Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Non-Random Run Distribution; All 19 Are Meaningful

In the narrative of the season, I can't tell if this one was a stark juxtaposition, an ironic reversal, a clever commentary, or a bizarre non-sequitur.

Just one day after the Sox were no-hit into the 7th against Chicago, and then brought a 2-1 lead into the 9th, the Sox and Rangers combined for 36 runs, tying an A.L. record, and 47 hits. The Sox blew leads of 10-0 (after 1) and 12-2, but came back from a 16-14 deficit in the 8th to win 19-17.

The universe is just crazy sometimes, I guess. Narratives imply authors, but the authors intent, which might help to make sense of things, is notoriously inscrutable.

I should have believed myself that it'd be one of those Hamlet typing monkey nights. My girlfriend Rebecca, empath that she is, wished that baseball had a mercy rule upon the Sox taking a 10-0 lead. I warned her that Texas has a strong offense, and it's early, plus they deserve to get their asses kicked if they do. Get them kicked, that is. But no, instead I figured it was in the bag, and I went to the local park to see Bob Dylan in concert. Well, we didn't have tickets, so we played frisbee in the dark with a Dylan soundtrack.

Goddam hippies.

But then it turned out the game was all crazy, teaching me another lesson about unpredictability and chaos, a lesson I continue not to learn, relying, as I do, on coherent narrative structures. The temptingly familiar emotional categories of the game- humiliation at losing the lead, determination and refusal to quit, obscure the sheer oddity and randomness of the events; determination involves control, randomness is at the behest of the cosmos. In a pitcher's duel, every pitch has meaning, each sequence hand-crafted and unique, implying intent and design. In the slugfest, hits are mass-produced, aggregate copies, and individual events become mere statistics, without obvious meaning. Baseball becomes pinball, a violent, jarring series of projectiles.

Or maybe I just identify with pitchers, and cringe when they can't get anybody out.

Also, Youkilis is a badass.


Eric said...

I feel ya: I checked out in the fifth or so to call tech support on my rebellious router. When I turned things back on, it was 15 to 14 the wrong way and I was blindsided. Made for a great finish though.

Rooster said...

What a crazy game to be at! After the first, we casually joed about the possibility of losing the game, or have it at least be close. Then it came true!

Pitchers were just throwing BP up there and getting hit HARD!

Barry said...

Ortiz had a week's worth of RBI in the first inning.