Saturday, July 05, 2008

Mystaque And Either/Aura

What are the odds a coin flip lands heads? Fifty percent. Tails? Fifty percent. But on that one flip in a million, it'll land on its edge. At least that's what the 8:00 PM episode of The Twilight Zone told me tonight. When the folks at the Sci-Fi Channel were planning this year's July 4th TZ marathon chose to put that episode on in the ultimate prime time slot, I'm sure they had no idea how relevant the choice would be.

On a fly ball to the fence, sometimes the ball will go over. Sometimes it won't. But on that one time in a million, it will sit there, precariously balanced on top of the fence. That was the case at Yankee Stadium today. Kevin Youkilis hit a long fly that Johnny Damon leaped for at the wall. It went into, then out of his glove, before bouncing on the top of the fence. It landed there, bounced up again, then landed and stayed. All this while the fence is moving back and forth, having been slammed into by the left fielder. After an extremely long half-second or so, thanks to one final wall reverberation, the ball fell onto the warning track. Youk ended up with a game-tying triple, and Damon left the game, injured.

Lowell's three-run dong gave the Sox a 6-3 lead. After a long rain delay, the Yanks almost had a 1900s-style comeback. Papelbon entered the game up 6-4 in the ninth, and with two outs, he got a fly ball to center. Coco came in and made a great diving catch. The umpire ruled "I missed it"--er, "trapped ball," and suddenly the ten Yankee fans who actually stayed thought maybe the mystique and aura they've heard about from past generations (i.e. bullshit) was back! But, no, the Red Sox proved once again who the gods are shining down on in the modern era, as the tying run flied deep to center. You know I love it when the Yanks fall just short. Especially at home, against us. And mega-especially when their fans get some kind of false hope that maybe, just maybe, things are starting to go their way once again and that the magical, finicky curse will finally settle on their side.

So we remain three back in a race it's too early to care about, and six up in one that always matters to me. Happy birthday, George.

[A note about the video: Yes, it's funny when Michael Kay makes the "holy shit" call only to be wrong. (See the "triple play!" in the Pokey Reese game.) But what's more funny to me about his call is how he excitedly yells "runners go" on the pitch, before quickly realizing it's a 3-2, 2 out situation, when runners literally always go, provided they're on first or have another runner behind them, and makes a weak recovery attempt by casually adding, "3-2...," as if to say, " they normally would on 3-2...")]

[And check out this game, wouldja?]

If that fly ball had hit a non-moving wall, I think it would have bounced out into HR territory. Turns out it didn't matter, except to Damon, who's headed for the DL for his first time. And I'm happy the ump admitted he blew the ninth inning Coco Crisp catch call. Hope your 4th was great.
And you just know that if a Damon-hit ball had stayed on top of the Yankee Stadium fence while Manny/Ellsbury landed on the ground, and the Sox had dropped to 9 GB, the New York fans and writers (and perhaps one Boston columnist, also) would be bringing up ghosts and black cats and goblins and all sorts of other things that smart people stopped believing in about 300 years ago to "explain" the unique game of baseball. Fuck 'em all.
I wonder if Youkilis was able to read the thoughts of any of the Yankee infielders before the ball fell back onto the warning track.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States