RON WOLFLEY

Wolf: Mark Reynolds and the game of life

Jun 19, 2009, 12:05 AM | Updated: Jan 14, 2011, 4:19 pm

Watching Mark Reynolds play the game of baseball is a fascinating way to pass the summer months. He is the most entertaining player the Diamondbacks have on their roster and summers in the Basin can be brutal. The Sonoran Sun will idle the hands of even the most ardent worker and turn busy Basinonians into sedentary lumps of coolent-craving fiends.

Mark Reynolds is the cure for oppressive heat and sun-soaked days. But before you can understand his power, you must understand the nature of baseball and where Reynolds’ “mojo” lives.

The game he plays needs to be considered in dispensations that include weeks not days, but watching it on a daily basis can be tedious. And this is where Mark Reynolds shines the brightest, depending on your perspective, and why he might change the way you view or hear a baseball game.

But before I tell you why your perspective may change, you must understand the nature of Mark Reynolds and why his “mojo” lives.

Mark Reynolds is never boring. He is a one-man-band with a built in laugh-track and Q-rating that makes UFO hunters observe his every move; he is audio/visual nitroglycerin, capable of making perfectly normal people explode in unfettered fits of rage or unbridled jubilation. His sphere of influence transcends the game of baseball, striking a chord in us that few baseball players have ever been able to find let alone play.

Mark Reynolds is not some corner-infielder playing baseball for the Arizona Diamondbacks, a man desperately trying to become a more consistent Major League player. Mark Reynolds, and watching him play the game of baseball, is nothing short of a living, breathing metaphor of our struggle between good and evil.

And, if you allow yourself to view him this way, exactly why I recommend you pass the summer by watching his every move.

He boots balls he should have no problem with and throws balls into the seats with aplomb. He struggles at the dish with an efficiency that makes the rising and setting sun seem like guesswork. He’ll wave at balls out of the strike-zone, swing without regard for his own safety or those around him and look completely incapable of hitting a beach ball with a pledge-paddle. There are times he looks like he doesn’t belong in baseball let alone the best baseball our species can spawn.

He becomes the embodiment of everything that is wrong with us, the proof of our condition – the vessel of evil we know we’re capable of becoming.

And then, humanity happens.

Mark Reynolds, suddenly and without warning, will make a play on a ball that three other humans in the history of the game could make. His at-bats abruptly change into works of art before our very eyes. Although he still waves at balls out of the strike-zone, swings without regard for his own personal safety or those around him and looks completely incapable of hitting a beach ball with a pledge-paddle, the next pitch ends up in the seats! He morphs into some super-human, some paragon of proficiency, no longer just a flawed product of our own devices, a man subjected to the frailties of our kind, but now a man we do not recognize, a man that could drive a pea into the gap with a no. 2 pencil!

He becomes the embodiment of everything that is right with us, the proof of our Creator’s good and pleasing hand – the vessel of good we know we’re capable of being.

So when the summer heat gets you down and boring comes at you in sun-soaked days of 115 degrees, consider watching or listening to (Sports 620 KTAR) the struggle we all face. Tune-in to the Diamondbacks, get primal and understand what Mark Reynolds is really doing on the diamond.

He’s not just playing baseball; he’s reminding us what we’re capable of and the consistent effort we all need to make in order to not go 0-4 with 4-strikeouts while committing 2-errors in the biggest game of all: the game of life.

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Wolf: Mark Reynolds and the game of life