The title of this post should be your first clue to the fact that this will be Off. You know, as in “not quite getting it”. But I got more than you might think.
I had about convinced myself to watch the final game of the World Series last night, but when the time came, I just couldn’t work up enough interest. The network blocked out 7:30 P.M.to 10:00 P.M. for the game, so around 10:00, I finally paid attention and said, well at least I’ll tune in and find out who won. Au contraire. They were in the 6th inning. (I said, How many innings are there supposed to be anyway? I forgot. )
One of the requirements of watching sports is that you have to be for one team and against the other. So I chose the team I was for using the same logical process that real sports fans do. Namely, I hate Texas. I hate the geography of Texas. I hate its climate (although lately I’m feeling sorry for them because of the drought. I fear they are in for another dust bowl.) I hate their politics and bullying ways. I don’t much like George W. Bush, and I dislike Rick Perry even more.
Then there is St. Louis. I actually lived there once for three weeks–it was a work thing–and flatly refused to go back. I absolutely hated it. But it had its charms. The Gateway Arch and the park around it. The old Courthouse where the Dred Scott decision was handed down. The Eads Bridge. It had history and familiarity on its side, so I had to pick St. Louis. I hate it, but I hate Texas more.
This leads me to a (brief) discussion of men and sports: it seems to me that they funnel a lot of emotional energy and passion into sports, which could be better spent elsewhere. But that’s the way it works. My wishing it were different will not make one whit of a difference. But men can’t help it–it’s the way their brains work.
Back to the World Series. So when I tuned into the game in the sixth inning, it was only seconds before the pitcher for the Texas Rangers hit the Cardinals’ batter with the ball. Holy Shit! The batter was not an idiot, so he tried his best to avoid it, but how fast is that ball going? 100 miles an hour? The ball still hit him on the hip, and I bet he isn’t feeling that well today. Assuming he can walk. But when I saw that, I said, These guys (the Rangers) are about to beat themselves.
Here’s why this was so bad–when it happened, the bases were loaded, so it was an automatic run for the Cards.
My prediction was right on the money. In the sixth inning, the Rangers still had time to come back, but I knew they wouldn’t. You could see it in their faces. They were feeling hopeless. This morning I read that Nolan Ryan walked off the field refusing to comment. I don’t blame him. His team gave up.
So what I would say is…that’s his fault. There is something wrong with the organization. Not with the players. They are amazingly talented. It’s Fakenames’s theory of management–you can’t beat the hell out of people mentally, and expect them to shine and have confidence. On the other hand, some days you just lose anyway.