I attended a 51s game on June 16 at Cashman Field with some friends. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I had never been to a local baseball game. It feels like a sin of omission for a longtime Las Vegan who is also somewhat embarrassed to admit that he loves his hometown not just despite its heat, its heedless grasping myopia and elemental yet endearingly fumbling greed and wrong-headedness, but a little bit because of those things. I’m thinking of those things right now because it’s summer and on Facebook everyone seems to be theatrically announcing This heat is a metaphor for the principal unfitness of Las Vegas & I’m leaving do you hear me! so I thought I’d put that out there.
Speaking of which, City Councilwoman-elect Michele Fiore threw out the ceremonial opening pitch at the game. Oh my god, it was terrible. Let’s get that out of the way. This is purporting to be a prose poem, but there’s really no way to poeticize or romanticize her pitch. She basically threw it directly into the ground like four feet in front of her, and gravity and momentum were sympathetic enough to conspire to make the ball limpingly bounce-roll in the general direction of home plate. I didn’t take a photo, but if I did, it would be of this moment:
[Michele Fiore, having just thrown the ball, hopelessly keeled forward like someone tripping on a curb or falling down stairs, her hair flung over the front of her face, in that very moment looking completely lost and bewildered, at the total mercy of the forces of precipice and vertigo]
We of course made some self-satisfied jokes that cast her pitch as a metaphorical commentary on her politics or future political career, ha ha, but I also had this surge of hope that what I saw as a startling moment of touching physical uncertainty and vulnerability might somehow introduce to her the thought that the work of the city council is largely administrative and performed in a spirit of collaboration and compromise, so in other words it’s not like a zoning variance request is an intruder breaking into your house at 2 in the morning and you can just shoot it and take a selfie of you blowing the gunsmoke from the barrel for a self-promotional novelty calendar.
Like most sports or even mass gatherings in general, baseball relies on tribal rituals and episodes of communal expression. Singing songs together such as “The Star-Spangled Banner” and even the more general practice of cheering on the home team induced me to imagine us standing up as one and singing Michele Fiore a chorale of earnest hope and encouragement called something suitably gravid and inspirational such as “Michele, The Time Has Come to Administrate” or “O Administrator.” In any case, something that would express the nature, duties and importance of the job and with the word “administrate” in it.