Friday, September 23, 2016

Sliding into October

Anyone who knows me knows I love baseball, the Red Sox most specifically. I like football too. Last night when the Sox and the Patriots were playing at the same time, I was, thanks to modern technology, watching the Sox on television while at the same time watching the Pats on my iPad. It worked out surprisingly well, and they both won!

I know many eschew baseball for being slow and plodding, but that's part of what I like about it--that and the fact that you know who the players are and where they are on the field. In football, which I grant I understand less than baseball, too often they end up in a pile of elbows, butts, and helmets.

The men who broadcast baseball (are there any women?) fall into two categories--the play-by-play guy and the color guy. The former tells what's happening on the field, what the batter's count is, who caught the ball in the field, or whether a fly ball near the Pesky Pole (Fenway's right field foul pole) was declared foul or fair. The color guy elaborates on the plays, relates it to a player's history, or talks of a former player who did a similar thing. The moments between pitches or during pitching changes or while waiting while the umpires put on their earphones to await word from New York about a challenged play allows for conversation between the two of them.

The other night there was a conversation about sliding into base. One said that the experts (whoever they are) assert that sliding does not get a runner into base any quicker than if he were to run. The other disagreed. They proposed to set up an experiment to find out, but then agreed it was impossible, so each settled back into his own point of view. Like many of these conversations, it was amusing but not of much consequence. 

I do not have an opinion on the efficacy of the slide, but I do enjoy it. There's something about seeing all 5' 9" of Mookie Betts suddenly flying superman-like into second beneath (usually) the glove of the second baseman that is almost balletic, and his smile at having achieved this theft is magnetic. 

Then there is the dirt on his uniform--an orange brown stain that is clear evidence of how he literally throws himself into this game.

Not many games left now. Soon I won't have to watch two games at a time, but before that time there are the playoffs, and who knows what will happen! Fingers crossed here for more magic from Mookie, Papi, Pedey, and the rest of the gang.

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