To My Subscribers: you just got an email saying I’d published a new article, but if you followed the link it won’t (shouldn’t!) work. I’m sure we’ve all done it: clicked the big blue [Publish] button rather than the harder-to-notice white [Save Draft] button.
I was working on an article for later, got as far as I wanted to today, and meant to save it as a draft for later. But the Big Blue was just too easy to click!
Fortunately, WordPress allows you to put a published post back into draft status (and I set it to Private just to be sure).
So, oops, my bad! Cat got out of the bag early, but kitty is kenneled again until later!
But wanting to send out a quick note about this gives me an opportunity to talk about something else…
Realizing that many (most? all?) of my readers aren’t into baseball as much as I am (at least until I can convince them of how cool it is), I was going to try to limit writing about it.
Admittedly, by “limit” I mean one post per week—during playoff season. Once the season is fully behind us, I promise there won’t be as much baseball (but there will be some, no doubt).
In any event, I was going to hold off talking about last night’s ALCS game between the Detroit Tigers and the New York Yankees. The problem is that it was a game with a lot worth writing about.
And now, with my publish error and this correction, I have a chance to mention what I was dying to mention!
With all four Division Series behind us, it’s down to two American League teams and two National League teams battling to see who goes to the World Series. This battle is called the Championship Series. On the AL side, the Tigers are taking on the Yankees, and on the NL side it’s the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Giants & Cardinals play their first game this evening. The Tigers & Yankees played their first game last evening and play their second game this afternoon (first pitch is a little over two hours away as I write this).
- Baseball is a difficult lover; it constantly says, “No!” to me.
- I “hate” the Yankees and the Cardinals.
Naturally, last night I was rooting for the Tigers to beat the Yankees. And it very much looked like baseball was about to give in and say, “Yes!” The game went five innings with no score on either side.
Then, in the top of the sixth, a single by Prince Fielder (yes, that’s really his name) drives in a run, and the next batter, former Minnesota Twin Delmon Young, hits another single that drives in a second run. Tigers are 2-0!
Tiger pitcher Doug Fister keeps the Yankees scoreless through 6.1 innings, and both relief pitchers, Phil Coke and Joaquin Benoit, keep them scoreless for another 1.2 innings (6.1 + 1.2 makes eight innings; I’ll explain that another time, just trust me for now).
Meanwhile, top of the eighth, Delmon Young homers, Jhonny Peralta doubles and later scores on a single by Avisail Garcia. Now it’s 4-0 Tigers, and the Yankees remain scoreless through eight innings. It looked like they might be shut out, and many New York fans left the ballpark.
But as that Cards/Nats game showed so painfully, it ain’t over til it’s over. In the ninth, Tiger closing pitcher Jose Valverde damn near does what Nationals closer Drew Storen did the night before: loses the game.
It starts with a Russell Martin single and an Ichira Suzuki homer. Now it’s 4-2. Then Valverde walks Mark Teixeira and gives up another homer to Raul Ibanez. Now the game is tied, 4-4, and Valverde finally gets the hook.
New York fans who left early and are listening to the radio are bumming. And the Detroit Tigers are really bumming. The Tiger dugout is not a happy place. And my lover seems to have changed her mind to, once again, “Nope.”
Two extra innings, the tenth and eleventh, don’t change things.
But then, in the twelfth inning, mighty Delmon Young drives in Miguel Cabrera (“Miggy” the MVP) who was walked (once again, walking the lead-off batter comes back to haunt).
Then what looks like a bad turn for the Yankees goes tragic. Ace shortstop Derek Jeter fractures his ankle on a play and has to be assisted off the field. His ankle will take three months to heal, so he’s out for the rest of the season. No more playoffs and no possibility of a World Series.
Jeter is often called the “soul” of the Yankees, and he’s undeniably the team captain. He’s a major name in baseball, a wonderful guy and an awesome player. This injury is awful for the Yankees and for baseball.
And I want to be very clear now that my “hate” of the Yankees is pretend. It’s sports hate that helps draw rooting lines. Actually, genuinely hating a sports team is (in my opinion) just silly (if not downright stupid).
In fact, I quite like Yankees manager, Joe Girardi. He seems like a hell of a great guy. In his press conference after the Yankees won the ALDS, he was at the desk with his three kids. That was really neat, I thought. And the way he presents himself and his team is always admirable.
So my heart breaks for the Yankees. I still hope the Tigers beat them, but they have my most genuine condolences and wishes for a speedy and complete recovery for Jeter.
I want to see his smiling face on the diamond again!
[While we’re on the subject of genuine hate, it’s not an emotion I indulge in very often. I don’t believe there’s any individual I hate, although there are many I intensely dislike. I will admit to hating some faceless groups, however. Two that top my list are spammers and people who use their cell phones while driving. And as I’ve mentioned in the past, these are “ordinary” hates. The real human horror shows, the terrorists of societies and individuals are on a special list of worthless non-human vermin.]
After the Jeter injury, the Tigers go on to score another run, and in the bottom of the twelfth the Yankees (not surprisingly considering the emotional blow) go down 1-2-3.
And so the Tigers win the first ALCS game 6-4, and baseball—after teasing me all evening—finally says, “‘Yes!” and the Yankees suffer a loss in more senses than one.
Truly a mixed pleasure.