Motor City 5, Spain 0

You don’t play bottoms of ninth innings if hosts would win anyway. Duh. You don’t play for final outs if hosts clinch victory in ninth innings. Also duh. Hosts did in 8+ what visitors couldn’t do in 9. Victory is fair.

Still, losing on walkoffs is sad. And, if irrationally, it can prompt us to pity our status as visitors. What if our squad was hosting? Could it rally back in a bottom half? Could it walk off, winning without worrying about holding its margin?

If I’m not rooting for (or against) a particular squad, but am just watching sports, I might wind up sympathizing with that group that’s not as good. It’s fun to watch a squad that “shouldn’t” win do so. Or I’ll just watch for fun, without affiliation.

But what to do in Spain vs. USA? I didn’t actually watch any of it. I’m not much of a football fan. But it was on as background sound, and fans on forums I visit would discuss it.

I couldn’t root for Spain. Could I root for its opposition? I’m not highly nationalistic. I wish now and again that I wasn’t nationalistic at all. That I could focus on my own, individual worth, and all individuals’ worths, not having to look at which part of in our world I was born. Without having to look at an atrocity my compatriots did and know its guilt on my back. But, though I can hardly stand it, this “you suck for what folks you don’t know did” is a sort of nationalism too.

So what occurs if a squad I would support as David is also a squad I would not support for an opportunity to arrogantly boast “Oh, look how cool I am, I’m not rooting for this squad?” Nothing. I don’t root for anybody.

But following play, I laugh. I say “Wow”. It’s not a bonus for hosting, but smiling at local triumph? That’s an okay bonus in my book.

Tony La Russa’s 2,500th Win

Mack, McGraw, La Russa. Should I complain about this? No, it’s not bad. It’s notably good, in fact. But I am a product of flukish nostalgic brainwashing. I would look at old statistics books, growing to know which long-past star was top, and twitch at changing status quos.

But I’m okay with this addition to that old and poorly-known 2,500 win club. To start off, I didn’t know its original composition until La Russa’s arrival. Calculating statistics for guys out on stadium grass is normal, but wins for a coach don’t hold a similar status. And La Russa was third in history with only 2,499; his rank wasn’t abruptly (or dramatically) broadcast.

To rack up this many wins, you must coach month in and month out for long durations. La Russa has. So it’s not as if a star I saw is now up with old folks so much as La Russa is an old folk and from this point in history also. Congratulations.

Non-lipogrammatically, don’t forget to check out the sidebar every now and then: a new poem of mine is up at The Baseball Chronicle, while Big Fly Sports is a memorabilia shop.

An Open Letter To Brett Favre

We’re sick of hearing all about your plight.
Old vets should step aside at close of play.
Step aside and make your exit, stage right.

Though pundits at their end know the time’s right
Because their words aren’t interesting, they
Make us sick talking all about your plight.

Although we saw you crying on that night,
And you asked what might have been in Green Bay,
Step aside and make your exit, stage right.

Wild men who threw the footballs into flight
And learn, too late, they sent them the wrong way,
Are sick of hearing all about your plight.

Grave fans, in spring, wondering in hindsight
If you should have blazed like a meteor, say,
“Step aside and make your exit, stage right.”

You’re already descending from your height.
Please go, or at least tell us if you’ll stay.
We’re sick of hearing all about your plight.
Step aside and make your exit, stage right.

Randy Johnson’s 300th Win

First off, congratulations to him. Racking up statistics such as this falls around a continuum’s halfway mark. You couldn’t count down days until it would occur, but it wasn’t a surprising bolt from out of nothing. But long, continual quality will, with luck, allow guys to pull it off. I don’t know who will follow him into this club. Probably not anybody quickly. But, call it blind optimism or paranoid caution, I doubt Johnson is its last arrival. I’d doubt anybody.

Not all such triumphs must occur in good conditions. But although rainouts can host glory, this is just sad…

randyjohnson

I know that’s not an actual statistic. But still.

We Sports?

When I first blogged, I noticed something which surprised me in my poems. I used the word “we” oddly often. Something in sports turned lone supporters into collective gropus. When I switched to writing without “e”, I wondered if this would present problems. But it’s not very troublesome. Sometimes I use “I”; sometimes I use “us”.

But like Rickey once put it, this is the sport where putting solo success first, followed by club record, truly contributes to excellence. Why do we (they?) give room in the dugout to those pitching no-hitters? Worries of jinx? Or worries of intruding upon something upon which we–but there I go once more.

Our revolution didn’t topple despots or bourgeoisie. The new regime doesn’t consist of communes stifling independence. It’s numbers like (pitchers’) wins or RBI, relying on others’ skill beyond one’s own, which were overthrown.

The other night, the TV kept cutting to the rookie pitcher. Even when the opposition got hits, even when he couldn’t get the win, they kept showing him. No other people were sitting close enough to him to fit in the shot.