Video courtesy of Major League Baseball via YouTube
If last night proved one thing about this game: When it gets this great, it can be never disappoint you.
All of the things I’ve said about Commissioner Bed Selig, umpires such as Joe West, personalities such as Ozzie Guillen can be set aside for a few hours of real drama. To me, those gentlemen have the same amount of bullshit space as the cast of “Jersey Shore.”
There were six games of interest last night that made the entire season worth even given a 15-minute overview.
NEW YORK (AL) at TAMPA BAY: Have we not learned from 2008? Of course not! You throw the Rays against the wall, they’ll scratch back. They might even shock the hell out of you. The Yanks leaped into a 7-0 lead until the Rays crawled back into life. They tied it in the ninth on Dan Johnson’s homer.
Who in the hell is Dan Johnson? Where’s Carlos Pena? Oh, he’s on the Cubs…nevermind…
In the 12th, Evan Longoria retained his matinee hero status by his walk-off. That may be more icing than cake. If you were inside the Trop, you had every reason to celebrate by pissing off every Yankee and Red Sox fan for another year in a row.
The Rays won’t go away. They’re dangerous. They bite. But, what would be different this time now that they drew the Texas Rangers again in the ALDS? Remember last year’s choke that opened the door for a maiden Series for the Claw-and-Antler gang? If you’re a Rays’ fan – pray hard. Very hard!
ST. LOUIS at HOUSTON: If you were like me, you left the Cards for dead. The melodrama with Albert Pujols and other summary opera scenes in The Lou had to be put to the side for a shot at redemption.
The Redbirds did not disappoint. They relied on the dominant paradigm of the Phils to take care of half the job. The Cards had to take care of their side of the bargain. They did so by making mincemeat of the Astros.
Resounding victories never resolve lingering issues. It is just therapy – a way to get it all out in the open. Considering the entire season at Busch Stadium, this was exactly their primal scream. They let it all out – on display for the Houston crowd to witness. Did they feel any better? Ask them after the NLDS against the Phillies…
BOSTON at BALTIMORE: My biggest disappointment of the night. As a Red Sox fan, you hated to see these pesky Orioles pull the rug under the feet of a team that was picked to win the AL. But, they did. A rain delay didn’t help matters. Nor did the fielding of Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters. The bat of Carl Crawford could have sent the Sox back into the Postseason against the Rangers. Marco Scutaro was in the way of the pesky Orioles. The Sox were done at that point.
The O’s took advantage of the relay by taking a 3-2 deficit before the rain stopped play into a 4-3 shocker. The Sox’s door was slammed shut even as cowbells were ringing for hope in St. Petersburg.
No one should fault the Red Sox for choking at the end. Why? The Minnesota Vikings have Donovan McNabb now. I should be used to disappointment. In fact, I’m immune from feeling that way. Whether they’re wearing a big B on the cap or in purple under a new Teflon roof, they drink the same bitter soda.
PHILADELPHIA at ATLANTA: Once was a time when the Bravos were invincible. As much as they tried, it was for naught. If you want the biggest chokers of the evening – try the Braves.
In thirteen innings, the Braves waited for their chance at the postseason. Instead, they were on fumes. The Phils ended the Bravos’ 11-20 slide with Hunter Pence’s RBI hit.
The pain is over, Atlanta. Besides, there’s no more hockey for you. You pissed away the Thrashers to Winnipeg – just like the Braves pissed away their 2011 campaign. Feel any better now?
KANSAS CITY at MINNESOTA: Why should we be happy that the Twins avoided losing their 100th game of the season?
LOS ANGELES (NL) at ARIZONA: Want to spoil a party? Want to put sugar in the D-back’s tank en route to their meeting with the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS? Want to campaign for Matt Kemp as the NL’s MVP? The Dodgers ended their 2011 season by doing all of the above.
The Dodgers had a 5-0 run going into until the D-Backs started catching up. In the end, the Dodgers took care of business. They sent the D-Back onward to Milwaukee wondering how they could match up with Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun in their NLDS match-up.
For the Dodgers, the season may be over, but mid-November await for Kemp and Clayton Kershaw. But, hey, they did make a darn good “It Gets Better” video…
THE LAST SHOUT: This is it: The honest-to-God final post.
On Monday, I thought I was done. But, the regular season got more intriguing. It ended as I went to sleep. There I was – chatting about on road racing and Buick’s triumph in the Silver State Classic road race, along with how to save Lincoln (or, per my suggestion, dropping the brand altogether), but my Facebook and Twitter wouldn’t shut up. It was as I was telling the Braves to die already…or screaming at the Red Sox to pull this one out.
The game has a way to still grab your attention.
It’s been a pleasure, folks! I will now sign off for good. There’s more I can say – but I need to keep it under my hat for a bit more time.
For now…THE END.