Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Fool's Paradise

I wish I could explain to you what happened to me today (Sunday, September 16, 2012) while taking in the Tigers/Tribe finale.  I'm going to try, but I fear that my attempts to convey the events, the emotions, the resulting pile of rubble, will fall far short of what actually transpired.  Let us start at the beginning.

The Tigers had taken the first two games of the series, and stood one game back of Chicago in the divisional standings, with 17 games to go (including today).  Chicago had handled the Twins in both of the first two games of their series.  I resisted the urge to say the Twins rolled over for Chicago.  Five gold stars for taking the high road there.

The weather was a gorgeous fall day: sunny, mild--perfection.  The date, September 16, is my wedding anniversary, so I had some juggling to do, what with honoring that occasion and paying proper due to the gravity of this and every other game that remains.  Fortune smiled on me for a short while, as the kid got invited to a friend's, and the spouse wanted to take an afternoon nap.  I set up my radio, got out the necessary score-keeping accoutrements and prepared to enjoy the game al fresco.  I even determined not to let Jim Price annoy me too much.

I missed the very beginning of the game, and was mildly concerned (wholly unhinged) to hear that Austin Jackson was a late scratch, his ankle having lost a battle with the outfield wall yesterday.  IknewitIknewitIknewhewouldn'tbeokayafterthatIknewitwouldcomebacktohauntwhatarewegoingtodowithoutmyAjaxheisindispensiblewewillnevermakeitdoomdestructionandforfeitthegamerightnow.  Yes I said we.  Yes I am a loser that deserves all the snarky disdain you can dish.

I started scoring after the Tigers had put two runs on the board.  I have to say, things were very nearly idyllic.  The light breeze, the moderate rays, the sounds of baseball.  Couldn't ask for a better time, really.  I may or may not have been intoxicated by these powerful euphorics.

Then, the bottom of the 5th happened.   Four straight double play balls and NOT A SINGLE DOUBLE PLAY TURNED.  Error(s), infield hits, questionable calls, ejections, near ejections--PURE MAYHEM, PLAIN AND SIMPLE.  When the dust cleared, the Tribe had the lead and my lovely afternoon was in serious jeopardy.  I tried to slow my gulping, enraged breaths, looked around for something to kick, and ultimately sat bewildered, but still roiling.

At this time, I took intermission from the game to felicitate the years of marriage, reminisce about being young and in love, etcetera, etcetera.  I'll not bore you with any further particulars. You're very welcome.

Needless to say, I took a brief moment to capture the rest of the game on my DVR prior to embarking on anniversary celebrations.  When I returned to the contest, I was watching rather than listening, but still keeping score.  OF COURSE, OF COURSE before I even began playback of the recording, SOMEONE referenced some detail about the game, to which I shrewishly replied that I had taped it and could you please refrain from any more spoilers, you moron, I mean my beloved husband.  Let this be a cautionary tale to you, that no matter how careful one is to remain "in the bubble" and away from sources that could destroy the sanctity of an unwatched game, it almost never works.

I rather wish I hadn't seen Alex Avila take a Prince Fielder forearm to the face.  I would have preferred not to view replay after replay of Avila getting knocked down and nearly out.  I MEAN, WHY WAS PRINCE NOT CALLING AVILA OFF???? I KNOW, I KNOW, HE PROBABLY NEVER SAW HIM COMING AND IT'S NOT HIS FAULT, BECAUSE YOU NEVER TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE BALL, BUT HE IS NOT A FORCE YOU WANT TO SEE COLLIDING WITH YOUR ALREADY BATTERED BACKSTOP UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE WHATSOEVER.  In the end, Avila walked off the field with a little help from his trainer friends, but you know, concussion scare, freak out, more hand-wringing.

I rather wish I hand't seen Don Kelly tumble off the wall after attempting to make a play on Santana's deep fly to right.

I rather wish I hadn't seen Jose Valverde blow the save, even though it was his fourth outing in five days.  It was a rather hard thing.

I rather wish I hadn't witnessed Lloyd McClendon walk two batters intentionally to load the bases for Chisenhall.  Not that I fear Chisenhall, and yes, I know the runner was already at third, but I HATE STUFF LIKE THAT, INTENTIONAL WALKS ARE EVIL INCARNATE, ESPECIALLY IN LATE INNINGS.

I rather wish Chisenhall hadn't jumped all over the first pitch and walked it off in our faces.

I rather wish Chris Perez hadn't started jawing all over again, drawing the attention of Miguel Cabrera.  I see he is intent on waging all out war between the clubs, so that is fine, just fine, Perez.   Noone will forget any of your junk, and I can't wait to hand you another "low point of your professional career."  I realize that as of right now, Perez is luxuriating in the fact that his team took the season series from the Tigers, and is negatively impacting our playoff chances.  Whatever, I've got more serious concerns for the time being.

I will only say one more thing before I pass out in a fit of exasperation.

I loathe more than anything depending on the outcomes of other teams' games to determine my team's fate.  SO TAKE FATE BY THE THROAT AND DRAG HER TO THE 2012 PLAYOFFS, TIGERS.