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Thursday 18th Jan 2018

Over the years, I have noted my love for the transactions page.

In fact, I have occasionally posted about the trannies on the Mastersblog--usually during the off-season--in a sort of running "series" entitled "Life and Death in the Transactions" (I think I am up to 34 of them over the years).

As a romantic, at least when it comes to philosophy and literature, I do see baseball as a metaphor for life. The business of games and statistics and box scores: the sort of organized chaos or chaotic organization of pitches and plays that constitute the stats and box scores indeed mirror the crazy hustle bustle everyday life can bring.

Within this world, most pitches never actually result in an out or a run, much like the zillion things we slog through on a daily basis--kids, pets, work, bills, the gym, lunch breaks, meetings, and such--are just threads within the larger whole of existence.

And, of course within the ordinary we can indeed see the extraordinary.

So, somehow within this microcosm, transactions are the obituaries and life and birth and marriage announcements, all cleverly crammed into reduced type in the paper I read as a kid, essentially telling us the real back-story of a player's maybe ten-year run as a professional.

I know that most everything that is in the transactions we can, and often do know before they are neatly clustered in one space for scrutiny the next day. In fact, I like Twitter and what I get from it, but somehow, seeing that somewhat ordered list of promotions and demotions and injuries and trades and retirements gives context to the crazy ethos of all the strikes and balls and hits and double plays.

Let's take Steve Pearce, for example, who was released by his Orioles team and then re-signed within a day, finding himself right back on the field the next day as the starting first sacker when Chris Davis went down earlier this year.

Previously, a top prospect, just the sequence so aptly describes the promise-then-despair-then-hope that reflects Pearce's career, that it is kind of eerie.

For it is to the transactions I go first each morning before I actually look at the box scores: to see that Jose Fernandez is going to undergo Tommy John surgery (lucky I own him nowhere) or that Erick Aybar is out for seven days due to a concussion, or the same Chris Davis is now out for a series on Paternity Leave.

We learned that George Springer, arguably the "must have" hitting prospect of this year not named Oscar Taveras or Gregory Polanco, was available, so far without the glitches usually associated with making the big jump to the Show under a microscope with the expectations of the world on your shoulders.

The transactions are where it was finally confirmed, after more gyrations and speculation that Stephen Drew will spell out the rest of the season with the Red Sox, which is four months worth or so, only a few fewer than the entirety of said negotiations.

Now it will be the Kendrys Morales show, and the slugger will sign somewhere over the next week and there will be FAAB bids galore within the leagues where Kendrys' services have not as yet been accounted for.

All the while, Kyle Farnsworth and Heath Bell, and probably now Jose Valverde will be out there peddling his services so he can squeeze out a few more days at the ball park before he has to consider life outside of baseball.

The question is where else can we witness the strum and drang of our existence in such a tidy and at the same time unpredictable fashion.

For, as surely as Valverde can sign on, and out of nowhere save a handful of games, so in a month could he be an ex-ballplayer.

Relegated to perhaps baseball card signings or SABR conventions where he can relive his best moments with us, and in all likelihood, which we will be happy to hear.

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