Wednesday, September 17, 2008


They say baseball's relationship to time is unique among sports; only a baseball game can be infinitely long, where it's merit, and not time, that continues or ends the game. As such, predictability goes out the window, as we could be here awhile.

Not so when watching an archived game on mlb dot com; the video player likes to say how much time is left in the file. So when I can't watch a game live, mlb punishes me, destroying the illusion of infinitude, endless possibility and unlimited expanse; they insist on not just finitude, but the precise amount. They say if you can't quantify it, it don't exist, but, well...

So it wasn't enough that after missing the live game after teaching, avoiding newscasts and emails to watch the battle for first unencumbered by what was by then historical fact, free to revel in my own narrativologizing (not a real word, methinks), that the internet had to crash in a game tied at 1 in the 8th inning, and I had to wait until Wednesday morning to see the predetermined conclusion. No, I had to sit there, watching the Rays get the lead runner on in the 9th, and see that there was about 3 minutes left in the video file of the game. When you can see the end of the tunnel and there isn't any light...

Now of course they can't hear you when you scream at the tv, and they really can't hear you when the game isn't live, but that swing and miss by Pena on a 1-1 count with a runner on in the 9th that got reversed like a McCain policy in a campaign (ha), because apparently an umpire had called 'time', not simply to name it but to stop it, because Tampa's answer to 'what part of 'bullpen' don't you understand?' is 'pen', you know, the 'enclosure' part, because a stray ball just moseyed onto the field just before the pitch, though unbeknowst to the relevant parties, and so the strike didn't count and Pena ended up walking on a full count instead of whiffing, well, i still yelled 'horsesh*t' at the computer and its stupid finite video file. Or horsepen, or whatever.

In any case, Beckett was fantastic. Threw two tons of curveballs, with great command. Got some called third strikes on fastballs after setting them up with a curve. (See how that works, Josh?) Beckett and Tek even seemed not to bicker, for once. At one point, (the 4th?), Tek went out to the mound on a full count to Hinske, 1st and 2nd one out, and Beckett threw his first changeup, to get the whiff. Good communication, good strategy, not a law of nature that Beckett has to throw a fastball there. He's ready for the playoffs.

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