October 22, 2004

Baseball Tonight

I'm surprised by how jazzed I've been by the baseball playoffs. Just watched the Cardinals win and pennant celebration. They look awesome and I've got to believe they're the prohibitive favorites.

I thought Clemens deserved a better fate today. The broadcasters speculated that "he might win the Cy Young Award and ride off into the sunset", on reports that Clemens may retire. But knowing what I know about him, I can't imagine that he'll allow his last ever appearance to be a Game 7 NLCS loss, giving up the game-winning home run. Nope. He obviously still "has it", throwing 94 mph to kids half his age. A matchup with the team whose cap he my well wear into Cooperstown would have been fun. But the Red Soz - Cardinals is a storybook Series, a reprise of 1967.

I've been posting a lot of Page 2 stuff from ESPN, because I think it's so consistently funny and well done. Read all of Sports Guy and Red Sox fan Bill Simmons on Game 7 with the Yankees. Here's a taste: (ellipses mine)

When Francona lifted Lowe in the seventh for Pedro Martinez, and Pedro allowed those two rockets to Matsui and Williams ... I mean, all those old demons came roaring back. It was the ultimate test. Like a recovering alcoholic opening that hotel mini-bar and seeing those tiny liquor bottles. Our room went silent, save for a few F-bombs and the echoes of the "Who's your Daddy?" chants. Poor Francona had unwittingly plugged Yankee Stadium back into its socket; I kept waiting for him to pull off the Paul Shaffer mask and reveal he was actually Grady Little.

I can't even describe the things I was thinking about. Terrible, horrible things. Dark things. I just kept remembering the words of my magazine editor, Neil, who called the series "Shakespearean" Wednesday afternoon. Well, if you were Shakespeare, how could you top last year's collapse if your ultimate goal was for an entire base of fans to kill themselves? Wouldn't you have their team roar back from a 3-0 series deficit, then blow an 8-1 lead in the deciding game? Wouldn't that do the trick?...

...Only Jeter seemed to care that the Yankees were getting smoked -- there was one replay earlier in the game, after his RBI single, when he pumped his fist and shouted at his dugout, "Come on!" He seemed desperate. The Yankees never seem desperate. Now they were headed home for the winter, headed for the No. 1 slot on ESPN50's "Biggest Chokes" show in 2029...

...You have to be from here to understand. You just do...

...And yeah, I know. We need to win the World Series to complete the dream. But you can win the World Series every year. You only have one chance to destroy the Yanks.

I expect we'll start hearing all kinds of good things now about the Yankees, now that they're choking losers. I don't expect we'll be hearing them here.

Posted by dan at October 22, 2004 12:02 AM