Even when he confesses to being "cynical," it's hard to tell if Alex Balk is kidding. Here's how he describes it:
My default setting is a cynicism so calcified that if you tried to cut it with a diamond-edged saw the saw would stick and you need to send down a pair of giant shears to retrieve it.
But some occasions do bring out the The Awl editor's earnest side. (One such occasion was this review of two books grappling with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.) So this time, we'll take him at his word. In a recent post, Balk admits that the tearful coda of the Armando Galarraga perfect-game saga transported him back to a less cynical state. Watching umpire Jim Joyce wipe away tears as he took the lineup card from the gracious pitcher, Balk thought:
[T]hinking about the remarkably classy way the characters in this drama have handled this situation... for a brief second I was able to remember a time when I wasn't suspicious of everyone and their motives. ... that moment when I felt that swelling in my chest and could honestly believe that people are basically good ... That was pretty nice
Of course, Balk can't help sneaking in a joke at his own expense. "Thank God" Galarraga accepted a Corvette for his trouble, Balk quips. "It keeps me from being stuck on sincere."