Surprise. According to the Online Etymological Dictionary, “surprise” came to us in English by way of the Frogs, I mean the French:
Late 14c., “unexpected attack or capture,” from M.Fr. surprise “a taking unawares,” from noun use of pp. of O.Fr. surprendre “to overtake,” from sur- “over” (see sur-) + prendre “to take,” from L. prendere, contracted from prehendere “to grasp, seize” (see prehensile). Meaning “something unexpected” first recorded 1590s, that of “feeling caused by something unexpected” is c.1600. Meaning “fancy dish” is attested from 1708.
What is sweeter, or more painful, than surprise? Bishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and many others, speak of “the God of surprises.” A friend of mine, Joe Bergin, gave his retirement sermon as an Episcopal priest using that theme. Jay Bruce improbably missing Angel Pagan’s fly ball on Sunday was a gift from the gods and goddesses of surprises. Quelle surprise! It’s a surprise we celebrate. Undoubtedly Jay Bruce and Reds fans felt punished by the gods and goddesses of surprise.
You might easily say the huge, unforgettable sweet pleasure of 2010 was how much of a surprise it was. How was it that the Giants won it all in a year when others supposedly had more talent, skills, and drive?
Which brings me to this year. What are the biggest surprises of the 2012 season thus far [in medias res, as classicists at Edddddddacker’s Oxbridge might say]? Here’s my surprise short list (SSL):
1. The Time of Troubles for Tim Lincecum. I am hoping the worst is over, but the duration and dire drama of his slump were alarming.
2. Ryan Vogelsong’s 2011 performance is not a fluke. He’s for real. Really for real.
3. I thought Freddy would be back.
4. Barry Zito’s performance being this good even this late in the season.
6. Brian Wilson being sidelined for the whole year and Santiago Casilla doing so superbly.
7. Speed. The Giants with speed?
Speaking of surprises, the Sun Dressed Goddess was a chimera, a dream, an illusion, a trickster. She surprised us into thinking she was an oracle. We were led by lust, not wisdom. Surprise, surprise. Who will surprisingly take her place?
What would you add to the list of surprises for the 2012 season?
p.s. You Francophones, does my title need an S added to “quelle”? RIBBIT.
p.p.s. Time for my meds.