I got an email last night just as the Republican debate was driving me away from my living-room. It was from Jesus Cordes, a former right handed pitcher for the Saraperos for seven seasons, and now the club’s Director of Player Affairs.
Cordes came up to the club in the early 90s and I never knew him when he played—and I probably played before he was born, but over the years we’ve gotten to be nodding acquaintances as he’s invited me to one club soiree or another.
This email was to invite me to down to Saltillo on Sunday, April 3rd for a fund-raising game before the club’s home-opener against the Acereros. The Acereros weren’t around when I played ball. They entered the league just as I left it, replacing the Mineros de Coahuila in 1976.
In any event, the exhibition game is to benefit the Club de Ninos y Ninas de Mexico, the Boys and Girls Club, which is surely a worthy cause, so it was with some sadness that I had to demur.
Not only am I exceedingly busy at work—what else is new, I am going in, finally, for arthroscopic surgery on my wounded right shoulder. As my shoulder stands now (mixing a very fine metaphor) I can barely lift my right arm and even doing simple tasks like emptying our expensive Upper East Side German-made dishwasher causes me to shimmy with pain.
Truth be told, there’s little in life I would rather do than hang up my advertising cleats and—especially if the Orange One becomes President—relocate down south of the border, and become an old man involved in a boys’ game. I have stayed close to the management of the Saltillo club and I’d love to lend my years and my accumulated baseball gravitas to the betterment of the team.
We have become, en el Norte, too serious for me. Work now—every decision seems to be made as if we were defusing a roughly-wired nuclear device with an impatient and unpredictable timer. We pretend the most minor of pursuits has importance—all, I think, to make us feel more important along the way. I often feel that I am the last one in business meetings who still makes a joke, who cuts the tension, who laughs at himself. And maybe it’s this proclivity of mine that makes me feel less and less at home in the modern world. More and more vox clamatis en deserto, as the Romans said.
It’s not that I don’t take life and work seriously, or even games in the Mexican League, of course I do. I just sometimes feel that we are running full-tilt chasing our own asses like Jesse Owens on hop.
I wrote back to Cordes and explained the situation with my wounded right wing, expressing my regrets that I won’t be able to play or even attend the exhibition game. I even included a check for $100 for El Club de Ninos y Ninas and a PS that, should my shoulder ever heal, I look forward to other games and other liaisons with the Saraperos.
I was pleased that just 20 minutes after my note went out, I got one back, inviting me down around American Memorial Day.
The Club had designated May 26th, "Hector Quesadilla Day."
That, I won't miss.