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Cliff Lee Brings Magic 8 Ball to Interview

In answering the media by reading responses from the classic Magic 8 Ball, Cliff Lee offers us a lesson on the path to virtue.

Cliff Lee ventures a Taoist lesson
Cliff Lee ventures a Taoist lesson
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

This morning, Cliff Lee sat before the media at Spring Training hoping, at the very least, to avoid the controversy that came out of Cole Hamels' comments yesterday. In his quest to accomplish this simple goal, he left nothing up to chance and brought a PR consultant along to assist with the hard-hitting questions reporters were serving up.

To the casual observer, it may seem that Lee is avoiding confrontation with the difficult questions the curious media brings his way. However, to the more learned viewer, it is clear that Cliff Lee is, in fact, presenting to all who behold, a lesson in Taoist thought.

Regard Chapter 21 of the Tao Te Ching (Lau translation):

In his every movement a man of great virtue

Follows the way and the way only.

As a thing the way is

Shadowy, indistinct.

Indistinct and shadowy,

Yet within it is an image;

Shadowy and indistinct,

Yet within it is a substance.

Dim and dark,

Yet within it is an essence.

This essence is quite genuine

And within it is something that can be tested.

From the present back to antiquity

Its name never deserted it.

It serves as a means for inspecting the fathers of the multitude.

How do I know that the fathers of the multitude are like that?
By means of this.

Look into his eyes at the :13 mark. Cliff Lee has clearly attained an inner peace and serenity. Luckily for us he's offering us the path to follow him.

This Magic Eight Ball "just showed up in [his] locker." There, among sweaty socks and jock straps, it sat, shadowy and indistinct. It begged to be understood, or, at least, that an attempt be made for it to be understood. From this interview, we learn that Cliff Lee has not found the Way (the Tao) as he must still consult the ball. But he knows and teaches us, the viewers, that within this ball is an image, a substance, that, although shadowy and indistinct, dim and dark, contains an essence that runs throughout time. Though it initially appears obscured, this is the image we must seek if we are to understand not only Cliff Lee, but all of history.

So, while many will conclude that Lee offered us nothing in the way of information, answers, or insight in this interview, we will know that he offered us the greatest insight. He revealed to us the path to becoming persons of virtue. We do not yet know the way; neither does Cliff Lee. In the interim, he plans on following the way, obscured by the dark bubbly fluid within a black spherical object. Eventually, he will lose any use for the Magic Eight Ball as the way will follow him. Until then, we must peer into the abyss of the 8 ball to develop great virtue.

He's glad this black sphere appeared in his locker because it took pressure off him in the interview. We too should be thankful for its appearance because it offers us the way to virtue.