Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Every Time I Try to Get Out ...

How did this happen? How, after a second straight season of bitter disappointment by the hometown nine, am I again transfixed by playoff baseball? Two weeks after writing, "I actually am looking forward to the break," I find myself completely immersed in the league championship series. So much for time off until spring training.

Indeed, I couldn't tear myself away from the Red Sox-Yankees ordeal last night, and damn them, the Sox have me rooting for them yet again. And it's an honest cheering -- not my usual "Please, God, let Boston win for once so that all of the tiresome self-pity that enshrouds New England every autumn stops." And there's a hell of a series going on in the National League, too, and damn if I'm not pulling for the scrappy Astros and their Jesuit-educated GM to overcome "baseball genius" Tony La Russa and the Cardinals, whose coronation has been, thankfully, put on hold. As Paul Hagen notes, Gerry Hunsicker and Houston can thank our guys for that.

And then there's -- sigh -- the Phillies. If I think of them at all right now, it's with a wistful longing. The anger of this last lost season has been replaced by sadness at what might have been. When I see Fenway packed with yearning, pleading fans, bundled up in their scarves and gloves and faded Red Sox hats, I imagine, briefly, what it must be like. I was at the 15-14 game of the '93 World Series -- 11 years, a lifetime, ago. The memories are starting to recede. I want them back. Check that -- I want new memories.


At October 19, 2004 at 2:11 PM, Blogger Mark said...

I don't know how a baseball fan couldn't be drawn into these playoffs. Last night was perfect, flipping back and forth between Fox and FX. I didn't settle down and get to sleep until after midnight so I must have still been dreaming this morning when I thought, "with Schill and Pedro going in 6 and 7, they might just..."

The only bad part was the NL finish. I wouldn't have too big of a problem with the 'Stros winning, but do I have to see that jerk Kent with a big smile on his face?

At October 19, 2004 at 6:45 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Mark is right -- last night was great. After I got home from class, I sat down to eat and was going back and forth between the two, though I was more interested in the 'Stros-Cards game than the Red Sux-Spankees game. (Perhaps it's the National Leaguer in me.)

T -- you are also correct in your assesment of the longing. During the weekend games and last night, I kept saying, "We should be there. That should be us."

By the way, how is David Montgomery justifying the belt-tightening that's going to happen this winter?

At October 20, 2004 at 11:16 AM, Blogger gr said...

funny. i was at game 4...of the 83 world series. i was only 10, but it was still painful to watch cy young award winner john denny falter after pitching so well in game 1 of the series. oh yeah, the phils blew a lead at home in that one too.

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