The Baseball Desert

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Shut down and shut out

Was it the late hour playing tricks on my eyes or did Tony La Russa actually show some emotion in the dugout during last night's win?

I've read that Zumaya was upset with his performance, but in the end it didn't make much of a difference. The Tigers couldn't get anything going against Carpenter, and even if you take Zumaya out of the equation, the Cardinals would still have won the game.

So, it's 2-1 Cardinals. We have ourselves a bona fide World Series, and it continues tonight with Bonderman vs. Suppan, which could really go either way. I'm still rooting hard for the Tigers, but, like NGFT, (and with apologies to Sam) I'm also rooting for it to go seven games, because I'm already starting to feel those first pangs of PBD (Post-Baseball Depression).

Having said that, despite there being potentially only four games left in the season, part of me feels a sense of relief. After seven months of baseball games in the middle of night, I'm done, physically. I'm having trouble hanging in there for all nine innings, especially during those 8pm ET / 8:35pm Fox time starts. (To be fair, I think the bottle of Burgundy - well, half-bottle - that was consumed with dinner may also have something to do with the specific problems encountered last night).

People sometimes ask how I manage the late nights (the answer is: "I have no life") but it's quite simple: if I don't make the effort to get up and watch those games, I only get to see about 30 games a season, and that, given the opportunities that the Internet affords me, is not enough. As things stand, I think I saw somewhere between 80 and 90 Red Sox games this year, a fact of which I am very proud. Or rather was very proud, until I read Irish Eagle last week and discovered that I there are other inhabitants of the baseball desert out there who are even crazier than me. He's a Mets fan living in Ireland, who reckons he listened to 135 of the Mets' 162 games this season.

There's an explanation behind the figure (he didn't listen to all the games live), but still, ladies and gentlemen, that is some major-league fandom right there. However, although he's still rueing the Mets' NLCS defeat, I'm willing to bet that, just like the rest of us baseball exiles, part of him is going to be glad to get his regular life back come Monday morning.

At which point, of course, we'll all start wondering: "How long is it until pitchers and catchers?"