Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wheel of Fortune

The Calendar has rolled over… Equinox approached and blew through California with the stillness of our last breathtaking heat wave… Crazed football fans have abandoned knee-buckling flag football dates on Sundays for bloody mary’s and multi-flat screen paradises at the local Sports pub. Ahhhhh… Fall! Truly my favorite Season of the year! The men of October reach postseason diamonds. Select and persevering gladiators of baseball we’ve admired through 162 courting games of Spring and Summer, gave us a day of competition unforeseen like none other. A day of baseball like last Wednesday night affirms my point of view that baseball continues to be one of the best games ever created by man. Even sharing the limelight side-by-side with the men of grid-iron in NFL and college stadiums across the land, never have I enjoyed an end of regular season MLB, anticipating magic in the post season as now, Fall 2011.

Major League Baseball had the most climatic 162nd day of games. Nowhere in MLB history were fans privileged to unyielding torture and inexplicable elation when a melt down transpired of two teams in the National and American League Wild Card play off run. Four games took 5 hours to unfold (weather delays experienced, placing drama factor over the top). All Atlanta and Boston had to do to keep their hopes alive was win their last game. One of the greatest attributes about baseball, is a game is not measured in time, but outs. Each team has 27 outs. Atlanta and Boston were 6 outs away from securing a win (and an opportunity to play another day). Tampa Bay and St Louis Cardinals were 6 outs away from losing, extinguishing any hopes to move on in to October. How quickly fate changes hand in between so few outs. An out left on one side can be opportunity for one team, and dismal frustration for the other (unable to reach that last out).

Somewhere in between those 6 outs, bedlam ensued; a 7 run deficit which seemed out of reach was gobbled up in 2 late inning rallies; a stopper, and closer coughed up runs opening the door to a nightmare scene. As Boston walked back with their heads low just beaten by a walk off single in extra innings, they arrived in their visiting locker room in Baltimore only to view Tampa Bay driving the last nail in their coffins- Season over. In one month, Boston managed to implode, killing a 9 game lead over Tampa Bay, and an expectation (by fans and critics) of landing in the Fall Classic. A Walk off home run stole Boston’s place and sealed the other team’s fate in to the playoffs. In the last game, in the last inning, with that last out left, Evan Longoria’s line drive over the fence in Tampa Bay was the second home run in history heard around the World (Bobby Thompson of then New York Giants in 1951 was the first).  Not even Hollywood could come up with a script as dramatic and emotional of what transpired on September 28, 2011 between 4 storied franchises in America’s past time. A natural, a field of dreams, the rookie, and a nightmare on Ostend Street keep me coming back for “The Love of the Game”. 

I cannot WAIT to see who survives 216 outs to make it in to ‘The Fall Classic”.

Of course…. Would I forget to put in a clip?

“Major League” Highlights that will have you in stitches:

“Lolligaggers” from Bulldurham:

Meat Nuke Lalush and Crash Davis in one of many favorite scenes in Bull Durham: