Friday, October 28, 2011

Go Rangers! Just Go.

Twice, the Rangers were one strike away from a World Series Championship. Once in the 9th, again in the 10th. Two blown saves. A combined five fielding and throwing errors by both teams. More mental errors than space allows to document, even in virtually infinite cyberspace. A football-like 10-9 score. 28 hits. An umpire who contributed to the pin-ball scoring by refusing to give either pitcher, any pitcher, the corner of the plate.

After the jump, the full indictment of a crime against sport.

Anyone who tries to pin the adjective "classic" on this Fall Classic fiasco just doesn't appreciate good baseball. It was just an ugly, ugly game all around. Like a car wreck that you pass on the highway unable to avert your eyes, it will be a long time before I can wipe my memory of the horrors I saw committed on a ball field Thursday night. I'll start trying by going to a high school football game Friday night. Even there, you won't see mistakes of this magnitude. Or, if you do, you can excuse them. They are young. They are learning. They are getting better. But for professional athletes playing in the sport's ultimate game, if their peak is what we saw Thursday night, give me another sport.

Call me a fair weather fan. I won't put up any more of a defense than the Rangers and Cardinals did. I didn't go to a Rangers' game all year. I didn't even watch one on television. I went weeks without even looking at the standings. But as the playoffs started and Rangers kept advancing, I got caught up in baseball fever. I had my heart in the game. I was thrilled with Nelson Cruz's 11th inning walk-off grand slam. Mike Napoli's bat and arm. Josh Hamilton's 10th inning homer in Game 6 to break a long dry spell at the plate. I despaired throughout the Series at the walks issued, the hit batter, the wild pitch, the infuriating inability to throw strikes. I would have been perfectly happy if the Rangers had overcome all the mistakes and managed to come back one last time to win Game 6 and the Series. But they didn't.

So, in the gray light of morning I have to re-examine what I saw last night, turn over in my head all the highlight reel material future coaches will show their players of what *not* to do, and close the books on baseball one day early. I won't be watching tonight. I don't have a good feeling about the outcome. It may be a new day, but bad omens persist. The first bird I saw at our backyard bird feeder this morning? A cardinal.

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