yesterdays rots in the hollow of my skull.”