Friday, July 31, 2009

Take Me Out To The Ballga ... Oh Jeez, Just Take Me Back Home ...

It being July and all, the Live Acorn and I had a hankering to see some professional baseball being played. In lieu of that, we went out to see the Boise Hawks.

Technically speaking, I concede that these “baseball players” are paid to “play baseball” for a “baseball team” in an allegedly professional “baseball league.” They got uniforms and everything! But sweet Rocky Colavito’s ghost*, what happened last night was a little closer to t-ball than the bigs, to be sure.

It started off with promise … the Hawk’s starter (Su-Min Jung) walked 1 in the first, but didn’t give up any hits. No perfect game, but the no-hitter was intact, with only 8 more innings to go! The tension at the park was as heavy as an acid-fueled conversation on the meaning of the universe at a '60s hippie reunion.** No one in the crowd dared speak for fear of jinxing it, and Jung sat alone at the end of the dugout, his teammates showing the proper reverence by avoiding any risk of disrupting the transcendent state he was surely occupying. Unfortunately, he gave up 4 runs on 4 hits in the 2nd, while only recording 1 out, so there went the no-no.

The Vancouver starter fared a bit better in terms of innings pitched (3), but worse in runs allowed (7). All in all, the Hawks used 5 pitchers, none lasting more than 2.1 innings. They were sloppy on the offensive side as well, with a couple of runners getting thrown out at 3rd (including a nice 8-6-2-5 double play – those whacky Canadians with their solid fundamentals and all that). In the bonehead play of the night, a Hawks batter reached 1st on an overthrown ball, rounded the base but lollygagged it back, during which time the Vancouver 1st baseman had retrieved the ball and winged it to the catcher, who was alertly covering 1st, for the put-out.

Final score: Hawks 12, Vancouver 9, thanks to 4 unearned runs on 3 Vancouver errors. Way to earn it, fellas.

Unfortunately (I guess that’s somewhat debatable), I had to pick up a friend’s dogs around 10 pm, so we had to leave in the 5th (2 ½ hours for 5 innings? WTF?). There … I admitted it, damnit. I left a game early. On half-price beer night. My god, what’s happened to me? I'm just a shell of my former self ...

In big league news, Cleveland starts a critical series against Detroit tonight. Not so critical in terms of Cleveland’s long-dashed hopes of post-season play, but critical in the Tribe/Tiger season series, upon which a keg of beer rests. The Indians are down 7-2, and therefore need to win 7 of the remaining 9 just to throw it to the tiebreaker. I’m not optimistic. I’m also not happy with ever uttering the words “ok, I’m not changing underwear until they climb back up to .500.”

Next April is a long time away.

* Rocky Colavito, being alive, doesn't have a ghost in the traditional sense. However, The Curse Of Rocky Colavito, born after Frank Lane traded him to Detroit in 1960, certainly haunts the team to this day. It should be noted that Detroit "fans" never gave Colavito the sweet love he so richly deserved.

** I really, REALLY need to work on my metaphors. Or similes. Whatever, you fucking language nazis.

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