It’s rare that Twitter lights up in positivity, aside from baseball writers getting wind of a new Springsteen album. It’s a hellscape for the damned, and we’ve known that forever. But there is no dark space filled with the most vile evil that light cannot penetrate. U2 has a good song and a half somewhere in their catalog. St. Louis produced Jayson Tatum. Mike Myers did give society “Wayne’s World” once upon a time. Even CBS provided MASH, though that was 117 years ago.
So it’s understandable that the masses in unison smiled and cheered upon the announcement that Vin Scully had joined Twitter. There hasn’t been a time when we could use a reassuring and calming voice more than this one. And there is no more reassuring and calming voice than Vin’s. He soothed generations through the radio and TV, riding heroically but casually on a summer breeze as you sipped a lager. He brought a California sunset wherever you happened to be listening, which at the end of his career thanks to MLB.TV or Extra Innings could be anywhere. Thanks to Vin we could feel an ocean breeze no matter if we were in Venice, Peoria, or Altoona. We all pine for that now, pretty much 24/7.
But deep down, even though no one will admit it, you know what could happen, and what’s even likely to happen. This is Twitter. This is 2020. Heroes only exist to collapse on themselves and remind us all of our descent into oblivion. You thought many before were beyond that, but you found out violently that they were not. Nothing is sacred either in this year or on Twitter.
Oh, I understand. Even if just in the written form, you want to hear Scully’s voice as you read his thoughts to reassure you that there can be a time again when you can feel safe and happy and hopeful. After all, Scully’s tones only came to us in spring and left us in the fall. He was too good and pure for winter. You need that now. I need it now. We all do.
But it’s eating at you, just at the very base of your skull. It’s barely noticeable, but noticeable enough. A man who once said this is joining Twitter. You’ll tell yourself that this is just one outlier, one stance of a man from a certain age. And you’ll hope you’re right. I’ll hope you’re right. Everyone will hope you’re right! But if you do the math: old white man + hates socialism + Twitter = odds you don’t like.
And maybe that’s all it was. Could be. Hard to find another instance of Vin getting out over his skis. And that’s in a 67-year career. Maybe Vin just wants to tell stories like he always did. And we can enjoy them as just a small break from the constant soundtrack of the Earth and time swallowing us whole. Maybe the worst it’ll get is him explaining just why he hates goats. Especially in a streak of time where broadcasters are dropping left and right for revealing just who exactly they are, we all want the paragon of virtue to remind us what could be.
But Vin is supposed to be above this. This is a place far too messy for him. There’s no way to explain this to him. This is your kindly grandfather walking into your regular bar and seeing you half in the bag. Maybe it is you in your natural form, but you only wanted Pop Pop to see the best of you, as the person he wanted you to be. He doesn’t need to know that these are actually your friends and this is where your time is spent, dimly lit and seen through half-cracked eyes as your youth and hope drain away in yet another glass. This isn’t for him.
And sure, maybe even he can remain shining in it. But is that more likely than for it to go the other way? Look in your heart, you know it to be true. Is that what you want to happen to your vision of Vin? Why take the chance? It’s not worth it.
Vin is perfectly encapsulated where his career was. And he’s free to do whatever he wants with his time now, because it’s his after giving us so much of it before. But not this. We can’t afford this to go wrong, because there will be nowhere left to turn. If you need a Vin story, the sound of his voice in your house or apartment, there are more than enough clips to be found. Everything you need is there. You don’t need more.
It’s hard to say that Vin is of a time and place, because that time was so long. But that place certainly isn’t this one, and the chance of us finding only hurt and disappointment too great. This place isn’t for you, Vin. It’s not up to your standards. Leave us rabble to sift and stumble our way through this wreckage. You ascended from it long ago. Look down upon us and we’ll bask in the light you’ve already provided. Because the last thing we need is to find out you belong down here with us.