Time to check in on my men. And, in the spirit of, and recognition that the baseball season is about to start, time for me to consider some trades to make my team better.

First, there’s Silas. Now two years and 15 months old, he’s a winner on every level, especially on his sheer news-making ability. There isn’t a week that goes by without him adding to his resume and portfolio.

J.S. is always there for me. Now 331 years young, he also is a winner on every level, and while I am continually impressed by his international news-making ability, I especially anticipate my opportunity to go local – and by local, I mean personal – by doing his Christmas Oratorio with the Burlington Choral Society and orchestra in November. Considering J.S.’s enourmous impact in my life, I have been involved in his big works relatively little because I can’t stand the prospect of going public with less than a convincing and meaningful performance. Doing the Christmas Oratorio will mean a lot to me.

Manny! Oh man, that Manny had a great year last season with the O’s, winning his second Gold Glove at third base and hitting 35 home runs. He’s the most valuable player on the O’s right now and he’s just 23 years old, turning 24 in early July.

The Fed: talent, personal grace, and class personified. How can you be more admirable than having the first injury serious enough to make you have to pull out of a few tournaments be caused by running a bath for one of your daughters?

Now we get to those two players whose careers in my life may be diminishing enough to consider trading them for new talent.

John Macmurray, my Scottish philosopher friend who lived from 1891 to 1976. I can’t even remember now what it was that I read that attracted me to him, but that’s not to condemn Macmurray. Thanks to encephalitis, my memory over the past four or five years is full of holes. But he means nothing to me right now so I’m going to trade him for someone else. Any suggestions?

And finally there’s my old music theory teacher Spencer Huffman who will never stop being a vivid memory for me. The challenge of keeping Spencer on the Year of Guys team is that his impact on my life was back in the 1970s and early 80s, and it’s just about impossible to describe him to others and have them believe that he could simultaneously be both laughably weird and laughably profound in his impact on my musical life. So with respect and regret, I’m going to trade Spencer for someone else. Again, any suggestions?

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