Thursday, November 2, 2017

Houston, we have a World Series champion!

Finally! 

Houston, we may have problems but our baseball team isn't one of them.

Congratulations to the Astros for the most entertaining and thrilling season in this fan's long memory and for what surely must be one of the most exciting World Series in the history of the game.

Congratulations to the unflappable Charlie Morton for the win in the final game of the series and for being on the mound for that final out. Nothing could have been more fitting. And thank you, Charlie, for not screwing around and walking people in that final inning. I don't think my heart could have taken it. Three batters up, three batters down. That's the way it is done.

Baseball is an old-fashioned game, a game of nuance and grace and elegance and, yes, poetry, more balletic than bashing. It's a game without a clock which is why a particular game might last less than two hours or five hours and seventeen minutes. It takes as long as it takes. A lot of modern fans don't have the patience for that.

Baseball is a game that will break your heart two times out of three. But, oh, that third time is worth waiting for.

John Updike knew and loved the game and explained it best of all. Let's give him the last word and then, let the off-season begin!

Baseball

by John Updike
It looks easy from a distance,
easy and lazy, even,
until you stand up to the plate
and see the fastball sailing inside,
an inch from your chin,
or circle in the outfield
straining to get a bead
on a small black dot
a city block or more high,
a dark star that could fall
on your head like a leaden meteor.

The grass, the dirt, the deadly hops
between your feet and overeager glove:
football can be learned,
and basketball finessed, but
there is no hiding from baseball
the fact that some are chosen
and some are not—those whose mitts
feel too left-handed,
who are scared at third base
of the pulled line drive,
and at first base are scared
of the shortstop's wild throw
that stretches you out like a gutted deer.

There is nowhere to hide when the ball's
spotlight swivels your way,
and the chatter around you falls still,
and the mothers on the sidelines,
your own among them, hold their breaths,
and you whiff on a terrible pitch
or in the infield achieve
something with the ball so
ridiculous you blush for years.
It's easy to do. Baseball was
invented in America, where beneath
the good cheer and sly jazz the chance
of failure is everybody's right,
beginning with baseball. 

6 comments:

  1. Yayyyyyy! Congrats to the Astros, and to their fans for being steadfast in their commitment to their team. Hooray!!!!! :-D

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    1. It was a long time coming but definitely worth the wait.

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    2. Did you go to the Astros parade?

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    3. No, we didn't go. It would have been a nightmare for us getting in and out of the city. We watched on TV. It was amazing!

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