Oh, this time of year is fun. I’ve been getting vicarious thrills by rooting for the Rockies to win the NL Wild Card, and all of a sudden they are in Los Angeles playing the Dodgers with a chance to actually grab the NL West crown. Cool, eh?
I like the Rockies for a number of “dumb” reasons, but you should know by now that liking/loving/rooting is not really a rational thought process. I love the Rockies for being the only team with purple in their uniform colors. And for Troy Tulowitzki, whom I love because he carries a Derek Jeter baseball card in his wallet. Tonight Charley Steiner repeatedly described Tulo’s “jump pass” move to the point of redundancy, yet never mentioned that Jeter holds the patent on that one. I get the feeling Steiner only mentions the Y-word when forced to (he being a former employee of the Yankees).
But what I love most, actually is an exciting race, and the Rockies and Dodgers are certainly giving us that.
Among the dramatic highlights of tonight’s game, which I listened to via MLB.com, Manny Ramirez, the 2004 World Series MVP, idiot savant of the batters box, supposedly immune to pressure and possessed of a “natural” swing and hitting ability that is matched only by guys enshrined in the Hall of Fame, at the plate with men on and the Dodgers having climbed to within 4-3 of the Rockies…
Not just strike out, but strike out for the 6th time in a row. The last time he put a ball in play was last Tuesday. And before tonight’s three-run outburst, the Dodgers had not scored more than a single run in any game. Their magic number has been stuck at one for five days.
All I can do is laugh hysterically when Charley Steiner announces that the pinch runner is named Who. (Hoo? I believe he’s Korean. The whole National League is like a foreign nation to us.) “Does he play first base?” corwin asked. “Oh, please tell me he does.”
As I write this, the Dodgers are batting in the bottom of the ninth, facing Huston Street. One out. They need a walk-off, come-from-behind win to clinch. For once it sounds like no one has left the park. Now two out, Furcal at the plate, and Andre Ethier on deck. There will surely be some pun about ether and floating to be made if he gets up and hits the game-winner.
“The Dodgers have not lost five games in a row all year,” Charley Steiner reminds us. Yes, Charley, but previous performance is no indication of future results.
Full count on Furcal. Of course. It’s like a law or something. Big dramatic moments have to go to full counts…
Game Over! Furcal lines right into an infielder’s glove, like so many infamous games of the past. Some even in California. Think Bobby Richardson.
Two games left in the season, and if the Rockies win tomorrow, the two teams will be tied with one game left. This is what great baseball is all about.
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