Every season starts to drag around August and you start to forget. Then it ramps up again for a week or so in september when we aren’t really sure that the Sox are going to make it, but at a certain point many of the games turn into late March Spring Training games. But then there are sometimes “Regular Season” games that remind you what this is all about.
Last night’s tiebreaker in the AL Central was one of those games. It had everything playoff sports are supposed to: Drama, redemption, villains, people from Detroit getting crushed in the worst possible way, and Craig Sager’s hideous sportcoats (the purple was a nice hint to the fact that he probably joined Gruden and Jaws in blowing Brett Favre after the game Monday night). While I love baseball, and can usually watch any playoff game that is on, last night’s game didn’t really draw my attention until I could see that it was going to be close late. I sat down to watch (as opposed to just following it on the internet) right before Magglio tied the game with a frozen rope into the left field bleachers, and I was hooked.
No high fives for Rayburn last night.
The best part of the whole game for me was the emotional cement mixer that Ryan Rayburn must have gone through in the 10th. After he crapped the bed by misplaying a single into a triple on the first batter of the inning, he had to sit through four more batters as he watched his screwup turn a likely victory back into a tie game. Then, just when it looked like his team was screwed and all the fans were going to get for excitement was going to be the thrilling walk off sac fly, Rayburn nailed Alexi Casilla to complete the double play and keep the game going (had Casilla just stood on the bag and waited for the catch he would have scored, but he moved down the line as if he wasn’t going to be able to score on a single, and then had to go back).
Of course, Rayburn took a kick to the junk when Casilla hit a game winning single in the bottom of the 12th, making his botched play in left one of the primary reasons that he was going home instead of to the playoffs. The fact that the Tigers couldn’t score with the bases loaded and one out in the 12th, or a man on third with no outs in the 9th was just adding insult to injury. When Gomez crossed the plate with the winning run, I could almost feel sorry for the city of Detroit, but then I realized it was Detroit.
Seriously. Look at the dude on the left.
(In case you are wondering why I hate Detroit so much, there are two reasons. One is that the biggest douche I have ever met was from Detroit, and the other is that after spending a summer in Italy, I missed my connecting flight home from Amsterdam and was forced to fly 16 hours to that fair city. This sucked because their other option was to let me stay in Amsterdam for a night, which was fine with me, and because they stuck me in the middle of a row with two sixteen year old idiot girls who kept pronouncing the name of their city in french on either side of me. They refused to allow me to switch to an end so that they didn’t have to talk over me, and the only movies that were shown featured Kevin Costner in a film that was not about baseball, and Britney Spears in a film that was not a sex tape. The flight attendants had to cut me off half way over the Atlantic. That is why I hate Detroit.)
Tell me this isn't better than "Beyond Baseball"
It was a great game, which reminded me that I really do live for this month, off days and all. The festivities begin with a warm up slate today starting at 2:30 on TBS. It’s not beyond baseball (the lamest marketing slogan since the Oakland Raiders and their “I Will” campaign (leading to plenty of I will suck, I will fumble and I will give up jokes amidst others not appropriate for a f#$%ing family website like this one). What exactly was wrong with “I Live for This?” It’s true, the game is at it’s best and there is more drama in this month than any regular season month ever.
On a happy note, does anyone else find hope in the fact that Jorge is already pissed that his pitchers think he sucks? I guess the Yankee clubhouse isn’t all hugs and kisses. Oh, and Sabathia sucks in the playoffs.