Wednesday, May 12, 2004

54-40 Or Fight

Why is that the title? No idea. Only saw the last few innings last night, so no 9x9, but boy was that a fun one. I actually woke up this morning forgetting that the Sox had rallied back, and had that annoying "oh great, the papers are going to stink today" feeling in my stomach. Then I remembered the wildly improbable Dave McCarty triple that won the game and hopped right out of bed. By hopped, I mean fell. And how about that Ortiz home run? Holy stromboli. The comeback win is by far the most exciting thing in sports, and baseball is the sport most prone to such a result. When football or basketball teams are separated by a few points, it's understood that either team could easily win, but not in baseball. If it's the 7th inning and you're down by two, chances are, you're losing. It's more akin to a 10 point 4th quarter rally, but even that's not as thrilling. Perhaps because an entire baseball comeback can be crystallized into one standing event - such as the McCarty triple - the return has more weight? We can watch an at-bat and say confidently "well, this is the game", and one way or the other, we're probably right. Unless of course we're watching Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS and improbably the "game" at-bat happens over and over because Grady Little refuses to lift his starting pitcher. But that's neither here nor there. The point is, you don't really have that with the roundball or the footedball. Unless leads are huge, baseball comebacks aren't gradual, they're sudden. And wonderful. Sudden and wonderful.

Tim Wakefield going tonight for the all-important 2 of 3. Wake, who is having a somewhat unheralded great year, is the focus of a New Yorker piece this week about the plight of the knuckleball. There is also mention of Sox prospect Charles Zink, who is quite a butterflier himself. It's not available on-line, so you'll have to buy the mag, but it's, you know, a pretty good magazine. Also, there's a solid Q&A on-line with the author.