27 October 2004

Cruise Control

Postseason baseball is a slow-moving game. The pitcher stands in for what seems like hours and the batter calls time-out at the last possible moment in order to give himself another chance to pace around the umpire, spit on his hands, adjust his crotch and step back into the box, where the whole cycle begins again. Despite all this down time between pitches (especially in critical moments) I've been on the edge of my seat for every single one since the Sox began their miracle comeback last week.

That's why my definining moment for the World Series is when Scott Rolen was batting last night against Keith Foulke in the bottom of the ninth with 2 outs and a 1-2 count. Somebody made a joke and I was laughing and looking away from the TV. By the time I looked back Brian Gorman was ringing Rolen up on a called third strike. For a split second I thought, "Wait a sec, was that the third out?" Then I jumped up and clapped and hollered for the Sox who are now one win away from a World Series title.

See, the Series so far has been so easy compared to the ALCS that I actually let my guard down. People in the national media were talking last week about how the World Series can't possibly be a let down despite the excitement of the ALCS. But it's just not true. Winning the Series will be more exciting, but actually watching the baseball games feels like a midseason series in colder weather. The Cardinals never led in the first 3 games and none of them would even have been close had it not been for all of Boston's fielding errors in games 1 and 2.

Here's to the finale of what will almost certainly be the greatest year in my life as a sports fan.

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