Signs of spring

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Y’all remember D. Brian Burghart? Long-time editor of this newspaper? Wrote a bunch of stories about police violence? Among other things? Looks like Mr. Clean?

When Brian was writing this column, he used to write about his garden. He’d write about how his xeriscaping plans, rant about the neighbor dog who peed on his tomatoes. Riveting stuff.

I once asked him why he liked writing about his garden. He said, “I’ve noticed that the more my personal life is in disarray, the more I write about my garden.”

Writing, like gardening, is a small act of organization. We organize words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, paragraphs into stories. Sometimes, when life seems chaotic, having something small to organize can be helpful. That goes for chaos in our personal lives as well as chaos in the world at large.

There are heartbreaking atrocities happening in Syria. There’s the continued threat of climate change. There’s the weekly litany of crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Trump administration. It’s enough to drive a man to gardening.

One thing I liked about Brian’s gardening writing was that it was so seasonal. I don’t garden, but this time of year, there’s only one thing on my mind—well, two things, but we’ll talk about the wholesome one—baseball.

As a San Francisco Giants fan, I was thrilled when pitching ace Madison Bumgarner totally crushed two home runs on opening day—becoming the first pitcher in MLB history to hit multiple home runs on opening day. After a couple of days of play, MadBum leads the majors in strikeouts as a pitcher, and also has the best batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging as a hitter. Those stats won’t last, but it’s a fun fluke of early April to see a pitcher on top of the hitting statistics.

The real bummer was that the bullpen let him down, and the Giants went on to lose that game to the D-backs, 6-5. Still, anyone who follows baseball knows this country is already great.