Monday, September 10, 2007

Watching my Giants

When I watch Ryan Klesko at the plate, I am reminded of the notion of the boy in the man. Klesko seems to have an anger problem, and one suspects that you'd have to tiptoe around the guy. I remember when he was not a Giant that Kruk (the inimitable color man and one-time 20-game winner, Mike Krukow) used to comment richly on how annoying anger-holics are in the clubhouse. Now Kruk enthuses about what a good guy he is. That's what boys are like ... endearing and annoying by turns, sometimes at the same time.

Unrestrained anger has a little boy in it. It's a drag that the current child molestation hysteria combined with a rather uncritical proto-feminist de-focussing on the issues of boys is such that the notion of the boy is fraught with danger ... even the mention of it. (Don't get me wrong ... I'm agin child molestation, in favor of girls getting at least as good as boys get. Yadda yadda.) But I was a boy once, and I viscerally remember the confusion and elation, the anger and the flights of joy that I had to constrain lest I seem like a girl. That's what it's like being a boy. Being a man is so much easier and more satisfying. But some guys just never give up the boy ... the boy in the man.

And somehow, gruff and rough-bearded and lumberjack-frame Ryan Klesko reminds me of that spirit. It's not just the quick-to-anger. It's also the suppressed giddy joy when he succeeds. It's the prancy swagger and the glum retreats. It's the seeming confusion and the front of sureness. It's the way he sits down hard on the bench and starts to sigh ... and catches himself ... and flashes a glare. And then gets up for something to drink and prances around some more.

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