Friday, October 28, 2011

And THAT Is Why I Love Baseball

If I suddenly trail off in the middle of this "Two Cents" it's because I am dead tired from staying up to watch Game Six of the World Series last night.  I didn't plan on staying up until 11:15 pm--since I have to wake up for work just 3 1/2 hours later--but I just could not get myself to stop watching.  Last night's game is why I LOVE baseball.

I'll grant you, the first six or seven innings weren't much to write home about: terrible defense, terrible baseruning, terrible pitching and --what has been a hallmark of this series--terrible managing.  But once it got down to crunch time, the beauty of the game shown through.

After the Rangers went up by 3 in the 8th inning I told my wife I was going to stay up just to watch Tony LaRussa and Albert Pujols get their come-uppance.  A solo homerun made it a two run game.  "Nothing to worry about" I thought, "just three outs to go."  (If Rangers fans or Cardinals haters want to blame me for putting the jinx on this one, go ahead)

I wasn't even that worried when the Rangers closer threw six consecutive balls and put runners on all over the place.  "Just one more out"--then "just one more strike".  But in what is baseball's greatest attribute--the lack of a clock to "end" the game--the Cardinals got that last out, last strike base hit--just out of the reach of the outfielder--to tie things up and send it into extra innings.

I gave very serious consideration to calling it a night and finding out what happened when I got up. But then Josh Hamilton hit a two-run homer in the top of the tenth--and I again figured it would be a few more minutes and everything would be over--may as well stay up.  (And while we are talking about it--can someone write a screenplay for the Josh Hamilton Story movie that MUST be made?  A recovering crack addict who makes his way back to the Major Leagues, watches a man die in front of his son after falling from the stands while trying to catch a ball that Josh had thrown to him, and then hits what appeared to be the World Series winning homer after his team blows a 9th innning lead.  Hello Oscar!!)

Of course, the Cardinals come back with another two-out, two-strike rally in the 10th and on we go past 11:00.  By this time, I am way too emotionally invested in the outcome to even think about going to bed.  Fortunately (for my body--not for those of us wanting the Cardinals to lose), St Louis native David Freese hits a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th to win it and force a game 7. 

I know some people who call baseball "boring" and too slow-paced (and when the Yankees or Red Sox are involved it can be).  But for high drama and the uncertainty of when that game-winning play is going to take place--you just cannot beat it.

Now, if we could just play some of these games in the afternoon so I can get some sleep.......

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