Friday, September 19, 2008

Baseball To The Rescue

A pennant race is a welcome diversion from the high anxiety of Wall Street and the election. At least the games are a welcome diversion.

Hit the mute button. Sports talk on the radio and TV isn't all that different from political and economic commentary. It's shrill and self-important, delivered with an urgency that suggests you've got a hundred dollars bet on the game and only ten dollars in your pocket. The style is the substance. All the hype doesn't approach the tension from needing a two-out hit with the tying run on second base. The chatter, stats and posturing mean you care, but, to quote Yogi: "In baseball, you don't know nothin". What Yogi means is all the thought and analysis and preparation doesn't predict the outcome.

It's hard to ignore the crash on Wall Street, but don't you think the Seattle Mariners should get some of the bail out?...and the whole National League too, except "da Cubs". It's been 63 years since the Cubs were in the World Series. They lost to the Tigers in 1945 and 1935, the Yankees in '38 and '32, the Philadelphia Athletics in 1929, the Red Sox in 1918 (Babe Ruth pitched and won 2 games for the Red Sox). A hundred years sinced they won it! They beat the Tigers in 1907 and 1908. I think they're going to make it to the World Series this year. However, "in baseball you don't know nothin".

Twins comeback against the Rays last Thursday night made Friday dawn brighter. Friday and Saturday the starting pitchers got smoked early. Liriano to the rescue on Sunday, and it was bombs away last night in the first game against Chicago. Twins win, 9-3. Twins are young and fun, but their inexperience has been a weakness down the stretch. It's no coincidence that Mauer and Morneau are the most consistent hitters. They are the "old" guys who been through the pressure before. Over the last six weeks their good young pitchers have been inconsistent and run out of gas early. Blackburn tonight, Slowey on Thursday. Can they win the division? Sure they can; however, in baseball you don't know nothin'.

Best baseball book ever: "The Glory of Their Times" Lawrence Ritters' collection of stories told by baseball players who played between 1890 and 1920.

Sports Page Fallout, Gopher Football: Tom from Hibbing called last Thursday morning after the Sports Page: "C'mon, Scott, how can you and Fred not know who the Gophers are playing this weekend? It's Florida Atlantic! You guys gotta be on stuff like that!" Before I got deeper in Tom's doghouse by asking who is Florida Atlantic and why are the Gophers playing them, Tom reminded me that they beat Minnesota last year. Oops...
BTW, Gophers won,...Ohio State this week. The Gopher are big underdogs, however, in football you don't know nothin'.

In October, John Bauer starts his eighth year as coach of the Itasca Community College Women's Basketball team. His teams are well-coached, always hustle and will probably be one of the top teams in the state again. However, in basketball, you don't know nothin.

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