Yesterday I made a dropoff at the door of Good Samaritan Hospital, and saw a man trundling from the parking garage, holding a tiny outfit on a plastic hanger, tags dangling from the little arm.

I had the following reactions:

-“THERE’S A NEW BABY IN THE WORLD THAT’S SO AWESOME I WANT TO MEET THE BABY!!!!!”a7f3dc561317cd5981597eca36037655

-“I do not want to be around when this guy hands an unwashed, tags-still-on winter fleece sleepwear ensemble to a woman who is well past her last shot of pain meds and tells her to place her newborn inside it on a 92 degree day.”

One man’s birth is a woman’s fourteen-hour labor. I wouldn’t know the details, exactly; I’ve never experienced another person shooting out of my body myself, but the arrival of a new person is the encapsulation of the entire human existence. It hurts and it’s difficult and it’s messy and it leads to a great deal of joy. The pregnancy comes to an end, but independence begins.

There’s a reason why more people show up to baptism parties rather than births. What we are watching on the field with the Reds right now hurts. It’s difficult and it’s messy but it’s not without its Bruce homers and Hamilton diving grabs. It’s not entirely pleasant to watch, but the import of the moment we’re occupying together here carries us game to game.

That’s why we fret so much over the draft and each footfall of each new import hauled up from Louisville. We’re hovering. We are midwiving the most difficult of births:  A potential championship team. There’s a lot of waiting and all kinds of vital signs to monitor.

The biggest fear amongst the fanbase is an eternal labor, a life of forever expecting and never delivering. There is rebuilding, and then there is delusion. Is this club the 1982 Reds, a horrifying but temporary freefall ? Or is it the Expos, perpetual losers and too lame to even be lovable about it?

There’s always hope in new life. Sometimes it all depends on how you dress it. Sometimes it’s just beautiful for what it is.

And sometimes… you have this bullpen.

About The Author

Proud aunt Mary Beth Ellis is a freelance writer and college teacher who lives in Cincinnati, OH. Her home site,, has existed in at least some form since 2003, and Mary Beth has been a regular columnist with one publication or another from the age of 16. Her first book, Drink to the Lasses, was published in 2006. She currently teaches college, runs personal wine tastings, gives literary readings, and stares into the middle distance.

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11 Responses

  1. Shchi Cossack

    Wrapped up with a tidy little bow, “And sometimes… you have this bullpen.”

    Marvelous!!! I love your contributions Mary Beth.

    • ohiojimw

      Agree on all counts. However by this time next week, this bullpen will hopefully add Iggy and Lorenzen then within a month could well add Straily and a lefty (Lamb? Finnegan?) if Stephenson and Bailey materialize as expected. So, the process is working there too; it is just more of a breech birth so to speak.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Many thanks 🙂 Sometimes when you don’t know how to end a piece— you look at the beginning.

  2. msanmoore

    And that is EXACTLY why I plunked down my annual $50 to watch the rest of the games. It will be like a roller coaster and, frankly, I love them.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Train wreck, roller coaster– all the same sometimes.

  3. Patrick Jeter

    “…but the import of the moment we’re occupying together here carries us game to game.”


    • Mary Beth Ellis

      I really appreciate that. Working at the Reds Hall of Fame truly gave me a long-term perspective on the franchise and the game.

    • Mary Beth Ellis


  4. WendyDUS

    There….I finally registered to comment in order to tell you how much I appreciate your writing, Mary Beth! I find your posts to be a welcome dose of hilarity in this rather bleak season.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Hi there! Made my day and I even have a blues concert to look forward to tonight. Tough to beat.