Last night was one heckuva a night for baseball. The Red Sox finished their epic collapse while the Rays came back from 7-0 against the Yankees to snatch the AL Wild Card from the jaws of the Sox. In the National League… same story. The Cardinals won and just needed the Braves to lose, which took 13 innings to happen, but it happened.
And in Minnesota, in a game few people but Twins fans cared about, the Twins avoided 100 losses with a 1-0 win over the Royals on the backs of a complete game shutout by Carl Pavano and 9th inning heroics by Denard Span and Trevor Plouffe. It was a nice farewell to John Gordon… I wasn’t listening on the radio, but I hope he missed calling a few plays just for old times sake.
Good baseball tends to bring out good writing, and Joe Posnanski has some of the best. The entire article is worth reading, but his final paragraphs describing why it is that people love baseball is worth quoting.
Baseball, like life, revolves around anticlimax. That’s what you get most of the time. You stand in driver’s license lines, and watch Alfredo Aceves shake off signals, and sit through your children’s swim meets, and see bases loaded rallies die, and fill up your car’s tires with air and endure an inning with three pitching changes, a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk.
But then, every now and again, something happens. Something memorable. Something magnificent. Something staggering. Your child wins the race. Your team wins in the ninth. You get pulled over for speeding. And in that moment — awesome or lousy — you are living something you will never forget, something that jumps out of the toneless roar of day-to-day life.
The Braves failed to score. Papelbon blew the lead. Longoria homered in the 12th. Elation. Sadness. Mayhem. Champagne. Sleepless fury. Never been a night like it. Funny, if I was trying to explain baseball to someone who had never heard of it, I wouldn’t tell them about Wednesday night. No, it seems to me that it isn’t Wednesday night that makes baseball great. It’s all the years you spend waiting for Wednesday night that makes baseball great.