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In any
sense, failure is often equated with limited effort or the inability to perform
as expected. In the context of A. Bartlett Giamatti’s “The Green Fields of the
Mind”, such is the opposite, in the sense that the individuals perform as
expected, but the outcome did not match. Essentially, the reader is given an
understanding of the idea that the loss of a game in the baseball world is
merely a form of motivation—not only for the plays but, for the fans. The fans
in this text, especially Giamatti, exude pride and praise for their respected
team. For instance, as the minutes dwindle down, Giamatti begins to zero in and
states, “the aisles are jammed, the
place is on its feet, the wrappers, the programs, the Coke cups and peanut
shells, the doctrines of an afternoon; the anxieties… the accumulation of a
summer: all forgotten, while hope, the anchor, bites and takes hold where a
moment before it seemed we would be swept out with the tide…”, and what the
reader sees in this is a looming sense of faith, a sense that as the last
innings and minutes of the game approach, the outcome may be a hard loss, but
still, there is a little bit of hope remaining in the thought of failure.
Often, with failure of this caliber, there is a bit of heartbreak, which is also
a sentiment that could briefly be felt though Giamatti’s text, “summer died in New England and like rain
sliding off a roof… Mutability (liability) had turned the seasons and
translated hope to a memory once again…” fans at the game experience
heartbreak in their team not advancing in Series, but Giamatti sees this loss
and fail at home as a distant memory, like the season, he sees it as a sense of
a new beginning. In a way, this failure could be seen as the perfect ingredient
in understanding what comes with the sport, or, as stated by Giamatti, “…others who were born with the wisdom to
know that nothing lasts”, with this sport comes plenty of ups and down, and
although failure is a significant part of it, it offers fans and players of the
sport to come to terms with the fact that failure is a part of reality, and is
often just temporary. Although the team lost their chance in that moment to
advance further, there is still hope for the future, their ability to hold
their heads high during this moment of heartbreak—both from the player
perspective and the fan perspective—shows their strength and looming hope. Their
loss only remains on the field, the idea that they failed is merely momentary, and
only those who have faith in their team could overcome the heartbreak of that
summer. This loss, the heartbreak, is merely temporary and lasts like the
seasons in which it occurs, which attributes to Giamatti’s usage of the word
“mutability”—which is the tendency to change: “Mutability had turned the seasons and translated hope to memory once
again. And, once again, she had used baseball, our best invention to stay
change, to bring change on”. Likewise, this adds to the fact that both the
fans and the players handled the failure in the mannerism of champs, although
they were disappointed, they possibly view this moment of failure as motivation,
the change in their expectations would drive them to work harder. And, for the
fans, this instance would give them an opportunity to praise their beloved team
for reaching as far as they did. Failure is merely a part of winning and
praise, and only the strong seem to handle this concept well.

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