Monday, July 26, 2004

The Big Picture

Last year, when Kevin Millwood no-hit the Giants, I was out with the family running a bunch of Sunday-afternoon errands. Scott Graham's ninth-inning play-by-play on WPEN was my only lifeline to Millwood's gem. So when I took a break from yesterday's chores to check the score on TV and found out that Eric Milton had kept the Cubs hitless through six, I cleared the decks and hunkered down.

Milton, of course, lost his no-hit bid, and then the lead, in the ninth, but watching those couple of innings, hearing the sellout crowd at the Park roaring with every strike, seeing them stand and salute the Phils' hurler as he walked to the dugout after each inning and, finally, when Larry Bowa took the ball from his hand, well, all of that is why I love sports. On any given day, you have the chance to see history made. He's not referring to yesterday's game, but Bill Conlin's column today reflects a similar sentiment. Urging fans of all sports to take a peek at the wider world, Conlin recalls his own history growing up as a fan: "I learned from other disconnected but thrilling events of the day that sports is a movable feast and just being there can be enough. You can focus a lot of passion on your team, the one you live and die with. But while celebrating the latest victory or agonizing over the latest loss, it is possible to come up for air once in a while for a look at the big picture."

The Phillies' ninth-inning win was the most important news of the day, of course, but Milton's heroic start seemed to inspire a lot of searching for the larger picture to which Conlin refers. Doug Glanville's sacrifice to set up the winning run, a half-inning after he misplayed a pair of balls in centerfield, including the bloop double that broke up Milton's no-hitter, soothed the souls of many Phillies bloggers, who have made him their personal whipping boy throughout the season. Chase Utley and Pat Burrell earned big props. And nobody seemed to notice that the Braves had maintained their half-game lead over the Phils. The race resumes for the Phils tonight in Miami, but for an afternoon it was enough to watch one man's supreme and nearly successful effort.

UPDATE: Actually, Bill Liming is in a pretty unforgiving mood when it comes to Glanville.


At July 26, 2004 at 2:06 PM, Blogger gr said...

off topic, but in reference to your listening list: the bruce hornsby live album is his best record in my opinion. best concert i've ever seen.

At July 26, 2004 at 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Bruce Hornsby at the Mann as a teenager and I'll never forget his moves with a basketball at the piano. Still listen every once and awhile, and I would love to get that live album.

I'm also a big fan of one Death Cab for Cutie song "Blacking out the Friction."

Brian at the Philling Station
Tom - I'm still trying to get comments on my site

Go Phils - time to bury the Marlins

At July 26, 2004 at 9:54 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Wish I had seen Hornsby when he was touring with the Range, back in the day. I'm not a fan of his solo stuff, probably because I'm not a fan of jam bands, and Hornsby's solo efforts just aren't as tight as those first few records with the band.

At August 1, 2004 at 11:08 AM, Blogger gr said...

i can see how that would be discouraging. the first and third records with the range (i never liked the second one, except for 'valley road') have his best actual songs, although there's an occasional gem on the later stuff. true, they do stretch and jam alot now with the band, but i wouldn't say its in the vein of phish's up-and-coming period or anything like that. i love the blue grass redo of "jacob's ladder."


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