Friday, October 20, 2006

There is NOTHING quite like Playoff Baseball.

There's very little chance that I'm going to be able to write anything that even approaches a sensible and/or analytical recap of last night's Game 7. No, I'm not going to completely ignore the game in this space like last weekend's loss to Auburn (Why oh why was Tebow not in on 3rd and 2 at the Auburn 6? I'll never stop believing Mullen and Meyer outwitted themselves on that play. Stop...think about last night. Ahh, yes. That's nice.). Rather, I'm still so jacked/fried from last night's emotional roller coaster to effectively sum up the events that happened late last night as I sat in my house all by my lonesome. I don't care if the NL is far inferior to the Al, that was a classic Game 7. A bonafide classic. Clutch performances by unlikely heroes on both sides in an absolutely electric atmosphere. I've been alternately pumping my fist (lightly) and smiling all morning as I read through various accounts of last night's clincher. I think I finally understand what my friend Kurt was going through when he engaged me in the most awkward man hug in recorded human history after Aaron Boone's Game 7 HR over Boston in 2003. Thank God I was by myself last night and the only thing I had the chance to hug was a frosty bottle of Jager.

In the interest of attempting to capture some of last night's emotions, I'll detail a couple of the phone calls exchanged by my father and I during the latter innings of last night's win.

10:03 pm: I was literally halfway off my couch and in mid-yell when, all of the sudden, Endy Chavez decided to make the most improbable catch since Angels in the Outfield. I immediately sat my ass down and watched the replay of Chavez's catch over and over and over. Chavez is one of the nicest professional athletes that I've ever met but I want to stab him the fucking eye right now. And I would, if I wasn't paralyzed by the agony of the emotional swing that Chavez just inflected on me. After a minute (or an hour I'm not sure) I pick up the phone and call my Dad. He answers, which is a good sign as I feared for his health, and says:

Dad: That's unbelievable. Best catch I've ever seen.
Me: "He barely even..."
Dad (cutting me off): I know. He snowconed it. That was the game winner right there.
Me: You're right. Fuck.
Dad: We really need Suppan to shut them down this inning.
Me: Yeah, we think Shea is crazy now.
Dad: Okay...Bye.

I'm not sure what my Dad was doing during the bottom of the inning. Me, I was cursing Endy Chavez only to stop cursing him and start cursing Scott Rolen. As soon as the ball left Rolen's hands I was convinced the game was over. Of course, I tried to do my part by cracking yet another Budweiser (I don't even drink Bud and I bought a six pack last night in hopes of sending some good karma the Cardinals' way. Yep, I'm 29 and have a Masters degree. I'm sure this is exactly how my parents pictured my life progressing when they sent me away to college.) I don't know if the Budweiser worked but it certainly didn't hurt. Neither did Jose Valentin's complete inability to hit a decent curveball. Jeff Suppan will always have a special place in my heart after that performance in the sixth inning (ngs...okay, sgs). My Dad calls again.

Dad: Wow.
Me: Can we really win this thing?
Dad: I'm not sure. I just know it's not over yet, somehow.

Cut to the top of the ninth. I'm once again cursing Scott Rolen as he quickly falls behind 0-2. However, the next thing I know he's managed a single and is standing on first. Yadier Molina strides to the plate. I wrote about unlikely heroes a couple of days ago and he would certainly fall into that ever expanding category (Suppan's already in at this point). He hits the first pitch deep, really deep. Can Chavez get to that? No. I let out a primal scream that has to have awoken at least one of my neighbors. As the inning ends my phone rings.

Dad: It's all on Wainwright now.
Me: God that's a lot of pressure for a rookie. I'm worried.
Dad: I've been worried for 5 hours. What's another five minutes.
Me: Bye.

I'll tell you what another five minutes is...excruciating. Once Cliff Floyd comes to the plate I'm practically hiding my face behind my hands. I can't stand it anymore. Wainwright shows some serious onions and gets Floyd. Reyes goes down quick (Though initially I could've sworn that ball would drop). Now Wainwright starts to lose it a bit and ends up walking Lo Duca. Here comes motherfucking Carlos Beltran and his magical mole. I hate that guy. Nobody has murdered the Cardinals in the postseason like Beltran. Ok, that's a lie. Babe Ruth gave it the Redbirds worse...that's comforting. Before I even have much time to freak out it's 0-2. Now I'm completely freaking out. Wainwright drops the hammer on Beltran as he stands there motionless. I let out another primal scream. Cards win. Are you kidding me? CARDS WIN!!!!

As I sit there in disbelief, my phone rings one last time.

Dad: How's the World Series sound to you?
Me: Pretty fucking good. What a game.
Dad: Yeah. I don't think I'll be go to sleep anytime soon. Might as well crack a Bud.
Me: One step ahead of you old man. Did you wake Mom up just now?
Dad: I think so. Who cares, the Cards are in the World Series.
Me: Unbelievable.

We stayed on the phone going over the game for another few minutes before we finally hung up. Of course, I was a long way away from going to bed so I stayed up with a beer and a shot and watched as much coverage as possible. What a fucking night.


Greg said...

Who's this "Dad" you speak of? And how come you didn't call Pat? I'm sure he'd like to hear from you.

I also read Sport-Gyne's column. Two of the things that jumped out at me were both discussed on Wednesday night over some beers with Whitdog and "the Teej":
1. Pujols is secretly a huge dick and
2. FOX inflates the readings on their radar guns for pitchers

Mark said...

Pujols IS a huge dick. You can just tell by looking at him. The only reason its taken this long to come out is tha the St. Louis media loves him and thus protects him to a certain degree. The whole "I adopted this woman's waterhead baby" thing helped his cause too.

I first suspected FOX of vastly overinflating the radar readings when Kenny Rogers was routinely hitting 94 against the Yanks.

Mark said...

I went with Dad since most of the people who might venture over here aren't as friendly with the old curmudgeon as you are. I mean, you did get in bed with him and Judy once. Only a handful of my friends can say that.

As for SG's column:

I'm okay if he's waaay too biased towards the AL to admit he watched a classic game 7, but...who's going to tell him that the Devil Rays ARE named after Stingrays?

Greg said...

Probably some marine biologist fan.

CFunk28 said...

As a fan of neither team, but one rooting hard against the Mets, I have to say the best part of the whole night was the crowd shots following Monlina's homer and after the game. That was just great. I hate NY fans (this means you Joe). The shot of the little girl and her dad (I assume it was her dad) and they were both in tears was great. I was laughing loud enough that I woke up the wife.

And you know what this means, nothing but Bud Heavy for you until they lose.

Mark said...

I rather enjoyed those shots as well. Though you might want to consider the possibility of that pair being a hooker and her John. They start them early in New York, you know.

To the mangy baboons who call themselves citizens of New York: May you spend the next hundred years watching your queer Mets go down on the homesexual Yankees.

Mark said...

There's a lot of Bud (No, not that kind, well...) in my future.

TJ said...

Bud Smith, potentially the worst pitcher ever to throw a no-hitter?

D.M., M.D. said...

For some reason, I was looking up pictures of kids with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome today, and the first thing I thought of was "god damned waterheads." Then, I scurried over to your blog to see if there were, in fact, any references to waterheads in the past few days, since you taught me that beloved term.

Thankfully, I didn't need to look any further than the second comment.

Good show, good show.

CFunk28 said...

We're all horrible dudes. And Bud Smith was a horrible pitcher.

joe said...

Calvin, no mention of Mo Carthon quitting yet? I expected a 1000 word post on it by 10am.

TJ said...

"And a [Chris] carpenter shall lead them..."

CFunk28 said...

Its not that I hate Mo Carthon, I just hate his lack of play calling intelligence. He could have stayed on and handed over the play calling duties. But heaven forbid that would have been a shot to his ego.

I was thinking the other day that the reason Parcells let Sean Payton call plays in Dallas last year was b/c Mo had left for Cleveland. I bet Parcells knew Payton was ready in the years prior, but Parcells didn't want to show up one of his boys (Carthon) so he waited.

Mark said...

Mentions of Mo Carthon and "waterheads" within mere hours of one another. Coincidence? Doubtful.

TJ said...

Would Sheldon Williams be the King of said waterheads?

Mark said...

He's in the Royal Family, no doubt. However, King Peyton has been the unquestioned ruler for many years now.